My boyfriend and I are arguing about whether to install a thermostat or a timer on our gas fireplace to moderate the use and heat the fireplace puts out.
Is one better than the other?
You are both correct! Install a programmable thermostat, set up a schedule as well as the temperature you wish to maintain it at for each of the schedules. A good programmable thermostat will allow for a variety of schedules.
See how smart you BOTH are!!
When using a T'stat, timer, or other control on a Fp, the one drawback is....they work! What I mean is, hearth appliances primary utility is visual. Many people complain their 'stat's cycle the Fp off too much so they don't get to enjoy the flame.
BTW, you need to know the ANSI listing of your appliance. If it is a Z21.88 heater rated Fp or Z21.11.2b ventfree, you can connect it to a 'stat legally. However, if it is a Z21.50 decorative rated Fp or a Z21.60 vented gas log, you cannot connect it to a 'stat. This means it was not designed for unattended operation.
So what are some other heat mgt. options? Most Fps today have a variable flame height control, which is simply a gas pressure regulator. If you have forced air ventilation, you can turn it on with the heat 'off' to redistribute some heat while providing ventilation that you need anyway. Some Fps(heater rated) have optional ducts to share some heat into other compts.. You should check with your HVAC contractor on this as it can upset his heat load calculations and may require a permit/inspection/mechanical license. There is even one mfr that make a Heat-Out device for warmer climates to dump much of the heat outdoors on purpose.
If you can install a t'stat to your appliance physically, meaning it is a millivolt valve or electronic ignition AND it is heater rated, consider one of the smart-type remotes that have multi functions including 'stat, timer, blower speed, etc. and usually come with a convenient room thermometer. Just remember the Fp will continue to burn until the room wherever you laid that remote reaches the set temp., so don't wander through the house with remote in hand and misplace it.
Keep the fire inside the fireplace.
Just wanted to say thanks for the info!
You've given us some great info to think about and more switch possibilities to consider, too.
It's much appreciated,