Some advice on picking type of gas fireplace please!

rosalita92February 19, 2009

We are adding a great room on and will be adding a gas fireplace. Our requirements are....

1) We do not want the cost of full masonry but we do want the most realistic looking fireplace and flame.

2) We do not want much heat (due to seating setup).

3) The look is important, we don't want it just looking like a box shoved into the wall.

4) We don't like the obvious glass look of some (but can deal with softening the glass with doors). So our questions are....

Do we go direct vent or fully vented? What are the negatives of each.

Who are the quality manufacturers and are there any specific models that fit our needs. Thanks

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We have had a vent free DESA gas long set for ten years, and have been happy with it from the first day. We are in the midwest, and use it in a large family room for comfort heat. It went into a iron fire box, faced with brick, which we previously used with wood for many years. We bought it from a top rate company in our area, and they installed for us. There has probably been some updates in the last ten years, and maybe outside venting would be good. We have never had any problem with fumes, and keep the flue open a tiny crack. We feel like this is very efficient and puts out considerable heat. We usually keep in on the low level. Our two cats are in front of the fireplace constantly. It saved us a couple years ago, when the ice storms had our power off for several days in the winter. The flames look nice and we have been completely happy with this decision. I suggest, don't cut corners, you'll be happy to get a nice one.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 9:28PM
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State of the art technology is direct vent. It is very safe and energy efficient. It does not affect indoor air quality because the system is sealed, so it does not use indoor air to feed the combustion and it exhausts only to the outdoors. It is capable of producing serious heat.

The appearance of the flame is a matter of opinion. We are happy with ours, but if you're really wedded to big dancing flames, you might be disappointed.

The only way to decide what is right for you is to go to a dealer who has about a dozen systems on display, so you can see what they look like.

The other thing to consider is that the competence and honesty of the installer is of the utmost importance. These are complicated installations that require care and attention to detail. the challenge is finding someone who is really trustworthy. You need to ask around and get recommendations from people who have dealt with the installer you are considering.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 9:46PM
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Look at the Lennox "Crestline" 36" or 42". It will meet your specifications. Little to no black metal, big flames,glass doors are optional, remote control option.

You can see it at

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 8:44PM
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How large of space do you have available? If you don't want much heat, you'll want a B vent fireplace...which is for decorative use.

Direct vent with a faceless front and no louvres appear the most real. Check out Lennox Montebello and see what you think...they have 40 and 45 inch models. The 45" specs say it's 60,000 btu's but it's only 50.8% efficient.

I personally wouldn't go with a vent free due to the hazards of carbon monoxide. There are too many bad stories about this and there must be a reason they are illegal in many states.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 10:52AM
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