There are numerous ways to heat a home. Wood fireplaces are a popular alternative but gas is largely used in residential properties around the world. Gas heaters and gas fireplaces are effective in heating living spaces. However, the two are different in design and application.
The gas heater
Gas heaters are great appliances for heating small spaces. They are designed to burn natural gas, propane, liquefied petroleum gas or butane to generate convectional heat. The first commercial gas heaters were sold in the 19th century. The design was inspired by the Bunsen burner but has seen a lot of development over the years. Gas heaters are primarily divided into two types:
· Flued heaters
A flued gas heater is more often than not a permanent installation. The vent system is set up to channel emissions away from the house to ensure safety. The vent also facilitates gas combustion to generate heat. Each flue is customized to meet the emission capacity of the gas heater. The permanence of flue heaters is great for living spaces designed to bear the same layout.
· Non-flued heaters
They are also known as flueless heaters or vent-free heaters. The heater can be installed as a permanent unit or serve as a portable appliance. A catalytic converter is found in most flueless heaters. It controls the heater’s emissions and ensures safety. Caution should be practiced when using a non-flued heater. The heater should be used in well ventilated spaces and switched off before sleeping.
The gas fireplace
Gas fireplaces resemble traditional wood fireplaces. The main differences are: gas fireplaces require minimal cleaning and offer great fuel efficiency. Traditional gas fireplaces had anemic blue flames that reduced its appeal. Fake logs were added to the design to yield a convincing aesthetic but they were not enough. However, modern designs glow red embers and tall orange-yellow flames that can pass for the familiar wood fireplace. Ceramic-fiber logs installed in the fireplace resemble real deal. There are different types of gas fireplaces
Inserts are installed in pre-existing fireplaces. The log-and-burner set is housed in a metal box enclosed in a larger box. The fire warms up the air occupying the space between the two metal housings and radiates heat to the living space. Both vent and flueless options are available for inserts.
· Log sets
They are the least expensive gas fireplace. Log sets are simply a stack of ceramic logs laid over a gas burner. The log sets can be housed in a pre-existing fireplace. All you need for the conversion is electric lines and holes for the gas burner. Most log sets are flued but ventless options are available.
· Built-in gas fireplace
Designed like inserts, built-in gas fireplaces feature a metal box-within-a-box construction. The fireplace doesn’t need an existing fireplace or a chimney. Vented units cycle air and exhaust directly through an exterior wall opening. Vent-free units, which exhaust into the living space, have a fixed glass or metal panel.
Gas heaters and gas fireplaces are both excellent heating solutions. However, they differ in design and function. Before you get one installed in your home, confirm it will serve your needs.