Choosing a Gas Fireplace

A blazing fire is a fascinating sight to behold. While mystical orange and blue flames flicker and dance, the body is surrounded with warmth and comfort on chilly days and frosty nights. There’s nothing quite like the enchantment of a fireplace to warm the body as well as the soul.

A gas fireplace adds a significant amount of value and beauty to the home, and when properly located, a gas fireplace can greatly reduce heating bills. Consider installing a gas fireplace, and transform a part of your home into the cozy retreat you’ve always longed for.

There are a number of options to consider when choosing a gas fireplace such as location, venting, and efficiency. Once you determine the gas fireplace that will best meet your needs, you can explore the options to find the unit that best suits your style. You’ll be amazed by the options you’ll find. Choosing a gas fireplace is the first step in adding warmth and comfort to your home.

Determining Your Needs

Decide before you begin your quest if you want an efficient heat-producing unit or one that simply provides ambiance. They are available in all price ranges, styles, and heating capabilities, and choosing the right unit can be confusing for the average homeowner.

Not all gas fireplaces are designed with heating in mind. Decorative gas fireplaces look great, but they aren’t energy efficient, and they don’t produce a great amount of warmth. Requirements greatly depend on the climate of your location and the warmth of your home. Those in warmer climates often want fireplaces but don’t need or want the heat. Choosing a decorative gas fireplace is the perfect solution.

Check BTU ratings before choosing a unit for your home. The BTU rating is what determines the amount of heat produced. Ratings range between 20,000 and 69,000 BTU. Compare energy efficiency and heat output to find the most suitable unit for your needs and budget.

Vent-Free

Vent-free gas fireplaces produce the greatest amount of heat, and the benefits are many. Units that are vent-free can be placed anywhere in the home, other than the bedroom, and an exhaust chimney isn’t required. Likewise, the air required for combustion comes from within the home.

On the downside, homes that are airtight can develop moisture on the interior of windows and walls, especially when humidity is high. Avoiding the use of humidifiers during winter months can help prevent this problem, but ventilation will be necessary if excess moisture persists.

Direct Venting

Exterior ventilation is required with a direct venting gas fireplace, but venting can be accomplished through the side of the home or through the roof. This allows for flexibility in placement.

If you want high heat output with good efficiency, a direct venting gas fireplace is an excellent choice. If you desire heat as well as beauty, consider choosing this option since it is preferred over a naturally venting unit. In addition, if you’ve always wanted a gas fireplace in the bedroom, it’s the only unit approved for bedroom installation.

Natural Venting

A venting gas fireplace is beautiful, but efficiency is low. Even with an attached blower, a great amount of heat escapes through the chimney. Inside air is used for combustion, further depleting oxygen, and heat.

On the positive side, a natural venting fireplace looks very real. Those with a natural venting unit reap the beauty and benefits of a natural wood-burning fireplace without the work or the mess.

Location

A gas fireplace can save a considerable amount of money if it’s placed in a central location. Those who spend most of their time in two or three rooms in the house can turn down the temperature at which the main source of heat automatically comes on. This is a great way to improve the efficiency of heating your home. When placed in the proper location, the savings will offset the price of the unit.

Style Options

The style choices are astounding, and there are colors, materials, and sizes to match every decorating taste and constraint. You’ll find glass doors ranging from as large as 44-inches by 3 feet, and as small as 33-inches by 22-inches. There are units to meet every preference, and choosing a style can be just as confusing and choosing a type of gas fireplace to meet your needs.

Decoratively speaking, you’ll find beautiful glass door models with upper and lower grills. You’ll also find exceptionally ornate doors as well as those with old-fashioned cast iron trim. Units can be surrounded with a wide variety of stone, brick, marble, and many other attractive materials.

Visit your local fireplace retailer, or shop online to find the latest gas fireplace styles and options. You’re sure to find a unit that will match your dÃ?©cor, as well as your heating requirements and budget.

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