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Natural Gas or Electric?

Anna_Zapolskih
Anna_Zapolskih Member Posts: 1
Hey, I live in a really old house, and we have a wood fireplace in bedroom that we never use. I thought about running to this fireplace natural gas line, cos a line to another fireplace is close. My another idea was to make it electric. So my question is - what's a better option - natural gas or electric?

Other fireplaces in the house are hooked up to natural gas. These are purely for looks with no heat output. Would it be economical to replace these old fireplaces actually to produce heat? Are these new furnace fireplaces more energy efficient?

FYI, I live in Chattanooga, TN, so we generally don't have freezing winters. And also if you don't mind advising a contractor to go to in our area.

Thanks!

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,972
    Last question first -- I don't know of any contractors in your area.

    As to natural gas vs. electric for a "fireplace". There are two aspects to this. If you want it to put out heat, you need to consider the cost of each fuel, per BTU. In some areas electric is wildly expensive -- in New England two to three times gas, for instance. You also need to consider how much heat. A gas fireplace will likely be able to put out a lot more heat than an electric one. In other areas, not so much. The other aspect is visual. An electric fireplace always looks like an electric fireplace. Some of them are pretty convincing, but...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    MaxMercy
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,554
    Also a consideration is if the existing gas line is large enough to supply another fireplace or even the existing fireplaces if you changed them to an insert with a significant heating output. Also the condition if the chimney and if you will need a liner.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,972
    @mattmia2 's comment brings up another point. Don't even THINK about so-called vent free gas fireplace inserts or appliances. While they may not always put out significant carbon monoxide --which is quite lethal -- there are other combustion products which they produce which are not particularly healthy... They're fine if they are vented, though.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    kcopp
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,871
    @mattmia2 's comment brings up another point. Don't even THINK about so-called vent free gas fireplace inserts or appliances. While they may not always put out significant carbon monoxide --which is quite lethal -- there are other combustion products which they produce which are not particularly healthy... They're fine if they are vented, though.
    I had seen where Tim had said modern unvented propane heaters were perfectly safe.


    Why would a fireplace be any different?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,972
    Depends on your definition of perfectly safe... I personally object to the various nitrogen oxides -- which are almost impossible to avoid. So far as CO production goes, I think they probably are safe.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,871
    Depends on your definition of perfectly safe... I personally object to the various nitrogen oxides -- which are almost impossible to avoid. So far as CO production goes, I think they probably are safe.
    What about candles?

    Hurricane lanterns and oil lamps burning smokeless oil?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • fentonc
    fentonc Member Posts: 103
    I'm with @Jamie Hall on this one - it's mostly about the volume of nitrogen oxides you're producing (and the flame temperatures involved, I don't know how candles and oil lamps compare). If you're running anything that's generating a significant amount of heat, it's also generating a significant amount of byproducts in the air.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,554
    ChrisJ said:



    Depends on your definition of perfectly safe... I personally object to the various nitrogen oxides -- which are almost impossible to avoid. So far as CO production goes, I think they probably are safe.

    What about candles?

    Hurricane lanterns and oil lamps burning smokeless oil?

    Those aren't great ideas for a variety of reasons either. Of course the amount of fuel burned in those is minuscule compared to a fireplace or space heater.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,021
    A cold pan of water on a gas stove burner puts out Co. Hot flame touching a cold pan chills the flame causing Co. Just saying.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,554

    A cold pan of water on a gas stove burner puts out Co. Hot flame touching a cold pan chills the flame causing Co. Just saying.

    which is why you need a range hood vented outside
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,871
    A cold pan of water on a gas stove burner puts out Co. Hot flame touching a cold pan chills the flame causing Co. Just saying.
    Great you're going to get the "ban gas stoves" people fired up again.....


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,871
    edited April 20
    mattmia2 said:
    A cold pan of water on a gas stove burner puts out Co. Hot flame touching a cold pan chills the flame causing Co. Just saying.
    which is why you need a range hood vented outside
    Most places don't seem to require this and I know more without a vented hood than with.

    I have one thats strong enough it keeps the stink and all of the smoke out even when self cleaning the oven, but apparently I'm not the norm.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,972
    Candles and oil lamps don't burn hot enough to have a significant NOx problem. The trade off is hot enough to reduce CO to essentially zero, and I'll admit that most modern gas fired heaters do pretty well at that and you get NOx; cooler so you don't get the NOx and you get CO...

    Or you can use catalytic converters...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 724
    Or you can use catalytic converters...
    A catalytic converter on a ventless log set. Lol