High Efficiency Gas Fireplace

By Todd Fratzel on Air Conditioning, Interior Decorating

Installing a high efficiency gas fireplace is a great way to add supplemental heat and an attractive aesthetic feature to your home. Vented gas fireplaces can operate up to 90% efficient, meaning for every dollar of gas you buy 90% of it will end up as heat in your home. Vented gas fireplaces use 100% outside air for burning. This preserves room air quality and maximizes efficiency.

Gas fireplaces offer many great options. You can control them in a couple of ways. One you can turn on a switch located on the fireplace (typically behind the decorative trim panel), second you can hook them up to a thermostat and lastly you can use a remote control.

Gas fireplaces work well with all types of mantels. You can buy pre-fabricated ones or you can build your own custom mantel. See my previous posts on building a custom mantel to see how I built the mantel shown in the photo.

The model we chose for our new home was the Mendota DXV-45. We spent quite a bit of time visiting fireplace showrooms and the Mendota fireplaces seemed to have the most realistic gas log. This particular model looks very realistic when it is turned on. The Mendota “Deep Timber” log fire uses hand crafted logs and some type of metal “wool” type material that creates burning ambers. You’ve really got to see it to understand how realistic it can be.

The other benefit of having a fireplace like this in your home is using it as backup heat when the power is out. Once the pilot light is ignited these fireplaces can be turned on even when the power is out. This model also features a built in fan unit that helps push heat out into the living space. I like the fan because it really does produce plenty of heat in the room while not being so loud that it’s obnoxious.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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2 Comments

  1. michal says:

    Hi,
    I am looking for a gas fireplace myself. Found some that i like, but not really sure which one to choose. I don’t have a working flue in my house, so powaflue fires seem to be the only option. Would you rather go for The Firecraft XL03 or rather Focal Point Platinum . I really like the wall mounted one, as it looks really nice but not sure if it gives enough heat. Can you give me some advice? Thanks

  2. Todd Fratzel says:

    Michal,

    I’m not familiar with either product, however, at first glance I would say the first one is better. The second one appears to be a “ventless” unit. I’ve not had good luck with “ventless” gas fire places. If they have any problems they start producing nasty soot all over your house. Vented fireplaces are definitely better!

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