Converting an existing fireplace to gas

If your home has a dusty, old wood-burning fireplace, you probably don’t use it as much as you’d like. Do you have any wood handy? Can you be bothered cleaning up afterwards? Don’t you hate it when it smokes? Are you nervous to let it burn out once you’ve gone to sleep?

Despite all that, roaring fireplaces still draw you in. We crave their warmth, the flickering glow in the background as you snuggle quietly reading a book, with your kids fresh from the bath before bed, or next to your partner and that cab sauv.

Happily, it’s pretty straight forward to retrofit a gas insert into your existing fireplace with the help of a specialist like us – Fireplace Corner. So, what do you need to know about making it happen?

When looking at gas fireplaces, customers typically have four main questions:

  1. How easy is a gas fireplace to use? Once installed, gas fireplaces can be remote operated which means just the quick push of a button to light and put out your fire.
  2. Will a gas fireplace really heat my home? If you want it to. Gas fireplaces can both heat an entire room, or just provide a more neutral ambience, all while avoiding the dry air that comes with other heating methods like reverse cycle air conditioning.
  3. Does a gas fireplace cost more to run than a wood fire? Once installed, gas to fuel your fireplace actually costs about the same as buying wood to fuel an open fire.
  4. Which type of gas fireplace is best? A lot of this hinges on what you want out of your fireplace, so here’s a bit of terminology to wrap your head around to consider this:
  • Jetmaster – The favoured radiant heat fireplace brand in our store, and across Australia. Jetmaster offers both convection and radiation heating options.
  • Heat & Glo – Another well-trusted and favoured brand name for Fireplace Corner, these units use convection heat and are best for actually heating your space.
  • Radiant heat – This is the type of heat that just radiates 3-4m from the actual fireplace. These fireplaces won’t have a glass enclosure as they need to draw oxygen from the air in their room. Typical of a Jetmaster, these are perfect as a decorative feature in a small room like your formal lounge. Clients might also use this option in a much larger space where no type of fireplace will be sufficient to heat it entirely.
  • Convection Heat – About 75% of our clients are seeking this type of heat, which actually works to warm up your room. Fireplaces that produce convection heat produce radiant heat as well – so the immediate space around the fireplace is extra cosy.
  • Balanced Flue – This technology is regarded as the best air quality in the room being heated by a fireplace. It is very healthy as the system draws fresh air from outside before circulating warm convected air into the room. The balanced flue technology was invented by Heat & Glo 1987 and revolutionised the industry. Heat & Glo balanced flue fireplaces are extremely efficient whilst consuming less gas.
  • Fan Assisted – These units are fitted with a fan for even distribution of hot air.
  • Coals/Logs – Obviously these are ceramic in your gas fireplace, but check out the options in person, you can really tell the difference between brands that have invested in making these look as realistic as possible. Also, don’t forget to see the difference that backlighting can make!
  • Heat Response – The speed at which your fireplace and the surrounds will heat up, this is much faster in a gas fireplace than with traditional wood. Convection heat can warm a 100m2 space in around 30 minutes.

 

The Process:

So now you know the technical side of things, how do you get the ball rolling for a gas fireplace of your own?

  1. Have an idea of the budget you’re comfortable with, unless you’re also installing a new mantle, there’s no building component involved so your typical spend is between 4 & 7k.
  2. Consider the décor style of your home (modern or traditional?) and also what you want the fire to achieve (heating the room, or building ambiance?).
  3. Visit our showroom to explore our options and see them in action.
  4. We’ll visit your home to measure the space and check a couple things out – is your chimney working? Where is the gas and power located? This will allow us to prepare a complete, obligation-free, quote.
  5. Once you’re happy we just need to confirm whether the stock is available and book in your install date! From order to install is usually 2-4 weeks, depending on the number of installs in the queue which peaks in winter.

 

The Maintenance:

Although your manual recommends annual servicing, our milder use means you can get away with every 2-3 years.

In between services, don’t ever hesitate to reach out to us with any concerns. We’re here to share our knowledge and have the benefit of working with brands that support our after-purchase care approach.

If you have more questions about how you might retrofit a gas fireplace in your home, or are excited to see our fireplaces in real life, we’d love to meet you. Our showroom is open year-round at 277 Lord Street, Perth or you can call us for a chat on (08) 9228 2600.

~ Leigh & Andre

Building, renovating, residential or commercial call us, or visit us today for an obligation free quote.

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