Q&A Insert or Log?

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New Member
Staff member
Nov 27, 2012

The family room in my home is always cold compared to the rest of my house. It is "sunken". My you children spend most of the time in the family room and in order to keep it warm for them, the rest of the house is too hot. Therefore, I would like to know the best alternative to heating my family room; a gas insert or a gas log. My family room is 35 ft long, 15 ft wide, with an 8 ft ceiling. i have a masonry fireplace in my family room.

I have been told that if I install an insert, the heat output will be so great that I won't be able to stay in the room, even if I don't turn on the built-in fan.

I've also been told that gas logs put out very little heat and what heat they do put out is only radiant heat, therefore taking a long time to heat this room.

Can you recommend which option I should go with. If that option is the insert, could you provide me with the size of insert (BTU 's) I should not exceed so I don't heat myself out ot the room?


That is a good sized room, so I would not have any concern about placing a gas insert in the fireplace. Most inserts are from about 25,000 to 40,00 BTU input...when efficiency is taken into account, they put out 10,000 to 30,000 BTU..... any of the mid-sized or adjustable larger sized units would do...assuming you live in the north or temperate part of the country.

Most gas logs are not for heat at all..the exception are unvented products which cannot be used for more than a few hours here and there. Check out the BTU calculator to figure the BTU's needed for your room.

Link: Hearth.com BTU Calculator
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