Author Topic: Efficiency of vented a Gas Log Fireplace?? Need input.  (Read 7435 times)

LadyM

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Efficiency of vented a Gas Log Fireplace?? Need input.
« on: November 02, 2012, 07:54:49 PM »
Maybe someone can help me...

We've got a gas log fireplace in our home, in a somewhat inconvenient spot, that I shut down about 3 years ago because we were going to cover it up, put furniture in front of it, etc.

Now the room has been rearranged, the fireplace cleared, and my husband wondered if it would be worthwhile to start using it again.  And I'll ask that along with him: Is it worth it to use it? Is a gas log fireplace an efficient supplemental source of heat? Or is it a horribly inefficient waste of gas?

We already have a pretty efficient and kickass gas furnace.  I hate the idea of the fireplace sitting here burning gas for the pilot to only get used here and there.  If we ever wanted it just for ambiance, I could just re-light the pilot light each time and not just sit there with it running all the time.

If it's horribly inefficient, then that's that....I'll shut it off again and report back to my husband.  I won't be upset.  :)

Karl

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Re: Efficiency of vented a Gas Log Fireplace?? Need input.
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2012, 11:58:54 AM »
It appears to depend on the type of fireplace setup that you have.  Please see the following for more information:

http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/gas_logs_general_introduction

Matte

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Re: Efficiency of vented a Gas Log Fireplace?? Need input.
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2012, 03:12:52 PM »
Depends on the type, location in the house and age.  Does it have a fan? If it is on an inside wall, more efficient, the fans also help blow heat back into he house.  If it does not completely seal its bad.  I doubt it is as efficient as a high efficiency gas furnace.

LadyM

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Re: Efficiency of vented a Gas Log Fireplace?? Need input.
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 09:58:54 AM »
Depends on the type, location in the house and age.  Does it have a fan? If it is on an inside wall, more efficient, the fans also help blow heat back into he house.  If it does not completely seal its bad.  I doubt it is as efficient as a high efficiency gas furnace.

It is a direct vented type, but it has a blower to blow heat into the house.  Other than that it has a glass front and to me seems to be in there only for the ambiance, which is nice every once in awhile, but had I been the first owner of this house, I would have forgone that option.

We lived in Alabama when I was going to grad school, and we were in an apartment with a ventless gas log fireplace....it got the place PLENTY WARM.  Not only that, but we didn't have to pay for gas!  It was included with the rent!  So we never turned on the furnace in the winter, and just used the gas logs to heat the place.  It was a pretty cool setup.

As to my current fireplace, that's pretty much what I suspected regarding all replies thus far.....likely not very efficient.  Probably more efficient to put the "Holiday Fireplace" on the TV from Netflix (just video of a fireplace), and turn on my tiny electric space heater until I'm toasty enough.  This seems more efficient to me AND I can fall asleep with the fire on.   :)

AJ

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Re: Efficiency of vented a Gas Log Fireplace?? Need input.
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 10:26:31 AM »
It is going to depend on the unit, but if your furnace is already very efficient, the fireplace likely isn't going to match it. Would the fireplace allow you to spot heat just that room (and allow you to keep the furnace lower or off)? That might be one way it could be better.

We have a gas fireplace as our main heat source, and for us it is much more efficient than the alternative (electric cadet heaters). It does keep our house toasty, and for less $$ than the electric heat would, but I'm not sure how it would compare to a gas furnace.

Matte

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Re: Efficiency of vented a Gas Log Fireplace?? Need input.
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2012, 07:30:55 AM »
I don't think it will match your main furnace, with the blower the difference would not be huge if your furnace is not high efficiency.  The idea of a ventless fireplace scares me, in Canada you can only use ventless with ethanol gel and there very small.

Shinplaster

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Re: Efficiency of vented a Gas Log Fireplace?? Need input.
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2018, 03:47:11 PM »
We had an energy audit done last year.  Tech said our gas fireplace (direct vent, fan equipped but optional to operate, about 20 years old) was only at best 65% efficient.  Nice to have if there's a power failure though.  We live in Canada, so a back up heat source is always desirable.

We find it heats the room up way too much, so can only run it for about 45 minutes max at a time.  I think we've had it on maybe 7 times in 20 years.  Once was an 8 hour power failure in the dead of winter - we really appreciated it that day!

« Last Edit: September 22, 2018, 08:56:39 PM by Shinplaster »