What to Look for When Shopping for a Gas Fireplace

What to Look for When Shopping for a Gas Fireplace

There is more to consider than just how the outside of your fireplace will look when completed. Though the final decor is critical, what goes inside is as important to ensure your investment will provide the lasting benefits of owning a gas fireplace. Let’s consider some the factors you should be aware of before choosing your gas fireplace.

HEAT OUTPUT

Fireplaces today are not strictly for heating anymore. Some are designed to provide stunning realistic flames but with minimal heat, ideal for homes with in-floor heat, and commercial spaces. These would be considered for ambiance rather than heat. Other fireplaces are heater rated, and intended to pump out maximum heat while there are those in between that give off heat but can be trimmed back when heat is not critical.  What are your heat requirements? Units provide different amounts of heat, so sizing the heat output according to the space is an important consideration for maximum comfort.

VENTING CONSIDERATIONS

Gas or propane fireplaces need to be vented, either through an outside the wall, or through the roof.  If neither of these options are available, there are fireplaces that can be power vented, meaning the venting can be run horizontally under the floor or above the ceiling a certain distance before exiting through the wall or roof.

FIREBOX

Better quality gas fireplaces can be gauged by the thickness of firebox material which can easily identified by the weight of the unit. Heavier gauge steel means less buckling and warpage during the heating and cooling cycles which stresses and weakens the welds, and less popping sounds from the firebox as the metal expands and contracts.  Better quality fireplaces also use ceramic glass over tempered glass, to absorb and slowly radiate heat, and as a safety prevention against sudden cold shock to the glass.

BURNER TECHNOLOGY

Without getting into the technical details, better quality gas burners are also made of thicker gauged material to better resist cracking under heat and pressure. Controlling the flame there are two main types of technology. Standing pilot –  the pilot light remains lit when thermostat not calling for heat. Intermittent Pilot (IPI) same as above, but the pilot light extinguishes and relights itself as needed to save on fuel consumption. Each have their advantages and disadvantages, a topic for another discussion, based where unit located in the home and intended usage frequency of the fireplace. These burners can be controlled by a programmable remote or wall thermostat and can be run on “manual” or “auto” modes.

FINISHING OPTIONS

Better quality gas fireplaces give you more options how to trim and finish your fireplace. They offer different color facings, trim widths, glass overlays, options for firebox backgrounds and options for fireplace contents be it firelogs, glass media or rocks. These all add the customizability of each fireplace to best suit your needs.

TV ABOVE OR NOT

An important consideration in your design and fireplace choice is whether you plan for a TV above your fireplace. This is not always practical for the following reasons. Each fireplace manufacturer has minimal clearance requirements to combustibles above the fireplace that need to be adhered to. This could mean that the bottom of the TV screen must be at certain height which may not be comfortable for viewing or aesthetically pleasing. Secondly, rising heat from the fireplace could damage delicate TV components voiding your TV warranty and create costly replacements. There are ways to get around this if needed, but best to work with a reputable fireplace dealer to ensure all the safety requirements are met.

All these considerations may seem overwhelming, but a reputable specialty fireplace dealer can easily guide you through this process to ensure you find the best gas fireplace to fit your circumstance and budget. Doing a bit of homework upfront, early in the planning stages, can avert costly unexpected detours in the construction process. Call us before finalizing any fireplace plan to ensure you are making the right decision the first time. We look forward to helping you find the best gas fireplace for your needs.

Why Choose a Gas Fireplace?

Why Choose a Gas Fireplace?

Dreaming of fireplace? Heating bills forever rising? Home have cool rooms? A natural gas or propane fireplace could be just the solution you need for adding heat, coziness and save energy dollars. There are several reasons why gas or propane may be the better option over wood or pellet.

EASY, CONVENIENT. WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?

Whether you are looking for a freestanding stove or a built-in fireplace, the convenience and ease of natural gas or propane are tough to beat. Compared to wood burning or pellet fireplaces there is no seasonal preparation, nor daily mess to clean up. Maintenance is minimal consisting of an occasional glass cleaning and an annual preventative maintenance servicing by a licensed technician to validate your warranty. Most fireplaces now operate from a wall thermostat or remote, and with a simple push of a button, the fire starts. The fireplace can be run on “manual” or “auto” mode. In “auto” mode, the programmable thermostat maintains a consistent temperature whether you are home or not.

PICK YOUR DESIGN.

Fireplace technology has improved dramatically in the last 20 years improving efficiency and realism of the fire. There lots of options when it comes to shape and size, whether looking to heat a small bathroom or to a large great room. Choices of: trim colors and widths, media (logs, glass crystals, rocks) and background panels (like brick, ledge stone, black reflective porcelain) allow you to customize the look to match any decor.  Some locations only need the beautiful flames from a fireplace without all the heat; there are models that can move the heat elsewhere for perfect all year comfort and ambiance.

FLEXIBLE INSTALLATION.

The beauty of a natural gas or propane fireplace is their placement flexibility. Usually placement along an exterior wall is sufficient for easy through-the-wall venting, but venting can be through the roof or a power-vented model can be used for locations where neither of these work. Due to the minimal venting requirements, year round installation is possible unlike wood-burning fireplaces that require substantial chimney work.

EASY ON THE BUDGET.

The upfront cost of installing a gas or propane stove or fireplace are usually less than the traditional wood, mainly due to the minimal venting requirements and less pricey components.  Overall operating expense will be less than electric or oil, so supplementing your heating bill with these is wise. If you have an older gas furnace, the higher efficiency of the fireplace makes a great supplement till the furnace is changed out and serves as a great backup source of heat.

Add value to your home while supplementing your energy bills and increasing your coziness, with a natural gas or propane fireplace. Stop by our showroom at 2324 Long Lake Rd for a free consultation to find the solution for your home.

Holiday Decor and Gift Ideas for Your Fireplace

Holiday Decor and Gift Ideas for Your Fireplace

With Christmas around the corner you are probably busy decorating your home for the season and and gift purchasing. Don’t forget about your fireplace when it comes to holiday decorating and your loved one’s fireplace when it comes to gift giving ideas.

There are many ways to decorate your fireplace year round and during the holiday seasons. A quick search on Google, Pinterest, or Houzz will provide you with oodles of ideas.

To briefly summarize, for year round decor consider fireplace accessories.

Anything adding a layer of style works great as a gift.

If you have a mantle, showcase your prized possessions throughout the year, whether it be artwork, family photos, vases or even candles and change it up with the addition of holiday decor.

Keep in mind that operating fireplaces produce a lot of heat, so keep your flammable decor at an appropriate  safe distance according the fireplace manufacturer’s suggested clearances that can be found in the owner’s manual. Beware, not everything you see on-line or in magazines for holiday decor, work with operating fireplaces and pose serious safety concerns. Rethink hanging those stockings on the mantle if you plan on using your fireplace.

Visit our Pinterest page for fireplace decorating and gift giving ideas. Visit our showroom to select those perfect fireplace accessories.

Off the Grid or Backup Heating Options for Your Home

Off the Grid or Backup Heating Options for Your Home

BACKUP HEATING OPTIONS FOR YOUR FAMILY THIS WINTER.

You don’t have to live totally off the grid to see the benefits of an off the grid or backup heating option in your house.

Most homeowners will continue to rely on the same old furnace long after it should be replaced. We don’t recommend it, but we also understand why. A new furnace isn’t a purchase to be taken lightly.

But as your furnace gets older, the likelihood of it breaking down during the winter increases. And if that happens, you don’t want to be without heat. That’s where backup heating options like fireplaces or freestanding stove in gas, propane, and wood come in handy.

Even if you never have to rely on your fireplace or stove to stay warm during an emergency, it can also ease the strain on your aging furnace, stretching its life a little longer and potentially save on your heating bill.

WHY NATURAL GAS OR PROPANE?

The greatest strength is ease and convenience of gas. Most fireplaces and stoves now operate from a thermostat, so you set it at the desired temperature and it will regulate the flame accordingly for maximum comfort. This way if the furnace unexpectedly stops working, the fireplace or stove takes over.

We find our customers are consistently surprised by the realism our gas fireplaces and stoves display. The logs look incredibly real (most people can’t tell the difference until they get very close), and the flames dance beautifully.

There are gas fireplaces or stoves that don’t require any electricity to operate, perfect for off-grid or power outages. They provide a soft radiating heat without any noisy fan.

Installation is quick and easy too, although you still require a professional to handle the gas line and venting.

Maintenance involves occasional glass cleaning and an annual preventative servicing by one of our licensed gas technicians.

A gas fireplace or stove might be slightly more expensive to operate than wood,  but you can’t beat the ease and convenience.

WHAT ABOUT PELLET?

are among the most environmentally friendly backup heating options, and some families choose to heat their homes exclusively with 1 or 2 of these on different levels of the house.

Some of our customers swear by pellet stoves because:

  • They use waste biomass like sawdust from wood mills which burn as well or better than raw wood and divert waste from the landfill.
  • They are a very efficient source of heat, converting small electrical input to extract many times that energy out of wood.
  • They are thermostat controlled so your fire burns evenly for a long time without constant human intervention other than daily cleaning and refueling.

Most pellet stoves do require electricity, so if you’re looking for a off-grid or power outage heating solution, this may not be a solution for you.

Being mechanical devices, they also require regular cleaning and maintenance: daily, weekly and monthly. You may need to pull out the screwdriver and ash vac and get a bit dirty regularly, but the time savings over preparing firewood may be worth it.

Just like firewood, you should gather your winter’s pellet supply early to ensure availability. Pellet  supply can be a bit unpredictable, particularly if it is an extremely cold winter and suddenly demand goes up. So stock up in the off-season when pellet pricing is the best.

TRADITIONAL WOOD STOVES

There are three main arguments for the traditional fireplace or wood stove.

  • Fuel is very affordable and readily available.
  • They have a uniquely comfortable ambiance.
  • Wood burning stoves are reliable and can keep a large area of your home warm in the event of a furnace meltdown.

Wood stoves require more upfront firewood labor, however maintenance is as simple as regular emptying of ashes and annual chimney cleaning.

If you’re in the market for a backup or off the grid heating option, these are 3 great options. Is one better for your home than the others? That depends on your wants and needs.

Give us a call today for an estimate and see how far your budget can go.

12 Steps to Save on Your Heating Bill

12 Steps to Save on Your Heating Bill

Soon the cooler weather will be upon us, as will those dreadful heating bills. Time to check where you can save energy dollars, so you can enjoy that money somewhere else.

  1. Prevent Heat Leakage – Weatherstrip doors, caulk windows, cover drafty windows, seal electrical boxes on outside walls, and tape air leaks in ductwork to keep the heat in.
  2. Fireplaces – For those used regularly, ensure the damper is closed after fires and install glass doors to reduce heat loss and cold drafts into the room. Unused fireplaces should have their dampers tightly sealed and the chimney plugged with insulation or a chimney balloon, otherwise it equates to an open window sucking heat out of your house. Better yet, install a high efficiency fireplace insert so you can actually enjoy the fire and supplement your heating bill.
  3. Insulate – Blanket your home with insulation to keep the heat in. Verify the insulation levels of your attic, basement headers and attic door access.
  4. Let the Sun Shine In – During the day, open blinds and curtains on the sunny side of the house and take advantage of the solar heat, then cover up again at night to keep it all in.
  5. Reduce Home Temperatures – Add another layer of clothing and save on your bills.
  6. Ceiling Fan – Use them in reverse mode from summer to help push heat down from the ceiling and mix with the cooler air below.
  7. Programmable thermostat – Lower your home temperatures while you are away or asleep. Every degree lowered for seven hours a day saves one percent off your heating bill.
  8. Zone Heat – Reduce temperatures in areas used less frequently by lowering thermostat and closing doors. Then add heat to areas where you spend the most time with supplemental heat from a fireplace, wood stove or portable heater.. Unused basements should have a base heat to keep floors and feet above toasty. Warm feet allow for lower air temperatures.
  9. Schedule Annual Furnace and Fireplace Servicing – To maintain peak performance and efficiencies.
  10. Maintain Furnace and Fireplace – Change your furnace filters regularly and clean your fireplace chimney twice a season if used regularly.
  11. Increase Humidity – Moist air feels warmer than dry, which allows you to lower temperatures and still feel comfortable..
  12. Upgrade Your Furnace or Fireplace – Technologies have improved so much that anything 10 years or older is worth considering for replacement. Let us compare your existing costs with those of a new high efficiency furnace. Savings will vary by model. Let us find the right model for you.

Nordic Energy can help you update or maintain your furnace or fireplace so you can start saving today. To schedule a servicing or a free in-home estimate, call us at 705-222-9403 or visit us at 2324 Long Lake Rd, or www.nordicenergy.ca. We’d love to help you save and get comfortable.

Family owned and operated in Sudbury since 1979

Testimonials

Looking Forward to Using Our New Fireplace!

The guys from Nordic Energy Systems were really good. We called them to install a new fire place/chimney. Going into the project I was a little bit worried. We had a brand new steel roof and I was afraid it might get messed up during the installation, but my fears were unwarranted. Everything looks great!

Neil L., Sudbury, ON

Nordic Energy
5
2017-06-15T20:42:12+00:00

Neil L., Sudbury, ON

The guys from Nordic Energy Systems were really good. We called them to install a new fire place/chimney. Going into the project I was a little bit worried. We had a brand new steel roof and I was afraid it might get messed up during the installation, but my fears were unwarranted. Everything looks great!

I can’t say enough about Nordic Energy

I can’t say enough about Nordic Energy. From the choosing of the stove to the explanation of how it works the store staff (Denis) was amazing. Where to start with the installation crew. Lucas (Logan) lol Rob and Jacob. What an awesome crew. Very pleasant and knowledgeable. They took such care with my home and in their detail to the little things. The job was never rushed and was done with care. Everything was explained so that it was clear and questions answered. I cannot say enough about Lucas and how he explained everything to me and how if he didn’t like the way things were working once the stove was set up he went back and made sure it was to his satisfaction. It speaks volumes to see someone take such pride in his work. Thanks so much for the amazing service to you all. I would give an 11 if I could. Will highly recommend your company. I will definitely be back for future business. Thanks so much.

Laura

Nordic Energy
5
2020-02-04T14:37:36+00:00

Laura

I can’t say enough about Nordic Energy. From the choosing of the stove to the explanation of how it works the store staff (Denis) was amazing. Where to start with the installation crew. Lucas (Logan) lol Rob and Jacob. What an awesome crew. Very pleasant and knowledgeable. They took such care with my home and in their detail to the little things. The job was never rushed and was done with care. Everything was explained so that it was clear and questions answered. I cannot say enough about Lucas and how he explained everything to me and how if he didn’t like the way things were working once the stove was set up he went back and made sure it was to his satisfaction. It speaks volumes to see someone take such pride in his work. Thanks so much for the amazing service to you all. I would give an 11 if I could. Will highly recommend your company. I will definitely be back for future business. Thanks so much.

We absolutely love the fireplace!

We wanted to let you know that we have used our fireplace a few times now. There were several evenings earlier in September that were chilly and gave us a good excuse to try it out.

We absolutely love the fireplace! It fits our room perfectly and provides just the right amount of heat. You suggested the perfect model for what we needed and wanted.

Thank you so much for the wonderful service provided by you and your team. We also appreciate your patience with us through the installation process, including the return trip to our house to get the fireplace in the right spot. Your efforts to make everything just perfect were much appreciated. Kind regards

A. Lavoie

Nordic Energy
2020-02-04T14:44:42+00:00

A. Lavoie

We wanted to let you know that we have used our fireplace a few times now. There were several evenings earlier in September that were chilly and gave us a good excuse to try it out. We absolutely love the fireplace! It fits our room perfectly and provides just the right amount of heat. You suggested the perfect model for what we needed and wanted. Thank you so much for the wonderful service provided by you and your team. We also appreciate your patience with us through the installation process, including the return trip to our house to get the fireplace in the right spot. Your efforts to make everything just perfect were much appreciated. Kind regards

A completely great experience every step of the way.

Your installers are superb.

Debra S.

Nordic Energy
2022-06-28T20:20:06+00:00

Debra S.

A completely great experience every step of the way. Your installers are superb.
5
2
Nordic Energy

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