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Fireplace options

Old 05-03-2021, 10:44 AM
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Default Fireplace options

For the house I'm going to have built in Tennessee. Hopefully the build will start in about a year.

I'm pretty sure I want a fireplace, but I'm not sure what 'kind' I should spec. I do not want a wood burning fireplace. My previous house had one and I hated the stink, cleaning, dealing with wood pile, bugs, etc. The subdivision does not have NG service so if I want a gas fireplace I would have to install a gas tank of some sort. This would open up the possibility of gas stove and gas on demand water heater as well. With gas fireplace inserts it appears there are direct vent, natural (chimney) vent, and ventless. Any pros/cons of these types?

Finally I guess there are electric fireplace inserts. I'm pretty sure I prefer the aesthetics of gas over electric.

I'm not looking for a fireplace to provide much/any heat.

Thoughts?

Thanks.
Old 05-03-2021, 10:59 AM
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I would look at what's the norm for the neighborhood. Even if not used for heat on a regular basis, the capability of burning wood during a power outage is nice to have.
Old 05-03-2021, 11:00 AM
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My wife and I are in the design stages of a new house and just discoved the ethanol "fireplace".

Example - ethanolfireplacepros.com/

Dont know if/when we actually start a new build though.

Eric

Old 05-03-2021, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
I would look at what's the norm for the neighborhood. Even if not used for heat on a regular basis, the capability of burning wood during a power outage is nice to have.
How is that much different than having a gas fireplace to produce heat?
Old 05-03-2021, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
How is that much different than having a gas fireplace to produce heat?
Newer gas devices may turn off when the power goes out.

I was surprised to find out my gas oven shut off... something to check into.

And if you are thinking propane - I would purchase my own tank and shop propane by price vs being locked in with a leased tank and supplier.
Old 05-03-2021, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
How is that much different than having a gas fireplace to produce heat?
Future owner preference potentially, and day to day, gas availability. If roads are iced over I can scheme up some firewood easier than I can an LP delivery. Even if using LP, having a real chimney vs faux fireplace set up for ventless only would come into play there.
Old 05-03-2021, 11:19 AM
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We installed an isokern fireplace a couple years ago on our build. Ours is wood burning but you could do gas. About 1/2 the price of a traditional fireplace.
Old 05-03-2021, 12:18 PM
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My preference is remote controlled gas logs but in a fireplace that's made for wood burning. IMO it offers the most flexibility and resale value.
Old 05-03-2021, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mikefloyd View Post
My preference is remote controlled gas logs but in a fireplace that's made for wood burning. IMO it offers the most flexibility and resale value.
That sounds like a possibility.
Old 05-03-2021, 12:44 PM
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If you go with a wood burning traditional fire place, have them plumb in gas to the fire box. You can use a gas fire starter, if allowed in your locale, and if you choose to later switch to a gas set at a lower cost and easier install.
Old 05-03-2021, 12:47 PM
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There are vented and unvented gas logs. More of the heat will stay in your home with unvented, but not all local building codes permit unvented. I am going to be building a fireplace in my house in the near future and I'm going with unvented as they are permitted where I live.
Old 05-03-2021, 01:03 PM
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We have a wood stove and two gas fireplaces. The one in the great room is a DV sealed gas fireplace. The pilot light keeps is warm to the touch and also easier to light in the winter (the box gets cold over time). On low it’s 15,000 btu high is 40 or 45,000. Doesn’t use a lot of gas on low. We are on propane anyhow for cooking. Ours runs without power if the pilot is lit. It is a Mendota.

With a wood FP, even with a gas log set, you are adding a lot to the cost for build.

not a fan of unvented, even though they are supposed to be safe with sensors and detectors.
Old 05-03-2021, 01:52 PM
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Personally not a fan of the unvented and the smell if they've been running for more than a few hours. I prefer the vented assembled units with a double insulated chimney inside a proper masonry chimney. Good heat output, no smell, remote control.

Also dor the folks who lose their FP during a power outage, remove the front panel, under the firebox with all the controls there is a battery holder, pop in a couple of D-cell batteries and it will work like normal. For your stove/range, I have no guidance my range runs fine, the stove will not because the thermostat and fan are 120V.
Old 05-03-2021, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Jughed View Post

And if you are thinking propane - I would purchase my own tank and shop propane by price vs being locked in with a leased tank and supplier.
Very much this.

I'm probably the only person who hates having gas and hopes to be able to have wood burning in my next house.
Old 05-03-2021, 03:04 PM
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Did the wood stove thing in the 70's cutting my own wood every weekend in the piedmont. I now have a vent less cast iron freestanding unit for when is just a little chilly or when (not if) I loose power here in down east NC.
Old 05-03-2021, 03:45 PM
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The other issue I am dealing with is that the best location for the fireplace is also the best location for the TV in the family room. I don't want to mount the TV more than 48" above the floor so that adds to the fireplace complexity.
Old 05-03-2021, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
The other issue I am dealing with is that the best location for the fireplace is also the best location for the TV in the family room. I don't want to mount the TV more than 48" above the floor so that adds to the fireplace complexity.
I don’t see how that would work regardless of fireplace type without being goofy as hell.
Old 05-03-2021, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
The other issue I am dealing with is that the best location for the fireplace is also the best location for the TV in the family room. I don't want to mount the TV more than 48" above the floor so that adds to the fireplace complexity.
you’re going to struggle with this with a decent sized fireplace unless you do one of the modern/contemporary style linear units. Plan on mantle being 55-60” above the ff with a traditional fireplace

modern fireplace example
https://www.woodlanddirect.com/flame...gaAmL_EALw_wcB

Old 05-03-2021, 04:59 PM
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A gas powered cast iron 'wood' stove would probably fit in the corner of the room. Hmmm.
Old 05-03-2021, 05:25 PM
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After 40 years experience in HVAC I am 100% against unvented sets. Read any unvented appliance manual and it will specify the need for a fresh air source (open window) when the unit is in operation. Illegal in Canada because of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, excessive moisture in combustion gas.
I have direct vent gas unit my home and it may lack the character of a wood burner, but it is extremely convenient, trouble and worry free. Used nearly every colder day in season. It has a standing pilot so it doubles as an emergency heat source if we lose electricity.

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