- 8 December 2020
There’s nothing better than a fireplace to create that instant atmosphere of warm coziness in your living room. However, you may be wondering about the practicalities of this home improvement. Can you add a gas fireplace to your existing home? Will Ontario building code – and your budget – allow it?
The answer to both questions is “Yes … if you know what you’re doing.” Read on for our expert answers on how to retrofit a gas fireplace to your home.
Before You Start
Must-Have: Before you do anything else, make sure you have a working connection to a natural gas line. And check out your local building code for all the fine print about gas fireplace installation details and any permits you may require.
Where’s The Best Place To Install A Gas Fireplace?
Conventional-style natural vent gas fireplaces must be located adjacent to a chimney, in order to vent the gases they produce as a byproduct of combustion. However, today’s popular direct vent gas fireplaces work differently; they have a sealed glass door to keep combustion gases out of your home’s indoor air, while a vent pipe exhausts emissions through your roof or an exterior wall. (A third type of gas fireplace, the ventless kind, is illegal in Canada.)
A direct vent fireplace is not only much more efficient at heating (and usually more affordable to retrofit in a home without a chimney), but will allow you more flexibility in choosing just the right spot for your fireplace. So think beyond the living room. Consider installing your gas fireplace anywhere that might strike your fancy — in a master bedroom, your work-from-home office, a basement family room, or even outdoors to warm up your patio on those chilly Georgetown evenings.
What Kind Of Gas Fireplace Works Best For You?
You will find a huge selection of gas fireplaces to choose from.
When you are purchasing a gas fireplace to serve as an important source of room heat, save energy by comparing heating efficiency, as shown on the unit’s voluntary EnerGuide label. Opting for electronic ignition, rather than a continuously burning pilot light, will reduce your energy consumption even more.
We recommend browsing through the attractive traditional and modern designs offered by high quality fireplace manufacturers such as Valor and Regency, as well as talking with a fireplace installation expert at Appleby Systems.
There are plenty of bells and whistles that may strike your fancy, too. These run the gamut from remote-controlled heating to realistic log sets and accessories. You might even want to go for special LED lighting which will create more realistic “wood burning” effects.
Is There A Return On Investment?
The ROI on a gas fireplace installation will probably be minimal, in terms of recouping fireplace installation cost through an increased selling price. However, adding a fireplace will enhance your home’s curb appeal, making it more attractive to buyers and likely to sell faster.