Many homeowners who have a wood-burning, open-face fireplace have ceased using the fireplace or use it only on special occasions. This type of fireplace may actually remove more heat from your home than it produces. This is due to the amount of combustion air required for older large fireplaces.
An approved chimney for a standard wood-burning fireplace can be as much as $5 per inch or more, depending on the size and location. Then the chimney has to run up through the house and roof to the outside and be enclosed. The cost of this work will be much more than the price of the fireplace.
Another option is a natural gas fireplace that eliminates all these problems and saves you a lot of money in the process. For example, the cost of a chimney is eliminated by a direct-vent through the wall.
I investigated the Insta-Flame DV32, which is manufactured in Canada and is available across the country.
The Insta-Flame also has the option of “up” venting to facilitate installation in a basement or on a partition wall. Also, the Insta-Flame does not use “room air,” the air you paid to heat, for combustion. It brings in fresh air from the outside for combustion into the sealed firebox, and vents the combustion byproducts to the outside.
The dancing flames cause the embers to glow and give the ceramic-fibre oak logs the look of the real thing. The ceramic-glass front provides optimum viewing and radiates heat into the room. There is also an optional fan to extract more heat from the unit and into the room. This unit is only 11.5 inches deep, so it uses less room space than a conventional fireplace. Another very important feature of the Insta-Flame gas fireplace is that it will operate even if you experience a power failure. The gas fireplace, with its milli-volt gas control, will continue to operate and prevent you from freezing if the electricity goes off.
This fireplace is approved for a bedroom installation. And you can operate the fireplace with a remote control — to turn off the fireplace, you simply grab the remote control and zap the fire. A wall-mounted switch or a wall thermostat can also control the fireplace. All gas fireplaces have to be CSA