When talking about gas stoves or gas fireplaces, coverage and efficiency are important to consider to make sure you get the best stove for your home. Coverage and efficiency are related but separate issues that involve the effectiveness of your heating appliance. So, if you have questions about either of these terms and are considering a gas fireplace, this is the article for you.
When we talk about coverage for gas stoves, we are talking about the amount of space your stove can heat. Unlike wood stoves, gas stove coverage is judged only by BTU's. Gas stoves have varying vent types and capabilities, so it is best to evaluate their coverage by looking at the square feet of space you are trying to heat and multiplying that by 30 to determine the BTU's you need.
You can decrease the number you multiply by to 15 if you live in a warmer climate. You can also increase it to 40 if you live in an area with temperatures that are consistently below freezing. The adjustment on those numbers will help you account for your environmental differences & make sure you don't get too much, or too little, coverage.
- Kingsman Direct Vent Gas Stove
Now, let's move on to efficiency. The term efficiency relates to how much heat is lost up a stove pipe. Wood stoves are much less efficient than gas stoves. They can have as low as a 15% efficiency rate. That means up to 85% of the heat can be lost through the venting system. While gas stoves overall are more efficient than wood stoves, some gas stoves are better than others.
- Warm fireplace to enjoy
Direct vent fireplaces (and stoves) are far more efficient than b vent fireplaces and stoves. Direct vent stoves are so much more efficient because they have a closed combustion chamber and coaxial venting system. This setup allows cool air to be pulled from the outside for combustion and makes sure air isn't sucked out of the room once it's warm.
- Direct vent fireplace diagram
A B vent gas stove is similar to a wood burning fireplace because it has an open firebox. While it may seem like having a firebox open to the room would allow for more heat to flow in, that is not true. The combustion that happens inside the open firebox ends up acting like a vacuum and sucks all the warm air out and up through the vent pipe. That makes this type of gas stove much less efficient than a direct vent stove (or fireplace).
- Napoleon direct vent or b vent gas stove
It's important for you to understand the difference between coverage and efficiency before you make a purchase. Everyone has different needs. So, understanding the abilities of the fireplace or stove you are interested in will help you decide if it is right for you. And help you avoid making an exchange for one that is not.
If you have any questions about gas stove coverage or efficiency, please don't hesitate to call us at 800.203.1642.