The cost of installing a gas fireplace
A new gas fireplace insert can provide the warmth and comfort your family living room might be in need of – and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Although there is certainly something warm and attractive about the crackle and glow of an elegant fireplace, most home owners today are wary of using their old masonry hearths simply because they have proven to be expensive and inefficient. These outdated designs offered minimal protection against flames or smoke inhalation and allowed that valuable heat to rise up and escape through the chimney vent – leaving you just as cold as when it was first lit. Then there’s the maintenance – large amounts of cleaning and scrubbing to prevent chimney blockages on an annual basis and for so little heat – most have finally learnt that it simply isn’t worth the bother.
If, however, you are intent on keeping the fireplace going in your home, a new gas fireplace insert might be just the thing to replace your incompetent and wasteful natural hearth and can save you time and money in a number of ways:
- Before you purchase your gas fireplace insert you should always get your chimney vent professionally cleaned and insulated – it doesn’t usually cost any more than around £200 but will improve the efficiency of your insert and prevent any internal damage that could result in expensive repairs later on.
- Inserts also function through a two-pipe ventilation system whereby air required for the fire to burn properly is drawn from the cold outdoors rather than the warm confines of your chosen room and waste air is emitted through the chimney vent via a block-off plate. This means minimal heat loss and no wasted energy.
- Gas inserts also use vent-less gas logs or coals to lend the appearance of natural burning in the room, providing a traditional authenticity when they are in fact hooked directly up to the mains gas supply. This makes the insert more efficient than an old fashioned model, and keeps all your gas usage on a single, easy-to-deal-with bill.
- Inserts also come in a range of shapes, designs and sizes for you to choose from and can even be custom made to suit the boundaries of your existing hearth. This saves you the bother and cost of having your old masonry being ripped out of the wall to allow a new fireplace to be fitted.
- In some cases inserts even come with a screw in set of lock-and-snap mechanisms which allow you to fit the insert yourself – saving an additional £200 to £300 in labour costs.
- Most inserts are also cleaner to burn and easier and safer to use than a natural fireplace. Specially insulated glass doors conserve heat and prevent any diffusion of smoke, while many modern units also come with flick-switch or remote control options, or even a three pane glass door accessories which radiates heat around the room for maximum effect.
- Gas fireplace inserts usually come in the form of a steel or cast iron container, which although not necessarily attractive, are extremely sturdy and flame-proof, providing the best security against harm to pets or younger children too.
How much does a gas fireplace cost?
The cost of installing a gas fireplace insert will vary considerably depending on the size of the hearth, but an average unit should generally come in between £250 to £600; an extra £50 to £100 should be added if you opt to include a block-off plate with your model; and an additional £200 to £300 if your hire a professional to install the unit for you. In the long-run, however, a gas fireplace insert should prove a worthwhile investment, as you save money on the wasted energy of a natural burner and reduce the heating bills as you start switching off the radiators, as all the family now sit together, in the glow and comfort of your newly rejuvenated warm and cosy living room.