Direct vent gas fireplaces are very popular because they can be vented without a masonry chimney. Instead of requiring custom-built structures, these gas appliances use special double-wall pipe and can be vented horizontally through a wall or vertically through a roof. This allows them to be very flexible in terms of placement and much easier to install than traditional wood fireplaces. You'll also find that most direct vent fireplaces feature a high efficiency rating, thanks to glass doors that radiate heat while preventing warm room air from being lost up the flue.
By kitty mobbs from Thermopolis, Wyoming on November 4, 2012
I have a Vermont Casting direct vented gas fireplace free standing. The pilot won't stay on; as soon as I let go of the light button it goes off. Can you help me?
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on November 5, 2012
This issue is often the result of a dirty or partially clogged pilot assembly. In order to clean the pilot, the nut that is threaded to the end of the pilot tube will need to be loosened and disconnected from the pilot assembly.
The nut is approximately two inches down from the end of the pilot tube. The tube can then be cleaned out with compressed air and the nut re-tightened.
By Rachele from Forest, VA on November 23, 2013
I would like to replace a vent free fireplace with a direct vent fireplace. My current framing dimensions are 38" W x 40 3/8" H and 24 1/4" D. The fireplace currently sits in a bump out on the side of the house. Do you have a recommendation of a model that would replace the current one most efficiently (i.e., without a lot of framing changes)? The current surround is granite.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on November 25, 2013
One of the best fits for sizing to your current opening is the Napoleon GD36NTR Direct Vent Gas Fireplace - 36-in., as this model requires a 37 1/4 inch framing width, 38 1/2 inch height, and 14 1/4 inch depth. The unit is also able to be converted to a rear vent configuration, allowing you to install a short horizontal run of vent piping to the outside of the bump out.
By Tony from Cleveland, OH on October 15, 2014
I would like to install a direct vent gas fireplace in our master bedroom. The room is 225 sq/ft with a 10' ceilng. I am concerned that the units will put out too much heat. This application would only be used to augment our whole house heating. Is there a unit with a small enough BTU output? What would you suggest?
By eFireplaceStore on October 15, 2014
A good option for your installation would be the Napoleon BGD36CFNTR Clean Face Direct Vent Gas Fireplace - 36-in.. This is a low output model that also has the ability to turn down the output to a mere 10,000 BTUs, which is better suited to your room size. Another option is to use a hot air exhaust kit with the unit. This allows you to continue using the unit at full flame height, but exhausts a good amount of heat to the outdoors when the unit is operating, preventing it from heating the room to an uncomfortable level.
By David Woods from Seattle on January 2, 2013
For a direct vent gas stove, I have room to install either a rear-vented or top-vented stove. Are there advantages to one over the other regarding efficiency?
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on January 2, 2013
If feasible, it is preferable to go with a top vent model, which you can then run the vent pipe up a short distance (1-2 feet), then elbow out 90-degrees and terminate on an exterior wall.
By Debbie from Santa Cruz, CA on January 7, 2014
I have a small office that is around 350 square feet in California. I am looking for an inexpensive fireplace that will heat but also add ambiance. We currently do not have a heater in the office but we are plumbed for natural gas. What would you recommend as an affordable option? Would I also need some kind of mantel to put it in, or would it be free standing?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on January 7, 2014
By Bill Werner from Grand Island, NE on January 2, 2013
I have purchased a new 6000CL fireplace and want to vent directly out the back. I have 14 inches from the back of the unit to the outside wall. I have been told locally that the draw is not as good as using the top.
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on January 3, 2013
Indeed, a top-vent application that has a one or two foot rise before elbowing 90-degrees through a wall is preferable to a rear-vent. However, in most cases a 14" rear-vent run is perfectly acceptable and should work fine, as the normal maximum straight horizontal run is around 20".
By Jake from Cincinnati, OH on February 23, 2015
I installed my new direct vent fireplace. Do I need to seal the hole where the thermocouple and thermopile wires come through into the firebox?
By eFireplaceStore on February 24, 2015
You will indeed. It is a bit odd that this hole is not already sealed, as this is usually done at the factory. However, the holes can easily be sealed with a high temperature RTV sealant, which is commonly available at auto parts and home improvement stores.
By Craig from TN on March 17, 2014
Can I do a basement install with a direct vent LP gas log fireplace?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on March 17, 2014
Yes, a direct vent fireplace can indeed be installed in a basement. If you are horizontally terminating the venting system, the horizontal termination cap will need to be at least 12" above grade (perhaps more per your local code or the manufacturer). We have snorkel termination caps available to help achieve this clearance, if needed for your application. Please let us know if there is a specific model that you have questions about and we can provide more specific information.
By Candid Arcidy from Bedford, NH on February 19, 2014
I want to replace a wood stove that has an 8" vent collar and want to know if I can replace it with a direct vent fireplace (propane). I prefer wood burning so is there a direct vent fireplace insert for wood?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on February 19, 2014
Direct vent fireplace by design are gas burning appliances. The venting system required for them is an aluminum and galvanized steel combination that is not suited for wood burning. Most wood burning appliances do have provisions for a combustion air intake, but it will depend on the model.
By Lee from MI on October 4, 2014
What is the smallest wall natural gas fireplace that you offer?
I currently have a B vent fireplace. Can I replace it with a direct vent? Do I have to replace the pipe through the roof or use what is there?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on March 4, 2013
A B vent type of fireplace certainly can be replaced with a direct vent model. However, the venting system is different. A larger direct vent pipe, usually 7 inches in diameter, must be used. If you have a 9 inch by 9 inch area to contain the pipe, retrofitting to a direct vent fireplace would be fairly easy.
By Tricia from Dallas, Texas on January 3, 2013
We have 2 direct vent fireplaces in our hi-rise condo. We did the break in period burning totally. However , we are still getting a plastic burning smell, especially after about 1 1/2 hours into burning. Why? It smells bad and I feel it is bad for us to smell.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on January 6, 2013
Per your description, it sounds as if a component such as a wiring harness or remote receiver may be installed too close to the firebox inner chassis and is overheating. Is this smell coming from both units or just one. Also, what material was used to finish around the fireplaces? Can you see any smoke or a haze in the air when burning the unit?
By Mary from Salisbury, NC on November 13, 2014
I have a vented natural gas fireplace that does not have a blower. There is an outlet under the fireplace. The model # is TC36N by ESA. What type of blower do I need and can we install it ourselves?
By eFireplaceStore on November 14, 2014
Installation of a blower on this model is fairly straight forward. The blower needed is the FMI Rotary Type Fan Blower with Magnetic Attachment. The blower allows magnetic attachment to the inner bottom cavity of the fireplace and is simply plugged in to the junction box in the same area. A manual switch should already be in place with the unit to control the blower.
By James from Dayton, Ohio on January 24, 2014
We have an existing direct vent fireplace and are looking at replacement options. We do not like the glass front of the direct vent, but also do not want to remove the wall vent and try and match our exterior masonry. Are there options for this type of situation or are we just stuck with trying to match masonry or with a capped off vent?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on January 27, 2014
The only possible way to keep your existing horizontal termination vent is indeed to get a replacement direct vent fireplace, which of course will have a solid glass front. However, the vent may need to be replaced regardless, as many direct vent models require a specific type of coaxial (pipe-within-a-pipe) vent system. Please reply with your existing manufacturer and model information and we can advise on if re-using what you have in place may be possible.
By Tim from MI on February 8, 2015
I want to replace my Majestic DVT36RN with a minimal amount of adjustments. It is a natural gas fireplace that is vented from the top and gives off 25,000 BTUs. What would you suggest?
What is a recommended minimum BTU output for a room that measures approximately 22x24 with the allowance for a stairwell? The room is the lower level of a split foyer home with the front being half below ground and the rear at walk out level, all with a standard 8 foot tall ceiling in place. Will the recommended BTU output be the same with or without a fan?
By Brennan W. on April 27, 2015
A minimum BTU rating for your space would be in the 17,000 BTU range. The addition of a blower would not affect this rating.
By Dottie MacRitchie from Connecticut on November 7, 2012
Which direct vent fireplace has the highest BTU?
By Kevin E. - Fireplace Specialist on November 7, 2012
The majority of our direct vent fireplaces average heat output between 30,000 and 40,000 BTU, but this output is directly related to size. Output varies for gas type, as well - either natural gas or propane.
By Verna from Palm Springs, FL on March 22, 2013
I am interested in a direct vent fireplace like the LHD50N from Napoleon. However, I would prefer to run the vent through the existing fireplace/chimney without destroying either one. The top of the existing fireplace is 36". Are there any rear-flue direct vent fireplaces on the market that would allow me to do this? Most that I have seen require close to 4' (from the floor) before a horizontal vent run is made.
By Kevin E. - Fireplace Specialist on March 22, 2013
The only options we would have that would be suitable for your application would be something like our Loft Inserts. Of course, these do present a smaller viewing area that something like the LHD50.
By Lise from San Jose, CA on November 17, 2014
Our designer told us to look for a fireplace that is no deeper than 18 inches but we have a traditional home and do not want something that is ultra modern. Can you please recommend some units or some brands we can look at? We really like the "clean face" look.
By eFireplaceStore on November 18, 2014
While the depth provided is not much to work with, I was able to find a model that I believe will meet your criteria. The fireplace is the Napoleon BGD36CFNTR Clean Face Direct Vent Gas Fireplace - 36-in.. This model has been a favorite among our customers for the clean, 45 degree bevel perimeter frame. The controls are concealed behind a bottom access door and the viewing area is relatively large for this class of fireplace.
By Donald from Holyoke, MA on August 17, 2015
We have a direct vent gas fireplace where the vent protrudes from an outside "dog-house". When the fireplace is not being used, cold air comes in all around it. Why is this happening?
By Will M. on August 18, 2015
It is highly likely that the fireplace "dog house" was not air tight when the fireplace was installed. It may be necessary to remove the siding and seal any cracks that may be allowing cold air to infiltrate the home with fireblocking adhesive and foil tape. With modern construction, the rest of the home is likely to be tightly wrapped and the same guidelines would have needed to be followed when the fireplace was installed. Homes are pressurized and there is a constant exchange of air taking place. If the remainder of the home is tightly sealed while the "dog house" is not, air will be pulled into the home from any gaps in the construction in this area.
By Ed from Murray, KY on June 6, 2014
I am looking for a 36" propane direct vent (top) fireplace in the 30,000 btu range that has a depth of less than 18", has a remote with temperature, a blower all in one package. It would also include a deluxe set of logs with variable flame, back lighting hopefully. What do you have? I am not looking for the highest price fireplace on the market. What I am looking for is a high quality, excellent warranty for a reasonable price. What do you have?
I am going to use it for ambiance most of the time, however if we have an ice storm in winter I can be without electricity for a couple of weeks and the fireplace would be my primary heat source.
We are interested in adding a direct vent fireplace to an exterior wall of our home. We would like to vent it up through a faux chimney, for curb appeal. (It is on the front of our home, so I don't want a vent sticking straight out through the wall.) Is there a minimum height requirement for the chimney, as there is with a standard vented gas log set, or wood burning? Or does the vent just need to clear the top of the chimney, regardless of the height above the roofline?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on April 29, 2014
Direct vent fireplaces require much less vent clearance than standard wood burning or B-vent units. For instance, the vent piping needs only to extend 12 inches beyond a roof that has a pitch of up to 6/12. If you would like to supply the exact roof pitch on the front of your home, I will be happy to advise on the minimum amount of vent pipe that is needed.
By Scott from Philadelphia, PA on October 7, 2014
I am in the initial stages of looking into gas fireplaces. I have questions about "vented, vent-free, and direct venting" fireplaces. Does a direct vent fireplace burn vented logs, and, if so, do they produce the more normal looking flames? I was under the impression that vented logs needed to have a chimney capable of burning real wood logs. Can they be used in a direct vent fireplace?
By eFireplaceStore on October 8, 2014
Naturally vented gas logs are the type of vented log set that is installed into an existing masonry fireplace or prefabricated wood burning fireplace. They require a chimney that is in good working order and completely vertical. These log sets typically feature a large realistic flame, but they do not produce much heat and are largely for looks.
Direct vent gas fireplaces will have a sealed combustion chamber, using tempered or ceramic glass. The fireplace will come with a specific log set that must be installed. Like the natural vent logs, a direct vent features a realistic flame pattern, but efficiency is greater and the unit functions as a true supplemental heater. No combustion air is pulled from the room. A coaxial (pipe within a pipe) pulls combustion air from the outdoors and vents exhaust to the outdoors. The venting system can be routed vertically or horizontally.
Vent free fireplaces use a specially engineered burner system and specific log set to ensure a clean burn. These systems do not require a vent of any kind, but they are limited to an output of 40k BTUs. Their very specific log placement lends a less realistic look, as the flames do not directly contact the logs. Vent free appliances create a great deal of supplemental heat, but they do not work well for all applications. People with sensitive noses will likely detect the odor of the burned gas and vent free sets can be an irritant to people with allergies or lung ailments. Vent free appliances also require air from the room for combustion and release moisture back into the room. As such, they work best in larger rooms with high ceilings.
By Maggie from West Bloomfield, MI on April 14, 2013
I need a replacement part for the front part of the refractory hearth for FMI Model # GL4100/P. It is the horseshoe shaped part that goes in the front. I also need the blower kit for this model. Do you stock these parts?
By Chris on April 15, 2013
After checking with FMI, I was informed that the refractory hearth panel is no longer available through them. He did inform me that the correct blower assembly is indeed still available. The part number for the appropriate blower is VCBK3E.
By Marc from Pennsylvania on September 26, 2013
I just hooked up a VCD36" vented gas fireplace. The pilot lights, but the burners do not. The unit was exposed to dust. Could it just be too dirty? The gas flow is good and other units work.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on September 27, 2013
It is possible that the pilot assembly may be dirty and preventing millivoltage from allowing the gas valve to open. I recommend blowing out the pilot assembly with compressed air. If that does not work, I am happy to call you to perform further troubleshooting.
By Ramona from San Antonio, Texas on November 3, 2012
Is there a direct vent fireplace that can burn wood as well?
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on November 5, 2012
No. All direct vent fireplaces can only be used to burn natural gas or propane.
By Julie from Levittown, PA on November 11, 2013
I have a 36 inch vent free fireplace that I would like to replace with a direct vent fireplace. What do you suggest?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on November 11, 2013
As you can see on this category page, there are numerous options for a 36" direct vent fireplace. The best way to offer a suggestion would be to figure what your available dimensions will be after your vent-free unit is removed. This way, we can use your framing space to determine which models may be a good fit for a replacement.
By Fred from Stamford, CT on October 13, 2013
What is the difference between CDV, DVD, and BVD fireplaces?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on October 14, 2013
The BVD series is a unit manufactured by Empire Comfort Systems and is a B-vent model of fireplace. This means that it draws air from the room for combustion and vents exhaust through a aluminum B-vent pipe. These units are largely decorative and offer little supplemental heat.
The DVD series is also an Empire unit and is their basic direct vent design. This model draws air from the outdoors from combustion and is sealed from the room with a pane of tempered glass. The unit can be vented vertically or horizontally and is designed to give supplemental heat.
The CDV series is manufactured by Majestic/Monessen and is similar in build and output to the DVD that is made by Empire. It is also a direct vent unit and offers options to customize its appearance.
By Pam from Barre, VT on September 9, 2014
We would like to buy and have installed a direct vent fireplace to replace a Riannai RHFE 1004 FA heater. The heater was also direct vent, but would a gas fireplace fit where the heater hitched up?
By eFireplaceStore on September 9, 2014
This Rinnai heater uses a unique venting system that allows the flue collar to be located in any number of positions before passing it through the wall. There is not a reason why you cannot use a direct vent fireplace in the same spot as the heater, however the location of the vent piping will likely be different. At the very least, the hole in the wall will need to be enlarged, as this heater uses a vent pipe that is much smaller than a comparable direct vent fireplace.
By Kim on November 9, 2012
Does a LHD45N Napoleon direct vent gas fireplace need its own electrical circuit? I have the electrician here and he would like to know.
on November 9, 2012
Yes, the Napoleon LHD45 will require electricity to operate, as it uses it for ignition. There is a battery back-up, however, so you will be able to use this fireplace in the event of a power outage. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.
By Kevin on November 9, 2012
I'm looking to replace an old Majestic fireplace that was capable of burning both wood and gas; this thing is probably 20 years old. We still have the old venting pipe from this system and it's approximately 10-12 inches wide . If I were to install a direct vent system to improve efficiency, would this old pipe still be used? Or the new one run inside it? Or an entirely new exhaust installed?
I'm just trying to get an idea of what my best plan of action is here. I fully intend to have a professional install the new unit, however, and this consideration may change the location of the new unit and effect the cost of materials.
on November 9, 2012
Most likely, you will need to remove the existing chimney system and replace it with the smaller direct vent piping that will be needed instead. While there are some conversion kits that can adapt an existing wood burning chimney for direct vent purposes, there are no kits that are designed to work with Majestic products.
The option does exist to leave the Class A chimney in position and line the chimney with the direct vent pipe; however the existing chimney system must be perfectly straight and the termination at the top of the chimney will need to be modified with a site built storm collar to cover the extra space between the direct vent pipe and the Class A chimney pipe.
Please let me know if you have any questions about the installation or if I can assist in any other way.
By Yousef on November 9, 2012
I need the price of an Empire Deluxe 42" direct vent natural gas fireplace to be installed at a room corner with duct to outside of building with brick siding.
on November 9, 2012
We would be happy to send you a quote for these items. Please reply with a shipping address and we will send you a quote as quickly as possible. Also, please advise on any optional accessories you may be interested in, such as a blower, brick liner for the interior of the fireplace, remote control (basic on/off or thermostatic), and anything else you that may interest you. Also, please note whether you want the fireplace to have louvers or if you prefer the flush/smooth face model.
We look forward to your response.
By kennedy from Salisbury, Maryland on August 27, 2013
Hi! My husband and I are looking into a direct vent propane gas fireplace. We don't want to have build on to our home. Are most of these fireplaces with the mantles enclosed totally (except for the vent obviously) within the mantle cabinet?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on August 27, 2013
While some of the fireplaces in this category are completely housed within the mantel cabinet, others are utilizing a "flush mount" mantel surround, with the fireplace itself being partially recessed into the wall and the remaining depth being enclosed. Most of our Napoleon direct vent fireplaces have full mantel cabinets available to house the entire unit. For example, the combination below could be used together:
I have a brick fireplace with an opening of 32 5/16" wide ( brick to brick) and 26 1/2" from the floor to the top metal plate. It has a depth of 19 1/2". Can you recommend the proper model size for a direct vent fireplace?
By Tyler M. on November 28, 2014
Since you are planning on installing a unit inside your existing brick/masonry fireplace, you will need a direct vent fireplace insert as opposed to a direct vent fireplace. The difference is that the inserts are designed to be installed in an application such as yours, while these direct vent fireplaces are meant for installation in their own framed enclosure--not inside another fireplace. Thank you for the dimensions--with these we would recommend something like the Empire Innsbrook Medium Direct Vent Gas Fireplace Insert. That is the natural gas model; there is a propane version as well if necessary. Please note, as with all direct vent inserts, you will need a functional chimney through which a vent kit (two 3" diameter aluminum liners--one for intake, one for exhaust) will run all the way to the top.
By Cindy from Bucks County, PA on November 4, 2014
Can I install a direct vent insert into my old fireplace even though my house uses oil, not gas, for heat?
By eFireplaceStore on November 4, 2014
A direct vent insert could be installed in your fireplace, assuming it meets the guidelines needed to house one. However, you would need to provide a dedicated fuel source for it, such as an LP cylinder.
By Scott from Newport, RI on March 30, 2013
I'm looking for a direct vent gas fireplace insert with top vent, with 3 or 4 inch exhaust. The fireplace opening is 34" wide in front, 21" wide in rear, 33" height, 15" deep. I'm also interested in a traditional look and glass doors. Which units will work?
By Kevin E. - Fireplace Specialist on April 1, 2013
Your dimensions are near perfect for our Medium Innsbrook. Being direct vent, this unit will featured a sealed glass front and dual 3" vents on top. Please note that these units must be installed in a true masonry fireplace.