I'm installing a gas fireplace and was wondering if it is better to
use a wall switch to turn it on or use a thermostat? I would imagine
that with a thermostat it must be constantly going on and off all the
time. Please let me know your experience with each.
We purchased the smallest unit like 35,000btu, can be cut back to like
10,000btu. It is not over sized for the area, large room that opens up
to another room, no door way just wide open. The guy that sold it to
us said basically before it really gets cold cut back the btu to a low
flame and when it gets cold crank it up. I can kind of relate because
when I had a wood stove before the new year we couldn't really crank
the stove on most days. After the 1st of the year when it got really
cold it never got uncomfortable in the house. I also have a cold air
return in the room that I was also thinking of turning on the furnace
blower to get rid of some of the hot air if it got too uncomfortable.
My point I guess it that I think it is sized for the area and if I
move the air a bit with a ceiling fan and the furnace I was hoping
that we could keep it lit all the time. What do you think.
They make remote controls with thermostats so you can put it any where in
the room. Also I assume this is some kind of insert. Make sure it has
ceramic glass which is far better than tempered glass. It can take much
With a SPDT center-off switch and a little ingenuity, you can have your cake
and eat it too!
Incoming hot wire connects to common terminal of switch. Switch terminal
that connects to common in "position 1" goes to fireplace hot wire. Switch
terminal that connects to common in "position 2" goes to thermostat. Other
wire from thermostat also connects to fireplace hot. Fireplace neutral
connects to incoming line neutral.
When switch is in center position ("off"), fireplace will not run. When
switch is in position 1 ("on"), fireplace runs continuously. When switch is
in position 2 ("thermostat" or "auto"), fireplace runs only when thermostat
calls for heat.
Naturally make sure the switch and thermostat are rated for the load - in
particular you'll probably want a thermostat that's rated to control a 120
Use a simple thermostat, like a Honeywell T87. If you want it to run
constantly, just turn it all the way up! If you want it off, set the stat to
the low end, I think it is 45F. If you leave it set at 45F the fireplace
will come on if your furnce fails, and keep your house from freezing if you
are not around. You can set it at 70F and it will run as needed to heat the
Keep in mind that most gas fireplaces are not as efficiant as a typical gas
furnace. It probably will cost you more money to heat with the fireplace
than your furnace. Run the fireplace because you like to watch it burning,
not as a primary source of heat.
===We have a gas firplace that we use for our primary heat. We have a two story 6
year old house w/the fireplace in the first floor living room. The fireplace is
appx. 25k btu to 41k btu (oversized for our 1350 +/- sq ft.) and we cannot
leave it on all the time. In fact, our house is well insulated and our gas bill
runs from 250.00 to 400.00 per season for the firplace. In our case, it is very
cheap heat (in PA) but, it must be turned off and on. Until January, I light it
only for a short while in the morning and evening. Only on the very coldest days
do I leave it on for hours at a time and when that happens, it really uses the
Thanks guys. I forgot to mention that the thermostat needs to be a
milivolt accepting thermostat. I'll have to check if that one can do
milivolt. The fireplace unit I have I think is more efficiant than my
furnace. I think my furnace is around 85% and I think the gas fire
place was either 86 or 89. It is a unit that uses the outside air to
to burn. I was thinking about turning the thermostat way up to have
the best of both worlds.
Just a word of caution! Gas fireplaces are not tested with the same
standards as gas furnaces. In my opinion, most fireplace manufacturers are
pretty liberal with there claims of efficiancy.
Run is as you want, your gas bill will let you know in the end!
Look here at the Skytech 3301. It is a handheld remote thermostat. It can
be set to ON - Thermostat - Off. It will do what you are looking for.
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