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What's your favorite high-efficiency natural gas fireplace?

We're building a small house with a small heating load. Thinking about a high-efficiency fireplace with electric backup.
What unit(s) do you recommend?

Asked by brian evans
Posted Jun 3, 2014 1:15 AM ET
Edited Jun 3, 2014 6:43 AM ET


1 Answer

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All space heating solutions start with the heat load calculations. Almost all gas "fireplaces" would be more than 3x oversized for a "small heating load", but without the actual heat load number it's hard to say.

Masonry chimneys are a bit of a pain to air seal, and even when tight represent a fairly big hole in the insulation.

Small direct vented gas-fired high-thermal mass wood-stove- based units are probably going to be more appropriate. The direct-vented Hearthstone Tribute throttles down to as low as 10,500 BTU/hr out (and up to 18,000 BTU/hr), which should work for a lot of small-load situations.


The bigger Sterling can drop to 12,000BTU/hr (and is lower efficiency at low fire), but can crank out a whopping 38,000BTU/hr at high fire (which is NOT a small load- it's enough to heat a typical 2400' code min house in New England.).


Answered by Dana Dorsett
Posted Jun 5, 2014 11:19 AM ET

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