Creating Lasting Repairs

Worried About Another Lengthy Power Outage In Winter? Retrofit Your Existing Fireplace With A Gas Insert

by Marvin Gilbert

In 2018, as many as 2.2 million homes were without power due to a massive nor'easter. Being without power for an extensive amount of time during a brutal winter can be devastating, particularly if you depend on electricity for heat and have children. People in homes that have existing and working fireplaces were able to provide warmth as long as they kept the fires going, doing so was risky. In fact, the heat from a fireplace caused a house fire in Massachusetts when a family used the fireplace to stay warm during a power outage caused by a nor'easter. 

Fortunately, there is a way to safely provide heat from a fireplace in the event of a power outage — retrofit a fireplace with a gas insert. Here's what you need to know. 

Gas Fireplace Inserts Do Not Need Electricity 

Gas fireplace inserts do use electricity to operate a fan that directs the heated air out of the fireplace and into the home. However, your home will still be warmed even when the fan is inoperable during a power outage. However, since the heated air won't be displaced from the fireplace and into the home, you will need to be careful to not turn the thermostat up too high. The reason for this has more to do with the amount of gas or propane you will use and your risk of running out too quickly if the delivery service is unable to deliver more due to weather and road conditions. 

They Are Either Vented or Ventless 

Gas inserts are manufactured as either vented or ventless. There are two types of vented gas insert fireplaces: ones that are vented through the top through a working chimney and others that use a direct vent which does not need a chimney. Ventless inserts need neither a vent or a chimney. A fireplace renovation expert can help you determine which type of system is best for your existing fireplace and chimney. 

They Can Have Glass Fronts 

Be sure to select an insert that has a glass front, especially if you have young children in your home who may want to sit too close to the heat and light the fireplace will generate during a power outage. Since they may be attracted to the light that the fireplace will produce, purchase a battery-operated lantern for them to use as well as plenty of batteries. Speak with a gas fireplace renovation expert for more information on selecting the right insert for your needs and to keep your children safe when it's in use. 

For more information, contact a company like Quality Fireplace and Chimney.