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Living flame gas inserts versus sealed, stove-style gas inserts...??

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jtcedinburgh, Oct 2, 2006.

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  1. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

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    Hi again, folks.

    In what we call our 'good room' (i.e. the living room where we try not to create so much mess lest guests turn up unannounced) we have what I know as a 'Living Flame' gas fire, complete with a lined chimney. These came with the house when we bought it a few years back, and whilst the 'Flame' kicks out a decent amount of heat, I know it's not particularly efficient.

    I was wondering - would a 'stove-style' sealed gas insert (such as the one that Jotul does) be significantly more efficient, and/or kick out more heat? Or should we continue to have our 'Flame' serviced (as I expect it might take a *VERY* long time to break even should we choose to change).

    Just wondered.

    John

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    It works on the same numbers as any open fireplace, just alittle worse because the damper is either locked or removed unless you have a vent free log in the open fireplace. A typical gas log in a open fireplace can be in the negative for effificency, your burning beween 60,000 and 100,000 btus (dpending on the size of the logs) and most goes up the chimney. As all that heat rises up the chimmeny it pulls cold outside air in the house through door cracks and windows, and the heat rising up the chimney pulls the warmed furnace air with it.
    Gas inserts are completly oppisit. They burn 1/3-1/2 the gas, are sealed to the fireplace front, usually pull outside air for combustion, and can heat 1000-1300 square feet with minimal gas. Bottem line, gas logs are decrotive, gas inserts are heat sources.
  3. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Yes, a direct vent gas insert will definitely put out more heat, and with much more efficiency. In fact, we've had cases where a gas insert put out too much heat and a gas log set was preferred. They are two different animals. If you want the heat, go with the direct vent insert.
  4. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

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    Loc:
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    OK, so what would you recommend (dimensions of current Living Flame fire are approximately 600mm (h) x 650 (w) x ??? (d) - the depth being the unknown as I wouldn't know where to start with removing a gas appliance, and in any case I know better than to mess with such things. That said, it's on the same wall (different room) as my Morso Owl, and the wall recess there is deep enough to allow the Owl to sit entirely within the recess. So, I am guessing 500mm as a depth.

    UK based, chimney is lined (but I have no idea what grade of liner - any easy way to tell?)

    john
  5. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

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    Loc:
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  6. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

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    Loc:
    Fife Riviera, Scotland
    Ah, found a price. Expensive (£1700, which is ~$2800 for you US types). We might be cheaper to install a wood burning version, and get the chimney relined (if it needs it).

    Would the gas version be more efficient than the wood burning version (Jotul I 160, £1070ish)?
  7. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    580
    Loc:
    Shokan, NY
    John, we really can't tell from here. You'll need some local help before you decide. We're assuming you have a traditional masonry fireplace but we really can't tell what you have. Especially since you are in UK and things are done a little differently there.

    But, in general, I would say that a gas unit will be much easier to install (over a wood unit) and generally safer in an unknown chimney configuration. But, again, only a local pro can tell you for sure.

    You might want to check out Valor fireplaces. I know they used to be in UK. Currently in BC Canada over here. But they have some units that fit nicely into the smaller UK type fireplaces. Also, we tend to use the word "insert" for those units that can only be installed in a code approved fireplace. The Jotul unit you are looking at is also a "zero-clearance" capable unit. Valor has similar dual-purpose units.

    Sean
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