Q&A Converting 2 fireplaces to gas

QandA Posted By QandA, Dec 2, 2007 at 6:34 AM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    I have an all electric house and am thinking of installing natural gas and putting a gas insert in one or both fireplaces. I have a basement level which is a walk out with a lot of glazing on the south side. The basement has a large, corner fireplace in the middle room. It's about 800 square ft in 3 rooms. The top (main) floor has a masonry fireplace in the center and a lot of glazing again. There's a bedroom off the living room where the fireplace is. Questions - can I be sure to get heat in a bedroom away from the fireplace and around a corner if I install a unit with a good blower? - would heat from the basement naturally work its way upstairs if the basement door's left open? - how does the efficiency of a gas insert compare with a high-efficiency furnace?


    No one can tell you for sure exactly how the heat will flow, but it's a good bet that heat from the downstairs insert will flow nicely up the steps. It's not the blower, but natural convection currents in the home that will move the heat around the corners. The efficiency of a good gas insert, especially the direct vent types, will be as good or better than that of many modern gas furnaces. However, zone (or space) heat is warmer and usually costs less than central heat since you are not heating unused areas. You also avoid duct work heat loss, etc. Another plus is the nice fire, which provides an inviting place to be in the cold months ahead.
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