what btu size gas fireplace zone 5 ct

dsummaNovember 26, 2008

Thank you to those that answered by ? r/t Rumford looking zero clearance f/ps. Now I have a couple more ?.

My LR is small, 13 x 15 and broken up with 2 room openings and one door. Ceilings are 7' 3" tall (you read that correctly - 7'3") and the vent will have to go up through the roof. The only wall I have for a fireplace is a 13' wall with a 12' length of older cast iron baseboard that will need to be built around for the fireplace. Probably a raised hearth sort of thing to enclose that section of the baseboard.

My ? is what BTU size fp will be comfortable and not cook us out of the room? I've stayed in some nice B&B places with gas f/p and they got so hot I ended up opeing all the windows in the dead of a frigid winter so I wouldn't cook.

Last ?, what are opinions on 36" units? Too large for my room?

I have done lots of research and just end up getting more and more confused and to make it worse showrooms don't carry much to base comparisons. Here's what I've liked so far: Heatnglo Slimline 550, 32"; (poss. SL750 if 36" will fit and Heatnglo Escape 36" (what a georgeous unit!).

Thank you in advance and Happy Thanksgiving!


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I'll try to help, but my answer will be roundabout. We have a gas direct vent insert in our living room. I've forgotten the numbers, but the BTU rating and related square footage of space it would heat was nearly equal to our whole house, which is a one-story 1550 square footer.

I didn't pay much attention to those numbers. I just wanted a nice warm fire in the living room for our own enjoyment, but also to provide emergency heat when an ice storm causes a power failure.

Our fireplace gives us a very nice warm fire, and it probably could warm nearly the whole house IF it were connected to some kind of ductwork that would circulate the heated air to different rooms. We do not have such a duct system. What happens with our unit when it is on for more than, say, 10 minutes or so, it gets really hot, almost like what I imagine a blast furnace feels like. The way we deal with that is with a remote control thermostat. It really works. After some trial and error on the temperature setting and on where you put the thermostat, you can zero in on the optimal arrangement. Then the thermostat turns off the fire when the desired setting is reached, and turns it back on when the temperature drops below the setting on the thermostat.

Most of the direct vent inserts and fireplaces come with thermostats as an option at an extra cost. They charge too much for them, but I think they are worth getting. Otherwise, you'll wind up turning the system on and off manually, and that gets to be a nuisance.

One other point: Some or all inserts and fireplaces come with a blower that draws air in from under the firebox, then up around the back of the firebox where it gets heated, and then blows the heated air through openings just above the firebox. These blowers serve to distribute the heat a bit more effectively than you can get with just the fire alone. We rarely use ours. At high speed, it's too noisy, and at low speed it makes an annoying rattling sound that we don't like. Another option for distributing heated air is with a ceiling fan that moves air the opposite direction of during the summer -- it draws air up instead of down. This creates a gentle draft that can move heated air to areas in the room that might not otherwise get heated. But you can only use such a fan if you have a direct vent system, because such a system is sealed and does not depend on the updraft in a conventional fireplace.

I hope this info helps you in sorting out your options. Good luck

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 12:10PM
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Thank you for your information. Sounds like a thermostat is the way to go. In our house, having such low ceilings, I'd bet it'd be off more often than not. I've found 2 fp that have "damper" systems that can send the heat out the chimney but both have louvers, which I'd like to avoid, but I may have to compromise. So I'm still researching.


    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 12:20PM
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