Looking to purchase a gas fireplace, but don’t know where to start? Here are ten questions to ask yourself before purchasing a new unit for your home:
- What style of gas fireplace do I want?
A simple way to narrow down your list of gas fireplaces is to determine what style you prefer. Do you want logs, glass, or a sculpture behind the glass? Do you want it in the wall or the middle of the room? Do you prefer a traditional style and size or would you prefer a linear and nontraditional style? One of the great things about gas fireplaces is that they come in so many style varieties. Because the style selection is so wide you can easily find one that fits your design preference.
- How much heat does it need to produce for my needs?
Another easy way to eliminate options from your list is to determine how much heat you need the unit to produce. The amount of heat produced is measured in BTUs, or British Thermal Units. The biggest factors in determining the BTUs needed include how the room is insulated, the size of the room, and the climate in which you live. There are various BTU calculators online that can help you determine a good estimate of how much heat output you need from your unit. You can also contact your local dealer and ask them for an estimate and what units will produce the heat you need.
- What type of venting do I want?
When it comes to venting there are typically three options: direct vent, B-vent, or no vent. Direct vent is most popular because it offers more safety and efficiency than other venting types. Direct vent systems use a two-part system that directs fresh air in for combustion and pushes out fumes created during combustion. B-vent systems use one pipe to remove exhaust and use the air inside the home for combustion. Gas fireplace can also be vent free. These units direct the emissions into the home, rather than outdoors, but vent free units do not require installation within a wall with a chimney so placement of the unit is more flexible than with vented units.
- Do I want an easy start ignition?
Many gas units offer electronic ignition which means no pilot light is necessary. One of the biggest reasons home owners choose electronic ignition is that it can save them money each month on fuel costs.
- How much do I have to invest in my gas fireplace?
Gas fireplaces require a large investment, but are often worth the cost. Because of the large variety of units you can likely find one that fits your investment budget. Lower end units may cost only a few hundred dollars while upper end units with plenty of features can cost up to eight thousand dollars or more. Installation costs will vary with location and the company you choose to go with.
- Do the units I am looking at have a built-in fan?
Built in fans or blowers increase the efficiency of the unit and allow it to quickly heat the room. Fans and blowers improve air circulation and distribution. Essentially, the fan pulls the air within the home behind the firebox. When that air is heated it is pushed out into the room.
- Do I want to be able to adjust the flame?
Some units allow you to adjust the flame’s height. This gives you control of how much heat your unit puts out. Adjustable flames also allow you to transform and control the ambiance within the room.
- Do I want my gas fireplace to have LED accent lighting?
LED accent lighting is a feature that creates a realistic flickering effect within the unit. Accent lights are typically installed on the walls or in the floor of the unit. With accent lights your gas fireplace can be illuminated even when the flames are off.
- Is battery backup a feature I want?
If you are worried about heating your home during a power outage you may want to consider purchasing a gas fireplace that offers battery backup. Battery backup will help your unit to continue to produce heat without the need for electricity.
- Do I want a remote control or wall thermostat for my gas fireplace?
These features offer convenience and luxury. They allow you to control your unit while comfortably sitting across the room. Wall thermostats allow you to manually set the heat output for your fireplace.
So many options may seem overwhelming, but asking yourself these questions can help you narrow your list and better ensure you find the gas fireplace that meets your needs, budget, and wants.