By : gas fireplace blower
Fireplaces will always be among the top amenities for homeowners looking to buy a new house. In fact, they rank just second behind outdoor patios, decks and porches, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). While the cost of adding a fireplace in order to an existing home used to be prohibitively expensive-requiring the development of an exterior stone chimney, flue, firebox and, in many cases, floor supports to support the weight of the hearth-today’s options are not only affordable, but a relatively easy home improvement.
Related: Gas Fireplaces: A Showcase of Design and Inspiration
What’s created them so is the technology and installation flexibility of gas-fueled models. Since no actual combustion happens in gas fireplaces, zero-clearance installation can be done, which, based on Monessen Hearth Systems, means that “these fireplaces could be set up in direct contact with combustible walls and floors. Their inner and covering construction allows for maximum heat insulation.” As long as you have a natural gas connection or propane availability, you are able to install a gas fireplace almost anywhere in your home-under a window, in either some other or inside wall, at wainscot or floor level, in a corner or even in the center of a room. Shielded by tempered or ceramic glass, gas fireplaces can be exposed on three sides (a peninsula of glassed-in warmth) or four sides (a virtual see-through island).
Combine that fle xibility, with a range of styles-from traditional to ultra-contemporary, a fire that looks and performs like real wood, and also the benefit of improved energy efficiency, and it’s clear why gas fireplaces are one of the hottest hearth products on the market today, outselling wood and pellet varieties by over fifty percent, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), the trade association representing makers of heating and outdoor cooking equipment.
BENEFITS OF GAS OVER WOOD
Comparing price lists from various manufacturers, you’ll find little significant difference between factory-made gas and wood units (from under $1,000 to nearly $3,000), and installation costs are about equal, no matter where you live. The real difference between gas and wood is based on venting and long-term performance.
Says Mike Ruppa, an experienced fireplace retailer and now president of Empire Distributing in new york: “The nice thing about gas is that you have immediate ignition and complete control over the heat output of the appliance. With wood, some time is required to light the fire, turn that energy into heat and then have that heat into a room.”
Ruppa highlights that in contrast to a gas fireplace, whose warmth is thermostatically controlled, a wood-burning unit comes with only an air control-the damper. That, he says “allows you to definitely control the amount of air going in, which consequently controls the combustion process and the heat output.”
As a bonus, high-end gas fireplaces are available with comfort control systems. “These are anticipators,” Ruppa explains. “They monitor the temperature of a room and start ramping the burner down as the room approaches a desired temperature.”
What about the environment? “Wood is a renewable resource, gas isn’t,” he points out. But, he adds, “in a gas appliance there are very few by-products of combustion entering the atmosphere. So, environmentally, I’m sure gas appliances are healthier for the environment than a polluting type wood-burning appliance.”
VENTING OPTIONS?You will find three venting possibilities for gas fireplace installations:
Natural vent, often called B vent, utilizes an existing masonry chimney or a factory-built metal chimney. Room air exhausts combustion by-products to the outside via a flexible liner or single pipe installed within the chimney.
Direct-vent fireplaces draw in outdoor air for combustion, then expel spent air facing outward via a dual (co-linear) venting system, eliminating the heat loss related to conventional chimneys, according to technicians at Majestic Fireplaces. They may be vented up through the roof or out to the side or back of a house; a perfect solution for homes with no existing chimney. Direct-vent units must, however, have a sealed glass door to maintain proper combustion and ensure efficiency and indoor air quality.
Vent-free technology, considered once controversial, has won wide acceptance. Robert Dischner, director of product development at Lennox Hearth Products states that “the fireplaces use catalytic-converter technology [similar to exhaust systems on new cars sold in the U.S.], which cleans hot air as it leaves the combustion chamber. Because of this technology, no chimney or venting is required.” Further, he says, “their sleek look is much like a plasma tv.”
THE INSERT ALTERNATIVE
Perhaps the least efficient, most energy-wasteful method to heat a room is with an open fireplace, because so much warmth goes up the chimney. You may still utilize that chimney but enhance the energy efficiency of your masonry fireplace by installing an insert, obtainable in sizes and shapes and usually priced from just under $500 to about $2,500.
Based on Ruppa, “If you won’t ever even light the kodak playtouch camcorder, you’re going to save money just by eliminating that cold-air expulsion through the fireplace chimney. By sealing off the fireplace at the damper area and installing a gas or even a wood insert with a chimney liner, you’ll be plugging up that hole and becoming more energy-efficient.”
HOW MUCH HEAT?For the way well insulated your house is, Ruppa says a 40,000 BTU fireplace would be more than enough to heat a large living or family room. Also, he highlights that “a lot of high-efficiency gas fireplaces have a large turn-down ratio-meaning, they can go from 40,000 BTU down to 12,000 BTU, enough to heat the average bedroom or dining room.” He adds that if you had a 40,000 BTU fireplace and only needed to use 50 percent of its capacity, you’d pay less than $1 an hour to function.
THE LOG LOOK?
You no longer need to lose wood to offer the warmth or pleasing glow of logs crackling in a hearth. Gas-fireplace manufacturers nationally market then sell ceramic or refractory cement log sets molded from real wood logs and produced in various sizes. Prices, according to size and quality, range from about $400 to $1,000. Realism is further boosted not only by an authentic-looking flame but also by a coal bed of sand and bits of lava rock and rock wool that add to the fireplace glow. Another touch of accessible realism: the aroma of burning wood.
KEEPING IT CLEAN?
Routine maintenance plus proper installation and employ is essential to fireplace safety as well as the ability to burn clean and green. To ensure top performance, a gas fireplace needs servicing annually by a pro who inspects the burner, fan, venting, pilot light and thermostat, as well as cleans the glass.
To discover a certified installer in your area, contact the National Fireplace Institute. Additionally, the HPBA recommends that all vents for vented gas fireplaces be inspected yearly by a chimney sweep certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America and also recommends the installing a carbon monoxide detector with all hearth products. Visit our site gas fireplace blower