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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    29

    vented vs non vented

    I'm building a family room and would like to add a natural gas fireplace. Looking for advice on vented or non vented. What would you install in your home given the choice and what are the top manufacturers of natural gas fire places.
    Thanks,
    Ed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Howell, Michigan
    Posts
    16,176
    I don't care what anyone else says, but I won't hook up a gas line to anything that dosen't have a vent. In my opion you are just asking for trouble.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    29
    Thanks Bob!


    Quote Originally Posted by HeyBob View Post
    I don't care what anyone else says, but I won't hook up a gas line to anything that dosen't have a vent. In my opion you are just asking for trouble.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Powell River, BC, Canada
    Posts
    763
    VENTED!!!

    Regency rules!


    And that's all I gots t say about that.
    Where are you? Are you done yet? I got ONE more call for you.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    29
    I'll check out "Regency."

    Quote Originally Posted by gasguy View Post
    VENTED!!!

    Regency rules!


    And that's all I gots t say about that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Go Direct Vent all the way

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    392
    There are several things to think about when looking for a gas fireplace. Look at what you want from it, heat or looks. How many hours a day it will be used. How tightly your home is sealed. What part of the country that you live in and many other things.

    There are many people that knock vent free gas fireplaces, but many of them have never even SEEN one and/or worked on one. I have worked on many many vent free gas fireplaces and have found them most to be very safe. Let's think about it.....would the Government allow us to do anything to harm ourselves?

    A direct vent fireplace may be best for you because of how tightly the homes in the Northeast are built. They draw air from the outside and use no indoor air for combustion.

    Vent free gas fireplaces are very efficient. They are 99.9% efficient. There are drawbacks with them as well. They sometimes produce too much heat, they add moisture to the air and if not properly maintained, can cause odors as well.

    Vented fireplaces are very inefficient and actually take your already heated air and draw it up the chimney and out of your home. They are the most realistic looking units out there though.

    It would be best to contact a fireplace professional in your area that does frieplaces and NOT a HVAC company. They know HVAC very well, but not many of them know much about fireplaces. One in your area should be able to inform you as to what is best for you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,205

    Confused Ummmm

    Hey Rob, you wanna reconsider this statement? :
    "Let's think about it.....would the Government allow us to do anything to harm ourselves? "

    You mean like cars, tobacco, junk food, atmospherically vented combustion appliances.....?

    Sorry, that was just too good.


    Yes, you need to keep an open mind and educate yourself before making a decision. In reading your post, I would clarify a few points: The 99.9% efficiency for ventfree does not take into account the construction of the home, makeup air, etc., which will tend to drive that number down a bit. Still, a ventfree will cook you out in most applications.

    When you referred to vented fireplaces sucking heat up a chimney, you need to distinguish an open hearth vented fireplace from a direct vent sealed combustion unit. Some direct vents have AFUE ratings approaching 80%, which puts them in the same category with your typical water heater or Cat.1 furnace. Not too shabby.

    Regardless, you need to get a high quality carbon monoxide monitor that is NOT UL listed to 2034. Off the shelf CO alarms are almost junk. See www.COexperts.com

    HTH
    Last edited by hearthman; 03-07-2007 at 09:34 AM. Reason: I like to be neat and orderly

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    29
    Thanks for flipping the coin. I do have some local fireplace shops close by but wanted to seek some advice from people here.
    My room is 28x38 with a 16' cathedral ceiling. It will use radiant heat. I was hoping that the fireplace would take the chill off the room in the morning.


    Quote Originally Posted by logdoc_rob View Post
    There are several things to think about when looking for a gas fireplace. Look at what you want from it, heat or looks. How many hours a day it will be used. How tightly your home is sealed. What part of the country that you live in and many other things.

    There are many people that knock vent free gas fireplaces, but many of them have never even SEEN one and/or worked on one. I have worked on many many vent free gas fireplaces and have found them most to be very safe. Let's think about it.....would the Government allow us to do anything to harm ourselves?

    A direct vent fireplace may be best for you because of how tightly the homes in the Northeast are built. They draw air from the outside and use no indoor air for combustion.

    Vent free gas fireplaces are very efficient. They are 99.9% efficient. There are drawbacks with them as well. They sometimes produce too much heat, they add moisture to the air and if not properly maintained, can cause odors as well.

    Vented fireplaces are very inefficient and actually take your already heated air and draw it up the chimney and out of your home. They are the most realistic looking units out there though.

    It would be best to contact a fireplace professional in your area that does frieplaces and NOT a HVAC company. They know HVAC very well, but not many of them know much about fireplaces. One in your area should be able to inform you as to what is best for you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    392
    I guess I could have put a at the end of my statement about Govt, but there are risks to everything and when the instructions aren't followed, things can get bad very quick.

    Oh heck, it's time for a cigarette and a Double Whopper with cheese and a choc shake !!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,205
    Quote Originally Posted by logdoc_rob View Post
    I guess I could have put a at the end of my statement about Govt, but there are risks to everything and when the instructions aren't followed, things can get bad very quick.

    Oh heck, it's time for a cigarette and a Double Whopper with cheese and a choc shake !!!!
    Do you deliver Rob? There's white stuff coming down here again!

    Seriously, you hit the nail on the head. Play by the rules, know what you're doing, and assist your customers with making informed decisions.

    Hey, if you ever think things are bad, consider the Wash. D.C. Fire Dept. Their manual has to be approved by Congress! Can you imagine what that looks like?? Poor buggers...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Quote Originally Posted by logdoc_rob View Post
    Vented fireplaces are very inefficient and actually take your already heated air and draw it up the chimney and out of your home. They are the most realistic looking units out there though.
    This possibly describes B-Vented fireplaces. Most fireplaces sold nowadays are Direct Vent which do not directly interact with the air in the house AT ALL which gives you a healthier home. Also as hearthman said some are pushing 80% efficiency ratings which is very impressive.

    Having an unvented fireplace in a house to me would be like having a gas range without a range hood (I have seen it done and I think thats scary). All the combustion by products just dump right into the house and if all the walls are sealed tightly so energy conservation you will have a lot of moisture in the house from the fireplace.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    392
    I feel your pain about the white stuff Hearthman.......it only got up to 60 degrees here on Monday. Darn the bad luck. You get all the fun up there in Yankeeville !!!!

    Yes, we need to educate our customers, that's why I consider my service call 50% service and repair and 50% customer 101. The more they know, the more they will feel safe using their fireplaces........the more they use them, them more they need to see me !!!!! $$$$$

    I feel sorry for our wonderful firefighters on DC......I thought WE had it bad.

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