Fireplace Conversions

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Fireplace conversions are special burning units that you can place directly inside existing fireplaces. They are made to replace the fire-burning techniques of the traditional fireplace with a safe, convenient and more controlled alternative, without replacing the fireplace itself. Thus, the impressive look of an existing fireplace can be preserved, without the mess and hassle of a wood-burning fire. With your basic fireplace conversion set, you can turn your old dormant fireplace into a functioning beauty.

Fireplace conversions can be comprised of something as simple as log and grate sets, or more thorough fireplace inserts. Log and grate sets are just what they sound like; they include decorative log (or logs), and a metal grate to support the logs. The fuel source is also included in the set. Fireplace inserts take it one step further, including the log and grate, the fuel source, and also an insulating metal firebox that can be slipped right into the opening of your existing fireplace. Fire screens can also be added.

Types of Fireplace Conversions

Generally speaking, fireplace conversion units rely on either gas or specially developed gel fuels. Gas units tend to be more expensive due to their design, user options, and the cost of gas fuel. Some common user options in gas conversions include the ability to control the thermostat and a remote control apparatus. They also require a ventilation system to provide oxygen for the fuel to burn.

Gel fuel burning fireplace conversions tend to be simpler and more economically priced than gas conversions. For one thing, they don't require ventilation. Instead, they rely on individual containers of alcohol-based gel fuel, which you light as you would a candle. Their flames are real, as are those of gas conversions. However, unlike gas-powered conversions, gel fuel conversions aren't meant to be used as a primary source of heat. They do give off some heat, but not enough to warrant a user-controlled thermostat or remote control.

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