Looking for an energy-efficient gas fireplace?
In Canada, gas fireplaces:
- by regulations, must provide certified testing and report
- have a voluntary EnerGuide label that says how much energy that model uses
Detailed information for manufacturers
Additional information for retailers
Fireplace technology and energy efficiency
Gas fireplaces have become popular features in new and renovated Canadian homes. They are easier to use, cleaner and more efficient than traditional wood-burning fireplaces. Yet, they still provide heat and, with live flames, a cozy look and feel as well. (However, gas fireplace are not an efficient way to heat a whole house.)
Consider the “second price tag”
When purchasing a gas fireplace, ask about its energy efficiency first. The sticker price is only the first price tag; the second price tag is the cost of energy used to run the appliance over its lifetime. Energy efficiency can significantly reduce that ongoing cost. And, energy efficiency covers a wide performance range in the fireplace market, with some models more than twice as efficient as others.
Use EnerGuide to compare energy efficiency
The easiest and most reliable way to shop for an energy-efficient fireplace is to look for the voluntary EnerGuide label for gas fireplaces on the product literature. This government-supported label features a Fireplace Efficiency (FE) rating, e.g., 65%. This allows you to compare different models easily. The EnerGuide label is also your assurance that the product has been tested and certified to CSA standards.
Compare current models of gas fireplaces in our product list..
ALERT: Be aware of the risk of carbon monoxide spillage in your home when you are using a gas- or wood-burning fireplace.
Types of fireplaces
Three basic types of gas fireplace are widely available:
- inserts—installed in an existing fireplace cavity, to convert a wood-burning fireplace to gas or propane
- factory-built (zero-clearance)—installed during new home construction or a renovation project
- free-standing—resemble wood burning stoves, in that all surfaces are exposed; these units tend to heat more effectively than other types.
You can also choose from two basic types of ignition systems:
- a continuous pilot light has a flame that burns constantly, even when the fireplace is not in use. This extra energy use adds up significantly over time. (Turning off the pilot light in periods of infrequent or no use can save energy.)
- an electronic or automatic starter relights the pilot flame for each use, saving energy in the process.
Some homeowners prefer a fireplace with a continuous pilot light because it gives them an auxiliary heat source that is not dependent on electricity. If this is your preference, look for a model with a simple way to shut off and relight the pilot so you can enjoy some energy savings. Or buy a more efficient electronic starter with a battery backup to ensure heat during a power failure.
Regulations set the energy efficiency minimum
All gas fireplaces are subject to Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations, which set a testing standard for their energy efficiency. This helps keep the least efficient products off the Canadian market.
- View the performance standard for gas fireplaces in Canada.
- Learn more about how Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations work.
For more information, see our guide All About Gas Fireplaces [PDF - 429 KB].
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