Installing a wood gas fireplace should be done after carefully weighing all of your options. Whether it's gas, electric, wood, or wood pellet fueled, the preparatory work will differ. Each installation process is different given the assortment of home types. One of the benefits of a gas fireplace is that it does not require a chimney. Direct venting to the outside as well as sending powered heating ducts to other rooms of the house are possibilities.
Major Benefit: Efficiency
The major benefit of installing a wood gas fireplace is its efficiency. Many old-fashioned, traditional fireplaces, whether masonry or zero clearance models, are totally inefficient. Not only do they often have an efficiency rating as low as 15%, but they may compound the problem by drawing warm indoor air to the outside. Burning wood requires oxygen for fuel, and if it can't get it from outside air, it was suck up indoor room air.
Wood gas fireplaces are fueled by natural gas but have a traditional appearance and aura. Equipped with naturalistic, ceramic logs and real-looking "burning embers," one can hardly tell the difference between a wood gas fireplace and a real wood-burning fireplace. In terms of installation, there is no chimney, flue liner, or chimney cap to worry about. The installation process for a gas fireplace differs depending on its types. Full gas fireplaces are more involved, requiring large enough space for the enclosure, a direct venting system, and any additional heating ducts. Gas fireplace inserts, on the other hand, work with an existing masonry or zero clearance fireplace.
For homes that have an existing fireplace that either is not used or is entirely inefficient, consider a gas fireplace insert. They come in an assortment of sizes designed to fit into fireboxes of virtually any size. The insert itself installs into the existing firebox, followed by the surround panel and any custom panel in front of that. Gas inserts require venting, but this can often be facilitated through the chimney.
Installing a full gas fireplace enclosure is more complicated, as it potentially involves venting without the aid of a chimney flue. Both horizontally- and vertically-terminating vents are available depending on the home. Assuming that the home's design does not preclude a horizontal direct vent, it's slightly more efficient. If the intention is to heat other rooms, a power heat duct will need to be installed. This also entails a built-in fan to move the heat to a different location. State-of-the-art wood gas fireplaces feature a double chamber direct vent. This allows outside air to be brought in while exhaust goes out through the inner core of the vent. It's a highly efficient and space-saving design.
Not only does a wood gas fireplace look like an authentic wood-burning variety, it is an incredibly efficient way to heat a room or a whole home. With an efficiency rating as high as 85% to 90%, nearly all heat generated is fully utilized, with little to none of it being drawn back out of the home.