direct vent gas fireplace vs. gas space heater
I'm looking into purchasing a very small house (less than 500 square feet, so think of a 1 bedroom apartment size). I live in the northern region where we get cold winters. It seems to be insulated pretty well with decent windows and has been kept up. It's all on one floor, and on a foundation (It's not a mobile home, but is an older home about 11 x 40)
My concern is that it has a wall furnace that is a space heater, it takes in air from below and blows it out the top. I've lived in an apartment that had one of these before and I disliked that it would roast you by your head, but the floor and your feet were ice-cold. If I purchase this tiny abode, I'm wondering if replacing the furnace with an efficient, direct vent gas fireplace with about 30 BTUs (calculations say that I should have about 25,000 BTUs for the size and region.) would heat the space just as well and efficiently. It seems that it would offer more comfort with radiant heat (also more aesthetically pleasing in the little space) and distribute the heat better from the floor up.
I'll welcome any other ideas as well. I wouldn't be opposed to a tiny pellet or parlor stove as long as the fumes are vented outside and there is a back-up for heat when I'm not around to stock them. Also, remember, I'm very limited on space....IT'S TINY!