It’s the element of a room that takes over your senses. The gentle flickering of light is eye-catching, always welcoming you into the heart of your home. It is a focal point and the ambiance is undeniable. Pleasing to the eye, the experience of amber and gold waves echo off of your skin as radiating heat effortlessly wraps around your body.
This is the experience that you’ve always wanted in your house. This is the experience that makes a home.
As a homeowner in Northern Ontario, the reasons to install a gas fireplace in your home are abundant. The look and feel they bring to any room, ease of use and oh-so-satisfying salvation from the bitter cold are the obvious pluses. But beyond the glaring benefits of a gas fireplace, this type of heating is much more than aesthetic – it’s practical, if you know what to look for that is.
“Gas fireplaces aren’t a challenge to find these days, and this leaves the impression that the only thing setting one apart from the other is how it matches home décor,” explains Justin Furano, General Manager at Topline Electric and Heating in Sault Ste Marie. “But make no mistake, not all products are created equal.”
“Customers should know what features make a quality fireplace, so they can be confident the fireplace they install fits their needs and lasts them for decades to
So what are some of the most important features to look for in a gas fireplace?
Radiant Heat Technology = Efficiency
“Using radiant heat to bring warmth and comfort to a room is much more efficient and comfortable than relying on traditional blower motor system found on most fireplaces,” says Topline’s GM. Radiant heat travels across a room and is captured in objects in its path, which in turn reproduces more heat with less effort. “Radiant heat is the same type of short-wave heat created by the sun. This heat type is what gets captured in dark clothing, or on the dash of your car in the summer.” The benefits of radiant heat can be seen in your home, but also in your wallet. According to Valor Fireplaces, “radiant heat satisfies human comfort requirements with up to 30% less energy when compared to warm air systems.”
No Power Necessary
Remember that time the power went out and you froze because it was -30 degrees and snowing? Of course you don’t. That’s because the gas fireplace you purchased doesn’t require electricity.
Look for a fireplace that doesn’t need power to run. It will be more economical and reliable during the times you need it the most. “Gas fireplaces look great in the home, but they should always serve their purpose,” says Furano. “And that’s to provide heat.”
Easy to control
Remote controlled fireplaces are both easy to use and efficient for your home. Control temperature with the touch of a button and program when your fireplace
turns on and off so you get the desired warmth at the time you want it – even before you enter the room.
As an added benefit, look for a fireplace with a remote controlled pilot light. If you’ve ever had to light the pilot on your fireplace you know how inconvenient and challenging it can be – it often involves disassembly. “Unless it’s being cleaned by a trained technician, most people don’t want to take their fireplace apart,” explains Furano. “The best thing a remote control can offer is remote starting of the pilot light when needed. This allows you to turn the pilot off when not in use, and keep your fireplace in one piece when you want to start it back up again.”
Finding a remote control with a Thermostat mode to self modulate heating demands in your home will also help improve efficiency and lower your heating cost.
What’s that sound?
The comfort a gas fireplace brings to your home should be seen and felt but not heard. The hum of a fan can ruin the harmony in a room. “We partnered with companies like Valor because their products offer the added benefit of providing radiant heat without fans, eliminating distracting background noise,” says Furano.
Your gas fireplace should fit the design of your home. Look for a company that allows you to customize elements of your fireplace like the fuel bed to thoughtfully
complement the aesthetics of your room. Valor offers a wide range of fuel bed options as well as a design centre that can be used to customize and visualize the perfect fireplace for your home.
“Topline carries high quality brands to give our customers the most reliable options with features to suit their exact needs,” says Topline’s GM. “We want our customers to have the best experience for their home long after the product is installed. Big box stores serve a purpose, but there are some products that should be handled by the pros. We deal with exclusive fireplace brands you won’t find in department stores. And with them, we provide an unmatched level of customer service that is second to none.”