Best Places to Install a Gas Fireplace in Your Home
Thinking of adding a gas fireplace to your home? Here’s what you need to know about the types of fireplaces out there, what venting they require, where you can install them, and what you can expect to pay, so you can start budgeting and planning…
Does a gas fireplace need a chimney or can I install one anywhere in my home?
There are three main types of gas fireplaces, and each has a different venting requirement that could affect placement:
A ventless gas fireplace doesn’t need a chimney or venting system of any kind. The reason is that the burner is highly efficient and it doesn’t put out much carbon monoxide. With these units, the fireplace essentially vents into the room it’s in. If you’re looking to add a gas fireplace to a bedroom or other small space, you do not want to pick a ventless option.
Note: This is our least favorite option because there can be issues with them (especially if you’re sensitive to odors or prone to headaches), and they’re actually illegal in some states. That said, ventless gas fireplaces are pretty popular in our part of the country.
A vented gas fireplace is what you might have if you converted a woodburning fireplace into gas. This type of fireplace would need to vent through the existing masonry chimney or through a pipe that exits via the roof.
A direct-vent gas fireplace is a closed unit with a glass front. It doesn’t need a chimney because it has a two-pipe system, one pipe for bringing air into the unit for combustion, and one pipe for letting bad combustion air out of the home. This type of fireplace can be vented through the side of the home, much like a dryer vent. Overall, it’s probably the best, most efficient gas fireplace system of the three.
As you can see, because you don’t need a traditional chimney with a gas fireplace, you have more options for where you can put your new appliance. There’s not necessarily a best place to install a gas fireplace, it really just depends on what makes sense for the layout of your home.
That said, in general, you’ll likely have less problems if you can vent your gas fireplace out of the side of the house, rather than through the roof. A gas fireplace vent that exits through the roof is more likely to fail down the road and leak into the home than one that vents out of the side of the building.
As hot as a roof gets, you could have silicone failure, roof failure around the vent, and at some point, a roofer is going to have to replace the roof around the vent, which could cause issues. So, if all you can do is go out through the roof, then do that. But if you can vent through the side of the home, that tends to be a better option with less chance of water problems and leaks.
What’s the typical cost for a gas fireplace installation?
Assuming you already have gas run to your home (if you don’t, add anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 to this cost estimate), and you just want to tie into your existing gas line and put a unit in, cost for installation can range anywhere from $500-$1,000.
The unit itself and venting system can be anywhere between $3,500-10,000+, depending on how nice your unit is. We’ve run some units that were $30,000 or $40,000 for some big hotels. But for a homeowner, a budget of $4,000-$7,000 will get you a nice gas fireplace (and include installation).
Ready to start planning and budgeting for your gas fireplace? We’re happy to help every step of the way. From picking out your unit and location to installation and maintenance down the line, we help with it all. And don’t worry, if you have gas run to your home and simply need to tie into that line when you have your unit installed, we can take care of that for you as well.