Advice for Purchasing a Gas Insert

nsymondsDecember 12, 2009

I am a babe in the woods regarding all the features and their benefits. I am hoping you can help steer me in the right direction and get the best use of my money. I am looking at three gas insert models to heat my family room which is about 24 ft by 14 ft.

1. The Regency Model U32 has 24,500 Input and can be turned down to 16,500. Will 24,500 be enough to heat the room and is the turn down to 16,500 enough of a turn down should the room get very warm? (Just in case you're wondering, the 26,000 BTU doesn't fit my fireplace opening - its a 1/2 inch too short)

2. The Kinsgman Model IDV33 has an input of 31,000. Is that too high? And it turns down to 20,900. Is that enough? Any other insights into Kingsman?

3. The Valor Legend G3 has 26,000 but can turn down to 6500 so this is the biggest spread of the 3. However, its about $950 more expensive than the other two. It also is battery operated so you can turn the pilot off with the remote control. The sales person says that this will save me money on fuel usage. I think the remote may have a few more bells and whistles to control the heat. The brochure says its "radiant" heat. I don't know how to think about that feature. Any insights?

Is it worth the extra money to get the Valor? Are the features worth it to get maximum comfort?

What's the difference between vented, direct vent and vent free and what should I be looking at?

Thanks for your guidance.


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My salesperson told me that the actual cost of turning the pilot light off during the summer months (May-October) would save us about $0.20-$0.50/mo. Negligible money. The Regency pilot light can be turned off too, it's just that you need to manually light it back up when you are ready to have it back on for the season. I was surprised that the pilot light actually does create some heat--not a lot, but a bit and if you sat in front of it on a hot day, you might be annoyed by the small amount of heat that the glass might radiate.

When I went to showroom and compared the two practically side by side, I didn't notice a huge amount of difference between the different models with differing BTUs. They definitely throw off quite a bit of heat!

The Regency model we purchased also comes with a remote, but you need to purchase the remote separately for $228. We went with the Regency because the modern-styled models that we were looking at had fairly different size options. The opening of the Valor was 28.5" and the Regency was 38". Also, the frame around the fireplaces had a different look.

My contractor said that he has installed the Valor a few times and everyone has been positively happy with their purchase--I would have taken his word and paid the extra money if not for the style difference.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 10:29PM
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