The Right Gas Fireplace for You This Winter


“There’s a freeze coming…”

Well, not quite. Unlike the psychedelic rave styling of Gotham in Batman and Robin and the aftereffects of Mr Freeze aka Arnold Schwarzenegger, here in Sydney we don’t have to worry about things literally freezing, although it can definitely feel that way sometimes – particularly if you have circulation like I do.

Now, while I dream about one day having central heating in my home, at the moment it’s simply not an option due to prohibitive costs. But the one thing that I did do last winter is have a new gas fireplace installed in my lounge room.

I’m writing this today to teach you what I learned from the process of getting a new gas fireplace so that you can learn from my lessons!

I decided to upgrade my little portable gas heater for the lounge because, for a start, it was pretty ugly and dated. I had a perfectly good fireplace there that I’d used many moons ago for open wood fires although those days were long gone. It was time to gas it up baby.

I was sold on gas because who can be bothered keeping tending to a wood fire? Not me for sure. Ok, so it was time to check out gas heating options. I was super keen on keeping the look of my open wood fire. I didn’t really like all of those gas fireplaces that were in the glass box – to me it looked too artificial and not rustic enough.

So I started checking out my options that looked like an open wood fire. Let me tell you – this was a mistake. When you are looking at heating options what you want to research first is how heat efficient it is – how much heat it puts out, how big of a space can it warm. Looks should be secondary. Do I care what my fireplace looks like when I still have to wear 3 layers of clothing in the same room as it? No, I do not.

Anyway, so I chose a gorgeous gas fireplace, had it installed, it lights like a breeze and looks absolutely fabulous. But it doesn’t do a great job! Arrrrg. Silly me.

So my advice to you – check out the heat efficiency first. Check it out before you are ooh-ing and ahh-ing over sexy gas fireplace designs. Because in the end looks should always be secondary. Like my ex-boyfriend. I was bowled over by his good looks but after sometime I realised hey, there’s not as much going on under the hood as I’d really like. Yes, I’m always learning. And yes, shout out to Pete, I just compared you to my fireplace.

If I didn’t already have a fireplace inbuilt in my existing home I would have been tempted to take a look at freestanding gas fireplaces, too. Some of these are pretty rustic looking, which, as you will know now is my thing. The thing to remember about these is that it’s going to cut into the floor space in your room – so it’s not ideal when you’re not playing with too much space to begin with. Often if this is the case you’re better off going with an inbuilt design so that you can maximise what you can do with your room.

The most important thing to remember, I guess, is that you want the trifecta of fireplace design – puts out enough heat, is unobtrusive, and looks great too. If you can get all three of these things right, then you’re doing extremely well – otherwise just the two will probably do.

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