Size of gas fireplace needed

marklarsJanuary 20, 2010

Putting a direct vent gas fireplace into basement, at end of room, 12 feet wide by about 32 feet. I have an option of a 32" model, with btu rating 12k-18k, or a 36" model, with btu of 18k-26k.

Anyone have experience with direct vent fireplaces. My logic is I could enjoy the fire more if I had the smaller one, and it had to run more.

thanks for any input

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Sometimes they give btu ratings and then tell you how many btus you need for an approximate size of room. These numbers are a useful guide, but they're only a guide. There are too many other variables that come into play like the shape of the room, the location of the fireplace, insulation, whether the unit is considered the primary source of heat or whether it's considered supplemental, etc.

We have a DV gas insert in our living room, which is roughly 25 by 15 feet, with a vaulted ceiling. The fireplace is located in the center of the long wall. It produces SERIOUS heat, but central heat is also on. We like using it because the room feels cold when the outside temp drops below 30 degrees. And I once had to use it as the ONLY heat source. It did fine -- I didn't have to go to a hotel.

All this verbiage doesn't answer your question directly. What I can say is that my DV unit can get really hot, like a blast furnace. And I'm glad we got the remote thermostat to regulate it. They're costly, too costly in my opinion, but you really need them. What you will do is experiment with the thermostat -- where, how far away, to place it and what setting to use, until you find the setting that works best for you. The blowers they come with are noisy except at low speed. We rarely use ours.

The most important thing is to find a really competent dealer who has a track record with direct vent units. They are a little complicated and you want somebody who really knows about them. Ask around. Get recommendations.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 3:34PM
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our house has similar setup. BUT the previous owner had a masonary bump out built with a zero clearance fireplace installed. i tore out the guts and wood framed chimney and installed gas unit since i wanted as large a unit as possible. heats room like a champ. unit is centered on short wall. kinda takes over that end of room. i wish i would have built a false wall on end of room with fireplace on one side and a shelving unit on the other side. no one would notice 2 less feet in the long room. current fireplace is drafty. is that a curse of all exterior mounted units? is your fireplace inside the room or in a bumpout like mine?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 11:16AM
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