Submitted by Barron Heating & Air Conditioning

Summer is upon us, which means air conditioning, barbecues, and backyard pool parties (socially distanced, of course). Fireplaces are likely not top-of-mind this time of year, and we’re willing to bet yours hasn’t been used for a while. But with the time, effort and messiness of your aging wood-burning unit, perhaps you don’t use it as often as you’d like—even when the weather warrants it.

Nothing’s better than kicking back in front of a warm, beautiful hearth when those hot nights turn chilly again. But for many homes with traditional wood-burning fireplaces, that coziness is a well-earned luxury. After all the splitting, hauling, and stacking logs, your evening is nearly spent before you even begin to build your own flame. Then there’s the need to continuously tend to the fire to keep it burning as desired, all while ensuring ash and embers don’t escape into your living room.

Photo courtesy: Barron Heating

While the ambience and smell of a crackling wood fire creates a sense of nostalgia for many, it’s hard to beat the convenience of a gas fireplace, with instant warmth and flame at the flip of a switch or push of a remote control. Temperature control is at your fingertips on modern gas units and the flame can be extinguished as easily as it was started. An electronic ignition is now common feature, which can save you money each month by eliminating the need for a pilot light. And no need to completely rebuild your space: gas fireplace inserts can be swapped into your existing masonry or prefab fireplace and vented through your chimney or wall.

One of the key advantages of a gas insert over a traditional wood-burning unit is the wide range of sizes, shapes, and finishes available. “Fantastic improvements have been made over the last ten years with gas inserts; not only in efficiency, but quality of presentation and available styles,” says Barron Heating & Air Conditioning’s John Boone, Retail Manager of Firelight by Barron. With endless options for realistic logs, flame, and even LED accent lighting to add dimension, your hearth can be incredibly custom.

Unique zone heating is another great feature for natural gas or propane burning units, allowing you to turn up the heat in the room you’re in while lowering the thermostat for your furnace. This versatility is perfect for heating small rooms like a bathroom or bedroom, or even much larger spaces. With built-in fans that pump out lots of warmth, quality gas inserts can heat between 1,000 and 3,000 square foot rooms, making them ideal for replacing existing fireplaces.

Looking for a clean alternative? Built to meet or exceed today’s EPA standards for clean burning, gas units are extremely efficient—rated 65% to as high as 99% for newer models (traditional wood-burning fireplaces are often rated just 10-20% efficiency). High-efficiency means very little pollution or smoke from your fireplace, and even better—no ash or messy creosote, a potentially dangerous buildup in your chimney that requires cleaning.

“Firelight by Barron offers a wide variety of gas inserts from industry leaders to help transform your space,” continues John Boone. And Firelight customers agree. Guests at the Barron Showrooms are often looking for simple, quality additions to add value to their homes and invest in their families. Amid these unprecedented times, creating an oasis to spend time in together is an investment we can all get behind.

So as the weather heats up outside, take advantage of an opportunity to upgrade your hearth inside. With clean, efficient, and endless beautiful options, now’s the perfect time to replace your old wood-burning fireplace with a modern, gas insert. Beat the fall fireplace rush and visit a Firelight by Barron Showroom—you won’t have to miss out on a single night by the fire once those chilly days come again.

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