How to Give a Gas Fireplace an Updated Look on a Budget!

Here are some ideas on how to give your old gas log fireplace an updated look without spending a lot!

If you don’t live near Phoenix, AZ it may surprise you that we have fireplaces that
we use most of the winter too! My company, Magic Touch Mechanical, based in Mesa, Arizona  stays plenty busy with fireplace repair, maintenance, and remodels every Fall & Winter – and we even do a few gas-log and other fireplace remodels a month in the height of summer…

Sure, we are known for record breaking heat in the Phoenix area but it does get down to freezing on occasion in the winter here as well. Even when it’s not very cold, there’s something comforting about a fireplace in the living room on a mild evening when it’s not quite cool enough to run the central heating system. I’ve personally been guilty of using my fireplace for ambience with the doors and windows open, especially around the holidays. My home is very energy efficient thanks to the other services we perform so I can cheat once in a while!

One of our most popular gas fireplace upgrades is what we call a “modernization”, which basically means we update all the “guts” of an existing fireplace with more modern features and conveniences. Some of the upgrades we offer include:

Installing a fireplace remote control

Depending on the type chosen, a remote control for your fireplace can be as simple as having the ability to turn the fire on and off, to models which allow you to adjust the flame height…all from your couch!

Adding remote control to a fireplace is convenient for those who already have a wall switch to turn the fire on, but it’s a downright arm-hair saver for people who have to light their fireplaces physically with a match!

Speaking of lighting your fireplace with a match, if your fireplace still has a standing pilot light instead of an electronic ignition, you definitely are a perfect candidate for a modernization. Pilot lights are wasteful and can even be hazardous. How a standing pilot ignition works is by constantly feeding a small amount of gas to the ignitor to keep it lit. When you turn the gas valve on, it senses the heat from the pilot light on a thermocouple and allows the gas valve to open allowing more gas in. With an electronic ignition, there is no open flame or constant gas being wasted when the fireplace is not in use.

Replacing gas logs with a burner pan

When we think of an indoor gas fireplace we think of imitation gas logs. While gas logs may go with some décor and some are quite beautiful, many people want a more updated look for their fireplace. One popular look is to replace the gas logs with a burner pan filled with fire glass. These burner pans come in many sizes, shapes and materials such as copper and stainless steel. Our most popular includes a rectangular or oval stainless steel pan which can be filled with a variety of special “fire glass” or stones that won’t burn, melt, scorch, and can handle extreme heat.

Check out our photo gallery for some great modernized fireplaces!

Replacing gas logs with an “H-burner”

An H-burner is a small stainless tube shaped like an “H”, which is installed on the bottom of the fireplace and covered with one of the materials mentioned above, although most commonly it is covered with fire glass that matches the décor in the room. This is also a very popular upgrade amongst Magic Touch clients because it gives the appearance that the glass is on fire. This is a popular look in outdoor gas fire pits as well. Note: If you live within a 35-mile radius of Mesa, AZ, you can call us for fire pit upgrades and repairs as well. If your outside of Arizona you can try your local heating contractor to see if they offer a service like this.

Check out our wide variety of fire glass colors and options!

Upgrading a gas log set

For some home décor, nothing beats the traditional look of gas logs. Gas logs are just what they sound like; artificial logs meant to look like real wood logs for gas fireplaces (natural gas or propane most commonly).

Some “builder grade” log sets that came with the home when it was built, either don’t look real, are too small or large for the fireplace, or just don’t perform well (lazy flames or not evenly dispersed). For these situations, we recommend upgrading to a higher end log set, and there are many to choose from.

Of course, there are many other options and looks available when it comes to upgrading the look and operation of your gas fireplace. For those on a budget, it can be as small as adding some burning embers to rejuvenate that old gas log set and give it that orange glow of burning coals, or adding a pushbutton ignitor to that old fireplace that still needs to be lit with a match…the options are only limited by your imagination and budget.

Here’s a video of some fireplace modernizations to get your gears turning, enjoy!

If you already love your fireplace and would just like to have it cleaned, inspected for safety, and have the annual maintenance recommended by all fireplace manufacturers, contact us today!