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  1. #1

    Confused direct vent or vent free

    I'm sure this exact post is on here, but I am feeling pressure from my builder to get exact dimensions for a fireplace quickly and need to decide what kind. I live in Texas and it will run off propane, I have been reading about the condensations problems with the vent free. Which do you think is better a direct vent or vent free? It seems to me vent free would still have to vent somewhere, but that is what my local installer sells and swears by. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Andover Kansas
    Posts
    2,115
    Welcome to the site daddio887,

    Hope you find it to be a enjoyable place. IMO, I would go direct vent as I think the vent free fp's are a joke....although that's just my 2 cents. However any fireplace is going to use up propane if used very often.

    Take care,
    .


    The statement below is my signature and just my overall feeling towards our industry and does not necessarily pertain to you nor this thread.


    There really isn't a legitimate excuse for not doing the job correctly!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    23
    Yes vent free does vent somewhere, it vents into you living space. Direct Vent is the only way to go where possible

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    62
    I have a direct vent gas stove in my living room & am very happy with it. I would pass on vent free.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    17
    I had a reputable company just quote a gas fireplace in the living room. The guy said he had been in houses where they had a vent free and he could see where the joists were in the ceiling because of the moisture. He highly discouraged it. He said the vent free might work in an area that has a lot of outside air exchange or is only used for short periods of time. I know it costs more but I don't think moisture problems are worth it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    62
    Worth the extra cost for direct vent. The one I have is free standing cast iron with enamle paint. I think it is a dover or something, had it for 14 yrs. The wife loves it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    32

    Exclamation

    About 3 years ago, me and my partner worked at this high end condo in , MD. We were to install temperature sensor to tell switch on furnace in every condo. Those condo had a lot of busted sprinkler in vacant condo due to frozen pipe. We installed like 5 or 6 condos and came across this condo and found one of the resident there pass out with the vent free gas fireplace. We call 911 and took her away. So I am highly recommend Direct Vent fireplace

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    392
    Vent free gas fireplaces can cause moisture issues is homes that do not breathe. Living in Texas, your climate does not require a tightly sealed house like those who live in the frigid areas. Here in South East Virginia, the Summers have humidity levels around 80-90% humidity. The Winters are quite dry, around 10-30% humidity and homes here actually benefit from that extra moisture.

    You will find many people that have opinions on vent frees, but have never seen, or worked on one. Sure, is operated improperly, they, like anything, can cause problems, but I service as many as 100 VF's per month and have not seen any of the problems in my area that are described above.
    Common sense is NOT common !!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Huntley, IL
    Posts
    25
    I like the fact that everyone here dislikes the ventless units and prefers direct venting. You want the byproducts of combustion to go outside, not into your living space. In addition, ventless units may not be used as a heating source; they are intended to be used as decorative appliances... the problem is if your primary heat source goes out, the temptation to use the ventless appliance may kill you. If you still decide to purchase a ventless appliance, make sure it does not exceed 20 btu per square foot of space being heated (IMC 501.8).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    23
    I think eyeseeitall ment 20 btu per cubic foot

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Huntley, IL
    Posts
    25
    Correct-20 btu/h per each cubic foot- and its the IFGC (Fuel Gas Code), not the IMC- thank you for the heads up.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Fogelsville, Pa.
    Posts
    117
    Working for the local gas company I serviced alot of both and yes vent free is 100% efficiant but more dangerous if not serviced proper or if the burner malfunctions at least if its vented a faulty burner will vent outside. and they say to crack a window for vent free. who wants to do that. direct vent is the way to go. do your research, just dont go to the local big hardware and pick up the first direct vent. spend a little more $ for a reputble unit.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    392
    I'm just wondering what "burner malfunctions" you are referring to?
    Common sense is NOT common !!!

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