Everyone loves a fireplace.
That holiday ambiance it provides and the warm, homey comfort throughout a long, cold winter is priceless.
The days of chopping firewood, as charming as that may be to imagine, are over.
You can buy it or join a home delivery service for your firewood now, and you won’t have to worry about what’s in it or expending the energy, or worse yet, running out.
How Hot Does A Gas Fireplace Get?
A gas fireplace can get between 7,000 and 60,000 BTUs.
The basic idea of this system of measurement should be understood.
A BTU is a British Thermal Unit that’s used to measure the power of your A/C and heater of any kind including gas fireplaces.
For example, one BTU is the measurement used to determine how much energy it takes to heat one pound of water by one degree, measured in Fahrenheit.
When purchasing a gas fireplace, you’ll have to buy one that has enough BTUs to heat the air in a room of a certain size.
Today, new gas fireplaces are made to heat most of the area in the home on the same floor without being contained to just a few feet from the physical fireplace.
You no longer have to sit right on top of the fireplace to get warm or freeze to death in another room.
It’s not perfect, and it depends on the size and layout of the home, but it’s more efficient than a log-burning traditional fireplace.
What Types Of Gas Fireplaces Are There?
Gas fireplaces come in three styles, and then you would choose ventilated or non-ventilated.
Let’s take a look at each of them one at a time.
- Inserted Gas Fireplace: An inserted gas fireplace consists of two metal boxes, one small metal box that houses the log and burner set and another larger one that fits around it. There’s a gap between the two metal boxes, and this is where the heat comes from. They come vented with an immovable glass pane in the front or unvented with a front glass panel or metal screen. You can look to spend no less than $2,000 and up to $4,000 retail after installation.
- Log Set Gas Fireplace: If you’re looking for the most economical choice, you may want to try a log set. This is exactly what it sounds like except it’s a ceramic log set. The logs sit nestled in your already existing fireplace. This choice can still be used in a new fireplace as well. You can look to spend $400 to $1,000 retail after installation.
- Built-In Gas Fireplace: A built-in gas fireplace is made just like an inserted one. The difference is that you don’t need to own or build a fireplace or a chimney. It can be ventilated or unventilated. The ventilated version will blow the exhaust outside through a vent in the exterior wall. The unventilated version will be built with a fixed screen or glass. You can expect to pay $2,000 to $4,000 after installation.
What Is The Optimal Temp For A Gas Fireplace?
The truth is, there isn’t a blanket temp for a gas fireplace.
The heating quality depends on your home and the size of the fireplace.
You can adjust a gas fireplace, and that’s the good news.
Here’s what you should do.
It’s best to shut the doors and vents in other rooms.
Keep the fan in the gas fireplace on and use your ceiling fans on the clockwise setting.
That’s simply the opposite setting it’s typically on which is anticlockwise.
There’s typically a small black switch on the side of the motor housing on the ceiling fan.
More Isn’t Always Better
Don’t make the most common mistake and get too many BTUs.
For a home of a generous 900 to 1,200 feet, there’s no need for any more than 20,000 BTUs.
The more is better philosophy doesn’t work for gas fireplaces.
How To Adjust A Gas Fireplace For Maximum Efficiency
To get the best heating efficiency and ambiance out of your gas fireplace, follow the steps listed in this article.
Then, turn the heat down to a temperature that will be tolerable for the whole day.
Most people crank up the fireplace to max heat, and it ends up getting too hot and dries out the air.
Then, when you decrease the heat from that too-high level, it’s never really comfortable.
This way, you can start building up heat over a little bit of time and have a more comfortable, longer-lasting temperature.
How Safe Is A Gas Fireplace?
Gas in a home is always a nerve-wracking experience due to the past gas accidents that happened back in the day with the old gas lines.
It’s not perfect, but if you use a fireplace the recommended way, they are safe.
What helps keep fireplaces safe is the ventilation system.
The direct vent gas fireplaces keep the air quality good, and the exhaust is expelled out of the house via the outside wall.
Before January 2015, one of the issues was people burning themselves on the front glass panel because they didn’t know the fireplace was on.
Any gas fireplace installed will have to comply with the new standard.
This means that there must be a barrier in front of the panel to keep people from getting burned.
You could take care of this yourself, though, with a standing screen.
They come in various styles to be aesthetically appealing.
Other than those factors, the gas today does have an odor that is easily noticed.
If there’s a leak you should spot it.
However, regular inspections at least yearly are suggested as well as proper maintenance.
How To Maintain A Gas Fireplace
There are four main maintenance duties you should take as the owner of a gas fireplace.
- Pilot Light Tips: Turn off the pilot light if you have it on the standing pilot mode. Then, service it. Additionally, you can save money on gas if you take your pilot light off standing pilot mode in the summer and months that are warmer.
- Use Fireplace Glass Cleaner: Why? It won’t leave dangerous residue behind. Take off the glass and clean both sides thoroughly. Residue that builds up from use can cause damage and danger.
- Clean Obstructions: Each gas fireplace has a different filtration and ventilation system. Whether yours is ventilated or not, make sure you clean the vents and the gaps in unventilated fireplaces where the heat emanates regularly. If there is buildup or debris, you need to remove it.
- Inspect the Fireplace: Take a microfiber cloth and a mild cleanser—glass cleaner works well, or better yet, fireplace cleaner—and see if there is any damage. If the paint is bubbling or peeling, that may be telling you the fireplace is not working as it should. The heat is not even and may be excessive in some places which may mean the exhaust is getting trapped and ventilation is not occurring the right way. At this point, you should call in a professional.
Are Gas Fireplaces Better Than Wood Burning Fireplaces?
The truth is that it depends on what you’re looking for.
Let’s compare them both so you can make an educated and informed decision.
If you’re looking for a purely economical fireplace, then technically, you can find free firewood.
You’ll have to put in some elbow grease to adjust the heat until it’s comfortable by using more or less wood and the poker and flue to control the flames.
Wood burning is quite messy and smokey at times, so wood takes work.
The heater may go on and off if you have that on, too, because there are more wild temperature fluctuations with wood.
Gas takes a lot less work.
In fact, other than turning a switch on and off and a valve open or closed, a gas fireplace takes nothing more than regular maintenance you can do yourself.
The four simple steps to keeping your gas fireplace running well and safely are easy and can be found in this article.
As far as price is concerned, you can control the settings for how steadily you’ll burn the fire, so you can control the price you pay for heat.
It’s a more efficiently burning fuel than wood and will cover more area more quickly when used correctly.
There can be significant savings in gas use versus wood.
Where Should I Put My Gas Fireplace?
A gas fireplace can go nearly anywhere you want some heat and a great ambiance.
Let’s take a look at and have some fun with what a gas fireplace can do in all sorts of places.
- Bathroom: Yes. A gas fireplace can be installed in the bathroom. The things you can do with gas are nearly infinite in terms of home design. One of the most popular places to put a gas fireplace is over the tub. No fuss, no muss, it just takes a rectangle and a flat piece of glass and luxurious heat. Imagine it’s nippy in the house and you emerge from a hot bath and step in front of a toasty, clean, no-mess gas fireplace.
- Bedroom: Bedrooms are the best place for this type of fireplace. Did you know you can adjust the flame and temperature via remote control from the bed? There’s no need to even get up to create a comfortable and romantic ambiance.
- Outdoors: Yes. You can have a gas fireplace outdoors for fun with company and even just your own enjoyment and comfort. An outdoor gas fireplace is safe, convenient, and again, no mess. It’s easy to clean and maintain. There are no ashes and soot everywhere to tidy up. Just switch it on or off and go.
- Basement: The basement is cold, damp, and sometimes creepy. Well, that depends on how you’ve decked it out, and a gas fireplace is just the thing to warm it up.
Are There Fake Logs For Gas Fireplaces?
There are all sorts of faux heating elements. Some are realistic looking, and others are more dramatic.
- Tempered Glass: This special gas fireplace glass lends a romantic and warm glow that heats evenly and gently with a great feel. This glass comes in a few different ambient colors.
- Victorian Coal: These are ceramic coal lumps. They have a low glow and emanate the heat like a roaring fire, yet they are a warm, calm feeling.
- Hot Stones: Stones are available in muted and pastel colors like warm terracotta. Great for a warm and calm glow, this is the best choice for outdoor gas fireplaces for rustic ambiance.
A gas fireplace is convenient and beautiful, multifunctional, and fun.
When it’s used correctly, you can save money on heating costs during those long winters.
You can adjust the temperature easily by remote control or with the thermostat.
They’re cost effective to install.
There’s a lot of choice in type and style.
You can conveniently place them virtually anywhere in the home.
You can literally style a different look in each room to suit your personal ambient needs.