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Old 11-26-2013, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
165 posts, read 340,563 times
Reputation: 178

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My home has a fireplace on the bottom floor that was originally wood-burning, but at some point, one of the previous owners added a set of natural gas logs. It's pretty and all, but it doesn't really provide any heat unless you're about a foot away from it. It mostly just sucks heat out of my house through the chimney.

I'd like to replace the logs with a direct vent gas insert. I definitely want one with a blower that will circulate heat out into the room, and I'm pretty sure I'd like to have a remote control, and possibly even a wall thermostat.

What should I expect to pay for something like this with installation (ballpark)?

Can anyone recommend a store/installer?
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Cary
2,331 posts, read 2,667,686 times
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Can't you get a ventless log set instead of an insert? if your existing fireplace has an external inlet vent this may be an option. It's something I'm considering but have not yet fully explored this option. Figured if I needed to I could open the flue or I can keep the flue closed to retain heat.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
7,493 posts, read 9,571,879 times
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You might call the gas company. Also, there a few fireplace stores in the area. No idea how much it would cost. Gas logs in an existing fireplace would probably range from $400-$800. But needing the whole insert is another deal entirely, especially if a chimney liner is needed.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
165 posts, read 340,563 times
Reputation: 178
I already have gas logs. They suck.

I think I'm going to try to visit Flue and Flame in Cary. They sell both Valor and Regency fireplace inserts, which I've seen mentioned favorably in other forums.

I just don't want to overpay. I have no idea what's "normal" for an installed fireplace insert.

I'm also not sure about blower vs non-blower. The manufacturers go on about "radiant heat" and blowers are usually an optional add-on kit. Do these things really put out any appreciable amount of heat without a blower?
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:05 AM
 
538 posts, read 914,724 times
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I'd like to know what you find out and ultimately decide. Please keep this thread updated :-)
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
7,493 posts, read 9,571,879 times
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We have a gas fireplace unit (glass front, draws combustion air from outside) in a relatively new house and the heat output with the blower is much higher than without. I would definitely get the blower.
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Near Falls Lake
2,022 posts, read 1,537,903 times
Reputation: 1882
Quote:
Originally Posted by wkrick View Post
My home has a fireplace on the bottom floor that was originally wood-burning, but at some point, one of the previous owners added a set of natural gas logs. It's pretty and all, but it doesn't really provide any heat unless you're about a foot away from it. It mostly just sucks heat out of my house through the chimney.

I'd like to replace the logs with a direct vent gas insert. I definitely want one with a blower that will circulate heat out into the room, and I'm pretty sure I'd like to have a remote control, and possibly even a wall thermostat.

What should I expect to pay for something like this with installation (ballpark)?

Can anyone recommend a store/installer?
Is your current fireplace a pre-fab or lined masonry? What you are experiencing with sucking heat out is common-often the bedrooms get much colder when fireplaces are operated unless there is outside air available-rare. You may look to see if you can add that prior to changing everything out. It makes a big difference.

There are many different types of gas logs with varying BTU ratings. Some look nice but put out very little heat while others can have significant output. Keep in mind there are also vented and unvented logs and systems. Unvented systems generate more heat (no loss up or out a flue) but have inherent safety risks. A "good" set of 24" gas logs will set you back $800 -$1000. Cheap logs often only last a few years. An insert system will start at about $800 and can easily cost over 2000-not including installation costs. If you are counting of any system for heat keep in mind that even the best are inefficient when compared to a gas furnace or heat pump. Blowers help buy are often noisy.

Would I ever have an unvented gas appliance in my house? Not in a million years! Even though they have some safety devices built in (oxygen depletion sensors), I don't care to test my bodies system against theirs! I know that my oxygen depletion sensor will work!
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
165 posts, read 340,563 times
Reputation: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by carcrazy67 View Post
Is your current fireplace a pre-fab or lined masonry?
No idea. The house was built in 1971. It looks like a standard brick fireplace to me. How do you tell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carcrazy67 View Post
If you are counting of any system for heat keep in mind that even the best are inefficient when compared to a gas furnace or heat pump. Blowers help buy are often noisy.
This fireplace is in my family room, which is on the bottom floor of my split-level house. I think the room is roughly 15x25 and it tends to be colder than the rest of the house. I'm just looking for a little supplemental heat for when we're hanging out in the winter time, playing board games or watching a movie. I don't plan on using it as a primary heat source. Efficiency is not a concern at all.

I am concerned about blower noise. If I could get one that would put out heat without a blower, that would be ideal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carcrazy67 View Post
Would I ever have an unvented gas appliance in my house? Not in a million years! Even though they have some safety devices built in (oxygen depletion sensors), I don't care to test my bodies system against theirs! I know that my oxygen depletion sensor will work!
I hear you. No way in hell would I have an unvented fireplace.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Near Falls Lake
2,022 posts, read 1,537,903 times
Reputation: 1882
If you have a brick fireplace it would not be pre-fab. Go to The Fire House Casual Living store on Capital. They have some gas logs that put out quite a bit of heat. Blowers often have a variable rheostat control. In the lower setting they aren't too obtrusive.
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Old 10-22-2015, 11:50 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,699 times
Reputation: 10
Hi I have a gas fireplace with glass doors and a chimney. I would like to add a blower to it to get some warmth into the room. . Is there a way to do this without replacing the entire fireplace unit?
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