Q: Does the size of my current direct vent gas fireplace matter if I’m looking to replace it?
A: No it doesn’t. You are not bound by the dimensions of your current gas fireplace when choosing to replace it. Every fireplace has its own unique framing dimensions which means that since the installer will be reframing the wall it’s a simple process for them to frame for a larger, smaller or even a linear shaped fireplace. This gives you a lot of freedom to choose exactly what you want when it comes to a new fireplace.
Q: Does a gas fireplace need to be cleaned like a wood burning fireplace?
A: Yes. Gas fireplaces do require annual maintenance. Just like any machine or appliance, annual maintenance will ensure that the core components of the fireplace stay in working order. Annual maintenance will also ensure that your manufacturer’s warranty stays in good standing.
Q: Can I mount my TV or other electronic components above my fireplace?
A: Yes, but you must adhere to the “clearance to combustible materials” guidelines in the installation manual for your specific fireplace. Installing a mantel will help to decrease the clearance requirement. Many fireplaces, especially linear style fireplaces, have special heat reducing systems that will help prevent your wall from absorbing heat, thereby further reducing the combustible clearance requirement.
Q: What is the best way to convert my current wood burning fireplace over to gas?
A: There are two methods: a set of gas logs or a gas insert. Gas logs provide great ambiance and allow for the addition of designer fireplace doors to be added. The downside to gas logs is that they are highly inefficient as a heat source and can actually be a net negative in terms of heat production as a large amount of the heat generated is lost up the chimney. A gas insert is a far more efficient source of heat as they radiate heat better and many come equipped with fan kits to help distribute the hot air. You will lose some of the viewing area of your fireplace with an insert since it’s a smaller box going inside of your current fireplace.
Q: I have a situation that precludes me from venting my fireplace. Is there a vent free option?
A: Vent free gas fireplaces are illegal in the state of Colorado. In this application, an electric fireplace would be your best option. Many electric fireplaces can be framed into your wall and hard wired for a clean install or surface mounted to your wall and plugged into a standard 120v outlet. They typically have 5,000 to 9,000 BTU heaters and fans on them which can heat a small room or office.