Consumers are all fired up about gas fireplaces. In fact, gas fireplaces are one of the most sought-after home features in new home construction, because they can be placed in almost any room in your new home and come in a wide range of sizes and styles.
Today's gas fireplaces offer great options for architects and designers to showcase a room, while adding significant value to the home's resale value. One of the big attractions to gas fireplaces is they add ambiance and warmth to a room, while looking realistic. Another benefit is that they are more affordable and energy-efficient than a wood fireplace and are easy to operate and maintain.
Homeowners particularly like that don't have to store or haul wood, worry about insects or struggle with starting a fire, because with a gas fireplace it only takes a flip of the switch.
Some Key Considerations:
There are two basic models of gas fireplaces, the direct-vent and vent-free units:
Direct-vent units represent the majority of gas fireplace sales. They pose no indoor environmental concerns, but they must be located relatively close to an outside wall, Don says.
Vent-free units don't require venting to the outside, which makes these units a bit controversial. Some in the industry say that they are safe as long as they are well-maintained and used properly, while others insist that since they have no venting, they pose a threat to indoor air quality and safety. Be aware that some states don't permit the installation of vent-free fireplaces.
If gas fireplaces strike you as being low-tech, take a look at some of the recent innovations, which offer positive features in both aesthetics and comfort:
The trend is for unique designs and styles in fireplaces. Each manufacturer is trying to outdo the other. You'll in find fireplaces that resemble a picture frame on a wall or are mounted over a television; in glass cylinders that look like an eternal flame in the living room, and even in elaborate displays that combine fire with water.