Dear Dr. M,
I have a gas fireplace that came with our new house but it doesn't seem to throw any heat - what's wrong?
Mr. S. Hivering
You, unfortunately, have been saddled with a case of "builder-itis". That's when a home builder opts for a cheaper, less efficient product and hopes that the home buyer won't notice until it's too late. In many cases, home builders install non-efficient, decorative gas fireplaces that throw little, if any, heat.
Most of these cheaper units come with tempered glass which doesn't retain and disperse heat like a unit with ‘ceramic' glass will. With some of these cheaper units a fireplace fan will help disperse heat more efficiently but, without ceramic glass and a proper heat exchanger, there's not a lot you can do to ‘fix' your existing unit.
My suggestion: buy a Snuggie.