"It's not that they don't have any other heat source in their home. Most have electric baseboard or electric radiant in the ceiling. They just choose not to use it."
Think about what you have just said.
If they have electric or other, and they turn that system off in lieu of a vent free fireplace, the vent free fireplace is now their Primary Heat Source, not a Supplemental Heat Source.
Therein is the problem.
See my earlier post on this thread regarding problems that I have personally observed with VF gas fireplaces. I was not exaggerating about the soot problems.
Sorry Ed It's just that I have not experienced the same problems at all. Are the problems due to lack of maintenance? Were they installed in rooms with too little volume for combustion? Just as with everthing else there are codes and manufacturer guidelines that should be followed with each install. Maybe it's substandard or cheap equipment.
The only brands I deal with are Empire and Appalachian.
We must have hundreds of customers with Empire ventless radiant heaters in their homes, work shops, sheds etc. We have even less problems with these than the Appalachian fireplaces I was referring to in my first post.
Look, I'm not trying to say that ventless products are the best thing since sliced bread. I don't even own one myself.
I'm just stating what I have experienced over the past 3 years dealing with them. Before that I was staunchly against them but I'm beginning to come around.
The biggest thing with these type of units (and I can't stress it enough) is: clean, maintain; clean, maintain.
Interesting quote from http://www.ventfree.org
"Based upon data available from manufacturers of the ODS, manufacturers of vent-free gas appliances and data available via legal data bases, there are no documented deaths associated with emissions from vent-free gas products that incorporate an ODS. This data covers a 20 year history during which more than eight million units were sold in the U.S."
ventfree data? The Big Lie
If you really understood the reporting systems in this country you would worry. Aside from the death stats, what about people getting sick? How many people are on Prozac or similar drugs because chronic low level CO caused personality changes? How many people use walkers and such thinking they have Musculo-skeletal disorders from another etiology? How many divorces, murders, arguements, failed history tests, and forgotten chores were actually caused by low level CO? How much national GDP is lost due to illness caused by CO?
Now, how do you separate CO caused by car exhaust, blocked flues, inadequate make up air, house pressure imbalances, disconnected vent pipes, etc. from a ventfree appliance? Who is going to come to the house, perform the testing required and in what journals are they going to write up their findings?
In the meantime, ya'll go out and buy a CO alarm listed to UL 2034 and install it. Then just pray if you ever do get CO that its at least 70 ppm so the alarm will sound. Of course, if it never gets above 69 ppm, you'll get permanently disabled and the alarm will have never sounded.
If you trust those off the shelf pieces of junk, go to Bacharach's site and watch the video of Rudy Leatherman testing national brands for a TV station. Really sad.
BTW, I've run service calls on 7 ventfree appliances over the last 2 weeks for a local stove shop. So far, 7 out of 7 had problems. In one case, the 28,000BTU burner was installed in a room 12x16. Later, the homeowner moved granny into the room stuck in her sick bed. IVs, tube feedings--the works. She is less than 4 feet from the fireplace! (Red Tagged and shut down). So, chicken or the egg--what made granny sick? Could her problems be attributed to chronic low level CO poisoning? We'll never know....
Keep the fire inside the fireplace.
This is why I keep stressing that these units be installed properly and serviced at least yearly. Just as with anything else proper maintenance is key and neglect is not the fault of the manufacturer.
You can say what you want about them but there are millions of these units in service all over the country. I don't think they are going away any time soon. Unfortunately there are irresponsible resellers who don't educate people about the potential danger. Also, there are those who own a vent free unit and neglect them (granny wouldn't be sleeping with the heater if her loving children bothered to read the owners manual).
If you work in fast food do you lose sleep over selling heart attacks?
Should we also advise people not to cook with gas?
The nay sayers would be proud of me. Today I refused to reconnect the gas line to a catalytic heater that was installed in a bedroom.
Re: ventfree data? The Big Lie
They make CO detectors that display the CO ppm at all times. I have one. It has never read anything but zero.
It works fine. I can take it in the garage and plug it in, start the car up (with the door shut) and the reading goes up immediately and the alarm will go off in a very short amount of time.
Do ventless fireplaces put off more heat? Do they put off gas into home?
I get so tired of these type of questions, especially the answers that generally are given from the so called experts. First of all put your night hawk detector back on the wall, if you really want to find out how much CO is generated from a specific vent free appliance ask the manufacturer, better yet do like regular professionals and purchase a combustion analyzer. Most manufactures will tell you normal carbon monoxide out put for there appliances is between 10 and 18 PPM. If you use a combustion analyzer you find this number to be accurate.
I have installed thousands of these units in the last seventeen yrs. AS WE ALL KNOW! They have never been designed for primary heating. (4hrs. max in 24 hrs.) I have one in my home for decoration & emergency.
I have seen the nightmares from these heaters, extensive soot damage, yellow ceilings and much more. The things Need to be cleaned at least yearly and services by some one who knows how to take a proper CO reading.
They are great little heaters But if you want a space heater that can be used for primary heat get a GOOD QUALITY Direct Vent unit “case closed”
Old thread but boy-oh-boy I get tired of hearing this crap as well! Vent Free is great if:
1. Installed in overly "unconfined" space.
2. Absolutely cleaned/serviced regularly.
1. They are the most efficient heater available (especially with a cross-vent fan).
2. Have access to vent (window) for only minutes, if necessary.
3. Believe manufacturers specs re CO output (even 33K output units seldom exceed 20ppm).
4. Most Vent Free are manufactured by Canadian companies!!
Turning a ventless into a vented stove
I was able to get a brand new ventless freestanding stove from Vermont Castings for a great bargain. The problem is that I don't like the idea of gas of
anything to be without venting.
Can I install a cast iron insert boot to the rear of this stove (like the vented
model of the same unit has) and just vent it anyway?
I just can't see anything bad venting the unit.
It would go into a homesaver lined chimney sharing it with a small furnace.
Love to hear what the real pros have to say.
Well we don't do ventfree stuff around here but to me that just sounds like a bad idea in so many ways.