So, you're thinking about buying a gas fireplace

Whether you're building a new home or renovating your current one, installing a gas heating appliance like a gas stove or gas fireplace can increase the value of your home and enhance the comfort of any living space.

But, why gas over a wood fireplace?

In previous generations, wood fireplaces reigned supreme - but there's two major faults in wood fireplaces: they're not energy efficient, and they can be a hassle to operate. Gas fireplaces nowadays are designed so that they vent (or not, if vent-free) directly outdoors in a specific manor to increase energy efficiency. In addition, gas fireplaces are extremely easy to operate with several different ignition options. So if you're sold on buying a gas fireplace, let's take a look at how to decide what route to go.

Benefits of a Gas Fireplace

  • Increased Value - Some reports estimate that a gas fireplace can add up to $10,000 value to your home because of the added benefits a gas fireplace adds. Besides providing additional warmth they can reduce the energy costs of the home, making it more appealing to future buyers--let alone the enhanced ambiance!
  • Cost-Effective - As previously mentioned, gas fireplaces have been specifically engineered to produce a fuel efficient heat source that can lower your energy bill.
  • Comfort - Putting aside the concrete benefits, the aesthetic appeal a warm and cozy fire can create will immediately enhance your favorite living space.
  • Modern Automation - Almost any new fireplace unit will include several appealing features to increase the user experience. These include basic options like remote control functionality and more intricate automation options like smart home integrations.

Technical/Installation Considerations

Venting Types

Vented

Vented gas appliances make use of installed venting to exhaust all byproduct outdoors in order to ensure safe operation. Most units nowadays are direct vent though former variations may include B-Vent/Natural Venting - direct vent units offer the most flexibility when installing.

Vent-Free

Unvented units (also known as ventless or vent-free) are relatively newer in the industry and have been designed for locations where venting is not possible. They are uniquely designed and feature an ODS (oxygen depletion sensor) to automatically monitor the oxygen levels in the room to ensure safe combustion. In the event of the ODS trips, the unit will shut down automatically. You'll need to check with a local authority to see if your state allows vent-free units.

Fuel Type

Natural Gas

Most commonly used in urban and suburban developments, natural gas is a clean-burning fuel that burns efficiently in order to keep operating costs low.

Propane

More commonly found in rural locations making use of an independent tank, propane burns well and produces plenty of heat.

Installation Location

Clearances

For all gas appliances, there are minimum clearances to combustibles specified that must be maintained at all times for safe use. Each appliance will differ depending on the design of the individual unit and the clearances can change in relation to framing, venting, mantels, and other combustible items.

Venting Configuration

Vented gas appliances will be designed for a specific type of venting and installing the venting must follow specific procedures in order to ensure safe operation.

Mobile Home Installation

Because of their fuel efficiency, installing a gas appliance in a mobile home can greatly reduce the energy cost to heat the unit and in many cases can act as the sole source of heat. If installing a fireplace in a mobile home, ensure that your unit is able for this type of installation.

Aesthetic Considerations

Styles of Gas Appliances

Gas Fireplaces

Sometimes a generic term that can include some of the styles below, when we say gas fireplaces we are referencing a complete manufactured unit with a firebox specifically designed for efficient combustion and ready for installation. These are the most popular gas appliances today for new homes and renovating rooms in order to give a traditional "built-in" appearance and efficient heat source.

Gas Stoves

A freestanding unit, gas stoves stand-alone to provide a high amount of heat designed to act as a secondary heat source. Wood stoves have been common in the past to provide additional heat and gas stoves are no different - choose a gas stove if you like the look of a freestanding unit that will help save your furnace.

Gas Inserts

Very similar to a fireplace, a gas insert is a manufactured unit with a firebox designed specifically to be installed into an old masonry or wood fireplace. Gas inserts are very common for renovation projects to update an older wood-burning fireplace to a gas unit.

Gas Log Sets

Not quite in the same category as the previous (3) appliances, gas log sets can provide a more cost-effective way to fill a vacant space where an older wood fireplace used to be. Log sets are typically easy to install and come in a wide variety of styles - learn more about log sets here.

So that settles it

Gas appliances offer tremendous benefits and can be easy to install when working with an NFI (National Fireplace Institute) certified professional. No longer fret over the hassle of building a wood fire or deal with the harmful byproducts of burning a wood fireplace - experience the benefits!