If you are thinking of installing a gas fireplace, you are looking at choosing from diverse models and types. In addition to freestanding, zero tolerance and traditional types, you also have the decision to make concerning venting. Do you want a vent-free or a direct vent gas fireplace?
To Vent or Not to Vent: That Is the Question?
Three types of venting options exist for gas fireplaces. While the flames do not produce pollutants such as odor or smoke, it is responsible for releasing carbon monoxide and nitrogen and sulfur oxides into the air. Vented and vent-free options are designed to eliminate concerns about these problems. Each has their advantages. It is up to you to research each type of gas fireplace thoroughly. Below are descriptions for each type together with recommendations.
Vent-Free Gas Fireplaces: A vent-free gas fireplace lacks a flue (vent). This frees them to be positioned anywhere. In fact, you can hang them from the ceiling or on the wall. They are rated high in energy efficiency because almost all the heat remains inside the room. However, so, too, do the pollutants. As a result, it is essential to have an oxygen-depletion sensor. This will automatically shut off the fireplace if the level of oxygen reaches below normal.
If you are considering this option, check first with your city or county. In some states and cities, this is not an option. They have banned this product from residential use.
Direct Vent Gas Fireplace: This option is considered to be the safest. It is also the most energy efficient. This is a two-pipe system with one pipe feeding fresh air directly into the firebox. This is for combustion. The other pipe, meanwhile, removes all the toxic fumes away.
An advantage of this system is it does not need a chimney to function. The pipes can go up a flue, but they can also enter and exit through any opening in the exterior walls. You can even vent it our vertically through the roof. This makes the location of the system more versatile than a traditional fireplace system. Energy efficiency of these pipes is between 70 to 85 percent.
A Vent Free or Direct Vent Gas Fireplace: The Choice Is Yours
If you are thinking of getting a gas fireplace, do look at all your options carefully. Read the reviews and consult the experts. No matter what your choice – a vent-free or direct vent gas fireplace, always have it installed by a reputable, experienced professional.
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