There's only one thing better than a roaring fire on a wintery night: a roaring fire that needs no tending, requires minimal cleanup, and doesn't leave the rest of the house freezing cold. That's what you get with today's gas fireplaces. Long gone are the anemic blue flames and unconvincing "logs." Modern versions burn much more realistically, with glowing red embers and tall orange-yellow flames that dance and flicker around ceramic-fiber logs molded from the real thing.
Gas fireplaces come in three types: inserts, for folks who want to retrofit a wood-burning firebox with something more convenient and efficient; built-ins, for those who want a fireplace where there isn't one now; and log sets, basic burners that sit in existing, open fireplaces. Both inserts and built-in fireplaces are reliable heat producers, filling your room with a mix of warm air and radiant heat. Log sets are usually more for looks than warmth.
Gas stoves are powered by gas via the piping in your home, much like a conventional cooking oven. Gas utility services are often more of an expense than firewood to fuel a stove. Yet, the overall combustion and heat transfer efficiency of a gas stove is much higher than that of a wood stove. It all comes down to pricing.
Heat exchangers in gas stoves help prevent escaping heat from your stove and help better distribute it throughout your home. They are typically more viable within a gas stove then in a wood stove, therefore less heat escapes from the stove making a gas stove more efficient in both respects.
Many gas stoves have high levels of insulation and tight fitting door hinges that a wood stove does not. This severely increases the efficiency of a gas stove over a wood stove because they are able to retain higher levels of heat for longer periods of time.
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