The average cost to convert a fireplace to gas is $3,000, with a typical range of $500 to $5,500
There are many reasons to prefer a gas fireplace over other types of fireplaces—the convenience of starting a roaring fire with just a knob and a lighter, for one. Gas fireplaces are also more efficient and easier to maintain because you don’t need to stock up and store wood or clean up ash and soot. And (fun fact!) gas fireplaces can also provide more heat and warmth than electric or ethanol fireplaces.
The average cost to convert a fireplace to gas is $3,000, with a typical range of $500 to $5,500, depending on a range of elements, including whether you choose a vented gas insert, vented gas log, or ventless gas log.
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What Factors Influence the Cost of a Wood to Gas Fireplace Conversion?
The type of gas fireplace you choose is the primary driver of the conversion cost. Your home’s floor plan, the gas hookups, the location of your fireplace, and where you live will all affect the cost of your gas fireplace conversion.
What Does It Cost to Convert a Fireplace by Type?
The type of gas fireplace you want has the greatest impact on cost. The most common options for gas fireplaces are vented gas logs, vented gas fireplace inserts, or ventless gas logs or inserts.
Vented and Ventless Gas Fireplace Logs
A vented or ventless gas log looks almost like a standard log or coal but burns natural gas.
Vented gas logs are usually the most affordable and might be the best choice if you like the looks of a fireplace and don’t care about adding warmth, as vented gas logs tend to draw a lot of their heat up the chimney. This type of fireplace can cost from $500 to $2,500, depending on the style and size you choose.
Looking to turn up the heat? There are ventless gas logs that can keep you warm, but they also may introduce unburned combustion products to the air, so they’re not recommended for homes or people with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory issues. Ventless gas logs are also restricted (or even banned!) in some areas. Your local fireplace contractor will be able to advise you as to what is allowed in your municipality.
Gas Fireplace Inserts
A gas insert is a prefabricated log and burner combo that fits inside a metal box and is placed inside your existing fireplace. This option costs around $2,000 to $5,500 with an average price of $3,750.
Gas inserts are easy to light and add significant warmth to your home, making them ideal for colder climates. Some gas fireplace inserts even have blowers that send heat out into the room. Gas inserts last around 20 to 30 years, but they are generally more expensive than gas logs.
How Much Does It Cost to Convert a Wood Fireplace to Gas Yourself?
Even if you’re confident with your DIY skills, this isn’t a project you should try to tackle alone. Converting a fireplace to gas involves work with gas lines and other jobs that should be performed by certified professionals.
Fireplace to Gas Conversion Cost Breakdown
The final price of converting a fireplace to gas isn’t just the unit. Though the total cost will be different depending on your needs, other factors play a part as well.
Installing a Natural Gas Line
Depending on your floor plan, installing a natural gas line to your fireplace can be relatively simple … or not. For instance, putting in a long gas line on an interior wall is more challenging than adding a gas line to an exterior wall.
If you don’t already have a natural gas line, the cost to install one will be around $200 to $1,000, and the work will need to be performed by a local licensed professional. Usually, fireplace companies are licensed, but community HVAC techs and plumbers near you can often do this as well.
A gas plumber typically charges around $75 to $100 per hour, so if you don’t already have a gas line installed near the fireplace or need one connected, factor this into the total costs of your fireplace conversion. Running gas lines can run an average of $15 to $25 per linear foot in addition to labor costs.
Having your chimney professionally cleaned before installing a new gas fireplace is also a good idea. You’ll pay $100 to $150 for a local professional chimney cleaner. Your gas plumber or contractor may be able to connect you with someone or roll this cost into their total estimate.
Installation costs depend on the size of your fireplace and the type of insert or logs you choose, as well as the overall complexity of the job.
A contractor with fireplace conversion experience can give you more information on the time and parts required.
What Else Should You Consider When Converting a Wood Fireplace to Gas?
Whether you’re just looking for the ambiance of a crackling fire or you want your fireplace to keep you toasty, do your research before choosing a gas fireplace. While they all provide heat, the amount of warmth varies greatly, with a range of 7,000 to 60,000 BTUs. If you want heat, choose a gas fireplace insert. For looks only, go with a vented or ventless gas fireplace.
Pay attention to local regulations as well—ventless gas logs or inserts can impact people with respiratory issues and are not considered as eco-friendly as other gas fireplace solutions.
FAQs About Converting to Gas Fireplaces
Can I Convert My Fireplace to Gas if I Don’t Have a Natural Gas Line?
Absolutely! You can have a gas line professionally installed; just know it’ll be an extra cost to budget for.
Can You Convert an Electric Fireplace to Gas?
There isn’t a way for electric fireplaces to be easily or cheaply converted to gas. The process requires major renovations, as opposed to wood fireplaces. To convert an electric fireplace to gas, you’d need to remove your old fireplace and get a completely new install.
Are Gas Fireplaces More Environmentally Friendly Than Wood Fireplaces?
In short, yes.
Though how “green” or efficient gas fireplaces are vary by type, but, in general, natural gas fireplaces releases only half to two-thirds as much CO2 per unit of heat (BTU) as burning wood. Plus, gas fireplaces emit fewer harmful particles and air pollutants. They can also be about three-times as efficient as wood, resulting in a much higher level of their energy converting into heat.
At the end of the day, converting a wood fireplace to gas can be a great decision for many reasons—gas fireplaces can be lower maintenance, more convenient, and offer a high efficiency than wood.