Gas Log Trends
Many homeowners are turning to gas logs as the ultimate in convenience. These logs give you something of the look and feel of a real wood fire in your fireplace without any of the muss and fuss. Although you may miss some of the smell of burning wood, you won't miss any of the hassles. With gas logs, you don't have to purchase the wood and cart it home. You don't have to cut it up into manageable pieces. You don't have to store it and season it. And you don't have to insert any kindling to get a fire going and hope it doesn't go out.
Gas logs may be fueled by natural gas or by propane, whichever you find more convenient. The two basic types are "yellow flame" and "blue flame".
Yellow flame gas logs are always vented, whereas blue flame logs can come in unvented varieties. These logs produce a realistic fire. If you're looking to reproduce the look and feel of a wood fire as much as possible, a yellow flame log may be the way to go. The best ones are so realistic that they are often mistaken for the genuine article. While a close inspection would reveal the difference, most people won't even notice.
But that's just the look. Yellow flame gas logs can also reproduce the feel of a wood fire. The flames produce sufficient heat output to let you warm up in front of the fireplace, just the way a wood fire does.
But yellow flame logs also resemble wood fires in another less positive way. They produce soot and carbon which gets deposited on the inside of a chimney. Although you avoid most of the hassles of burning wood, you'll still have to make regular appointments with your local, certified chimney sweep.
Blue flame gas logs produce a less realistic fire than their yellow flame counterparts. However, they put out a lot more heat, and they burn cleaner as well. Some blue flame logs come in the unvented variety. These logs add to your convenience because they can be installed in a fireplace with the damper closed or even in a firebox that isn't attached to a chimney at all. Either way saves on your heating bill by sending heat into your room rather than out into the world. However, some experts contend that unvented blue flame logs will reduce the air quality in your home if used for long periods.