By Fanny Ungar. Fireplace. Published at Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 - 00:40:45 AM.
There is much written about the benefits of an electric fireplace and much is also written about the common differences between electric fireplaces and traditional fireplaces. Of course, both have their value but for many people there are a number of reasons why people purchase an electric fireplace as opposed to purchasing a "real" fireplace. Cost and installation often play a role in the decision to purchase an electric fireplace as opposed to purchasing a traditional fireplace. Of course, this does bring up an overlooked question: what happens to those who have already purchased a traditional fireplace. Do they completely shut down the traditional fireplace and opt to not think about purchasing an electric item? Absolutely not! Instead they can simply install an electric fireplace insert into the traditional fireplace and they will be in business once again!
The benefit to a ventless gas log fireplace outdoors is convenience and cost. The process of building proper ventilation and a chimney can often double the expense of custom fireplaces indoors or outside. Convenience is the ability to create a perfect flame pattern as easily as turning on a barbeque grill. Many gas log fireplaces have complex valve options that allow variable remote controls that alter flame height, on/off remotes, wall switches and thermostatic controllers that turn the fireplace on and off based on the temperature read at the thermostat. I do not recommend any of these valves in your backyard. A manual safety pilot kit has a standing pilot light that stays on always. As long as the pilot is burning, the fireplace can be controlled with a simple control knob. A couple of decorative ceramic pinecones or wood chunks hide the controls. Remotes, wall switches, thermostatic controls and other valves use batteries. Even a gas log fireplace that is under an overhang will be affected by moisture in the air. Here in Florida where humidity is tremendous, a battery operated valve will corrode within a year in most backyards.
Outdoors a ventless gas log cannot deplete oxygen or fill your home with gas but a different set of issues ensues. Oxygen Sensors can get pollen and dust in them and wind can confuse the pilot assembly’s ability to provide continuous heat to the thermocouple. The design of the fireplace and the placement of the logs should be discussed with a professional to minimize these possibilities. These issues do not risk the safety of your family but if the thermocouple thinks the pilot is out because the wind is directing the flame in another direction, your gas log burner will turn itself off. An experienced installer will manipulate the mounting bracket to work around wind issues and position the Oxygen Depletion Sensors so they do not get clogged with pollen and dust.
There is no doubt that there is a great deal of joy to be had from an open fire, especially on a cold winter’s day, and nothing quite adds as much character to a room as a beautiful open fireplace. An open fire gives us the kind of primeval comfort that our ancestors probably felt while enjoying the crackling of a burning logs and the scent of wood smoke. There is an unmistakable quiet pleasure to be gained from watching soft flickering flames dancing in an open grate. While there are a lot of obvious advantages of using a wood burning stove there is nothing to touch the charisma of an open fireplace in your home. It not only adds tangible warmth to a room but it also serves as a focal point, especially in the country home where there is more likely to be natural fuel easily to hand.
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