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    B-Vent Fireplaces

    B-vent gas fireplaces or natural vent fireplaces use air from inside your home to fuel combustion and rely on the buoyancy of hot gases to vent exhaust through dedicated pipe systems. This simple design makes them cheaper and easier to install than direct vent models, but they are much less efficient. You'll want to carefully consider your budget and heating needs before deciding whether a b-vent fireplace is right for you.
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    12 Questions & 12 Answers
    from Kearney, NE asked:
    July 13, 2017
    What is the difference between direct vent and B-vent fireplaces?
    1 Answer
    While similar in basic design principles, there are several differences between these two appliances. A B-vent appliance uses what is known as type B gas vent. This is a single tube that vents exhaust gases to the atmosphere and is always run vertically through the roof of a home. In order for the unit to operate, combustion air is drawn through the open front of the unit. In this sense, a B-vent appliance is much like a traditional wood burning fireplace. The two types also share the common design aspect of being relatively inefficient and they are primarily intended for ambiance. One advantage to a B-vent appliance however is that they are generally cheaper than direct vent units. Direct vent appliances use a sealed pane of glass to cover the fireplace opening, relying on a co-axial rigid vent pipe to both vent exhaust gases and draw combustion air for the burner assembly. They are more efficient than any other type of vented gas fireplace and as such, they can serve as an excellent supplemental heat source. Venting these units is relatively easy, as the vent systems can be routed both vertically and horizontally. One common drawback to direct vent models is the reflection of the glass, which can be a visual detractor. However, almost all customers grow accustomed to the look and no longer notice it.
    on July 13, 2017

    Chris P
    from Nashville, TN asked:
    December 29, 2017
    we are looking for a b-vent fireplace insert....but we don't want gas logs...instead we want one that has the crushed glass in the bottom and flames come up thru the crushed you offer a unit like this?
    1 Answer
    B-vent fireplaces have largely waned in popularity as they do not provide any efficient or measurable heat, so the options will be limited and there is no model offered that will be configured with glass. You will have many more options when searching for a direct vent or ventless system configured with a fire glass burner.
    Will M.
    on December 29, 2017

    from Charleston, WV asked:
    November 1, 2017
    What is the temperature of the fumes in the exhaust pipe. Is it around 110 to 115 degrees?
    1 Answer
    B-Vent pipe is tested to temperatures up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit under the requirements of UL 441 national testing.
    Brennan W.
    on November 2, 2017

    from Charleston, SC asked:
    March 6, 2016
    Does a B-Vent fireplace require a chimney? Or can you use a flue only?
    1 Answer
    B-Vent fireplaces will require Class B double wall aluminum venting.
    Brennan W.
    on March 7, 2016

    from Seattle, WA asked:
    February 18, 2015
    We had a pellet stove that vented through a 4" stainless steel flex pipe. it exited out the top of our chimney. Can we use the same 4" pipe for a natural gas insert?
    1 Answer
    The liner could be adapted to a B-vent natural gas insert and potentially to a direct vent model as well, but another 3 inch liner would need to be installed for combustion air purposes.
    on February 18, 2015

    from MI asked:
    December 30, 2014
    I have a B Vent fireplace that doesn't work and I would like to put in a ventless unit. My Be Vent chimney is in a non masonry chimney that runs two stories up. Do I have to worry about a ventless unit being to close to the flammable walls? Can it go into the B Vent fireplace insert hole? What do I do with the B Vent stack?
    1 Answer
    As long as the vent free fireplace is installed into a framed opening that meets the size requirements, there will not be an issue with too much heat transfer. The vent free unit can indeed be installed in the spot previously occupied by the B vent unit. You may have to reframe to accommodate the new model, as the sizing is unlikely to be identical. The B vent stack can be left in place if you wish. I recommend removing a section of it so that it will not be resting directly upon the new unit. A 2 x 4 can be framed under the stack to support it.
    on December 31, 2014

    from Vancouver, BC asked:
    May 14, 2014
    I want to build a recess box for a TV above my 4" b-vented gas fireplace. There is plenty of room in the insulated chimney cavity but the venting pipe is a little closer to the wall than I'd like. how much distance should I keep the framing/box away from the pipe?
    1 Answer
    B vent piping should maintain 1 inch of clearance to combustibles at all times. As long as this minimum clearance is met, combustibles are not in danger of charring over time.
    Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional
    on May 14, 2014

    from Texas asked:
    December 26, 2013
    My gas log comes on sometimes, burns for about 15 minutes, then clicks off. I wanted to replace it with a pan burner with the fire glass and was told that I couldn't do that because I have a B vent fireplace. I'm not quite understanding why that would matter. Can you tell me?
    1 Answer
    Unfortunately, B Vent fireplaces are only tested and listed to be used with the log set and burner that is included with the fireplace. Vented log sets simply produce too high of a BTU output for the fireplace and vent pipe to handle.
    on December 26, 2013

    from New York asked:
    December 20, 2013
    Which 36" B-vent natural gas fireplace has the most realistic looking logs?
    1 Answer
    Of the B-vent fireplaces that we carry, the Keystone Deluxe B-Vent Louvered Gas Fireplace - 36" has the most realistic log assembly. The ceramic logs offered by Empire are consistently more detailed than the similar offerings in the same category.
    Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional
    on December 20, 2013

    from Nashua, NH asked:
    December 5, 2013
    I have a Superior B vented fireplace, model GHC/GRD-5500 series with a fan. We just bought this condo about 8 months ago. I have tried to use it but it is almost useless as far as any heat goes. It is just a waste of propane gas. I suspect that this unit is mostly for looks. Am I right? The unit was installed new when the condo was built, which was in 2003. What can you tell me?
    1 Answer
    Yes, B-Vent gas fireplaces are primarily decorative appliances. For more information, please see our Gas Fireplace and Stove Buying Guide.
    Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist
    on December 5, 2013

    from Perkasie, PA asked:
    December 4, 2013
    We want to put a gas fireplace into the first floor family room of our existing two story house. We like having no glass in front of the fireplace. Is there a way to go up with a B vent inside and then go out through an outside wall diagonally/horizontally so it doesn't have to go through the second story, or will we have to go with a Direct vent?
    1 Answer
    Unfortunately, a B-vent fireplace must terminate vertically. Your options would be to run the vent through the second story and roof or the vent could be directed horizontally to the outside wall, then vertical along the side of the house in a chase. Direct vent fireplaces are the only variety that will allow a horizontal termination.
    Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional
    on December 5, 2013

    from Lewisburg, West Virginia asked:
    December 3, 2013
    We have a wood burning fireplace in one room and have added on a bedroom on the opposite side of the living room. We want to cut into the existing chimney which has a 12" flue, and would like to run two 4" vent pipes through the 12" flue and have two b-vent units - one in the living room and one in the new bedroom. Is 4" sufficient for each unit, and what is the maximum BTU available in the b-vent units?
    1 Answer
    For a B-vent unit that will work with a 4 inch diameter vent, the output will be approximately 25,000 BTUs. Anything greater will require a larger vent, which would not fit for your application. An example of a unit that uses the 4 inch piping is the Keystone Deluxe B-Vent Louvered Gas Fireplace - 34" - BVD-34-FP30LNN.
    Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional
    on December 3, 2013

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