When the cold breath of Old Man Winter starts to blow your way, you may finally decide it’s time to make the investment of a fireplace. (Could be a very good investment when it comes time to sell the house.) Some research indicates that a fireplace actually costs you more money that you save by getting the warmth involved. Other research indicates that a fireplace can be a cost-saving investment. It may well depend on how often you use the fireplace and how diligent you are when it comes to upkeep, maintenance and repair.
Selection of a gas fireplace involves taking a number of elements into consideration. The first thing you want to consider when thinking of purchasing a gas fireplace is how much space the new addition to the home will occupy. Fireplaces are available in an array of styles and sizes and you want to avoid the mistake of thinking that going really big means saving a lot of money on your heating bills. A fireplace that is too large quits being cost effective when you realize it is getting your room too hot to use except under extreme circumstances. An unused fireplace, always keep in mind, presents draft problems that only add to your power bill. Get the right size for the right room and it’s always better to go too small than too big.
The second element in choosing a gas fireplace that you want to give that you want to take under advisement is how it looks. Aesthetics should be a big deal in choosing a gas fireplace because you don’t want an old-fashioned looking fireplace set within a contemporary room design any more than you want a futuristic fireplace looking out of place within a Victorian design concept. Make sure that the fireplace you buy is suited to the surrounding design and décor.
The third and perhaps most important element in making the decision to buy a gas fireplace involves being assured that it will provide enough heat for the room in which it is placed. A big, loft-style family room is going to require more from a fireplace than a cozy bedroom. Size does matter and you need to be honest with yourself about how much heat you are genuinely expecting the fireplace to provide. If you are mainly getting a fireplace for the occasional romantic inside picnic, your needs for heat supply will be different from the family hoping to turn the heater off during the time the family has gathered inside the room in which the fire is burning. If you are looking to the fireplace as a replacement for your heating system, you will want a larger fireplace.
Before you indulge yourself by buying a gas fireplace, check to make sure that installation isn’t going to violate any municipal building codes. Consult the local building department to make sure violations with codes or the manufacturer’s specifications are not taking place. You should also be aware of any requirements that exist as far as inspections or yearly service.
The gas fireplace will need to be positioned in a way that the vent pipe occupies the space between two wall studs. This will avoid the need to do any reframing work. Be sure that you can allow a minimum of 48 inches of clearance between the front of the fireplace and the closest furnishings inside the room.