Everyone dreams of owning a fireplace for the warmth and ambiance they bring. With masonry fireplaces being bulky and cost prohibitive, zero clearance fireplaces fit the bill, with flexible and hassle free installation. A zero clearance fireplace can be installed almost anywhere due to space saving designs and they help save on your energy bills while you enjoy the glowing radiant fire.
WHAT IS IT?
A fully enclosed pre-fabricated metal firebox, built to standards and tested to allow wood frame construction right up to it’s standoffs, eliminating the need of any brick construction. When installed according to manufacturer’s instructions, this makes for an easy, quick and inexpensive installation of a zero-clearance fireplace, especially as compared to a traditional fireplace. Professional installation is recommended and may be a requirement, depending on both building codes where you live and your home’s insurance policy.
A zero clearance fireplaces is light weighted allowing flexibility as to where it is installed. The firebox can carried by standard floor joists, hence no additional weight bearing foundation is required like a traditional masonry fireplace would need. The smaller size also opens up location options normally not available whether on first, second or third floor of a house. You just need to consider the required venting or chimney locations, and if gas, how to connect to the fuel line.
CONSTRUCTION COST SAVINGS
Zero clearance fireplaces save in construction cost, eliminating expensive masonry work, mess and time savings. Due to wood framing allowed, typical installation and finishing is only a few days. For tight budgets, a fireplace can be finished in stages, starting with a painted plaster finish and then adding tile, brick or cultured stone years down the road when funds allow.
Zero clearance fireplaces are available in decorative, mid efficiency and high efficiency models depending on your family’s needs. There is no comparison to a traditional brick and mortar fireplace when it comes to efficiency. A traditional masonry fireplace loses as much as 90% of its heat up the chimney while an average zero clearance fireplace wastes less than 30% heat, making them great supplemental heat sources. With the latest technology and engineering zero clearance fireplaces eliminate cold drafts while maximizing heat.
Elegant zero clearance fireplaces are available in wood burning, natural gas, propane and electric.
With a wood burning zero clearance fireplace, you get the ambiance of a real fire with benefits of the most economical and fuel. Besides in a power outage you will always have light, heat and a source for basic cooking.
Natural gas or propane zero clearance fireplaces offer ambiance and warmth with convenience and ease. They operate on a thermostat providing even consistent heat when needed, burning a clean fuel.
Electric fireplaces provide ambiance where other fireplaces have restriction in location or budget. Electric fireplaces can be wall mounted or built-in. They can be plugged into an electrical outlet or hardwired, depending on the model. They can be operated with or without heat, giving you year round enjoyment of a fire.
So when it comes to choosing your dream fireplace, stop by our showroom. Come see the many options available from rustic, traditional, contemporary or transitional. Whether it is a small fireplace for a bedroom, bathroom or kitchen to a grand fireplace for the great room, we have them all. We’ll guide you through the selection process to find the best fit for your budget, home and lifestyle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gathering around a fireplace is a guaranteed way to instantly increase the coziness factor in your space.
WHY WE LOVE FIRE
Bonfire in the spring forest. Coals of fire. Ukraine
According to an anthropologist, fascination with fire dates back to our early ancestors. Christopher Lynn, of the University of Alabama, says our love for the crackling sound and bright flames is deeply ingrained and borne out of evolution. The relaxing effect from fire harks back to prehistoric times when Stone Age man socialized primarily around camp fires – forging strong bonds with others and sharing the safety fire provided from predators.
FIRE HELPS US CONNECT
We’ve come a long way since those days and yet whenever you walk into any home with a fireplace, it will be the focal point, a source of warmth and safety. Heck, even if you don’t have a fireplace, you can now tune in to a TV station that broadcasts a wood burning fire experience all day long. But let’s face it: A constant loop of flames does not replicate the real thing. We doubt your TV offers the same warming effects and it definitely cannot reproduce that authentic woodsy smell.
In a world inundated with iPhones and smart TVs, we basically get the same benefits as our distant relatives – we may not need it for survival reasons, but we definitely need it for mental health reasons.
In this Wi-Fi connected society, a fireplace helps us rekindle that face-to-face bonding experience we need/want. Even if you’re sitting by a fire alone, you just may cultivate a sense of peace and relaxation.
FIRE REDUCES BLOOD PRESSURE
One experiment monitored 226 adults watching a video of a fire, complete with sound effects. Their blood pressure was taken before and after viewing the fire for various periods of time. The result? ‘Consistent blood pressure decreases’ across the participants and the longer people watched the fire, the more relaxed they became.
IT’S THE SIMPLE THINGS
Once you’re equipped with the right fireplace in your home, you will be amazed by how easy it is to simply sit down and quietly enjoy the flames – reminding you to appreciate the simple things in life.
If you’re looking for some warmth, relaxation and perhaps want to save on your heating bills, a fireplace is the perfect addition to your home.
Contact a member of our team today and we will help you find the right one for your lifestyle.