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Getting optimal performance depends on more than just choosing the right equipment.

  • Consult with experts: Ask an energy advisor or licensed contractor how a high-efficiency gas fireplace could transform your home.
  • Ask about design and operation: Ask your energy advisor or contractor about types of gas fireplaces, types of venting, and ignition versus pilot lights.
  • Ask about efficiency: Ask for its Fireplace Efficiency rating based on the CSA-P.4 test method. Tests using this Canadian standard for measuring annual fireplace efficiency have shown that some units operated in the 30 percent range, while the better units ranged from 50 percent to 70 percent. In many gas fireplaces, a pilot light (a small gas flame) ignites the main burner as the unit is turned on. A pilot light can consume from 600 to 1500 BTUs of gas per hour if left on, significantly increasing annual energy costs. Consider instead a gas fireplace with an automatic starter, such as an electronic ignition eliminates the need for a continuous pilot.
  • Use an accredited installer: Contact an approved TECA (Thermal Environmental Comfort Association of BC) or HRAI (Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada) installer.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.