WHAT IS A VENTLESS FIREPLACE?
Ventless gas fireplaces, also known as Vent-Free, are completely freestanding and do not require a chimney or venting system. Because there is no venting hot air does not escape outside the house. This makes Ventless fireplaces a popular option as a supplemental heat source.
HOW DO VENTLESS FIREPLACES WORK?
To assist combustion, cool room air is drawn into the firebox. Air flows around the firebox, before returning to the room as heat.
The ventless gas fireplace is highly efficient, which means that there are very few gases left after combustion. The majority of the remaining gases will be water vapor or carbon dioxide. High levels of carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases will not be present.
Because Ventless fireplaces use oxygen to burn, water vapor is created. This can cause condensation on your windows and throughout the house.
A little moisture is a good source of humidity in the winter, but more can lead to mildew and mold growth.
You can open a small window to restore equilibrium to your room if you feel there is too much moisture. A hygrometer can also be installed to monitor the moisture levels in your home.
To maintain normal humidity and oxygen levels, it is recommended that you only use your Ventless fireplace one hour at a time and no more than 4 hours in a day.
Just like Direct Vent fireplaces, Ventless fireplaces can be equipped with safety barrier screens to protect from injury. Although Ventless fireplaces do not have to be equipped with a safety barrier screen they are a wise investment.
WHAT KIND OF VENTING DO I NEED?
No venting is required.
WHERE CAN I INSTALL A VENTLESS FIREPLACE?
Ventless fireplaces have greater restrictions regarding location, size, media modification, and elevation.
Since the air inside the room is being circulated through the fireplace oxygen depletion and air quality are concerns. Ventless fireplaces cannot be used in small rooms with a limited oxygen supply.
Ventless gas logs must be arranged in a particular pattern to prevent the flames from touching them and causing harmful byproducts to flow directly into your house.
The manufacturer calibrates ventless gas fireplaces to burn a certain air-to-gas ratio. This leads to efficient combustion and leaves very few byproducts.
You will need to adjust the gas output of your fireplace if you reside in an area at higher altitudes, like Colorado. This is to compensate for the thin air found at altitude. This can be done during installation by licensed gas professionals or the manufacturer at the time of purchase.
You will need to check the building codes of your city and state to determine if any restrictions apply and what size room is required to install a Ventless fireplace in your home.
ARE VENTLESS FIREPLACES SAFE?
Although they’re generally safe, ventless fireplaces do come with potential health hazards regarding the quality and quantity of oxygen inside the house.
Due to this many states have stringent regulations regarding installation and use, California notably being the strictest.
A built-in oxygen sensor (ODS), is required for vent-free appliances. This helps maintain the oxygen level above 18% (anything below that is considered unhealthy). If the level drops below 18% the ODS will shut off the gas flow to the fireplace.
To ensure sufficient oxygen in the room, Ventless gas fireplaces can only produce 40,000 BTUs an hour. (BTU = British Thermal Unit, a measure of heat output) The maximum BTU output for bathroom or bedroom installation is limited to 6,000-10,000 BTUs per hour.
Because combustion air can’t escape through chimneys, ventless gas fireplaces increase the odors in your home. A Ventless fireplace’s odor will be strongly affected by the use of perfume, air fresheners, and incense as well as pet dander and dust.
The lungs can be irritated by the exhaust from the fireplace. You should avoid installing a ventless gas fireplace if you have severe allergies or respiratory problems like chronic bronchitis or asthma.
You can purchase ventless gas fireplaces in all the same styles Direct Vent is available in. With Linear again being the most popular.