Losses Through Gas Fireplace Vent/Duct?
Climate Zone 6A, Ottawa ON, building a highly insulated house.
Does anyone know what kind of losses you can expect from the envelope penetration for a gas fireplace?
I’m thinking about our new house build and looking into options for our family room. Being a man who likes working with my hands I love the idea of chopping wood and stoking a real fire, but that’s just not a reality for this build. It will either be a gas or electric “fireplace”. Oh, and I get it… let’s not debate the aesthetics of the different types. For me, 99% of the time it will be a black hole in the wall decoration piece. I can see us actually using it about 10 times per year, and mostly for the ambient effect.
We’re up in the air as to whether we will hook up to the NG service at the road; my wife wants NG just “because”, but I’d rather not have it.
With regards to fireplace cost, this is how I see it so far:
1. Gas fireplace is cheaper to run ($/Btu)
This is not a huge deal for me since we won’t be using the fireplace to heat the house, and we will only be using it on rare occasions (movie night, company, etc.).
2. Electric is cheaper to buy and install
All said an done, a gas fireplace could cost up to $10k. An electric could be a fraction of that, especially a thin modern looking unit that can hang on a wall.
3. Gas requires a sizable envelope penetration of questionable air-tightness/insulation
This is the one I’m not sure about. Yes, while it’s operating the gas unit will have a higher Btu/$, but when it’s not working it’s a potentially leaky hole in the wall.
I would like to be able to justify against the gas unit based on the cost of energy losses alone. Anybody care to throw some estimates out there? When it’s sub-zero Fahrenheit outside, how much does a gas fireplace really cost on an on-going basis?
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