The Scoop on Fireplaces, Part I

Most of us have modern heating systems and use our fireplaces for ambiance or entertainment, if at all. But fireplaces can be a good supplemental heat source, especially if the power goes out. Fireplaces come in a variety of types and styles.  Let’s talk about the most common: the gas-log insert.

This is a factory-made, gas-burning appliance that is made to look like a natural wood fire.  Many of these lack a chimney and are called “ventless”.  Combustion products in the exhaust enter the home’s air, adding a small amount of carbon monoxide and large amounts of water vapor and carbon dioxide.  Adjusted properly, gas logs emit very low levels of carbon monoxide but if they become clogged or out of adjustment they can emit dangerous levels. Ventless gas fireplaces are no longer allowed in many jurisdictions.

It’s important to have your gas log fireplace inspected and cleaned annually.  It’s also important to have carbon monoxide detectors (or combination smoke/monoxide detectors) in the required locations if you use your gas log fireplace.

These helpful hints brought to you by Integra Inspection Services, LLC.

Our Home Inspections are certified and backed by guarantee.  Whether you’re buying, selling, or maintaining your home, choose Integra for your inspection.  Call today for a free quote.

Todd Thuss

I am an electrical engineer with 30 years of design experience and was born into a construction family. I have 25 years of hands-on construction and remodeling experience. I am a home inspector, licensed in both AL and TN and enjoy helping people understanding and maintaining their homes.

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