Large DV gas fireplace with wide BTU range?

coast2February 10, 2008

We'd like to find a large (ca. 42"), realistic-looking direct vent propane fireplace with the ability to turn the flames way down, so we can use it comfortably on cool days as well as cold days.

We like the looks of the Heat & Glo Escape 42, but its BTU range is what you might call "high and higher"--33,000 to 50,000.

Are there any large, realistic fireplaces out there with a minimum of exposed metal and the ability to have just a gentle fire when you want it?

Thanks to all!

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i think most of the DV units come with a valve that enables you to lower the flame anywhere from medium to high (these are my terms). we have a DV insert (Jotul) that has that feature, and we set the flame height right around the middle, which works fine, although I think we could turn it down just a little bit. The other way of controlling the heat output is by thermostat, which is typically an optional extra on these units. We got one that looks like a remote for the TV, and it shuts the unit off when it reaches the preset temp. Residual radiant heat continues when the unit is down, espectially if the surround is cast iron, as is ours. The trick is figuring out where in the room to place the thermostat and what the setting should be. That takes some trial and error.

Our unit also has a blower which has (I think) 2 speeds. We haven't used it yet, but I think it might circulate the heated air more evenly, and at the slow setting it doesn't make too much noise.

The DV units do throw off a lot of heat, which is what they are intended to do. We're still zeroing in on the optimal settings for our purposes. When it heats up, it sometimes feels like a blast furnace just before the thermostat stops it, but I do not think we should have bought a unit with less heating capacity. I think it's good to have a unit with more capacity than you usually need because on those rare occasions when we get a power outage in an ice storm, we'll probably need the reserve capacity.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 5:11PM
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Thanks haus proud. Good point about not "underdoing" the heat output, for times when you really need it.

We looked at several Heat & Glo models today and realized we didn't like the Escape as much as we had thought--nor any of the H&G 42" models--because we didn't find them "realistic" looking. And we realized that exposed metal (vents, etc.) above/below the glass was not a problem for us. So I posted a new message a few minutes ago with a different slant to the question--basically, what 42" DV gas fireplaces are out there that have very realistic logs/flames/refractory.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 10:24PM
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Unfortunately, I think identifying the set with the flame you like best may be a bit of a crap shoot. The installations on display in the showroom may not match what you get. Yours may be better. It's hard to tell. I think there are a lot of factors that figure into the equation. A lot depends on the competence of the installer, which is hard to figure, mostly by word of mouth.

When we shopped around, I got the distinct impression that the traditional vented gas logs usually give a more dramatic flame, the type you want to just sit and look at all day. The flame in the typical DV system is, I think, somewhat subdued by comparison. But they put out heat like a blast furnace after they get going.

I would take my time, shop around on the Internet. There's a lot of stuff out there. Go to different shops, ask questions. When you find one that you like, ask the dealer to give you the name of a local customer who got one, and maybe you can see what it looks like in action.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 5:32PM
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Take a look at the Mendota Series. low 13k btu`s-high41k btu`s. Depending on the model you choose. they seem to be available for LP or NG.

You can see and compare at chimneysweeponline.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 10:32PM
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