It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas .... Especially on a Spare the Air Day

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It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas .... Especially on a Spare the Air Day

Postby Wilberforce » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:26 pm

It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas .... Especially on a Spare the Air Day Like Today

The joy of a clean burning fireplace on a cold winter’s day.
By Deborah Burstyn | Email the author | 5:00am

EDITOR'S NOTE: Officials have declared Monday the fourth winter Spare the Air Day. This alert from Bay Area Air Quality Management District officials means a ban on burning wood, manufactured firelogs or any other solid fuel indoors and outdoors. People found burning wood during a Spare the Air Day could face fines; $400 for first-time offenders. Walnut Creek Patch writer Deborah Burstyn has found an alternative, which she shares in this column that I originally published last week.

A “no burn” day to spare the air? No problem. We just flip the switch and presto, we’ve got fire going in our fireplace. Smoke free. Guilt free. Look closely and you’ll see that the logs never change and the flames glow blue in the center. But you’d have to really look. Otherwise, just sit back, watch the fire dance and feel the warmth.

It wasn’t always so. We began our family life in Walnut Creek with two wood-burning fireplaces. But I’m a city kid who grew up in an apartment. Fire scares me. It didn’t help matters that on a day I had invited my boss, her husband, kids and elderly mother visiting from Europe over for dinner, the house filled with thick gray smoke. The flue was open when it should have been closed or closed when it should have been open. Who knew? We all had to put on our coats and dine al fresco, which is Italian for freezing.

I didn’t realize we had fireplace options. Then, one day I was complaining about our unheated family room to friends of my parents who were visiting from rural Pennsylvania. They know about staying warm in Pennsylvania. Why not insert a gas fireplace in the wood-burning fireplace, Marc, the husband suggested.

Really? A fake fireplace? They put out heat? I always thought fake fireplaces were just for show, like silk flowers. Marc claimed that a gas fireplace would keep the vast family room with its high ceilings comfy cozy.

The next day I pulled into the parking lot of Buck Stove, Spa & Fan on North Main Street. The people at Buck Stove have been warming Walnut Creek homes with stoves and fireplace inserts for more than 30 years, so I figured they knew their stuff. It was important to me – fire, as you recall, makes me nervous – to make sure that we could trust folks to know what they were doing.

The realistic look of the gas fireplaces surprised me. So did the fact that they were carefree. No flues to worry about, no bugs in the woodpile, no kindling to gather, no ashes to sweep up and no sparks to ignite your house.

So it was decided. We would convert the fireplace in the family room to gas. We still would have a wood-burning fireplace in our living/dining room for the romance of a real fire — the crackling logs, the smell of wood smoke and all that.

Buck Stove delivered and installed the fireplace. They recommended a nice man named Ken King to put in the pipe that brought gas from our kitchen’s gas stove down to the family room.

Then I fell in love. Our whole family did. The gas fireplace was just heaven. The children gravitated to it after school to do their homework. My husband and I relaxed alongside it with a glass of wine after the kids were in bed. Even the cat stretched out in front of it and purred. All we had to do was flip a switch and when we were done, just flip it again. No fear that the fire wasn’t really out. It really was.

As the children morphed into teenagers with lots of teenage friends, the family room became theirs. And with it, the gas fireplace. My husband and I were left out in the cold, so to speak. The idea of preserving the living room fireplace for wood fires had lost its charm now that we’d come to know and love the instant gratification of gas fireplaces.

“It’d be like eating dinner in the Ahwahnee every night!” I said to my husband, trying to convince him that we should convert the other fireplace to gas. Who needed to go on vacation anyway if, for the same price, we could add an on-and-off fireplace to our living room/dining room area. Plus, we grownups would have a fireplace of our own when the family room was spoken for by the younger generation.

So we did it. And I’m not sorry. Not one bit.

Funny thing is that although I am totally eco-friendly — I am beyond eco-friendly, I am eco-going steady — I didn’t realize how toxic smoke is to the air we breathe. Now I know. So let 'em ask for days to Spare the Air. We don’t care. We’ve got our gas fireplaces to keep us warm.

source
http://walnutcreek.patch.com/articles/i ... like-today
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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Re: It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas .... Especially on a Spare the Air Day

Postby Swartkrans » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:31 am

Hi,
A fake fireplace? They put out heat? I always thought fake fireplaces were just for show, like silk flowers. Marc claimed that a gas fireplace would keep the vast family room with its high ceilings comfy cozy.The next day I pulled into the parking lot of Buck Stove, Spa & Fan on North Main Street. The people at Buck Stove have been warming Walnut Creek homes with stoves and fireplace inserts for more than 30 years, so I figured they knew their stuff. It was important to me – fire, as you recall, makes me nervous – to make sure that we could trust folks to know what they were doing. :mrgreen:
Swartkrans
 
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