New gas heating stoves are a common alternative to wood stoves and traditional fireplaces. They are a much cleaner option, without the negative impact to the environment or to our health of older stoves. They do not emit large amounts of toxins and other pollutants.
Gas stoves are often installed to replace traditional fireplaces. They can be installed the existing opening (see image at left) or as a fireplace insert. In this case, the existing fireplace chimney becomes the exhaust for the insert/stove.
Situations where gas stoves Can make sense
Vented gas stoves are easy to install, making them a good option for zone heating, that is, to selectively heat rooms or parts of the house.
But there are also medium and large-capacity gas stoves, suitable for heating small houses or homes with high levels of insulation, or larger open plan houses - even in colder climates.
Gas heating stoves can be replaced by one or two direct vent wall gas wall heaters. These gas units are a safe and flexible solution, typically less expensive than gas stoves.
These units (including gas fireplace inserts, which in practical terms are gas stoves designed to fit the opening of existing fireplaces) burn very cleanly and emit little pollution (a reason why they aren't to the legal framework of wood stoves).
Just make sure that you buy a very energy efficient unit, with outside venting, and have it installed by a certified technician.
There are various alternatives to gas stoves, and it’s important to know if they suit your purposes.
Situations where gas stoves do not make sense
If you aren't interested in the aesthetic side of stoves, or in replacing an old and inefficient stove or fireplace, you have other heating options, including wall gas heaters (direct-vent gas wall furnaces).
Prefer a direct-vented gas stove. That's important for safety. See: Direct Venting Vs. B-Venting.
These last units are the most direct alternative to gas stoves and have the advantage of being very flexible and cheaper.
They are common, in warmer climates, in many countries, to meet the heating needs during the winter months. But they can also play a key role, in cold climates, in super-insulated homes with very high levels of air-tightness.