Free-standing Gas Fireplaces

By Mark J. Donovan

June 24, 2011 4 min read

Free-standing gas fireplaces add warmth to your home and are highly energy-efficient. In particular, a direct-vent gas stove is ideal for providing supplemental heat to a portion of your home. Free-standing gas fireplaces come in many sizes and can produce various levels of heat. Standalone gas fireplaces have come a long way in terms of their aesthetics. Many that are sold today have a beautiful enamel finish and a front window so that you can enjoy the warmth and charm of the gas flame. Others have terra-cotta or brushed metal finishes.

Free-standing gas fireplaces are ideal for any type of home because of the fact that they are extremely safe and efficient and look beautiful anywhere. You can find them in the everyday suburbia home, mansions, cottages and even in city lofts.

A standalone gas fireplace can be direct-vent or ventless; however, ventless types are not always allowed in homes or certain rooms within a home. Free-standing gas fireplaces produce radiant heat that provides a comfortable temperature in a room or rooms.

There are also free-standing fireplaces that use alternative fuel sources other than propane, including natural gas, wood and wood pellets. A gas fireplace, however, requires the least amount of maintenance and effort to use. Simply push a button and it is operational. That said, liquid propane and natural gas are typically more expensive than home heating oil and wood. So though you might be able to heat an entire home with a large free-standing gas stove, it might not be the most cost-effective home heating solution compared with an oil-based furnace.

When you are in the market for a free-standing gas fireplace, there are many options and features to consider. Most importantly, make sure you buy one that is appropriately sized for the room that it will be installed in. Also, take a careful look at some of the options that could maximize its utility. Today's free-standing gas fireplaces include variable-speed blower fans and remote control units for adjusting the flame height, fan speed and temperature. Some even can be installed with remote thermostats.

Carefully look at the ignition options. Some free-standing gas fireplaces use a constantly burning pilot light, whereas others have an electric spark ignition system to reduce gas use. Some also offer piezoelectric ignition systems for situations in which there are no electrical outlets nearby. The nice thing about piezoelectric ignition systems is that your free-standing gas fireplace still could be used in the event your home loses electricity.

Free-standing gas fireplaces vary in price, but expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,500, depending on its heating capacity and the various options that you select. You'll need to have a trained service technician install it, because it involves the use of gas. A direct-vent gas stove also requires the installation of a properly sized external vent system.

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