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Gas Fireplaces: How They Work, Pros and Cons, Repair Costs

Gas fireplaces aren’t the most exciting topic in the world, but it pays to know your stuff. Maintenance costs and repairs on gas fireplaces can cost you thousands. Smart homeowners do their research to make sure they aren’t spending an arm and a leg to stay warm in the winter.
Gas fireplaces aren’t the most exciting topic in the world, but it pays to know your stuff. Maintenance costs and repairs on gas fireplaces can cost you thousands. Smart homeowners do their research to make sure they aren’t spending an arm and a leg to stay warm in the winter.

Heating your home is imperative for those living in colder climates. Not only is it a good idea to look into a permanent heating source, but it could also save you money on heating costs in the long run. Gas fireplaces are becoming more and more common as an option for people who want to heat their homes efficiently without ruining their home’s aesthetic.

Gas fireplaces work by using gas to create a flame that burns and provides heat to the home, they work similarly to gas stoves. These fireplaces are typically more efficient when it comes to heating an area and undergo strict safety regulation.

If you are considering buying a home with an existing gas fireplace or are in the process of updating your current fireplace, it’s important to do your research on gas fireplaces. Ensuring that you are prepared for maintenance and repair costs will save you money. An experienced Clever Partner Agent can give you more information on gas fireplaces and how they affect the value of your home.

Choosing a Gas Fireplace

Many homeowners choose to convert existing wood-burning fireplaces to gas fireplaces because of their efficiency and ease of care. There are a variety of gas fireplace options that work to suit the different decor and home styles. It’s easy to find one that fits perfectly in your home. There are three main kinds of gas fireplaces.

  • Built-ins: New gas fireplaces that can be installed into almost any room are called built-ins.
  • Inserts: These are installed into existing wood-burning fireplaces. They are much more efficient when it comes to heating up larger older homes.
  • Log Sets: The concept behind log sets is aesthetic. They look like logs burning in a hearth and have small flames, but do not heat areas well.

Whichever gas fireplace you go with, you won’t have to deal with the hassle of having to maintain a “real” fireplace and chimney. However, you will have to make some important decisions regarding which type of fireplace works best for you and your home.

The Cost of Gas Fireplaces

There are several factors that will determine the real cost of a gas fireplace including installation costs, maintenance fees, and the cost of the materials. In general, the cost of the materials for gas fireplaces can be anywhere from $2,000-$5,000 for materials alone. However, log sets will run you significantly less at around $400-$1,000 per set.

You will have to decide whether you want warmth and fumes all directly deposited into your home or if you’d prefer to have the fumes dispersed outside via a vent. Additionally, installation costs are generally more expensive for homeowners who are installing a new gas fireplace over those who are having one installed into a wood-burning fireplace.

If you are installing a new gas fireplace, you will need to hire a professional to run a gas line and vent your fireplace. This is when you’ll have to decide whether you’d prefer to use natural gas or propane to light your fireplace, natural gas is less expensive, but propane is much more efficient. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

If you are selling a home with an existing wood-burning fireplace it may be a good idea to look into converting your existing fireplace into a gas fireplace. This update could tack on several thousand dollars to your home’s value and entice potential buyers early on.

Maintenance and Repair Costs of Gas Fireplaces

Like most household appliances, gas fireplaces require yearly maintenance and will cost a good chunk of change to repair. If you are finding that your fireplace won’t light, you’re smelling strange odors every time you light it or experience any other issues you’ll likely need to call in a professional to get things looked at.

Repair costs aren’t one-size fits all. Various factors such as the area that you live in, the problem with your fireplace, and the time of year will all affect the price of any repairs. The typical cost of maintenance is $100-$150 an hour, unfortunately, a major repair could set you back thousands of dollars.

Any repairs that require extensive construction may cost you permit fees. This type of damage is common of any issues with the gas lines to your home or any damage to your chimney if you are using an insert to a wood-burning fireplace.

Yearly maintenance is necessary to best avoid having to make repairs on your gas fireplace. Homeowners should schedule annual maintenance such as vent cleanings and budget around $150 for the service. It’s also imperative to ensure that your fire and carbon dioxide alarms are in working condition. That means replacing batteries and testing them at least once a year.

Finding the Right Real Estate Agent

Buying a great home that will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter is harder than it seems. Clever Partner Agents want to get you into your dream home while saving you money.

Partner Agents work to get you the best deal on your new home and offer a Home Buyer Rebate in qualifying states.



Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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