Today’s gas fireplaces look as good as their wood-burning counterparts, with none of the fuss or mess. At the flick of a switch, you can beautifully and efficiently heat any room in your house. But if this is your first time purchasing a gas fireplace, you may be overwhelmed by the many product choices available. Here are five things to keep in mind when you shop around.
1. Adequate heating in BTUs
With the kind of cold winters we get here in Kingston, you’ll likely want your gas fireplace to provide as much heat as it does cozy ambiance. The warmth produced by any gas fireplace is measured in BTUs and can range anywhere from 7,000 to 60,000. So how many BTUs do you require from your fireplace? Given that the room is adequately insulated and windows are tightly sealed, you can use the following formula to determine the appropriate rating:
Square footage of the room x Ceiling height in feet = BTUs needed to heat the room
Keep in mind that only a single room is intended to be heated with a gas fireplace and not a whole house.
2. Types of gas fireplaces
There are three kinds of gas fireplaces that you can have installed in your home.
Inserts. For those who wish to convert a wood-burning fireplace to a gas-burning fireplace.
Built-ins. For those who want to put a fireplace where there wasn’t one before.
Log sets. For those who are going for looks more than functionality and wish to spend less. These units are basic burners that sit inside existing fireplaces and offer only limited heating potential.
3. Fuel source
Gas fireplaces can be fuelled with either natural gas or propane. In Kingston, either is a possibility but many homeowners prefer to use natural gas as it burns hotter and is more affordable. Contact Utilities Kingston for details about installing a natural gas line into your home.
4. Additional features
Gas fireplaces can come with a range of possible features including:
Variable-flame height adjustment. This feature allows you to set your fireplace to a cozy glow or a warm blaze. The best units will allow you to dampen down the flame to 30 percent of its full capacity.
Wall thermostat control. You can easily adjust the settings on your fireplace with a remote.
Electronic ignition. With no need for a pilot light, you’ll save on fuel.
Battery backup. Ensures you can use your unit if the power goes out.
Built-in fan. They can be noisy but they do allow you to heat up a room more quickly. If you choose a model with a fan, make sure you have the option to turn it on and off.
5. Product and installation provider