These units burn natural gas or liquid propane to create a warm fire and work well as a supplemental heat source. They often require ventilation through a chimney, flue, or pipe, but ventless options require no venting. When choosing a ventless gas fireplace, check local codes to ensure your area allows them.
Many differences exist between gas and electric fireplaces besides their fuel type. Unlike electric, gas fireplaces allow you to experience real life flames instead of just the appearance of them. Additionally, you can typically use a gas unit during a power outage where an electric fireplace would be unusable. However, depending on the type of fireplace they use, they may start with an electronic ignition switch. These options may come equipped with a back-up battery to continue to operate. Compared to wood-burning, gas options don't require you to haul or clean up wood. Natural gas fireplaces usually connect to a gas line to provide fuel while other options may use liquid propane.
Sierra Flame offers decorative fireplace options that include decorative rock media, like this 65-in Austin fireplace, or a log set, like this 30-in Abbot fireplace insert. Additionally, some allow you to control parts of the unit with a remote control.
Gas fireplaces can vent in several ways, including B-vent, direct vent, and ventless options.
B-vent, sometimes called natural vent fireplaces, use the air inside the room for combustion. They typically only use a minimal amount of air from the room. These fireplaces vent outdoors using a single pipe to vent emissions.
Direct vent options use outside air for combustion instead of the air inside the room. A direct vent fireplace uses a double vent pipe. The outer chamber pulls in fresh air while the inner chamber exhausts the fumes from combustion. Direct vent fireplaces work as an energy efficient heating possibility.
Ventless, sometimes referred to as vent-free fireplaces, do not require venting. They still cycle the products of combustion back into the room, but in an amount considered within safe parameters. However, because they emit these fumes into the room they’re placed, they may not be allowed in all regions or require restrictions to use.
As self-contained units, gas fireplace inserts install inside an existing masonry fireplace. A masonry fireplace refers to the traditional wood-burning fireplace, including the chimney, integrated into the home and constructed from stone, brick, or mortar. This means gas inserts can install in traditional wood-burning fireplaces to retrofit them to gas. A gas fireplace insert sits inside a metal box contained within another bigger metal box which fits inside the fireplace.