Fireplaces are among the top amenities for homeowners when scouting for a new residence in the Okanagan Valley. As per the National Association for Home Builders (NAHB), they rank second after outdoor patios and decks. These are traditionally built in when a home is designed, and are more frequently seen in kitchen, dining rooms, and master bedrooms, as well as living and family rooms. The most popular models run on natural gas, have fans to circulate heat throughout the room, use a remote for easy on-off, and are economical to run.
It’s interesting to note that homeowners love their zero-clearance installation, wherein the fireplace can be safely installed in direct contact with walls and floors. These models are fronted by tempered glass that won’t cause a burn.

Ventilation options

Natural vent

Often known as a B vent, a natural vent uses an existing masonry chimney or factory-built metal chimney. Through this, the room air sends combustion by-products to the outside through a flexible liner or a single pipeline installed within the chimney. This allows you to replace a wood-burning fireplace, and all its smoke and CO2 concerns, with a natural gas unit. A gas line will need to be brought into the space, which can be expensive.

Direct vent

This venting system uses a dual or co-linear method for expelling by-products outdoors. The system helps eliminate the heat loss seen when using a conventional chimney. The installed vent can go up through the roof or out the side wall of your residence. If your home does not possess a chimney, or you are building a new home, this vent is the ideal choice. For best results, these models use a sealed glass door to maintain proper combustion.

Vent-free technology

In this, these fireplaces use catalytic-converter technology. This system is similar to the exhaust systems in modern automobiles. There is no need for a chimney or venting with this one. What’s more, they are sleek as a plasma television.

Gas Fireplace Inserts

Inserts help enhance the energy efficiency of heating your home. They come in various sizes and shapes and may cost anywhere between $500 and $2500. Even without ever lighting up the unit, you can save money. Here’s how! By eliminating that cold-air that is flowing down through your old fireplace chimney.
Modern gas fireplace in wall

How much heat is provided by a gas fireplace?

Much depends on how insulated your residence is. On average, a 40000 BTU fireplace is sufficient for heating a large living or family room. High-efficiency fireplaces also have a large turn-down range for warmer days i.e. a 40000 BTU fireplace can go down to as much as 12000 BTUs as needed. Fans included in the insert also help to distribute heat evenly throughout the room.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning a gas fireplace is not normally a DIY task, unless you are comfortable working around natural gas. Routine maintenance and proper installation are vital. For best performance, we recommend your gas fireplace be serviced once a year by a professional who inspects all components: burner, fan, vents, pilot light and thermostat. Also, the specialist cleans the glass!
It is important to understand that servicing a gas fireplace is less messy than a wood one. It should only take about an hour or so. The professional will begin by inspecting the exterior to ensure it is mounted appropriately. Next, they check the glass for cracks and clean it using non-ammonia fireplace glass cleaner. After this, they inspect the logs (ceramic or cement). Once done, they move on to the gas ignition to ensure it lights correctly. They clean all the valves and ports under and amid the logs. They vacuum the interior, check the carbon monoxide detectors, and inspect the vents.
Service costs depends on your area and region, and the size and condition of your fireplace. On average, you can expect to spend between $100 – $125.

Be calm, stay warm!

A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning provides heating solutions including fireplace check-ups and new installations. Call or email for an appointment. We provide outstanding warranties on all our work. A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning specialises in HVAC installations and solutions. If you think you need a new RTU or RTU repair, give us a call. We are here for your regular HVAC maintenance, cleaning and replacement units. We provide outstanding warranties on all our RTUs.