Some people love wood burning fireplaces, usually because of the nostalgia factor. Something about throwing a log on the fire reminds them of days gone by. Of course, wood burning fireplaces can also be a maintenance nightmare. Not only do you have to clean out ashes, keep the flue cleared, and worry about jumping sparks and ashes, but traditional chimneys are a magnet for spiders, bats, and all manner of creepy crawlies.
For many of the same reasons, 95% of chefs prefer to cook with gas. In fact, more and more homeowners are discovering the many benefits of gas fireplaces and propane fueled fireplaces because it’s such a cost efficient fuel.
Why Propane? What Are the Benefits of Gas Fireplaces?
Numbers don’t lie. Today, 8.1 million homes use propane, with 4.6% of them relying on propane for all their heating needs. On top of that, more than 1 million restaurants, hotels, and other commercial establishments use propane. Like natural gas, propane can exist in both liquid and gaseous states. When propane is at atmospheric pressure and temperatures higher than -44 F, it’s both non-toxic and colorless. Although it’s naturally odorless, an easily identifiable odorant is added to propane to make leaks easy to detect.
Even better, fully 90% of America’s propane supply is produced right here in the U.S.A., while the majority of the rest comes from Mexico and Canada.
Gas Fireplaces: The Ultimate Propane Accessory
Propane services have gone mainstream over the past few decades, and this gas is now used for so much more than cooking and heating. You’ll find pools and home spa heaters powered by this fuel, and of course, propane fueled fireplaces.
Not only do gas fireplaces avoid the maintenance, mess, and fire risks that come with traditional alternatives, but gas fireplaces spread heat more evenly around a room. Gas fires are both easier to light (literally with the flick of a switch!) and easier to keep lit, all at a low cost. And while traditional fireplaces must be connected to a pre-existing chimney, propane fueled fireplaces can be installed anywhere in your home.
There are two popular types of gas fireplaces: direct vent and — for lack of a better term — normal gas fireplaces. Traditional fireplaces use indoor air for combustion, then vent heated air through a flue and vent to the exterior of the home. On the other hand, direct vent fireplaces use outdoor air for combustion, creating a convention loop. Some home improvement pros think direct vent fireplaces are safer and more efficient, although it’s mostly a matter of preference.
No matter what you choose, there’s no denying that propane fueled fireplaces have a number of benefits over the alternatives.