Gas Fireplaces

Gas Fireplaces

Gas Fireplaces

If you love lounging in front of a roaring fire in your fireplace, but do not love the idea of tending to a wood burning fire, then a gas burning fireplace or stove is for you!  There are many advantages to choosing a gas hearth system as a primary or secondary heating source for your home.  One advantage is that gas burns cleanly, so there is no more cleaning up ashes or dealing with messy firewood. Advances in technology have provided more realistic looking ceramic log sets and fuller flames. Ranging in looks from traditional masonry to sleek and contemporary, gas fireplaces offer the warmth and appearance of a wood burning fire without the mess. 

Many of these fireplaces do not require a full chimney, allowing you to place a gas fireplace almost anywhere in your home. Besides having the warmth and ambiance of a wood burning fireplace without the hassle, the ease of installation is another appeal of gas fireplaces and stoves. Gas fireplaces can be recessed into a wall, placed into a mantel cabinet, built into the corner of a room, or installed on an island in the middle of a room.

One of the most appealing aspects of a gas stove or fireplace is the ease of operation. Most units are "remote ready" for added convenience. You can use the remote control, a wall switch/timer or a programmable thermostat to determine how hot and how long you want the appliance to operate.  Many models offer variable flame control, which allows you to adjust the flame height to better control the heat output. Gas fireplaces add the ambiance of a wood burning fire, increase the coziness of a room, and can even increase the sale price of your home!  Here are a few things to consider before purchasing your new gas fireplace.

Venting Types

Direct vent is one of the most popular venting methods on the market today.  A direct vent fireplace is simply a vented gas fireplace with a sealed glass firebox that features a protective barrier screen.  Co-axial or co-linear venting draws air from outdoors for combustion, instead of using oxygen and heat from the room.  Direct Vent units' sealed venting system and firebox prevent combustion byproducts, like carbon monoxide, from entering the room as the inner pipe expels them outdoors. In direct vent fireplaces, a 4" inner flue is surrounded by an outer flue that is typically 6 5/8" x 8" in diameter. When the gas fireplace is ignited, exhaust passes through the inner pipe to the outdoors, while the outer pipe draws in fresh air for combustion.  Direct vents can be made vertically, horizontally, or as a combination of the two.  These units efficiently produce heat almost anywhere in the home, come in a broad range of sizes and styles, and do not require a chimney, making them well-suited to just about any type of room in the home.  Available in a variety of styles, from traditional to sleek and modern, you can find the best direct vent gas fireplace to complement your interior design.

B-vent fireplaces are primarily chosen for decorative applications due to a lower heating efficiency. B-Vent gas fireplaces are similar to traditional wood burning fireplaces in that they typically have an open front, however, their burner and venting systems do not allow for wood burning.  B-vent, also known as naturally aspirated, must exhaust vertically and typically uses the room air for combustion, though some models may have a formal combustion air vent connected from the fireplace to the outside air.  Due to the vertical venting method and open front firebox, a b-vent fireplace has a very low efficiency rating and releases most of the heat through the chimney. This venting system was primarily used in the early days of gas fireplaces due to its ease of installation.

  • Vent-Free

Vent free, also known as Ventless or Unvented, gas fireplaces are designed for locations where installing an outside exhaust is not possible.  Vent free gas fireplaces also come in a variety of styles with accessories to coordinate with any decor theme.  These ventless gas fireplaces use the room's air for combustion, therefore depleting the room's oxygen level.  These unvented fireplaces feature an Oxygen Depletion Sensor that automatically monitors the oxygen levels in the room to ensure safe combustion.

The ODS will automatically cut power to the pilot and not allow gas to flow or the burner to operate if the oxygen level drops below a certain level.  Moisture is the main byproduct of vent-free systems, so it is important that they are properly sized for the room. Not all locations allow this type of fireplace venting.  There are very strict guidelines, and it is suggested that you reach out to your local professional to inquire about the rules of your community. When used properly and in accordance with the manufacturer's rules and local safety codes, vent free gas fireplaces can be an efficient secondary heating source for almost any room in your home.

Fuel Types

Natural Gas is most commonly used in urban and suburban developments. One of the biggest benefits of natural gas is that it flows continuously through an underground pipeline, so you don't have to worry about propane gas storage, scheduling deliveries, or running out of fuel. Propane is commonly used in rural areas where a natural gas pipeline has not been established.  Propane burns about half as much volume as natural gas and burns 2.5 times hotter, making it the more energy-efficient option.  There are additional costs associated with using propane, such as refilling the propane tanks.

When purchasing a gas fireplace, be sure to select the desired fuel source at the time of placing the order.  Special gas utilization fittings for each fuel source are required. Most natural gas fireplaces and liquid propane fireplaces come with conversion kits to switch to the other fuel source. 

Installation Location

Clearances from combustibles are different for each gas appliance and must be maintained at all times for safe use.  The clearances can change in relation to framing, venting, mantels, and other combustible items.   Please be sure to check the installation manual for the proper clearances for your gas burning fireplace.

Mobile home installation is possible with select units.  Installing a gas stove or fireplace in a mobile home can greatly reduce the energy cost to heat the home and, in many cases, can be used as the sole heat source.  Please ensure the unit is approved for mobile home installation prior to purchasing it.

Styles of Gas Appliances

Built-In Gas Fireplaces

Built-in Gas fireplaces are fully assembled units that include a firebox specifically designed for efficient combustion and a vented or ventless venting system. Traditional masonry style built-in direct vent gas fireplaces often come with your choice of firebrick liners, a glass front with a safety barrier screen, and typically feature a realistic looking ceramic fiber gas log set.  Contemporary models complement decorating trends of clean and minimalist living spaces and can usually be customized with decorative panels, fire glass, fireplace ornaments, or stone media kits.  Built-in gas fireplaces are the most popular and efficient heating sources for new homes and renovations.  Most built-in gas fireplaces are able to operate during a power outage as they feature either a Millivolt ignition with a standing pilot or an electronic ignition with a battery backup.

Gas Inserts

Gas inserts are very similar to built-in gas fireplaces, as they are also manufactured units with a firebox and can be vented or vent free.  The gas insert is designed specifically to be installed in an old masonry or wood fireplace with an existing chimney, turning it into a high-efficiency gas heater while eliminating cold chimney drafts. Gas fireplace inserts give you all the ambiance of a wood-burning fire without the hassle and mess of wood.  Most inserts offer various styles of surrounds and overlays that are used to cover the inevitable gap between the edges of the insert and the edges of the fireplace. Most gas inserts are designed with a Millivolt ignition with a standing pilot or an electronic ignition with a battery backup, allowing you to stay warm without power.

Freestanding Gas Stoves

Similar to built-in gas fireplaces, freestanding gas stoves do not require a chimney and instead can be vented directly through a wall or the roof. Freestanding gas stoves come in a range of styles, from modern and contemporary to traditional and classic. Gas stoves do have a limited BTU output, therefore, they are used as a supplemental heating source rather than a sole heating source.  As with built-in gas fireplaces and gas inserts, most freestanding gas stoves use a Millivolt ignition with a standing pilot or an electronic ignition with a battery backup system, allowing the unit to continue working during a power outage.

Outdoor Gas Fireplaces

Available in built-in or freestanding models, outdoor gas fireplaces are a great way to extend the use of your outdoor living space.  Built-in models are typically installed into your deck or patio, while freestanding models can be moved around based on your needs. As with indoor gas fireplaces, outdoor fireplaces run on either natural gas or liquid propane and provide a consistent and controllable flame.  Outdoor gas fireplaces come in a variety of sizes, allowing you to choose one to fit comfortably in your space.  From traditional to contemporary, outdoor gas fireplaces can be customized to coordinate with your outdoor decor.  An outdoor fireplace makes a great focal point while providing warmth and beauty to your yard.

Now is The Time to Buy!

Gas fireplaces, gas fireplace inserts, and gas stoves save you from the care and maintenance of using a wood-burning fireplace and can still produce heat during a power outage, unlike electric fireplaces.  Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of gas fireplaces, please visit our selection of gas fireplaces, gas inserts, and gas stoves to select the perfect fireplace and accessories that best fit your needs.  Be sure to look into all of the options with gas fireplaces, stoves, and inserts to make the best decision for you and your home.   

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