A fireplace that burns propane fuel may well be the right choice for your home. Propane fireplaces can come as freestanding units, as wall insets, or incorporated into traditional masonry. Propane fuel has a lot of advantages that make it recommendable.
Less Trouble Than Wood
Wood burning fire places are a hassle. You have to buy and store the wood. And when you're done burning the wood, you have to clean up the mess. Propane lets you avoid all that.
No Supply Problem
Another fuel possibility is natural gas. But there are concerns from time to time about natural gas shortages and that can drive the price up. In the 1970s, people with natural gas fireplaces were required to turn their gaslights off to conserve energy.
Heat is another way in which propane scores over natural gas. Propane just plain burns hotter. Its 2,500 BTU per cubic foot is almost 2 1/2 times what you get from natural gas. This makes propane more efficient at heating your home.
Propane fireplaces don't require a chimney. They can be set up to directly vent to the outside. That means you don't have a large damper open, sucking warm air out of the very room you're trying to heat. A direct vent propane fireplace will take all its combustion air from outside, and vent the results back out. The only thing that enters your room is the heat.
Propane is a clean burning fuel. It does not release nearly the level of pollutants, allergens, and particles as wood. With a sealed combustion chamber, a propane fireplace can guarantee that whatever of these products are produced, 100 percent of them are expelled outside the home.
Ease of Use
Click on. Click off. Control the size of the flame with a dial or control the amount of heat with a thermostat. Propane fireplaces are simplicity itself to use. Many of them come with a remote control. You don't even have to leave the sofa to start the fire or to turn it off before going to bed.
When you do go to bed, you don't leave any "dead" embers behind that can be fanned alive by a breeze. You can sleep without worry.
With all those advantages, there are a couple of disadvantages to consider.
Propane isn't piped into your home the way natural gas is. You have to go out and purchase more from time to time. It is typicaly stored in a large tank.
Also, propane does currently cost about twice as much per operating hour as an equivalent natural gas system.