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

brianrooky | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

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?

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  1. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #1

    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.

    http://www.hearthstonestoves.com/store/gas-products/gas-stoves/tribute-direct-vent

    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.).

    http://www.hearthstonestoves.com/store/gas-products/gas-stoves/sterling-direct-vent

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