Which Gas Fireplace is Best for My Room?
Are you wondering which gas fireplace is the best one to add to a room in your home? That’s a question many people are asking these days.
Gas fireplaces provide numerous benefits that have made them the favorite choice of homeowners across the U.S. You can add a beautiful, convenient, modern gas fireplace to a room of just about any size. There are several options that go beyond picking out the style that best fits your décor.
Choose Natural Gas or Propane
Whether your gas fireplace burns natural gas or propane, you will be using an efficient fuel. Modern gas fireplaces have annual fuel utilization efficiency ratings that range from 80% to 97%.
Natural gas is the cleanest type of fossil fuel. It has fewer impurities than other fuels and combustion typically produces less pollution.
Propane is a hydrocarbon that has a scent, which can make it seem like a pollutant. As a fuel, however, it is odorless and environmentally friendly. Propane was approved as a clean fuel in the 1990 Clean Air Act.
Check Local Codes
Permits are required when you add a gas fireplace to your home. Before choosing your new gas fireplace, it’s best to check local codes. There may be guidelines that dictate which fuel types and vent types you can choose from. There may also be installation, efficiency, and maintenance requirements.
Direct vent fireplaces are more efficient than traditional gas fireplaces. They are factory-built and have sealed glass doors. Oxygen is taken from outside through one pipe. The bi-products from gas fires are exhausted through another pipe. A direct vent fireplace can have horizontal flue systems that go directly outside through a wall or a vertical vent that exits through the roof. Zero-clearance direct vent fireplaces are well-insulated and can be installed next to combustible materials. The zero clearance feature makes it possible to install one of these efficient fireplaces just about anywhere in your home, no matter how tight the space. An additional benefit is that no electricity is needed to operate a direct-vent fireplace. If a blower is used, a battery-operated system can be utilized.
B-Vent or Natural Vent
Traditional gas fireplaces are also referred to as B-vent or natural vent appliances. Some models may qualify for an energy rebate in the area where you live. The oxygen supply for these fireplaces is taken from the room. Most of the bi-products from fires are exhausted through a flue pipe. Most traditional gas fireplaces have venting systems or flues that terminate vertically on the rooftop. Some models however, have horizontal venting through an external wall. A downside to using a B-vent fireplace is that oxygen levels in a room are depleted when using it.
Vent-free, also known as ventless, fireplaces are reliable sources of supplemental heat. No venting is required. These gas fireplaces burn air from indoors and emit a minimal amount of fumes. Installation is a lot less expensive, since no venting is needed. Be especially careful about checking local codes before installing a vent-free gas fireplace. This is a style that is more likely than the others to be disallowed by local laws.
To top off all of the other terrific benefits of gas fireplaces, there is a wide range of styles available. Whether dancing over realistic faux logs, glass, or stone, the flames create the ambiance so beloved in a fireplace. There are gas fireplaces that provide views from more than one room. Contemporary models can bring a genuine wow factor to any home.
Contact us today for expert help determining which gas fireplace to buy for the space you have in mind in your home.