A gas fireplace can mean warmth and ambience in your home, without having to buy firewood, start and tend to the fire, or worry about burning embers and logs. There are many different types of gas fireplaces and heaters available, some of which can be installed in virtually any area of your home, without a chimney. Note a few factors about gas heaters and fireplaces so you can determine the best type for your space.

Types of vents

There are usually two types of vents for gas fireplaces; one is called a direct vent. This goes through a chimney with a two-part pipe; the outside part pulls in air that is used for the combustion of the flame, and the inside part of the pipe expels air and fumes. These are usually sealed completely behind glass, so that they don't pull in air from the room in which they're installed. The second vent type is called a B vent, and this also is installed with a chimney but without that inside pipe. These use minimal amounts of air for combustion and are usually installed for decorative purposes and not actually for heating a space.

Ventless gas fireplaces are just that; they need no vents and produce very little fumes and emissions. These can be installed in a wall in just about any room of the home, and are usually very small and also used for decorative purposes and not heating.

Fuel type

Gas fireplaces and heaters will work with different fuel types; some are plumbed to work with propane, and others for natural gas such as you get from your city's gas supplies. You need to ensure that you choose a type that works with the type of gas you have plumbed into your home, or be ready to purchase a propane tank or other such gas supply. Ventless gas fireplace and those that are smaller and meant for decoration may be the easiest to manage if you don't already have a gas supply, as they may have their own small storage space for a propane tank and don't require added gas plumbing.

For heat

If you do want to choose a gas fireplace for heating, check the BTU measurement. This refers to British Thermal Units, and is the measurement used for the strength of heaters and furnaces. Check the recommended BTUs for the space where you want the fireplace installed, and be sure you opt for a size of the fireplace itself and amount of combustion it produces to accommodate this.