Ventless Gas Fireplaces & Other Vent Free Fireplaces
Ventless fireplaces have several advantages over vented models. Since ventless propane fireplace or a ventless gas fireplaces don't require any bulky vent pipe or chimney, vent free fireplaces have much more flexibility. In terms of placement, a vent free gas fireplace can be used in small homes a where it would be impossible to install a vented fireplace. And, if you're searching for efficiency, a ventless gas fireplace (natural gas or propane) is definitely the way to go. Vented units lose a significant amount of the warm air they produce up their chimneys, but ventless fireplaces are entirely self-contained, allowing all of the heat to remain inside the home.
What causes a vent free fireplace to smell of gas after blowing out the dust and carbon?
Because there is no venting on the unit, you are more likely to notice the smell of gas, just as with a space heater. If this is a new unit, the logs might still be in their curing process and can emit some odor. This should dissipate with use.
If you smell gas when the burner is not in operation, please turn off your gas and call a licensed technician to inspect the unit.
Does it matter if the gas is natural or propane on a ventless gas fireplace.
What type of professional is qualified to install this?
Vent free fireplaces can utilize both natural gas and propane fuels, although it is important to note that a vent free appliance cannot be converted between fuels in the field. I highly recommend working with a reputable local plumber or HVAC technician to complete your installation.
Can a vent-free fireplace be installed flush in an interior room, through an exterior wall, as long as it is enclosed in an insulated water tight structure that will double as an outside barbecue preparation area on an open patio deck?
Certainly. This enclosure is commonly called a "doghouse" in the industry and is a relatively common way to enclose both vent-free and direct vent fireplaces without sacrificing the floor space in a room.
Do your vent free fireplaces have oxygen depletion sensors?
By mandate, all vent free fireplace utilize an oxygen depletion system. In the event of low oxygen levels in the room, the pilot flame will begin to lift away from the pilot tube. When oxygen levels become low enough, the flame will lift so far off of the tube that it will no longer heat the thermocouple/flame sensor. This will cause the valve to lose voltage/signal and shut down, extinguishing the main burner flame.
Will a vent free fireplace discolor the surrounding carpet? Can I place a TV on the mantel without damaging the TV?
As long as proper clearances are maintained from the fireplace to all combustible materials, there should be no ill effects. When it comes to televisions, it is not the best idea to place one directly above a vent free fireplace, without some sort of barrier. All heat produced by a vent free fireplace will immediately rise and can damage sensitive electronics. Only if there is a mantel or shelf that projects further from the wall than the television does or if the television is placed on a free standing mantel should this setup be okay.
How do you convert a vented propane fireplace to a vent free fireplace?
To convert the fireplace, you would need to purchase either a vent free log set or vent free insert. Either system could be operated within the opening and would be burned with the damper closed, allowing heat to circulate into the room for supplemental heating abilities.
Most vent free fireplaces are unable to use doors, as they need to be able to readily convect heated air to the room. However, most units will have a safety screen that is placed over the opening in order to serve as a protective barrier.
Are there restrictions as to what rooms and altitude vent-free fireplaces can be used?
There are indeed standard requirements for vent-free appliances. These are as follows:
1. No vent-free appliance shall be used in a bathroom.
2. No vent-free appliance, greater than 10,000 BTU input, shall be used in a bedroom. Some manufacturers do not allow use in a bedroom, period.
3. Most vent-free appliances do not perform well above 4,500 feet, due to the lack of oxygen. A few manufacturers do offer a "high altitude orifice" to remedy the issue, but this is usually only effective to 7,500 feet. I do not recommend using a vent-free appliance above this elevation.