Suggestions on new fireplace needed

trendystamperMarch 11, 2009

First time to forum. We're getting toward the end of our new construction. We'd like to include a gas fireplace but would like some input.

Factors to consider:

We're very budget minded.

Live in Idaho where winters get cold, snowy and very windy.

Looking for fireplace that puts out heat when power is out.

Home is 1660 sq/ft on main level and 1400 on 2nd floor, (also a 1000 sq/ft basement that will be mostly storage and unfinished.

If possible, it would be nice it the fireplace had some sort of oven to cook pizza, bread, etc.

Am I asking for too much?

Would love to hear some suggestions and tell me where to go to do more research.

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If you want serious heat and a safe, energy efficient gas unit, you need to go with a fireplace equipped with direct vent technology. They have a sealed firebox, so indoor air quality is not affected. They are equipped with 2 vents to the outdoors -- one to exhaust the fumes, and the other to bring in fresh air to feed the combustion.

No, you can't bake pizza on one of these. But you will enjoy a safe, warm fire. Make sure you get a remote control thermostat. Most come with one at extra cost, and they are worth the expense.

The big challenge is finding a really competent installer.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 8:00PM
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Your cooking fireplaces are usually a wood burning FP, with a separate box for the food.

We just built a Rumford FP, it's wood burning, and we put in an iron pot holder so we can cook stew, etc. in it. We lost our power for 3 weeks due to an ice storm, so this is what led us to a Rumford, which was invented back in the late 1700s. They will heat a large area, depending on your fire size. We also have a vent in the wall next to it. Here's a picture. Please ignore the decor on the mantel, we're in the process of remodeling and we don't even have the wood floor in yet. lol

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 9:15PM
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Thank you for the replies.

haus_proud - you mentioned "direct vent". Are there any models or companies that you can recommend?

oakleyok - your fireplace is beautiful. You said you built your "Rumford". Is that a job that novice DIYers can undertake? Does it come in a kit?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 5:03PM
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If cost is not an issue, then look at Fireplace Xtrordinair's 864TRV or 864HH. This company has some of the nicest faces in the industry.
If you are looking for a good builder grade fireplace, then look at Napoleon's GD36. Mendota is a nice line, but Fireplace Xtrordinair's flame looks the best on the lowest setting if you still want to use your fireplace in spring and fall for the ambience. Also, Mendota does not have an accent light, which is an extremely popular option.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 9:57PM
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This looks like an older post and it may be too late...but I did a lot of research on heater rated fireplaces. I live in Lake Tahoe and wanted to use the fireplace as a heat source for my guest house.

I purchased a Lennox 42" Ravelle. It's a gas direct-vent furnace rated fireplace and has the capacity to duct forced air to adjacent rooms up to 20 feet away. I have ducted it to the bathroom and across the room of the "studio" guest house.

It is designed to work with or without a blower, so it is advertised to work even during a power outage. Techie guy told me to purchase the cast iron face since it would hold more heat in the room. It was expensive and I didn't do that, so we'll see if I'll need to upgrade to that.

Can't tell you how it works since my project is still being completed.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 2:03PM
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I had a wood burning stove and used to warm up stuff on the top when we lost electricity. It kept the the main room very warm..sometimes too warm! We removed it during our remodel. They've changed the ordinances in Tahoe, no more wood fireplaces or stoves in new homes or remodels, so now we can only put a direct vent in.

I agree with Michellemarie, the extraordinaire is a great fireplace and also if you want a BIG clear view fireplace, the town and country had one of the largest I've seen at 54 inches.

I bought the 45 inch Lennox Montebello for my Living room. It's not in yet...Love the clear view face with no louvres. I'm not expecting booming heat, even though the glass is large and it throws out 60K BTU's, it's efficiency rating is only 50.8%.

If you want heat, check out the Direct vent Napoleon Starfire GD70. I bought this for our kitchen/dining room area, also heater rated with 35K BTU's and 81% efficiency. No forced air venting capabilities like the Lennox Ravelle, but a built in night light illuminates the firebox and also a thermostat with a blower and 50% flame/heat adjustment. Works without electricity as well.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 4:33PM
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Thanks for all the replies.
I will research all the suggestions made here.
Really appreciate your input.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 11:17PM
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