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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Construction & Renovation > Gas Fireplace

Gas Fireplace Cost


How Much Does a Gas Fireplace Cost?

 
low costConverting with Gas Logs: $300-$600average costMedium: Ventless $400-$1,500+high costDirect-Vent: $1,800-$3,800+Installed; Top-Ventilated Inserts: $1,800-$3,900

Enjoy the warmth and beauty of a fireplace without chopping or hauling wood, cleaning up ashes, or fretting about the potential for chimney fires -- that's the appeal of gas fireplaces. The flames come from a gas jet and are available at the flip of a switch or the touch of a remote control. Whether you use a direct-vent, top-vented or ventless model will depend on local building codes and the layout of your home (such as whether you have access to a chimney or an outside wall).

Typical costs:

  • An existing wood-burning fireplace can be converted to gas with the insertion of gas logs, which look like real wood but are made of non-flammable materials. Vented gas[1] logs (need a working chimney) run about $300-$550, and ventless/unvented gas logs (without a working chimney or pipes) are $350-$600, with installation estimated at $200-$350 for a basic project, according to Hearth.com. An important part of installation is hiring a licensed contractor to install a gas outlet in the firebox. Once that's done, HGTV.com describes how to install gas logs.
  • Top-vented gas fireplace inserts are also used to convert a traditional masonry wood fireplace to gas. They have a gas log set inside a steel or cast-iron heat exchanger (usually sealed in front with glass), and are vented through the chimney using a two-pipe system. Options include fans to move the heat, remote controls, wall switches and wall -mounted thermostats. Inserts cost $1,200-$2,900, with professional installation adding another $600-$1,000.
  • A direct-vent gas fireplace doesn't need a chimney and is a way to add a fireplace where there isn't one. Installation is through an outside wall, and a pipe-within-a-pipe feature lets air in and exhaust out with just one vent. Direct-vent units average $1,200-$3,200, with installation running from $600 for a basic hookup to $5,000 or more for a fancy fireplace surround, according to Hearth.com[2] . Higher-priced popular options include a timer or a remote control. ThisOldHouse.com provides a video showing how to install a direct-vent unit[3] , which is estimated to take 2-3 hours and require moderate skills (building the recess for the fireplace is a separate project requiring more time and skill).
  • Ventless (also called vent-free or unvented) gas fireplaces don't need a chimney or vent, and are either zero clearance (right against a wall) or close clearance (a few inches away). They cost about $400-$1,500 plus installation of the gas lines and any desired mantle or surround. Some states do not allow the use of ventless fireplaces or restrict their use. Some ventless models require you to keep a window open while using the fireplace. AceHardware.com provides an overview of vent-free gas fireplace operation and safety[4] .
Related articles: Chimney Sweep, Central Heating, Radiant Floor Heating, Hot Water Baseboard Heater, Furnace

What should be included:
  • In a gas fireplace, ceramic logs on a gas burner create realistic flames; many units include a heat exchanger for increased efficiency. Popular Mechanics explains how gas fireplaces work.
Shopping for a gas fireplace:
  • DoItYourself.com gives tips for choosing an efficient and safe gas fireplace[5] and Hearth.com presents a gallery of gas fireplace installations[6] .
  • Search for gas fireplace manufacturers or retailers[7] through the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/gas_logs_general_introduction
  2.  hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/gas_fireplaces_and_stoves
  3.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,1638712,00.html
  4.  acehardwareandhearth.com
  5.  www.doityourself.com/stry/gasfireplace1
  6.  hearth.com/gall/main.php
  7.  www.hpba.org/@@locator
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