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Choosing A Propane Hearth: 4 Questions To Ask

fireplace installation vermontNothing beats settling in front of a warm fire on a cold night—except doing it at the click of a button, without set-up and cleanup hassles. You can get all those benefits and more when you install a propane hearth.

If you’ve been considering adding a propane fire feature to your Vermont home but don’t know where to begin your search, here are some basics to get you started.

Propane Hearth Considerations

When it comes to choosing a propane hearth, you’ll have four basic choices to make: what type of equipment you want, how it’s vented, how much heating power you need, and how you want your hearth to look. Let’s break those four choices down.

  1. What type of hearth do you want? – The first question you’ll have to answer when choosing a propane fire feature is what form it will take. There are two basic categories of propane hearths:
    • Propane fireplaces and stoves, which are free-standing or wall-mounted devices that you install where there was no previous structure; and
    • Propane fireplace inserts and log sets, which are devices you add to an existing masonry mantle to make it more efficient and convenient.

    The choice here largely depends on whether or not you have an existing fireplace mantle and chimney in place. If you do, you’ll want an insert (which is a sealed, glass-enclosed combustion box that fits inside the mouth of your fireplace) or gas log set (which sits where the wood logs would otherwise be).

    Whichever choice you make, you’ll then have three follow up questions:

  2. How will it be vented? The two most common propane hearth venting options are direct vent and vent-free.

    Direct vent models use a narrow pipe to send exhaust outside your home; they are typically higher powered and less efficient (think of them as attractive space heaters).

    Vent-free models are lower powered units that emit a small amount of exhaust into your home; they are typically used for decoration rather than as a heat source.

    The one that is most practical and safe will depend on conditions in your home, local fire and safety requirements, and your budget. Our propane fireplace experts can help you choose the option that’s right for your home.

  3. Are you using it for heat or for show? Vent-free propane fireplaces are installed primarily to create a welcoming ambiance in your room. Although they don’t produce a lot of heat, they are extremely efficient, which means you can run them for hours without spending a lot on fuel. If you are using your propane hearth as a source of heat, or want a more realistic wood fire experience, you’ll want a direct vent model. The BTU output of a direct vent gas fireplace is largely determined by size; the right hearth for your room is one that physically fits in the space while also being able to keep it warm without overworking.
  4. How do you want it to look? Whether you choose a propane fireplace, a propane fireplace insert or log set, or propane powered pot-bellied stove, there are many trim features and options to choose from. If you need a particular look to match your décor, just ask—we’ll help you find a propane hearth that works perfectly in your space.

Our propane hearth experts can help you answer these questions and any others you might have so you can get started on the road to your dream propane fire feature!

Come home to a beautiful fire at the flick of a switch this winter—contact Junction Fuels today to learn more about propane fireplace installations in Central Vermont!