Interest in natural gas fireplaces has increased over the past several years. Many builders are now including at least one unit with each of their new homes. Improvements in technology have resulted in more realistic “burns”. New models and accessories have provided homeowners with more choices than ever before. Coupled with their ability to work during power outages has made them a hot commodity indeed.Concern over possible hydro outages has propelled homeowners to consider alternate sources of heat. Natural gas fireplaces can operate without electricity and because they are environmentally as well as user friendly, they have become a popular choice.
Natural gas fireplaces are available in a variety of types. Inserts are used in converting existing wood burning fireplaces. Direct vent models are generally used in applications where no fireplace currently exists. Freestanding units can either be direct vent models or natural draft, which means that they would use a chimney. Log-sets are used in existing wood burning fireplaces and are less efficient than insert models.
eieihome spoke with Nancy McKeraghan of Canco ClimateCare Heating & Air Conditioning, about what homeowners should consider when deciding if a natural gas fireplace is the right choice for them.
Think about how the fireplace is going to be used. Should it be on a thermostat or on a switch or controlled with a remote? If it is to be used as a primary source of heat, make sure that it is rated accordingly.
The proper fireplace should have the appropriate amount of BTU’s to fit the application. In other words, it should be comfortable to sit in the room when the fireplace is on without being too hot.
Always insist on having an in-home quotation. Never buy a unit off a showroom floor without verifying that it suits the application. That can only be done via an on-site visit. Access to gas lines, venting requirements, code restrictions and finishing options can then be determined.
What warranties are standard with the unit and if needed, are parts readily available?
Is the contractor knowledgeable and qualified to work with natural gas?
Nancy says that fireplaces operating with natural gas are less expensive to operate than those that use other fuels. As with every fossil fuel appliance they should be serviced by a licensed professional every year, like the technicians found at Canco ClimateCare Heating & Air conditioning. With their no cost/no obligation on-site visits, homeowners can be assured that they have chosen the natural gas fireplace that is right for them.