Gas Stoves and Fireplaces have become extremely popular in the last 10 years. There are literally hundreds of styles and sizes made, one of which is sure to fit any decor and budget. Gas Stoves and Fireplaces are designed to look like their wood burning counterparts, and modern design advancements have created simulated logs and flames that can’t be distinguished from the real thing! Gas Fireplaces are not only pretty to look at - they can also provide an increased sense of heating security since they don’t need electricity to operate. You might not have to abandon your home the next time the power goes out during a winter storm.
Note: Gas Fireplace refers to an appliance which is built into the wall while Gas Stove refers to a Freestanding unit.
There are three basic types of Gas Fireplaces and Stoves:
Direct Vented - Can be vented straight out through the wall or up through the roof
Top Vented - These units need a chimney or vent exiting the roof
Ventless (Vent-Free) - Need no Vent or Chimney - these exhaust into your home
Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces and Stoves
Direct Vented Fireplaces and stoves offer a convenient option - No chimney is needed, just a hole through the wall behind or right above the appliance. This gives quite a bit of installation flexibility, such as locating the unit below a window. This direct vent pipe is really two pipes, one inside the other. The outer wall pulls in air from outside to be used in burning the gas fuel, while the inner pipe then returns the flue exhaust back outside. This “sealed” system is very safe and efficient because no air from inside the home is being used for combustion.
The installation finishes and options are many. A freestanding stove might only need a rigid pad underneath, while a built-in fireplace may be finished with many various combinations of ceramic tile, marble and mantle treatments.
Direct Vent Fireplaces and Stoves generally cost $1200 to $4500, including the venting pipe. Installation can run as low as $700 for the basic Gas Hookup and Venting to as high as $5,000+ for fancy fireplace surround work.
Top Vented Fireplaces and Stoves
Top Vented Gas Fireplaces and Stoves are designed to vent through the roof, similar to the way wood stoves and wood fireplaces do. This chimney can be an existing masonry or metal chimney, or a newly installed B-Vent (special aluminum gas pipe).
Most units require a 4” to 8” diameter piping to properly vent the leftover combustion products. When installing one of these units into an existing larger chimney, the chimney should be sized properly by lining it with an approved flexible connector equal in size to the exhaust pipe of the appliance.
Many different finishes, including marble, brick and mantels can be installed to dress up the installation. Remote controls, wall thermostats, blowers and wall switches are just some of the popular options.
Top Vented Fireplaces sell for $800 to $2800 - Installation prices will vary due to the many venting and decoration options.
Ventless Fireplace / Stoves (Vent-Free)
Ventless Stoves and Fireplaces have become very popular in the last few years. No chimney or vent is needed with these appliances, so the installation costs are minimal. The units are “zero clearance” (right against a wall) or close clearance (a few inches away) allowing a great flexibility in the placement.
These Ventless Products pass all current safety and emission standards. They are equipped with an ODS (oxygen depletion sensor) pilot light system that has been almost flawless in it’s safety record, even with millions of these appliances installed.
Still, some states may not allow or may restrict the use of ventless products. Many hearth experts, and even some of the Ventless manufacturers state that these units are for occasional, attended and supplementary use. Being an open fire (no glass), it is probably prudent to use your Ventless Fireplace only when you are in the room with it.
Ventless Stoves operate at high efficiency, and are available in sizes from 10,000 to 40,000 BTU/Hr output. Prices start at $400 and run up to $1500, with finish (marble, mantels, etc) adding to the installed cost.
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