There is nothing better than a warm, roaring fire on a cold winter’s night, except a warm, roaring fire that does not need tending and requires minimal clean-up! This is what a gas fireplace can bring to your home. The models available today are more realistic and a lot more efficient than models in the past.
Why Choose Gas?
Wood-burning fireplaces create ambiance, but they can’t beat the easy, no-fuss efficiency of gas.
- No logs to split, haul, or stack
- Thermostat helps to control temperature
- No ash to clean up or smoky smells
- 75-99% of fuel’s energy back as heat
- You can start, adjust, and extinguish with a switch or remote control
- They can be installed almost anywhere, without needing a chimney
- Inserts – used to retro-fit an existing wood-burning firebox ($2,000–$4,000)
- Built-ins – for installing a fireplace where one does not currently exist ($2,000-$4,000)
- Log sets – a basic burner that sits in an existing fireplace, decorative purposes ($400-$1,000)
Inserts and built-ins are both reliable heat producing models that will fill a room with radiant heat. Log sets are more for the appearance of a fire than for actual warmth. Each version comes with the option to vent or not to vent. While gas fireplaces don’t produce smoke or odors, they do create pollutants (carbon monoxide, nitrogen and sulfur oxides). Vented units will send these pollutants outside.
- Vented – Can be vented through an exterior wall or up a flue. Typically 70-85% efficient.
- Vent-free – Can be installed anywhere. They have an oxygen-depletion sensor that will shut the unit off if the oxygen level drops below 18%. Typically about 99% efficient since all heat stays in the room.
Other things to consider
Natural Gas vs Propane – Natural gas is less expensive, produces about 5% more heat. Choose propane when natural gas is not available.
DIY or Hire a Pro – For safety purposes and a flawless installation, hire a pro certified by the National Fireplace Institute.
Maintenance – Have a certified technician visit annually to perform an inspection and cleaning
BTUs (measure of heat output) – You should take into consideration your room size, the local climate, and your home’s insulation level.
Upgrades to enhance comfort and appearance:
- Battery backup – fireplace will still light during a power outage
- Electronic Ignition – eliminates the need for pilot light (saves fuel)
- Wall Thermostat – Adjusts heat output to a temperature you select
- Flame Height Adjuster – allows you to dial amount of heat you desire from a small flicker to a roaring fire
- LED accent lighting – adds a realistic flickering effect
- Built-in Fan – Pulls indoor air into space behind firebox, pushes hot air out, .heats room faster
Do a little research, decide which options suit your needs, and then get going.
Don’t spend another moment in a chilly home, let a gas fireplace keep you comfy and cozy all winter.