Few things are cozier than the warm glowing embers of a crackling fireplace. Whether you want to install a new gas fireplace or to replace your traditional woodburning firepit with a contemporary linear fireplace, this is a big decision. Installation of a gas fireplace will require careful consideration of ventilation requirements, operational efficiency, and aesthetics.
If you are in the market for a gas fireplace, here is what you need to know before installing one.
Consider where you will install the fireplace, as this will determine the most suitable style for your home. If you have an existing masonry fireplace, look at insert fireplaces, as these allow you to simply fit the new fireplace into the existing space.
If you build a new fireplace into an exterior wall, limit your search to linear built-in fireplaces. These are best suited for homes without an existing chimney or fireplace.
Next, pay attention to the ventilation mechanism that your home can support. The two types of fireplace ventilation systems are vented and vent-free. Vented fireplaces exhaust smoke outside and let in fresh outdoor air into the fireplace. By venting byproducts outdoors, this type of fireplace eliminates the risk of gas poisoning.
Vent-free or ventless fireplaces may be a suitable alternative if you do not have an exterior wall through which to vent the fireplace’s byproduct. On the downside, vent-free fireplaces can exhaust harmful gases indoors, which can present a health and safety hazard.
Where venting through an exterior wall is not possible, ask your contractor about installing a cylinder venting system. The cylinder venting may take up space, something you need to consider carefully especially if space is at a premium in your home.
- Heating Capacity
The heating capacity refers to the amount of gas the fireplace burns to produce a certain amount of heat versus the amount of usable heat the fireplace produces.
The British thermal unit (Btu) measures an appliance’s heating capacity. The Btu is the amount of heat that can warm one pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
When evaluating the heating capacity of a gas fireplace, consider the output capacity, which is the total amount of usable heat the appliance produces.
The amount of heat in terms of Btu you need will depend on several factors. For example, if you want a fireplace mostly for aesthetic purposes, an appliance with a lower heating capacity might be appropriate. On the other hand, you may need a greater heating output if you want to use the fireplace primarily for space heating.
Gas fireplaces are available in many different styles from traditional stone inserts and stand-alone stoves to modern built-in linear fireplaces. When selecting a gas fireplace, consider factors such as space availability and your home’s overall interior décor and architectural nuances.
You can also choose the style of fire that best suits your preferences. You have the option of manufactured logs that deliver a more realistic flame, or if you lean more towards eclectic styles, select contemporary flames that are both functional and artistic.
- Energy Efficiency
Find out about the energy consumption and the cost of ownership before settling for a gas fireplace. A larger fireplace might have a higher heating capacity. However, the right size fireplace, based on factors such as the size of the room you want to heat, will deliver better energy efficiency.
Generally, direct vented units are comparably more energy-efficient than units that vent using gravity. Inquire about the cost of operating the fireplace in terms of 1,000 Btu per hour.
A lot goes into selecting a gas fireplace. A trustable fireplace vendor can help you make the right decision especially with regard to design, ventilation, and energy efficiency.
At Alpine Gas Fireplaces, we can help you install gorgeous fireplaces in your Idaho or Utah home. Call us today to learn more about our fireplace products and services.