Understanding the Difference Between Gas Inserts and Gas Logs

January 22, 2020 11:28 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Thinking about updating your fireplace? If you’re going with a gas fireplace, one of the decisions you’ll need to make will be whether it will use gas logs or gas inserts.

But what are the differences between these two features, and which is the better decision for your needs? Here’s a quick overview of the difference between gas inserts and fireplace gas logs in Wausau, WI.

Gas inserts

Gas inserts can be installed in an existing fireplace, and get vented through the existing chimney. These appliances can be used as zone heaters for a specific area of your home, and will be installed as a sealed system with a glass door. This means no air from in your home will get through the fireplace or chimney, which makes it an extremely energy-efficient option. They also have a blower that pushes warm air into the room, which makes the heating process more effective.

You can find gas inserts in a wide range of heating capacities and sizes, so the kind you purchase will really depend on your heating needs for the space in which you’ll install it. You can find inserts capable of heating spaces anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 square feet.

Gas inserts are also quite safe, especially direct-vent varieties. The process of direct ventilation involves bringing air from outside of the house into the system to operate, directing moisture or gases created by the fireplace through a ventilation system in the home instead of a standard chimney. This results in better air quality indoors, and little need for maintenance.

Gas inserts will be more expensive up front, and may require some gas plumbing modifications, but if you go with the vented gas insert system, it can be extremely efficient and improve air quality. Ventless gas inserts, however, can compromise your home’s air quality.

Gas logs

Gas logs are mostly decorative. They exist to simulate the burning of wood, and can be installed in any existing fireplace opening. Homeowners who purchase this variety aren’t looking to use them as a major heating source—while they do give off heat, they’re more for aesthetic value than anything else. The fireplace is operated with the use of a wall switch or remote control.

Gas logs do emit more heat than wood-burning stoves, but not as much as gas inserts. While they do have great aesthetic appeal and are cheaper than gas inserts, the logs are only about 10 or 20 percent efficient—most of the heat escapes through the chimney, just as with a standard wood-burning fireplace. You need to have a chimney and masonry that are in good condition to install them, and must properly vent the fireplace so as not to compromise the air quality in your home.

Marcell’s Specialties Inc. has over 70 years of experience working with gas fireplaces and other fire features. If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between gas logs and gas inserts in Wausau, WI, we encourage you to contact our team today with any questions.

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