Gas fireplaces offer a lot of benefits. They’re easy-to-use, there’s little mess involved than with similar wood or pellet appliance, and they’re ideal for those who want the perks of a fireplace without having to build and maintain fires.Today you can easily find a system that matches your lifestyle and preferences.
Are you looking to buy a system that looks like an older traditional wood-burning unit? No problem. Are you looking to upgrade or replace an existing system? Or are you after something more modern?
Whatever you are looking for there are options to meet your needs.
That said, all of these pros often leave homeowners wondering what the catch is. Like… Do gas fireplaces actually give off heat? And, if so, how much? Are they more or less efficient than their wood-burning counterparts?
Well, here at The Chimney Doctor, we’ve got some answers. We’re a full-service chimney company dedicated to ensuring our customers stay safer and more knowledgeable year after year. We’re certified with the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), and the National Fireplace Institute (NFI), and here for you through it all.
Gas Fireplaces & Heat – Is it Worth It?
So, gas fireplaces do in fact give off heat, and some of the heater rated models can put off more heat (as measured in BTU’s) than a standard residential furnace. Gas fireplaces use real flames, which some don’t realize. Natural gas or propane and either a manual or electronic igniter (spark) are used to light a real fire that gives off real heat, so no worries there – gas systems aren’t just meant for show!
The amount of British Thermal Units (BTUs) they give off can range from 5,000 (small room heaters) to several hundred thousand depending on the system you invest in, but your average unit will give off somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 BTUs, which is a good range for most living spaces. Blowers increase the amount of air circulated through the appliance, and thus the amount of heat that transfers into the room.
One of the more efficient ways to utilize the heat from a gas fireplace is through zone heating. By doing this, you can focus on heating just one area of your house. This gives your central heating system a well-deserved break while allowing you and your family to stay nice and cozy, even on the cooler days of the yea.
As an added bonus, zone heating encourages all of your family members to join together in one room, ensuring you get some quality time together! And if you have several areas you’d like warmer than the rest of the house, just install another gas fireplace in that area. They can be installed in bedrooms, bathrooms, or even garages to help make those areas comfortable, and add to the ambiance of that space.
Along with this, consider turning on your ceiling fans to spread the warmth even further! Just be sure the fan is spinning the right way and distributed more efficiently throughout the room.
In summary… while a gas fireplace shouldn’t be your primary heat source, they can be very efficient when used appropriately. They can give you the level of heat you’re seeking, all while gaining the many other benefits they offer, too. It’s a win all around.
Heater-Rated vs. Decorative-Rated
Now, there are two versions of gas-fueled fireplaces you could invest in – heater-rated or decorative appliances.
Heater-rated systems can be set on a thermostat and generally have higher BTU outputs. You can set the temperature and they can turn themselves off an on. These are known for being safe, odor-free, realistic, and if properly sized provide sufficient heat for your space, ensuring you get that comfort you’re seeking.
Decorative systems aren’t used with a thermostat and are not approved to be hooked up to a thermostat. Rather, they just have an on/off switch that you utilize whenever you want to use the system. They’re odor-free and safe for use, but you won’t generally get the same heat as you would from a more performance-oriented heater-rated system.
Talk With Our Experts Today
One thing’s for certain. If you want to ensure you’re getting the most from your gas fireplace, talk with our experts before making any final purchases. There’s a lot of misconceptions out there, and it’s not always easy to find the info you need, so getting an inside look from someone who keeps on the latest happenings in the industry will ensure you’re totally satisfied in the end.
For instance, many assume that the more BTUs the unit has, the more efficiency they’ll experience, but in reality it’s more productive to match the BTUs to the size of your space so that the unit can operate at its maximum point of efficiency, and not overheat the space.
You’ll also need to consider which model, size, type, and look would be best suited for your home, and getting an expert’s insight is truly the best way to go about this. Here at The Chimney Doctor we offer our thoughts and opinions, while still ensuring you’re getting what you want and prefer. We don’t dominate the process, but we do what we can to guarantee the best experience possible for you and your family.
We install both decorative and heater rated appliances and would be happy to discuss your wants and needs. If you want a system you can enjoy for the long haul, we can help.
Give us a call at 970-234-3330 today.