Your decision really depends on how much a priority heating efficiency is for you. If you want a lot of heat from your fireplace, you should consider a vent free gas log set or direct vent gas insert. From a cost standpoint, an insert vent free logs are your least expensive option.
Yes. It’s actually quite popular due to both efficiency and convenience. Natural gas is inexpensive and burns much cleaner than that of a wood burning fireplace. Just be sure you have a professional complete the installation for safety reasons.
Fireplaces do add value. The Hearth Product Association conducted a study that shows a fireplace hearth is the most preferred amenity for a home and in some cases, could produce a 130% return on your investment.
A gas fireplace will give off more heat than wood burning if you have the right type of glass to absorb and distribute heat after the fire is out. A fire that puts out 21,000 BTU has an efficiency of approximately 70%, which is enough to heat a 1,000 square foot area easily. For wood burning fireplaces, certain woods burn hotter, including fruitwood and oak. Just remember, the harder the wood, the hotter the burn. If you plan to use your fireplace as your primary heat source, you should definitely have a thermostat installed.
Most of us only buy one or two fireplaces in our lifetime. Trying to figure out which of the many choices available is the right one for you can be intimidating. Often the first decision is between a wood and gas fireplace. We can help you understand the benefits of both systems to decide which is right for you.
Nothing has the complete realism of a natural wood fire. Each fire has a unique life cycle from small flames to a strong burning fire to glowing embers. Properly installed wood burners are very safe and reliable, little other than wood and a match is needed to keep them going. But wood is a bulk fuel. To burn well it must be seasoned and dry (minimum 1 year cut, split, stacked, and preferably covered). Wood takes up space and comes with a bit of maintenance to keep it clean. You have to sweep up the bark and wood chips that fall off, and clean out the ashes after burning. Once you light a wood fire you have several hours of fire to enjoy, but you cannot put it out with the push of a button.
Gas fireplaces offer convenience and control not available in wood units. With the push of a button the fireplace is ignited. Some units offer thermostatic control that will insure the room does not get too hot. Modern gas technology is both extremely safe and very realistic. A modern gas appliance has many safety features built into it to avoid any potential for risk to the home or the consumer. The logs and burners on a modern gas fireplace have realistic dancing flames and glowing embers. The manufactures are making remarkably realistic fires in most mid grade and premium fireplaces. Considering how you will use the fireplace most easily makes making the decision between wood and gas fuel. If you come home in the evening and light a fire to enjoy it for most or all of the evening, or if you commonly heat your home with the fireplace, or keep a fire going all weekend long, you may be a candidate for a wood fire. If you typically come home in the evening and want to enjoy a fire for awhile while watching TV or entertaining, or if you want to light the fire to take the chill out of the home first thing in the morning before heading out to work then gas may better suit your needs.
Natural gas (NG) is lighter than liquid propane (LP). Natural Gas contains 1000 BTUs per cubic foot, while Propane contains 2500 BTUs per cubic foot. Natural gas enters your home through your local gas lines while propane is stored in a tank outside your home.
Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association and the National Fire Protection Association recommend and annual service/maintenance/inspection for solid fuel appliances and venting systems.
Vented logs have a yellow flame and flame soot is created –therefore the damper must be left open so it can go up the chimney and not out into the room.
Measure front width – back width – bottom depth front to back. If you have a mantle provide us with how much brick, granite, stone you have to the first piece of wood and the distance from opening up to the underside of the mantle.
A direct vent fireplace has a completely sealed combustion chamber which allows it to vent directly out a side wall or through the ceiling of your home. The benefit of this system is that it brings in air from the outside of the home rather than using the room air.
We can install a direct vent gas fireplace virtually anywhere in your home.
Yes, standing pilot gas fireplaces and inserts do not need electricity to operate.
There are two main types of gas fireplaces: vented and unvented. They are so named because of their venting technique. Vented gas fireplaces are much like traditional wood-burning fireplaces. They require a vent to filter air in and out. This vent sometimes is a traditional chimney that has been converted. Other times, this vent is built specifically for the fireplace, and runs out the side of the house. Unvented or Vent Free, Ventless doesn’t need any venting at all. Virtually all of the fuel is burned. A vent free gas log set can be installed in an existing wood burning fireplace or in a manufactured vent free enclosure.
This is one of the biggest questions people have about gas fireplace systems and the answer is quite surprising. No, you don’t need a chimney! Note that this only directly applies to an unvented gas log system, not to a vented gas log system. A vented gas system still requires some sort of vent, but it doesn’t need to be a chimney.
There are two types of gas fireplaces, heater-rated units and decorative appliance. Heater-rated units may be operated by a thermostat and typically range from 20,000 to 40,000 BTU’s, and will cost 10 to 25 cents per hour to operate. Decorative appliances produce little heat.
Gas logs are the heart of the gas fireplace system. When we talk about gas fireplaces, what we are really talking about is a gas log plus its system of venting, the hearth box, and its fuel system. The gas log unit is where the gas is ignited and turned into a realistic looking flame, dancing warmly over logs made of flame resistant materials. They come in a huge variety of styles, textures, and sizes.
Anywhere. This is one of the great advantages of using a gas fireplace system. Wood-burning units have a lot of architectural and building requirements. Gas-burning units have none of these limitations. Your gas fireplace can be along any wall, internal or external. As well, gas fireplace units have been developed that can be inserted within a wall, so that you can enjoy your fire on either side, in two different rooms. Units have even been developed that act as a kind of “island” in the middle of a large space, allowing a panoramic view of your fire and all of the warmth and ambiance it brings.
However, we highly recommend that you check your local laws, as many regions have specific requirements about where you can place your unit. For example, many regions do not allow a gas fireplace in the bedroom.
One of the major advantages of a gas fireplace system is in its energy. All of the fuel they burn is directly converted into heat and light. This means that gas fireplaces need only a small amount of fuel to produce a large amount of radiant heat. As well, many gas units are equipped with fans that direct the warmth straight to you and the room- no more heat and fuel being wasted and absorbed into the chimney or places you don’t need it.
Outside of the efficiency of gas, fireplaces also work off the very environmentally friendly idea of “zone heating.” Zone heating is based off the principle that you should only heat the areas in your home where you most inhabit. Why waste energy on heating rooms you barely enter? Instead, fireplace units allow you to use your energy with incredible precision- warming you, and helping the environment.
There is of course a whole range of gas fireplace units that vary in size, type, and features. When weighing the cost of a fireplace, you should also take into account the long-term expense of time, energy efficiency, and construction. In all of these areas, gas fireplaces have a huge edge on wood-burning fireplaces.
In terms of time, gas fireplaces allow you to turn on warmth and ambiance with the touch of a button. No longer do you have to trudge outside to retrieve wood, making a mess in the process. Instead, your gas fireplace is hooked directly into your normal gas line. Just turn it on and you can adjust the height, heat, and look of your fire with your remote. Clean-up is effortless as well: there is none! A gas fireplace does all the work for you.
In terms of energy efficiency, a gas fireplace is a smart investment. Gas units convert all of their fuel directly into heat and ambiance, at a rate exponentially better than wood-burning units. No longer do you have to buy and store large heaps of wood that are wasteful in terms of energy efficiency, heat, and space.
In terms of construction, a gas fireplace does not have the same limitations and costly requirements of a chimney-based wood fireplace. Instead, you only need to worry about the hearth and determine your system of venting. If you already have a chimney, you can easily and painlessly convert over to a gas system.
This question comes up quite a bit and is actually pretty simple. Gas fireplaces use whatever kind of gas is normally used and lined into the home. This can be either natural gas or propane. There is no need to use a special kind of gas.
When purchasing a gas fireplace and log system, however, be sure to check if the logs you are purchasing have a special requirement. While most log units can work with either natural gas or propane, there are still some that require one or the other.
This is one of the biggest myths of gas fireplaces. Gas fireplaces are not dangerous in the least! In fact, they can actually be safer than conventional wood burning fireplaces when it comes to carbon, smoke, and fine particulates that are released into the air.
Yes! Gas logs and fireplaces can use propane gas. If your home uses a propane gas unit, you can easily hook your gas logs directly into your gas flow. If you want to use propane just for your gas fireplace, you are free to do that as well. However, we do recommend that you just use whatever gas (natural or propane) your home normally uses. This helps with simplicity and ease of use. It just uses fuel out of the main gas line that heats the whole home.
In the long run, gas fireplaces are not expensive to run. They are much like using a gas stove top, in that they are incredibly efficient. All of the gas that is fed into their system is transferred into heat and ambiance. Compared to conventional wood burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces have a number of advantages. They don’t require any storage for fuel – they use fuel pulled directly from the main gas line – and they are much more efficient in providing heat. Since the heat does not escape up the chimney or absorbed into the hearth, gas fireplaces are more efficient in transforming their fuel into radiant, convective heat. Many gas fireplace systems have convective air technology, which helps direct the fire’s heat throughout a space. As well, they can cut down on heating bills since they function off the principle of zone heating: precise, targeted heating for the spaces you actually inhabit, rather than heating unused rooms and spaces.