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Low BTUs to heat one room Not over-size

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by rorser, May 16, 2010.

  1. rorser

    rorser Member

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    Friends,
    I am trying to size a propane fireplace (not an insert) for a 255 sq. ft. room with 10' ceiling in Santa Cruz, Calif. I do not want to end up with a beautiful big fireplace that puts out so much heat that I can only use it 10 min. then have to shut it off. I just want it to take the chill off this one room when the central heating is turned off, AND, I want to be able to enjoy the flames. It seems better to get a small unit on which I can turn up the flame for ambiance, than a big unit that has to run on idle (or be turned off).

    What size, in BTUs, would you recommend for such a setting? I looked at a Marquis "Serenity" which puts out 17,000 BTUs on high and 11,800 on low. What might you suggest?

    Gratefully, Richard

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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    If your house has any insulation or even windows instead of holes in the wall you will probably find the stove you are looking at to be a bit large.

    http://www.hearth.com/cgi-bin/btucalc.pl

    Here is a btu claculator that should give you an idea. It's numbers will be a bit off due to ceiling height, but this can be offset by things like fireplace efficiency, etc. Fireplace efficiency will be the kicker. If it's 10% efficient you may be ok. I don't know if they make drop in fireplaces like that.

    A 15 X 15 room in TN will require about 6K btu/hr to hold temp according to the calculator. It all depends on efficiency.

    That's not saying that it still won't work for you, but you will probably be opening windows.

    Matt
  3. rorser

    rorser Member

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    Geesh. I'm not sure that I'm even going to be able to find a gas fireplace that puts out so little heat. This is new construction, so the insulation will be good, dual pane windows too. I mainly want the ambiance of the fire. Do you ave any recommendations for a fireplace that is small (not in size, but in heat production) and has a traditional look?
    Thanks for your help.
    R
  4. Fake coal burner

    Fake coal burner Member

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    Have you thought about one of the vented gas fire places that set inside of the wall Called Torch. ? Low btu out put and flame to look at.
  5. rorser

    rorser Member

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    Are you referring to the Napoleon Torch? It is very modern looking. We are looking for something traditional to fit with the style of the home we are building.
    The concept is nice however, and low BTUs.
    Thank you for your interest in our dilemma, Richard
  6. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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  7. rorser

    rorser Member

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    This looks like just what I need. It even has IPI or pilot & modulated flame. And, there is a dealer near me.

    Are you a dealer, or do you own one of these yourself?
    Do you think that as far as heating a 250 sq. ft. (10' ceiling) room there is much difference between the Hide Away model and the Seattle? I mean if my goal is to be able to have plenty of visible flame for ambiance without sweating myself out of the room. On low, the Hide Away puts out 3,150 and the Seattle 4,200. I am assuming that whichever unit I purchase, I will be using it on low most all the time.

    Thanks very much Dave.
    Richard
    Santa Cruz, CA
  8. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Just to throw a little perspective into the flame size, a pilot light will give you about 600 btu. The Hide Away, on low, would be giving the fire of about 6 large candles. The pic in the brochure is not showing a low flame.


    Matt
  9. rorser

    rorser Member

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    Thanks Matt,
    I think that what you are saying is that on low, even the smallest units (like the Hide Away) will not provide much in the way of flame ambiance. So, if I want flames to look at, I need to get a very small unit so I can run it on high flame. Right?
    R
  10. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Pretty much. Or go with actual candles, which the wimmins seem to like also. If you go too small, it might end up looking dinky.

    Matt
  11. rorser

    rorser Member

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    Yeh, I am worried that these low BTU units are also small dimensionally and might look too small for the room. I can use a small one in the Bedroom (~30" width is what I need), but the Den fireplace will be somewhat featured on a corner wall. I'd like to see one of the Avalon Seattle units. My architect suggested Heat n Glo because that is what he uses in Colorado (I'm in Calif.).
  12. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    check out town and country fireplaces: they are designed for big glass, big fire, but effectivly dump much of the heat out the vent. You get a comftorable amount of radiant heat into the room thru the glass if you like it, but they are not overpowering.
  13. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    We have both the Seattle and the Winthrop on display in our shop up here in Nevada City- but you are outside our service area by about 3 hours....
    if you are ever on the way to the Tahoe are, we are on the way- and have both set up to burn

    when you turn the units down as far as they can go, the rear burner shuts off, so you get as much visual flame as possible in the front burner
  14. rorser

    rorser Member

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    Thanks Guys. Good information.
  15. Fsappo

    Fsappo New Member

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    The Serenity is a great fireplace. The Kingsman brand has a good solid line up. I think the net output of that fireplace is only 7k-8k btus. You'll be fine in that room most likely. Just dont run it 24/7. Pop it on for a few hours when your enjoying the room. I'm sure this room is opened to other parts of the house, and some of the heat will move that way. Go for it. You have good taste.
  16. rorser

    rorser Member

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    Thanks. I just wish the Serenity had IPI & modulated flame.
  17. Fsappo

    Fsappo New Member

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    Check with your dealer. I got an email from Kingsman recently that stated many of their new models are available with IPI. Your dealer may not be aware, but they may be able to contact Kingsman and research it for you
  18. rorser

    rorser Member

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    Well, that is good news. Thank you for the heads-up.
  19. virginiarose

    virginiarose New Member

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    WANTED: 2 beautiful Modern direct vent gas fireplaces with low BTU's

    It has been a long time since this question has been active, but the problem has still not been solved. I live in North Carolina and want the beauty of the fire without excessive heat. I am doing new construction and have spots for 2 fireplaces , one in a sitting area with about 360 sq ft with cathedral ceiling and loft, and one bedroom about 220 sq ft and with 10 foot ceilings and a large opening to a bathroom (on the wall on the other end of the room from the fireplace) that is maybe 60 square feet (so 280 if you count both). I have spent tons of time trying to shop and been very frustrated.


    At the moment I would like to have a linear or semi-linear model with crystals in the 360 sq ft room. This is a room where we are going to want to sit and enjoy a cozy fire, maybe for 4 hours at time. I would like the fire to come through the crystals, but after DAYS of shopping someone finally told me that I cannot have that feature in a low BTU fireplace. I dislike the fireplaces that look like the crystals are in a tray, and want the fireplace to look good year round.

    I am considering the Tureen by Napolean for the smaller room. The Tureen is way too big (I know) at 26,000 BTU but it has a 50% turn down and I love the way it looks and this is a room that will likely only turn on the fire for an hour in morning and that will be it for the day. But is this a mistake?

    For both I will likely be using the fireplace as the alternative for turning up the heat, but truthfully it is all about the beauty and ambiance.

    All help appreciated.
  20. rorser

    rorser Member

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    Town and Country makes some fireplaces with low BTUs because they are so inefficient. If your primary concern is for ambiance, then that may be a good thing. They have large viewing areas, which probably is why they are inefficient. Regency Panorama (log style) can be cranked down to 10,500 BTU and the Valor Horizon can go down to 6,500; the Marquis model 33 goes down to 10,500. Heat and Glo is also pretty inefficient and has lots of models.
    I was looking for a low BTU unit for my Den in Calif. I wanted something that would not heat the room up so fast that it went off and left me ambiance-less.
    Good luck

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