Gas and Wood fireplace inserts are an alternative heat source that conserve energy and use a minimum of room air. Some units are designed to use only outside air for combustion or the burning of wood or gas. Gas units tend to be in the 35000 пїЅ 40000 BTU range, as wood units work in the 70000 to 80000 BTU range. Both types usually can house a blower powered by 110 volts. Running a gas or wood burning insert will slow down the amount of time your furnace will run and the amount of gas it consumes. If you seal off the chimney and isolate the venting, you have converted the fireplace into an actual source of heat. Wood inserts run as long as you feed it wood, gas inserts run as long as you want with the flick of a switch.
Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces are usually UL Approved room furnaces. The gas valves tend to work with the same principle as a home furnace. You can hook up a room thermostat to them, but they do not need electricity due to the millivolt system. Blower motors can be powered by 110 volts, if needed. Direct Vent furnaces and fireplaces are designed to use only outside air. Typically you’ll be in the 85% range on gas efficiency, which will calculate to approximately 12 cents per hour in natural gas.
Utility Rooms and Combustible Air: When you finish your basement typically you enclose the utility area which consists of the furnace, hot water tank, and the boilers. These items burn gas and need as much air possible for a clean burn and in exhausting. Sometimes alternate air sources are needed to prevent negative air or sitting problems. This need for air can be overlooked, and the grill in the door may not be enough for an air supply. Do not starve your gas appliance or exhaust systems of needed air.
Gas Logs and Energy: Gas logs are different from gas inserts. Gas logs need to be vented in wood burning fireplaces and need a large amount of air themselves. Gas logs are about 50% efficient in fuel usage and can use in the 40 cent per hour range of natural gas.