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Practical Guide to Buying a Gas Fireplace

by Rafał Porada 27 Jan 2024
Practical Guide to Buying a Gas Fireplace

Are you considering adding warmth, ambiance, and elegance to your home with a gas fireplace? With a wide range of options available, navigating the world of gas fireplaces can be both exciting and overwhelming. Whether you're renovating your living space, building a new home, or simply looking to enhance the comfort and aesthetics of your current residence, this guide is designed to provide you with all the essential information you need to make an informed decision.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about selecting the right gas fireplace for your home. From understanding the different types of gas fuel options to exploring the various styles and installation considerations, we'll cover all aspects to ensure that you find the perfect fireplace that meets your specific needs, preferences, and lifestyle.

Gas Type
Natural Gas vs. Propane: Choosing between natural gas and propane depends on availability, flexibility, and operating costs. Natural gas is often more economical, especially in areas with easy access through a gas network. On the other hand, propane allows for more freedom in placing the fireplace anywhere without the need for a gas line connection, which can be ideal for properties outside urban areas.

Fireplace Style

  • Direct Vent: It's worth noting that Direct Vent fireplaces are not only safe and energy-efficient but also perfect for modern interiors where clean lines and minimalist design are key.

A fireplace with direct venting is an innovative solution that provides both safety and efficiency in use. Unlike traditional gas or wood-burning fireplaces, direct vent fireplaces do not require a chimney. Instead, they utilize a completely sealed ventilation system that brings fresh air from outside to the firebox for combustion and then exhausts the combustion gases from the home.

This modern system not only maintains high indoor air quality but also preserves the overall efficiency of the home. Direct vent fireplaces are equipped with glass fronts and safety screens, further enhancing user safety. There is also the option to choose between standard tempered glass and ceramic glass, providing users with greater flexibility to tailor the fireplace to their preferences and needs. With these benefits, a fireplace with direct venting offers a modern and functional solution for any home.

Fireplaces with direct venting offer versatile heating solutions for any home. Utilizing either co-linear or co-axial ventilation systems, these fireplaces efficiently draw in fresh air for combustion while safely expelling combustion by-products. Whether installed with a masonry chimney or through a dedicated venting system, direct vent fireplaces provide both warmth and ambiance without the need for a traditional chimney. With careful consideration of local regulations, homeowners can enjoy the comfort and convenience of a Direct Vent fireplace in any room while ensuring compliance with building codes.

  • Ventless: During Ventless fireplace installation, adequate ventilation must be ensured, which may require additional work during installation but allows for flexible placement in various rooms, even where there is no access to a chimney.

What is a Ventless Fireplace?

Ventless or vent-free gas fireplaces are standalone units that do not require a chimney or ventilation system.

Without a chimney, through which hot air escapes, all generated heat remains inside the home. This makes Ventless fireplaces incredibly efficient and economical heating sources.

Although the heating power is significant, the overall appearance of the flame display is less intense compared to Direct Vent and B-Vent units. As a result, Ventless fireplaces are primarily marketed as heaters rather than decorative appliances.

How do Ventless Fireplaces Work?

Ventless gas fireplaces operate in a closed loop of air circulation within the room. The system draws in cool air from the room to the firebox to complete combustion. The air circulates around the firebox and then exits back into the room as heat.

Ventless gas fireplaces burn with almost 100% efficiency, leaving behind minimal gas emissions or none at all. They typically release only a small amount of water vapor and carbon dioxide.

Because Ventless fireplaces burn oxygen, they produce moisture in the form of water vapor. You may notice condensation on windows or surfaces throughout the room.

This is especially true with propane gas. In dry, winter months, some level of moisture can be beneficial, but excessive condensation can lead to mold or mildew growth.

Where Can Ventless Fireplaces be Installed?

Ventless fireplaces offer greater installation flexibility since they do not require a chimney. However, they have more location, room size, multimedia options, and height restrictions.

  • B-Vent: While B-Vent fireplaces may be less popular, they're an excellent option for those seeking a compromise between price and performance. The ability to draw air from the room allows for easier installation while maintaining safety through the chimney.

B-Vent Fireplaces

B-Vent fireplaces, also known as Natural Vent fireplaces, are among the least popular options for gas fireplaces on the market. Although they are cheaper than Direct Vent and Ventless fireplaces, they are inefficient and more difficult to install.

B-Vent fireplaces operate with an open design and function similarly to wood-burning fireplaces. They draw fresh air into the firebox from inside the home for combustion and utilize a vertical pipe to vent exhaust gases and vapors. Most of the heat generated by the fire will escape through the ventilation openings, which is why B-Vent fireplaces are often used for aesthetic purposes rather than as a primary heat source.

The installation of B-Vent fireplaces is somewhat more limited compared to Direct Vent or Ventless fireplaces because it requires a vertical ventilation system that terminates through the roof of the house. However, they are considered safe due to the ventilation system that removes combustion by-products, and some models may also feature draft sensors.

B-Vent fireplaces are available in various models, including inserts and custom-built fireboxes, allowing for a choice of different designs and finishes to complement the home decor.

Installation Location

  • Safety: In addition to the distance from surrounding elements, also consider placing the fireplace at a safe distance from flammable materials such as curtains, carpets, and upholstered furniture.
  • Heating and Ventilation: In rooms with a gas fireplace, it's worth considering other heating sources and ventilation systems to ensure optimal thermal conditions and comfort.

Safety and Aesthetics

  • Enclosure Materials: When choosing the fireplace enclosure material, pay attention to its resistance to high temperatures, ease of maintenance, and compatibility with interior décor. For example, if you have children or pets, it's better to choose materials that are easy to clean and reliable in terms of safety.
  • Finish: Optimal fireplace finishing can affect its efficiency and visual appeal. Remember that some materials may heat up more than others, so it's important to follow the manufacturer's recommendations.

Bestselling Models

  • Additional Features: When choosing a fireplace model, consider additional features such as remote control operation, programmable temperature settings, and options to customize flames to your preferences.
  • Warranty and Service: Check if the chosen model offers an adequate warranty and easy access to service and replacement parts, which can be essential for maintaining the fireplace in good condition for many years.

Thank you for using our guide to buying a gas fireplace. Remember that choosing the right fireplace depends on your individual needs and preferences, so it's worth carefully considering all options before making a decision. If you have any questions or want more information, feel free to contact us or visit our website at Fireplace Trends. We wish you successful purchases and warm moments by the fireplace!

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