The Right Gas Fireplace
Choosing the right gas fireplace
Gas fireplaces can replace old drafty wood fireplace that most of us associate with when we think of a fireplace. Fireplaces have traditionally been used to burn wood, and were nothing more than a decorative appliance, since wood fireplaces have a heating efficiencies rate of -3 to + 3%. To overcome the inefficiencies of a traditional fireplace, for the past 30 years homeowner have been retrofitting their existing fireplaces with manufactured wood inserts, pellet inserts, or gas inserts to fit into the wood fireplace physical opening, thereby actually getting a higher efficiency appliance that will produce an affordable heat source for their home.With the advent of new prefabricated gas fireplaces, many contractors and homeowners alike are choosing gas fireplaces for new construction, and remodels. These units are easy to install and add resell value to the home and can be very affordable. By purchasing a manufactured gas fireplace, there is a big cost advantage over just trying to use a gas insert for the existing fireplace. Gas inserts as necessarily are manufactured much smaller so it would fit into an existing fireplace opening. A gas fireplace on the other hand has the flexibility to be purchased as to the size and or design that the project requires, which ranges from a smaller design to a very large appliance. Some are made to be see-through, others are designed to be located outdoors. The choices are almost infinite.
As you are trying to decide on the correct fireplace for your installation, it is good to take the following into consideration:
- Will the fireplace be used in a corner diagonally to the wall or set next to the wall with one side and one end viewable.
- Will the fireplace be set in between two rooms viewable from both rooms as a see thru fireplace?
- Will the fireplace be set next to a wall with two sides and the end showing as in a peninsula configuration?
- Will the fireplace be located flush with the interior wall with the actual body of the fireplace setting in a chase enclosure on the outside wall?
- Will the body of the fireplace be set inside the room with a mantle of framing enclosing the actual gas fireplace?
- Will the gas fireplace could be located outside the home as in an outdoor area as part of an outdoor setting where guest or family would be able to socialize, example as part of a barbeque setting.
- Will the gas fireplace be using Natural Gas (NG) or Liquid Propane (LP) gas? This must specified at the time of purchase for the gas fireplace to operate correctly. Either gas works very well, normally the natural gas is the most preferred, but NG must be available in your area as NG is piped into a community of a large customer base, before NG is economically feasible for a utility company to run the network of gas piping.
- The amount of heat that will be necessary to heat the room also needs to be determined. Usually the square footage of the area plus the ceiling height and the insulation are the factors. In some applications, a lower BTU (see explanation below for BTU) may be advisable since the unit is used more as a decorative appliance. Gas fireplaces are rated by their efficiency percentage and BTU (British Thermal Unit) output. Both numbers are important. The efficiency of the gas fireplace is the amount of heat that is left of the available BTU that can be used to heat the area that the fireplace will be located in. Therefore if the gas fireplace is rated at 80% efficiency with 30,000 BTU's there will be 24,000 BTU's for the room and 6,000 BTU's that is vented out the exhaust chimney. Most direct vent gas fireplaces are heater rated with efficiencies form 75% to 80%, making the fireplace functional as part of the heating system.
- Another factor to consider is the quality of the gas fireplace, efficiencies, and visual looks, to make sure it will fit into the decor of the area the gas fireplace is to be installed. This then would determine the manufacturer of you fireplace as you would need to know if the manufacture has the available options that you may require to meet your visual requirement.
- Make sure that you can locate a reliable contractor to install the gas fireplace, as most home owner do not have the tools and skills necessary to install the gas lines and cut necessary opening in the wall or ceiling. The contractor should be licensed and bonded to perform work in your state and have the required licenses that may be required to install the gas piping.
- Last but not the least is your budget. As mentioned earlier, gas fireplaces choices are almost infinite and so is the amount of money you can spend on one. A unit can sell anywhere from as low as $700.00 to $4000.00 depending on the look and design that you want.
Additional links to article of inerest.
- Breckwell Pellet Stoves Owner Manual
- Envirofire Pellet Stove Owner Manuals
- Quadrafire Pellet Stove Manuals
- Stove Education
- Breckwell Pellet Stoves
- Pellet Stove Venting
- Pellet Stoves and how they work
- Pellet Stove Fuel
- Pros of Pellet Stoves
- Pros of Wood Stoves
- Selecting Wood Burning Stove
- Wood Burning Stoves
- Wood Burning Stoves #2
- Wood Stove Fireplaces
- Wood Stove Fuel
- Wood Stove History
- Wood Stove Inserts
- Wood Stove Safety
- Wood Stove Selection
- Wood Stoves Cat vs non cat
- Wood, Coal, and Pellet Boilers
- Gas Fireplace-Gas Insert Buyers guide
- The Right Gas Fireplace
- Vent Free Gas Logs and Gas Fireplaces
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