What is the cost to operate my gas fireplace?
This varies by region, by gas utility and by fuel type. Based on national averages, a gas fireplace consuming 27,000 BTUs per hour will cost from 12-15 cents/hour to operate. LP units are slightly higher to operate. Your monthly gas bill should include your exact cost per therm (100,000 BTUs). Based on this rate, and the BTU input listed on the rating plate on your fireplace, you can calculate the cost for your area.
I have an existing wood fireplace, but I'm tired of hauling ashes, how does a gas insert for my fireplace work?
Your existing wood fireplace, along with being messy, is probably not very efficient. This is because of the amount of room air being drawn up the chimney when your damper is open. As the name implies, a gas insert fits inside your existing fireplace and completely seals off the front of your fireplace by using various sized surrounds that fit tightly to your fireplace opening. The insert has a fixed glass front which also keeps air from escaping up your chimney. Some gas inserts use 3" diameter flexible liners that run inside your existing wood chimney to vent the gases when you're using your insert. This is an important feature since older masonry fireplace chimneys can lose their ability to properly vent due to improper maintenance. A gas insert makes your inefficient woodburning fireplace into a hassle-free, clean burning, efficient gas fireplace.
Must I use the burner and logs that came with my gas fireplace?
Yes. A gas fireplace is an engineered system that includes the firebox, burner, logs, venting and options which are all tested and listed by an accredited agency such as UL or AGA. Changing any of these components without the authorization of the manufacturer would void your warranty and possibly even your homeowner's insurance.
Can I install a gas fireplace in my bedroom?
Yes. Most building codes allow the installation of a gas fireplace in a sleeping room as long as it is a sealed combustion, direct vent model.
If I want to convert my wood burning fireplace to gas, is a set of gas logs or a gas insert going to be my best option?
Your decision really comes down to whether heat or aesthetics is your #1 priority. If heat is your first concern, or the existing wood fireplace has had a history of downdrafting (smoking), you should purchase a gas insert. If your wood fireplace vents properly, and you're not really looking for additional heat into the room, gas logs would be the logical choice. From an initial cost standpoint, an insert will cost 4 to 5 times more than a set of gas logs. However, since decorative gas logs are inefficient and a direct vent insert has an operating efficiency in the 70% range, your payback on the fuel you will save is about five years. After that, the insert begins saving you money.
Will a Gas Fireplace operate during a power failure?
All gas fireplaces using a self generating millivolt system and gas pilot valve do not need any electricity to operate. Only accessories such as blowers and some hand held remotes rely on house current for power.
How much fuel do fireplaces consume and how much do they cost to operate?
This is easily calculated provided that you have the local price of the fuel to be used. 1 cubic foot of natural gas will produce *1000BTU per hour, 1 litre of propane will produce *29,059 BTU per hour and 1 US Gallon will produce *110,000 BTU per hour. (*values may vary slightly, depending on location) The BTU of the fireplace is divided by the BTU value of the fuel to determine the amount of fuel consumed per hour. Example: A natural gas fireplace that has an input of 30,000 BTU per hour consumes 30,000 / 1000 = 30 cubic feet/hour. If the price of natural gas is .35 cents ($0.0035) per cubic foot then 30 cubic feet x .35 = 10.5 cents ($0.105). Therefore the cost of operating a 30,000 BTU Natural Gas Fireplace for one hour is 10.5 cents.
What is radiant heat?
Radiant heat is transmitted from a heat source via rays just like rays of sunlight. These rays pass through the air without heating it since only solid objects can absorb the heat they transmit. Dark colours absorb more radiant heat than lighter colours. This is why light coloured clothing is cooler than dark coloured clothing.
What is conduction heat?
This is the transfer of heat through a body or substance. Fireplaces conduct heat to the air as it comes into contact with the hot glass and firebox surface.
What does Convection Heating mean?
This describes the transfer of heat by heating, then moving a substance. Simply put, the heat from our fireplaces is distributed via convection. This is when the air in front of the fireplace absorbs heat, becomes bouyant and rises to the ceiling. This draws cooler air behind it, mostly along the floor, which in turn, absorbs the heat and rises up, pushing the already warmed air along the ceiling. As long as there is a source of heat, this cycle will continue, constantly raising the overall temperature of the room.
Will the blower increase the heat output of a fireplaces?
Yes, aside from the fact that all fireplaces radiate heat from their fronts, there is still heat that can be withdrawn from the parts of the fireplace body that are closed in behind the wall. While there is an air channel that allows air flow around the firebox, allowing it to absorb the heat via conduction, this channel is somewhat restrictive by its size. Using a blower increases the airflow through this channel, thereby maximizing the heat being conducted from the back and sides of the fireplace.
What does zero clearance mean?
Zero clearance is a term used to describe a certain fireplace's ability to be enclosed completely by combustible building material that can be positioned right up against the body of the fireplace. That is the back, top, bottom and sides. The front area is designed to radiate heat and therefore must be given adequate clearance to combustibles. In this case, objects such as furniture, should be kept a minimum of 48" away.
What is a direct vent fireplace?
Direct vent is a term used to describe a specifically designed fireplace that performs differently from the traditionally vented fireplace which use a chimney. This type of fireplace has a completely sealed combustion chamber which allows it to vent directly out a side wall of the home. One of the benefits of this type of design is that it must draw air necessary for combustion from the outside since the sealed combustion chamber does not allow air to be drawn in from around the fireplace. The co-axial vent system has the exhaust pipe within the air intake pipe which protects any surrounding combustible material from the high temperature of the flue gases as well as preheating the outside air prior to it being introduced to the combustion process.
What is a B Vent or Natural draft gas fireplace?
These type of fireplaces do not have a sealed combustion chamber and relies on the bouyancy of hot gases to vent effectively. They must be installed either with an existing chimney that meets the local building code standards or they can be installed using a B vent which is a vent pipe that must be installed to the same parameters of a masonry chimney but can be enclosed in combustible material. They draw air (oxygen) necessary for combustion from the area surrounding the fireplace. The combustion by-products or flue gases are hot and naturally rise up through the chimney which provides a route for these hot gases to escape from the house. As the fireplace continues to vent these flue gases up the chimney, the walls of the chimney heat up, which allows the flue gases to retain more of their temperature and bouyancy thereby increasing the speed with which they exit the chimney.
What is a vent free gas fireplace?
Vent free fireplaces are fireplaces that do not require any type of vent system. Instead, they are designed to burn clean and the combustion by-products allowed to flow into the room the fireplace is located in. Stringent requirements ensure that these fireplaces not only burn cleanly, but that they are located in rooms of sufficient size to ensure an adequate supply of fresh air is always available for the combustion process. A highly sensitive sensor is employed to turn off the gas to the fireplace should the level of oxygen within the area begin to deplete. The most obvious benefit of this type of system is that no heat is lost through the venting system making the fireplace virtually 100% efficient. Currently, these type of gas fireplaces can only be installed in some areas of the United States. They are not approved for use in Canada, NOR FOR USE IN NEW YORK CITY.
Can I leave the gas hearth product on all the time?
It is not recommended by the manufacturer that a gas hearth product operate continuously.
What is the difference between gas logs and a gas fireplace?
Gas log sets are designed to be installed into an existing fireplace, while gas fireplaces are self-contained units. Gas log sets are significantly less expensive but are considered a decorative appliance because they provide less heat.
Do I have to have my chimney cleaned before installing my natural gas hearth product?
In most cases, chimney cleaning is recommended by the manufacturer prior to installation.
My existing fireplace has trouble "drawing" combustion air when I'm burning wood. Will I have the same problem with a natural gas fireplace?
A faulty draft needs to be corrected whether you are burning wood or natural gas. One solution would be to install a direct-vent product rather than one that uses the existing flue.
Are natural gas hearth products safe?
Like most appliances, natural gas hearth products are very safe as long as they are properly installed and regularly maintained, and the manufacturer's instructions are followed.