When we’re out repairing a customer’s gas fireplace, logs, or insert, we’re often asked if it’s worth repairing the unit, or if it would be best to just replace the entire thing. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that question, but here are some factors to consider:
The first question to ask your service tech: is it cost-effective to repair your unit? As we discuss in our gas appliance repair post, gas fireplace systems are complicated, and what appears to be a straightforward issue can actually be a fairly difficult one, or be simply one of many related problems. Depending on the age and overall condition of your appliance, it may wind up being more expensive to repair than to replace. Our service techs will give you as much information as possible about the condition of the unit, the possibility of repair, and a likely budget for that repair work, but there’s always a chance, as discussed in the above repair post, that fixing one problem will simply uncover another.
The second consideration is whether or not your gas appliance will meet your hearth goals. We’ve had customers call us to schedule service on their gas logs, convinced that the low heat output meant that something was wrong with the logs. However, the reality is that vented gas logs send most of their heat up the chimney, and aren’t intended to serve as a significant source of heat. Or, if you have an older gas fireplace or insert, it may not be as efficient as you would like, and leaves you burning through a huge amount of natural or propane gas each season. If you’re looking for a significant primary or backup heat source, it’s worth asking your service tech if your appliance will ever provide that. If your fireplace, insert, or logs won’t, on their best day, do what you need them to do, it may be best to skip over the potentially costly repairs, and go right to replacing the entire unit with one that will actually meet your needs.
During your service call (or during the scheduling process), let your service tech know what questions you have about repair vs. replacement, and remember that each hearth system in each home is unique. What works for your neighbors may not work for you, and Wooden Sun is here to help you through that decision-making process.