Q&A Gas Logs or Gas Insert

QandA Posted By QandA, May 23, 2002 at 2:20 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    We just bought our home. We have a wood burning fireplace in the basement family room. We want to convert to gas. Is a gas log enough or do we ned a whole new insert? What size do we need? A 26,000 BTU has been suggested at the price of $2050.00 (installed). Is that reasonable? Is that the right size? The room is approx 24x18 ft. Is the exhaust the same or does something need to be done to the chimney? We also priced a blower for $150.00. Any other info would be appreciated. Thanks Karen


    Gas logs will draw away heated room air up the flue while operating. I would not use Unvented Gas Logs as a supplemental heater either because of potential moisture issues. Go with a dedicated gas insert and I recommend a direct vent design to avoid draft issues.

    Size: You only have 432 square feet in that room. 26K Btu's is plenty and can also help heat other areas.

    Blowers: To Buy or Not? A recessed product like a fireplace insert needs blowers to move heat away from the firebox. When the power goes out, you will only receive radiant heat from the front & glass area. An open stairway will serve as a natural vent to upper levels because heat rises. Installing louvered grills above the insert will also heat move heat upstairs quickly. Go with a blower.

    Chimney & Installation: Your chimney may have the required terra cotta orange-colored tile liner inside the brick, but it's important to match the fireplace to the flue. Now, you may have a lined chimney, but the size of the flue is huge (12" x 14", or 14" x 16") compared to the flue outlet of a stove. This is referred to as the cross-sectional area. Go to this link now for some visuals and a detailed explanation: https://www.hearth.com/what/chimneysize.html. A flue that's matched to the stove will indeed draw better and give you better performance. With gas inserts, it's especially important.

    If the insert is a "natural vent" or commonly known as "b-vent", you'll need a liner. A sweep or installer can drop a long flexible stainless steel liner down into the flue. If the insert is a "d-vent", then a flue specifically designed & listed for that application is used.

    I hope that is helpful.

    Good Luck!

    Ken Rajesky, HearthLink

    Link: Article on Chimney Size
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