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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Roswell, Georgia
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    Your opinion on this fireplace? MY Personal Home

    Hi guys, this is an area a little bit foreign to me.... But some of my instincts tell me to question this.

    Here's the story: in my own personal home we are building a screen porch on the back of the house. 16 x 16 with a vaulted ceiling which is quite tall.

    It occurred to me if I go ahead and enclose this with the Windows that click open to 75% screen Weathermaster? I think... I can add a mini split, then it can be 250 ft.² and add $25,000 of value to my house. A screen porch adds little or nothing because it's not heated and cooled space.

    I want to have a fireplace in this area. The room will be used as a screen porch, with the option of closing these pretty cool windows and using the mini split during pollen season or when it's too cold or too hot.

    The wall of my house is where the fireplace would be located, it's actually on the back of the chase where my vented gas log insert fireplace is in my living room.

    I first looked at those ethanol fireplaces and read about them. My opinion was so-so they run from 500 to 12,000. I want a pretty upscale look as I am going to build a stone surround 2 inch thick, with a nice wood mantle on top of it, and mount a TV over the top of the mantle. This is going to be a pretty nice outdoor room.

    My wife looked around at some fireplaces on the Internet and she came up with this one: it's the Napoleon WHVF31 (google it) wall-mounted vent free fireplace. It's a natural gas appliance. It would be easy for me to get a natural gas line there from my crawlspace. The problem I am coming up with is vent free.

    These manufacturers have put safeguards on the units, oxygen depletion sensors, they are approved in the state of Georgia, etc etc, have good reviews, etc.

    I want to say that this fireplace is mostly for ambience and I wont be running it 6 to 8 hours at a time ...or sleeping there. In addition the screen porch (turned into an outdoor room) will have eight windows that are 36 inches wide and 84 inches tall. These windows can be opened any amount ....5-10-15 20 25%, 50%, or 75 percent of the way to give me some ventilation when using this fireplace. Remember I will have the mini split to keep warm with when needed, the fireplace will be for ambience and decorative flames.

    Appliance is 20,000 btu. room 2560 cu ft, plus huge gable 1300 cu ft, so room has plenty of volume. I could also vent the chase to the outside a little bit with an opening.

    What do you think ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Columbus Ohio
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    If you are installing a heat pump mini split, Im sure the ventless gas fire place will be fine but dont quoit me on it.

    I know people that partially heat their homes with those wall mounted ventless gas heaters and have had no issues so far (knock on wood).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Athens, Ohio
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    Your instinct is correct.
    My personal view is that ventless fireplaces should be outlawed. Vent-free just means your house is a chimney. Not only are CO and CO2 produced, but water as well. The accounts of mildew from such heaters are readily available online. If the door to this room is closed, it wont take long to reduce the oxygen to the point that the combustion process becomes immediately dangerous. Its an accident waiting to happen.
    I have a customer with a ventless heater in a basement bedroom. His wife practices the flute in that room. I tested combustion with the door open and had 5ppm CO. When I closed the door, the CO started to rise in 5 minutes.
    I dont run my car to heat the garage or the oven to heat the house. And I dont recommend any ventless appliance.

    If its ambiance you want, get an electric fireplace with faux flames.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Atlanta GA area
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    The person to ask...

    Is Hearthman... if he still posts here.

    In the absence of Hearth...

    Suggest to PM Jim Davis (caption CO)... the guy who works for NCI and teaches the Combustion and CO classes all over the country.

    Jim is an expert on CO issues...

    Now my personal opinion:
    If you are determined to do this... get a low level CO monitor... and make plans to deal with the increased humidity.

    Might want to figure out a way to do combustion air and vent air; some way to create a stack effect in the room... to let fresh air in and the fumes out.

    One more thought... and this is just speculation: I wonder if the combustion process will create any particulate matter... might want to watch the air filter on the mini for a while... until you determine a proper cleaning cycle.

    BTW: What I saw of the room the other day... It looks good!

    Your comfort, Your way, Everyday!

    GA's basic rules of home heating and AC upgrades:
    *Installation is more important than the brand of equipment
    *The duct system keeps the house comfortable; the equipment only heats and cools (and dehumidifies)
    *Cheap is not good, good is not cheap; however expensive is not a guarantee of quality!
    Choose your contractor wisely!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Roswell, Georgia
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    Thread Starter
    I did a compromise. Technically this furnace is legal vent free. I know and you know it makes stuff we should not breathe nonetheless. I was trying to have a small low profile fireplace with a real flame (my wife wanted to get a vent free ethanol fireplace because her sister just got one) and some of those were 4K-12k !

    There were options for direct vented fireplaces using a triple wall product, but it was too big and expensive. I didnt want it to protrude into the room.
    Because this was a deck converted into a large sunroom, I had ways to use the small vent free unit, but give it lots of combustion air. I drilled lots of 1 holes in the deck below it and ran a 6 flue going out the roof ....dropped it right over the FP unit to give it combustion air high and low.

    I feel better about this now. Real flame, nice looking fireplace, but lots of air exchange near the unit. And the unit is only 7 deep.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Code varies state to state. Some states they are outlawed. Some states they are allowed. In Wisconsin the are only allowed in homes built prior to 1980.

    Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk

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