Valor has played a major role in revolutionizing the fireplace industry. For over the past 40 years, we have introduced thousands of North American families to distinct hearth products and superior home comfort. Discover more about the Valor comfort zone, BTU's & more.
Valor fireplaces are designed to provide the maximum amount of forward focused radiant heat, up to 40% of total heater output. By comparison, a central warm air furnace delivers no radiant heat. Advantages of radiant heat include - faster heat, warmer floors, walls, and furniture. It is also quieter as there is no fan running. You will also feel more comfortable at lower room air temperature settings, providing further opportunity for energy savings.
Understanding the Comfort Zone
An overview of BTU's, adjustable heat and the Valor Comfort Zone.
What is a BTU?
A BTU or British Thermal Unit is the amount of heat required to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit. All gas appliances are rated in BTU's/hr Input which is an approximation of the amount of gas consumed on full fire in one hour as expressed in terms of the heat potential of the gas. Depending on the design and efficiency of the appliance, a certain proportion of the heat generated from burning ends up as useful heat in the room (Heat Output) while some portion is lost to vents and chimneys (Flue Loss). All Valor models are tested and certified to Heater standards and therefore are rated for Heat Output. This is determined at full fire, without optional blowers and after the heater is up to operating temperatures.
How many BTU's will I need?
The amount of heat you will require will depend on a number of factors such as room size, insulation levels, amount and type of windows, climate and the type and use of other heating systems in the home. It will also vary from hour to hour, day to day and season to season because of these same factors. To give you a general guideline, studies average winter home heat requirement was between 10,000 and 20,000 BTU/hr. Specifically, a 1300 square foot house in Vermont with average insulation required 14,000 BTU/hr in January and February.
How does the Comfort Zone relate to BTU's?
The Comfort Zone is that area in your home that can attain an even comfort level using a steady burning efficient heat source like a Valor fireplace Heater. Depending on your house layout and fireplace location, the Comfort Zone may be one room or a complete level or zone. In Fall or Spring, a Valor may easily provide comfort for the entire home. The amount of BTU's of heat necessary to maintain this Comfort Zone is in the range of 5,000 to 15,000 BTU/hr. This relatively small amount of heat can be very effective, especially when it is constant like a Valor and not on/off like a furnace. In fact, too large a heat output will overheat your room. Many competitive brands promote large BTU input models playing the old "Bigger is Better" game. With a truly efficient zone heater, this is simply not the case.
Why is adjustable heat output so important?
All Valor heaters are designed with variable heat controls that you can turn down very low if required. You'd be surprised how many competitive brands can only be turned down a little or not at all. Valor's wide operating range and ease of adjustment allows you to match the Heat Output to the heat required providing maximum use and enjoyment. A big BTU fireplace with limited turn down is just another furnace and will not provide a Comfort Zone.
How is Valor's modulating control better than a thermostat?
Valor control systems, when set to thermostat mode, automatically adjust (modulate) the burning rate to match the heat requirement of the room. You select the temperature you desire on the handheld remote control and the fireplace regulates itself, burning as low or high as needed to keep an even room temperature. By contrast, conventional thermostats regulate heat by turning burners on and off rather than up or down. This results in fluctuating room temperatures and a fire effect that is unnatural and erratic to say the least.
How does radiant heat figure in the Comfort Zone?
From the warming rays of the sun to the embers of a hot open fire or glowing stove, people have enjoyed the soothing sensation of radiant heat since the beginning of time. Valor fireplaces are designed to provide the maximum amount of forward focused radiant heat, up to 40% of total heater output. By comparison, a central warm air furnace delivers no radiant heat. Besides the superior feel of the heat, advantages of radiant heat include - faster heat, warmer floors, walls, and furniture. It is also quieter as there is no fan running. You will also feel more comfortable at lower room air temperature settings, providing further opportunity for energy savings.
Should my gas fireplace have a fan/blower?
Valor fireplace heaters are so effective at producing both radiant and convected heat that a blower will not do a lot to improve your comfort. Blowers cannot deliver radiant heat nor will they influence air circulation much beyond the immediate area of the fireplace.