Gas fireplaces are the popular alternative to traditional wood-burning options because of their low maintenance, few venting requirements, easy installation, and variety of styles. They come in three main forms — freestanding log sets, “built-ins,” and gas inserts — each of which offers its own set of benefits. How can you choose between these options?
How to Select a Gas Fireplace
1. Heat Output
The first consideration when selecting from gas fireplaces is how many cubic feet you want the unit to heat. Is the installation your main heat source or simply supplemental? Gas fireplaces burn both propane and natural heat, with the latter being the less expensive option. They also produce anywhere from 7,000 to 60,000 Btus (British thermal units). Determine which model offers the ideal heat output for your needs by calculating the designated floor area by ceiling height (in feet) and your location’s climate or Btu zone.
2. Operational Costs
Running costs vary by model and are based on what you intend to use the gas fireplace for — main or supplemental heat. Balanced-flue fireplaces, or those that vent from the back of the installation through an external wall, are generally the least expensive to run. Gas inserts that fit into existing fireplaces cost the most to run because they often serve as main heat sources, though they still offer less waste than wood-burning options.
Gas inserts and freestanding log sets are arguably the most aesthetically pleasing because they mimic the classic look of their wood-burning counterparts and feature beautiful outer-face designs, such as those made of brick or natural stone. Built-in gas options, such as those built into a wall and are visible on either side, offer a more modern look. Your decision depends on whether you have a fireplace you intend to convert as well as the room’s theme and use.
Nordic Stove and Fireplace Center makes selecting the perfect heating source easy. The Stamford, CT, company has provided a comprehensive selection of gas and electric fireplaces since 1972. Installation, repair, and maintenance services are also offered for your convenience. Call (203) 406-9881 to talk about your options, or visit the company online to review the inventory. Like the business on Facebook for more helpful tips.