Author Topic: Gas fireplace vs forced air  (Read 1124 times)

davidw

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Gas fireplace vs forced air
« on: October 23, 2015, 01:10:37 PM »
Hi,

I'm curious if anyone has any data on a gas fireplace vs forced air for heating.  The fireplace can't, of course, heat the whole house so sooner or later we're going to need the forced air.  I'm wondering if we should bother with the gas fireplace at all though.  Potential pros: it heats the room where we spend the most time - perhaps it's cheaper.  Potential cons: the thing doesn't strike me as being all that efficient - most of the heat is going up up and away.  Forced air isn't great, either, but at least I'm sure it's spending most of it's energy to heat the house.

Jack

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Re: Gas fireplace vs forced air
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2015, 03:01:10 PM »
There are new gas fireplaces made these days that are actually designed to be efficient. However, a random existing gas fireplace is very likely to be terrible for efficiency (to the point where it's possible for it to cause a net loss of heat by increasing convection up the chimney -- not just of the heat created by the gas fire, but also of the heat that was already in the room!).

regulator

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Re: Gas fireplace vs forced air
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2015, 03:12:26 PM »
Don't rule out wood fireplaces either.  We upgraded to a new insert early this year.  When I started doing research I found that most modern wood-fired inserts are commonly 75% efficient or better.  We can and do heat the whole house with ours for much of the winter.

davidw

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Re: Gas fireplace vs forced air
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2015, 03:19:42 PM »
It's a rental, so we're not going to be upgrading or changing anything.  I wish it were a wood fireplace, as that's 'cozier' in some ways.

I was thinking about convection too... Maybe I'll try a few experiments.