We’re Gas Log Installation & Service Experts You Can Count On
There are normally one of four reasons people look for gas log services:
- they need their gas logs cleaned and serviced
- they need to replace the gas logs they currently have
- they are looking to convert a wood-burning fireplace into a gas fireplace (and need someone to complete that conversion)
- they are looking to purchase a gas fireplace or stove
Well, Winston’s Chimney Service has good news for folks living and working in Northern VA, Maryland, and Washington, DC. We can help with it all.
Let’s take some time to explore each of these four common needs – and explain how our techs can help you with them all.
I Need My Gas Logs Serviced & Cleaned
The crew here at Winston’s Chimney Service has been offering gas services for fireplaces, stoves, and inserts longer than just about anyone else in the area.
Every one of our gas technicians holds chimney and venting certifications from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and we invest in further education year after year. For you, that means you’ll have the most qualified technicians in town working on your system.
We do recommend that you have your gas logs cleaned and inspected annually. While it’s true that gas is more eco-friendly and gives you a cleaner burn (and you don’t have all the residue that you get when you burn wood or pellets), that doesn’t mean cleanings aren’t needed. When not using the gas logs, they tend to get dusty and lose some of their charms for the following season.
There are also other components that need to be changed and checked, as well:
- the flux, which is what makes the flame colorful
- the gas intake line, which could be susceptible to leaks
- the logs themselves, which can be like putting together a jigsaw puzzle if you are not careful
- the burner – everything can be great, and if this one component is not working properly or needs to be replaced, nothing happens
Ready to get care from the best? Let the experts here at Winston’s, who do gas services and gas log installations all day and every day, take care of yours.
We make it easy on you to schedule as well. You can call us at 703-379-5006 or schedule an appointment online. The staff at Winston’s Chimney Service will get you scheduled at a convenient time for you, send out helpful reminders, show up on time for the appointment, and get those gas logs taken care of so you don’t have to.
How Do I Replace My Gas Logs in My Fireplace?
You might think replacing gas logs in your fireplace would be easy peasy – but not so fast. It’s actually a lot more complex and complicated than most assume and, if not done right, could invite some hazards into your home. It’s almost like starting over!
When you trust our experts, we’ll measure the firebox and get all the specifications, so we can show you the logs that will work the best in your fireplace. And there are a lot of gas logs you can choose from.
Why is DIY a bad option?
If this is something you are thinking about doing yourself, we would caution you to think about this one again. Working with gas is something we don’t take lightly. One spark can cause a lot of problems, so we are very careful anytime we work on changeouts or retrofits. And when you change from one brand to another there can be compatibility issues with parts and connectors.
Of course, if you are qualified to do this type of work, go for it. That said, if you run into issues with anything, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We care about your safety above all else, and we’d be happy to come out and take over to get the job finished. We just ask one thing of you – be safe.
Can I Convert My Wood-Burning Fireplace Into a Gas Fireplace?
This is actually one of our favorite things to do – convert a wood-burning fireplace into gas. And while there is a lot of prep work that will need to take place, once these conversions are finished, people love them!
No more buying and cutting wood, no stocking, no worrying about ashes, and no smell. Well, some people do miss the smell… but they sure don’t miss the stress and mess of the other stuff!
So what needs to happen in order to convert from a wood-burning fireplace to a gas fireplace?
First question. Are you looking at a vented or vent-free system? Let’s assume vented, since you should have a working chimney and venting system from your wood-burning fireplace. In these cases, it makes much more sense to tie into that system – and we feel a vented system is a more healthy option too. Even though gas burns cleaner, there is residue and particles that vent up the chimney and out of the house. So for this application, vented would be the choice.
Now, we need to make sure your house, condo, or townhouse is able to have gas lines run to the fireplace, and meet any necessary building codes, if they apply. We’ll also need to measure the firebox and make sure the log set you choose will fit in that space and that you are going to be happy with the results.
Once all of this is done and the proper permits are pulled, we can start taking out what needs to come out of the wood-burning fireplace. We’ll also do a thorough cleaning and inspection to make sure everything is clear and ready for the conversion to gas. Then, we’ll get the line done, bring in the gas logs, and get it finished, cleaned up, and ready for use.
Before you know it, we’ll be out of your house, so you can enjoy the benefits of your new gas fireplace.
Why Should I Get a Gas Fireplace Over a Wood-Burning One?
Wood-burning fireplaces are great. So are gas fireplaces. However, they are different in many ways. There are lots of reasons people choose gas over wood, but ultimately it comes down to your personal needs, preferences, and lifestyle. For some, the convenience and ease of gas can’t be beat. For others, wood systems are the only way to go.
So, what are the big differences between the two?
Installation & Setup
Wood-Burning: A wood-burning fireplace has to have certain parameters right in construction for it to work properly. The physics around the chimney system is pretty amazing when you start to study how it all works. Drafting, drawing, venting, and lift all make it into the equation, which makes these fireplaces more complex to build and maintain.
Gas-Burning: Gas fireplaces are typically easier to install because they can utilize an existing chimney or flue (for vented models), or if you choose a vent-free model, that’ll require no venting.
Wood-Burning: Your firewood needs to be purchased, stored, and seasoned to get the best burn. If you buy it already seasoned, it’s more expensive than if you buy it green and season it yourself. That said, this requires storing, splitting, and protecting it so it can adequately dry out – and then there’s the splitting. Of course, some people really like this process and for them, it’s a wonderful and natural ritual.
Gas-Burning: The fuel for these systems is natural gas or propane. In a lot of places, this is more convenient to obtain, and it can be directly connected to your home’s existing gas supply line or a separate propane tank.
Operation & Maintenance
Wood-Burning: The process of lighting a fire can be almost primal and there are people who love it. For others, it’s a manual effort that is time-consuming and messy. Then, there are other maintenance issues that have to be done for cleaning, which includes scooping fireplace ash and dealing with creosote and soot. If you burn wood, the chimney should be inspected and cleaned annually by a professional chimney sweep from Winston’s Chimney Service to prevent dangerous buildups.
Gas-Burning: Gas fireplaces are a breeze to light, especially when you have a remote. Of course, there are some that have manual ignition systems – however, this is still easier than lighting a wood fire. Gas fireplaces don’t produce nearly the amount of ash and soot, so the maintenance and cleaning compared to a wood-burning fireplace is almost nil.
Efficiency & Heat Output
Wood-Burning: Open-faced wood-burning fireplaces aren’t very efficient unless they have an insert that holds heat and can generate more radiant heat. If not, they lose a significant amount of heat up the chimney. However, they smell great and still provide a cozy atmosphere.
Gas-Burning: Gas fireplaces are more energy-efficient They offer a more consistent heat and can be controlled easily by adjusting the flame and heat settings.
Wood-Burning: Burning wood produces greenhouse gases, which contribute to air pollution. On the flip side, sustainably harvested wood can be considered a renewable resource.
Gas-Burning: While natural gas and propane are non-renewable resources, they do burn cleaner, which makes them more environmentally friendly.
Aesthetics & Design
Wood-Burning: Let’s face it – there’s nothing like a wood-burning fire if you want an authentic, traditional fireplace experience with crackling sounds, wood aroma, and dynamic flames. The appeal of a wood-burning fireplace is hard to replicate.
Gas-Burning: While gas fireplaces can’t give you the same sensory experience as wood-burning fireplaces, they offer a lot of styles and designs that allow you to customize the appearance to fit your home’s decor. And logs nowadays are more realistic than ever.
Wood-Burning: Wood-burning fireplaces can pose risks like chimney fires, creosote buildup, and sparks or embers escaping the fireplace. Proper maintenance, fireplace screens, and safety precautions are really important when taking care of this type of fireplace.
Gas-Burning: Gas fireplaces are considered to be safer due to controlled flames and a lower risk of fires from sparks or embers. However, it’s still really important to pay attention to proper installation, ventilation, and maintenance to avoid gas leaks or other hazards when working with gas appliances.
Hire Us for All of Your Gas Fireplace Needs
No matter what needs you have when it comes to gas services, Winston’s Chimney Service is the right choice. If you live in the Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, or Maryland area, we’re just a quick phone call away. Give us a shout at 703-379-5006 or schedule an appointment online. We would love the opportunity to become your chimney company of choice.