Ventless Gas Fireplace Inserts & Other Vent Free Inserts
Ventless gas fireplace inserts are great. If you don't currently have a fireplace that works, one solution to a desire for a hearth is a ventless gas fireplace insert. These self-contained units don't require the installation of a chimney. Electric, propane, or natural gas, we have the correct vent free fireplace insert for them all! These systems are over 99% efficient and no heat will be lost while it is running. Find the right electric, natural gas, or propane ventless gas fireplace insert for you!
I see you recommend a propane tank larger than 5 gallons. What issues might I have when using a 5-gallon tank?
The problems with 5 gallon tanks are they are easy to run empty which leads to air in the lines which can take a very long time to get out of the system, the other issue is the small tanks can freeze the regulator up from high draw over short periods of time.
Is it possible to install gas logs in to a modern wood burning stove?
Unfortunately, no. The combustion chamber and chimney would be too small. Additionally, wood stoves are made to retain heat inside the combustion chamber which would ultimately overheat the gas controls included with any gas log set, resulting in failure and a voided warranty.
Do vent free fireplace inserts have a carbon monoxide sensor built into them?
While an oxygen depletion sensor is part of their standard construction, the units do not have a carbon monoxide system of any kind. It is recommended to install and maintain at least a couple of carbon monoxide detectors in any home that uses gas appliances.
What is required to use "wellhead" natural gas in a vent free fireplace insert?
There is technically nothing separate that is required to operate an appliance on wellhead gas, however every manufacturer that I know of advises against it. Lack of odorants, possible impurities, and variation in BTU content are all concerns. To ensure safe operation, it is best to use only city supplied or treated and stabilized gas.
Submitted by:Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on September 18, 2013
Are there elevation restrictions? Can vent free be operated as a primary heat source?
Vent free appliances have an elevation restriction of 4,500 feet. Due to the lack of oxygen, they suffer from frequent pilot outages at any higher elevation.
These units must also only be used as a supplemental heat source. Because of oxygen depletion, the unit will eventually shut down if used as a primary heat source. I highly recommend the use of a direct vent appliance as a primary heat source and at higher elevations.
Submitted by:Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on February 11, 2013
What makes a vent free fireplace "vent free"? Does it need a sensor? Does it need an automatic shut off valve?
Vent free fireplaces are completely self contained. By using a lower output burner system, they are able to be used with no exhaust vent. These units will also have an oxygen depletion sensor that will close the gas valve, should oxygen levels in the room reach unsafe levels. These units make excellent supplemental heat sources when installed in large areas with plenty of circulation.
Submitted by:Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on November 19, 2012
What is a millivolt control? Does the pilot light stay on all the time with a natural gas fireplace? Can you manually turn your fireplace off and on? Do you have to have a remote control or a thermostat?
A millivolt system has a small flame that generates power for the unit's gas valve to operate. As a result, they do not require outside power to operate and can be used in the event of a power outage. The only thing that would be rendered inoperable would be the blower, if applicable. Because of the amount of power the fan needs to operate, it cannot be used during a power outage. With a millivolt system, yes, the pilot will stay lit all the time with natural gas (or propane). You can indeed manually turn it off and on with the control knob. You can even turn it all the way off (extinguishing the pilot) if you wish, but you will have to re-light the pilot every time you want to operate the fireplace. Otherwise, it will go from fully operational back down to just the pilot light. The knob will have three options - "OFF", "PILOT", and "ON", indicating these three options.
On almost all of our millivolt units, you can indeed purchase an optional hand-held remote control or a wall-mount thermostat. We also have hand-held remotes that feature thermostatic control.