Last updated: August 19, 2021

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Fireplaces are an element that gives warmth and elegance to the home. In cold weather, they are a great help to keep the space warm, they are also a great support to spend family time around it, even to encourage a romantic evening with your partner.

But buying one is not a step that should be taken lightly, you should know in detail the options you have to choose the best of them, the one that suits you and the one that fits your budget, so come with us and we will tell you everything you need to know.




Summary

  • Fireplaces are structures that come in different designs whose function is to spread heat to a space and work under different technologies or heat sources, one of them is gas either natural or propane also known as LP.
  • There are different types of fireplaces according to their design or also according to their placement, but it is basic to start by defining what type of gas we need which includes the two existing options -natural gas or butane gas-.
  • A fireplace is an article for the home that requires all the necessary care during its installation and operation, so it is necessary to go a step back, and know the important factors for its operation, such as ventilation, thermostat, its additional functions, etc.

The Best Gas Fireplace: Our Picks

We have anticipated your searches to bring you interesting options that have a positive ranking according to purchases made by other customers. We want to give you the boost you need because we know that making a decision from a world of options is no easy task.

Buying Guide

It is time to focus our energy on getting to know the crucial information about the product in depth, every detail will be of vital importance: what is it, how does it work, what are its advantages and disadvantages? Knowledge is power that we must use to our advantage.

Fireplaces are an element that always helps to bring couples together creating warm moments. (Photo: dotshock / 123rf.com)

What are gas fireplaces and what are their advantages?

Gas fireplaces are home appliances similar to traditional wood-burning fireplaces, but their heat emission is given off by gas, whether it is connected to the existing natural gas installation or whether it is chosen for convenience or necessity to use butane gas.

Its operation is similar to that of cookers, especially if natural gas is used. Its placement in the home is elementary, especially on cold days or if you live in an area where the winter is a little harsher. However, they should be installed by a specialist, especially if you choose to use natural gas.

The advantage of this type of fireplace is that it starts heating immediately and then radiates around the room. Nowadays we can find a variety of designs that adapt to the decoration of the interior of the home: of different materials, sizes and styles.

Advantages
  • No smoke outlet needed
  • Easy to light
  • No smoke or soot
  • Some are very easy to install
  • Can be operated by remote control
Disadvantages
  • They are more expensive
  • Fuel is expensive
  • Fuel is expensive
  • Once it is turned off, the heat is not retained

Natural gas or propane fireplace - what should you pay attention to?

Having a gas fireplace is a great luxury that not everyone can afford. They look great in the home and their basic function helps a lot to keep the room warm, however, there are principles to consider that involve an increase in monthly expenditure due to the fuel you use.

There are different types of fireplaces, some are diversified according to their aesthetic design, others according to their assembly or placement, but the basic or initial differentiation has to do with their mechanism or source of heat production, in this case, there are two types: natural gas and propane gas (LP).

NATURAL GAS. To install a fireplace that works based on natural gas, it is required to have a ready installation that feeds the firebox and this manages to work. This option is less expensive than propane gas and produces 5% more heat.

PROPANE GAS. These are an alternative to natural gas, especially when there is no way to connect to the gas line. This category relies on a gas cylinder to act as a conduit of fuel to the chimney to produce a fire with a simple ignition.

NATURAL GAS PROPANE GAS
Connection Installation or gas line under walls Requires connection to cylinder
Characteristics It is a clean gas Leaves an oily film on some surfaces
Maintenance Cleaning once a year Minimum cleaning
BTU 1ft3 = 1030 BTUs 1ft3 = 2516 BTUs

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of Gas Fireplaces

Buying any fireplace model requires a little extra attention to detail to know exactly what we want, what we can afford and what best suits our needs. So here are some factors to consider before you make your final purchase decision.

  • Airtight or Atmospheric Chamber
  • Insert and Cassette for fireplaces
  • Styles
  • Decoration materials
  • Additional functions

Airtight or Atmospheric Chamber

Aside from the fuel, another element that plays a role in the operation of fireplaces is the airtight or atmospheric chamber, also known as closed or open ventilation respectively, whose factor is generally based on whether or not the chimney has a flap and therefore the way in which air and heat circulate.

Static chamber. This works by combustion through an insulated receptacle and draws air from outside. This option, as well as being safe, is guaranteed not to disturb the air in the room where the fireplace is located.

Atmospheric chamber. This type must be connected to an existing chimney. According to its design and operation, it extracts the air from the place where the chimney was placed and expels it through an evacuation pipe. As they come into contact with the outside air, their efficiency is lower and their energy consumption is higher.

Fireplace insert and cassette

This pair of terms is related to the previous point, as they are separations that spread the heat in different ways, their essential objective is the optimisation of heat and fuel.

Both concepts have similarities and differences.
Insert. Also known as inserts. These are structures that work through forced convection, i.e. they have fans in the lower part that push the hot air towards the upper part. These are adjustable as the air speed can be increased or decreased.

They are equipped with a valve that opens and closes to optimise the chimney draught so that combustion is regular regardless of the temperature range or weather conditions. This system is more sophisticated than the cassette.

Cassette. This is a barrier made of cast iron or sheet metal, which is fitted to the chimney by means of a series of slots and is sealed in such a way as to avoid fissures that could influence the fire, extinguishing or spreading it. As for smoke control, they work with a flue in the chimney to allow it to evacuate.

Styles

The place where it will be placed is another of the many decisions that we will have to make and for this we have to take into account our spaces, our style and the interior design we already have so that everything combines perfectly. There are different styles for its location:

Wall-mounted. These are fireplaces which, due to their design, can be placed next to a wall or between two walls in a corner. In either of these two places they will give a great effect of warmth that can be enjoyed with the family in front of the fire.

Built-in. These are those that do not take up space, they look as if they were a painting as they are integrated into the wall. When choosing where to place them, it is necessary to make sure that there are no pipes or connections of any kind that could be damaged by the heat.

Central. These are fireplaces that are placed in the centre of a space, for example the living room, but they should be of a large size to avoid the possibility of an accident when they come into contact with a piece of furniture or other household item. According to an average, it is considered that the space should be at least between 20 and 50 m2.

Double-sided. Where there is a column or wall that divides two spaces, this option can be installed allowing the fireplace to be displayed on both sides, so that in addition to providing warmth in one and the other, at the same time you will be making the most of the decoration for two different places.

Decorating materials

After selecting the type of fireplace, its function or heat source, its design, location, etc., we can also decide how we are going to decorate the inside of the fireplace, whether it be in a more modern or rustic style perhaps.

There are some options made of tempered glass that reflects a flame with a radiant glow or also of tempered glass but in the form of gems, or perhaps some balls made of refractory ceramic with steel reinforcements or simply some stones that will give a more rustic and natural image to the environment.

Additional features

Consider that your fireplace includes these functions, all of them are ideal to control it and keep it safe, besides it will help you to keep it in an efficient state without having to worry about inadequate ignitions, intermittent extinguishments, low flames, etc.

The thermostat. It helps to maintain the temperature at the desired level at all times; it automatically adjusts the power of the flame, thus controlling the heat output. This device helps us to avoid inefficient fuel consumption.

Electronic ignition. It allows to control and program the switching on and off of the fireplace. It also offers the advantage of eliminating the need for a pilot light. This function is so efficient that in the long run a monthly saving is achieved.

Coverage. They produce enough gas to heat a large space, even a house, but how much can they really cover? To find out, we need to know their output capacity, which is measured in BTU (British thermal unit) per hour. A good fireplace is capable of producing on average 15 000 BTU per hour.

Remote control. Technology today gives us the opportunity to do wonderful things and reaches all kinds of appliances, so here a remote control could not be missing to turn on and off the fireplace remotely and with just one movement.

(Featured image photo: Katarzyna Białasiewicz / 123rf.com)

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