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#1 of 21 Bryan X

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Posted January 18 2007 - 09:02 AM

We are going to be putting an addition on to our house and want to have a natural gas fireplace put in. I know I don't want a vent-free gas fireplace.

What I was looking at was a direct-vent gas fireplace with a sealed glass panel in the front. Anyone have one of these sealed-front gas fireplaces? What are the pros and cons?

#2 of 21 Brian.R

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Posted January 18 2007 - 09:26 AM

I don't know of any cons. Flip the lightswicth and it comes on. No mess, simple, warms the room. Works for me!

#3 of 21 CRyan

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Posted January 18 2007 - 09:42 AM

If you want it to actually warm the room make sure it has a blower.

Other than that, I would go with a natural wood fireplace - but thats me. I hate this gas fireplace I have (direct vent - sealed glass). It aint cheap to run and I like the smell and sounds of a real one.

#4 of 21 Bryan X

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Posted January 18 2007 - 10:01 AM

CRyan,

How is the sealed glass as far as keeping it clean? And do you get moisture buildup inside when it isn't on? Those were two of my concerns with the sealed front.

I agree, natural wood is great. But I know that I wouldn't use it as much and just don't want the hassle of it. So I'm willing to give it up for the convenience.

As for using it to heat the room, that's not much of an issue. We want it more for ambiance than heat.

#5 of 21 Jay H

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Posted January 18 2007 - 11:31 AM

From what I know, they do use a lot of gas. My father has a gas fireplace that he uses for emergency heat. It's in a pretty big room and in a "vacation house" so when he gets there, the house is generally pretty cold and the heat pump isn't that great for fast and powerful heat.. So he uses the gas fireplace as a temporary measure til the house warms up.

I don't know much about them, as the owner of a wood stove. I know basic things like thermocouples and igniters will fail and need some maintenance down the road but that is true for all heating appliances.

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#6 of 21 Todd Hochard

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Posted January 18 2007 - 11:35 AM

Quote:
I don't know of any cons.
The cost to operate it. Set aside some DVD money for the gas bill.Posted Image
Mine is shut off, permanently.
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#7 of 21 Bryan X

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Posted January 18 2007 - 11:49 AM

I'm not too worried about cost. We have natural gas furnace and natural gas water heater. Our gas bill is actually pretty low. Plus I don't plan on using it every day. I can't really see it getting a ton of use-- beyond the 'fun' factor after we first have it. Are these fireplaces inherently inefficient or something?

#8 of 21 Dennis Nicholls

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Posted January 18 2007 - 01:17 PM

Most builders put one in here in Boise....permits for wood burning fireplaces cost too much (smog laws).

I'm not sure if they are more costly to run than buying oak by the cord. Firewood isn't cheap anymore, unless you have your own wood lot.
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#9 of 21 Dennis*G

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Posted January 18 2007 - 01:30 PM

I have one. We use a few times every winter. There is condensation buildup only for like a minute once you turn it on. We do not have a fan on ours, so if you want it for any heat, it takes a few hours before the room warms up a few degrees. We have the switch for a fan, just have never gotton around to it.

We love it and would recommend it!

#10 of 21 CRyan

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Posted January 18 2007 - 01:47 PM

Yep. A little condensation upon startup - never any other time. It goes away after a few minutes. The glass is easy to clean. My unit actually came with a screen that comes off for cleaning the glass.

Deffinately get one with a blower and go ahead and spend the extra $100 or so and get one with a remote!

#11 of 21 Bryan X

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Posted January 18 2007 - 03:02 PM

Dennis & CRyan,

Thanks for the info on condensation and cleaning. Those were to two issues that concerned me the most.

#12 of 21 Jason L.

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Posted January 18 2007 - 03:07 PM

Do you need to have gas heating in the house to have a gas fireplace? My place has electric heat but I would like to have some type of heat coming from the fireplace. I do not want to clean up the soot from using real wood. Can you get a tank for the gas and hook it up to the fireplace?

#13 of 21 CRyan

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Posted January 18 2007 - 04:15 PM

These types of fireplaces require a gas line at the house. I dont think I have ever seen an indoor fireplace that works off of a tank (it would burn through a standard sized cylinder very quickly I would imagine). They do make electric versions though that "look" like flames and blows out heat.

#14 of 21 Bryan X

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Posted January 18 2007 - 04:19 PM

I think they can run of Liquid Propane, but I think it's for those in rural areas who have large LP tanks servicing their whole house.

#15 of 21 Jay H

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Posted January 18 2007 - 11:07 PM

I believe my father's in Delaware is a LP gas... He has a tank in the back yard with a black cap on it. Then he has a contract with some LP distributor who comes over in some schedule and checks the level and bills my father for it.

A 4'x4'x8' cord of mixed hardwood in my neck of the woods is about $160 delivered and not stacked.

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#16 of 21 Dennis Nicholls

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Posted January 19 2007 - 03:49 AM

Quote:
Do you need to have gas heating in the house to have a gas fireplace?

My parents had a gas fireplace at their house in the woods. They ran it off of a giant propane tank in the yard that also serviced the furnace and gas barbeque.
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#17 of 21 Jim Sentry

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Posted January 19 2007 - 05:39 AM

I have a 42" wide one in my game room and it generates so much heat next to my piano I can't use it.

In our new house we will have it again only the piano will be on the other side of the room.

#18 of 21 Eric_L

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Posted January 21 2007 - 01:09 AM

I have a ventless with no fan. The contractor told me the fan mechanism would take up a good portion of the front panel. Since I have it more for show than go I opted out. It does a pretty good job of heating as it is, though I've not needed it once this year for that.
I did invest in a CO2 detector. I do have natural gas piped in through the walls. IT is pretty cheap... for now. The gas company shredded my sprinkler system when they installed tht tank. I have $900 of free gas coming to me.

#19 of 21 Jay H

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Posted January 22 2007 - 01:02 AM

I think you mean a CO detector (not a CO2 detector which is carbon dioxide)...

Everybody with a gas fireplace, wood stove, gas/oil burner/furnace should have one and read up on ideal placement...

Jay
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#20 of 21 Philip Hamm

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Posted January 22 2007 - 01:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_L
I have a ventless with no fan. The contractor told me the fan mechanism would take up a good portion of the front panel. Since I have it more for show than go I opted out.
Your contractor was full of shit. Either that or he only does business a company that makes fireplaces which have this particular limitation.

We have a Heat-N-Glo brand rear-vented gas fireplace with a blower and remote in our house. We use it often.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan X
Are these fireplaces inherently inefficient or something?
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!! The "gas logs" of 20-30 years ago were, but today's rear vented gas fireplaces are very efficient! Ours has a 68% efficiency without the blower, with the blower, it's probably in the high 70s, maybe low 80s. Not as efficient as a furnace, but not that bad at all!

Our house is fairly large, and the fireplace is in the family room that joins with the kitchen in the back of the house. The front of the house has a formal living room and a dining room which are rarely used. As such, we set the thermostat low, to like 66 degrees, and run the fireplace to heat the main living area. So instead of having the furnace trying to heat up the whole main level and finished basemend, we have the fireplace heating up just the active living area. The fireplace not only looks beautiful and is used fairly offten, but it also saves us on our heating bills!Posted Image

I'm pretty sure that the rear-vented fireplaces are more efficient than the top vented ones for use with conventional chimneys.

Also, I have to buy a kit, but in case of electrical emergency in the winter, the fireplace can run on two D-Cell batteries (without blower) for days.
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