Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Learning about Ventless Fireplace

Are you renovating your home and want to install a fireplace? Or do you just want to change the aesthetics of your living room? Why not consider a ventless fireplace as opposed to a traditional fireplace? Read on to learn what is a ventless fireplace.

What is a Ventless Fireplace?

As the name implies, a ventless fireplace is a freestanding unit that does not have a chimney or a flue to exhaust the combusted air to the outside atmosphere.  These ventless fireplaces rely on the indoor air for combustion and exhaust the combustion gases into the area they are located. They are powered by either natural gas or propane or electricity.

Ventless fireplace became popular in the United States in the 1980s as they are easier to install and are less expensive than the conventional fireplace. However, each state has specific regulation with respect to the safe operation within the household.

Type Of Ventless Fireplace 

Ventless fireplace are an economical alternative to the traditional fireplace. In adding to décor and a design element to the home, they are normally installed in locations where an actual fireplace cannot be installed. The different types of vent fireplace are as follows:

Ventless Gas Fireplace  

This type of utilizes natural gas or propane as the fuel.  They are linked to a line which provides the fuel.  These come in a variety of style and designs and tend to be more costly than the other ventless fireplace.

In terms of providing the best secondary heating source, this Ventless Gas Fireplace is far superior to the types of vent free fireplace. However, it must be worthwhile to mention the safety aspect of this unit type. They can produce a host of safety concerns such as carbon monoxide poisoning and physical indoor air sickness.

Ventless Gel Fireplace 

These are fueled by a gel like substance, which normally comes in a can. The gel substance can smell like burning wood can be irritable to the person suffering from allergies and asthma. 

This type comes in a wide range of style and including wall hanging units. They require the lowest maintenance and it has the cheapest form of fuel source. 

Ventless Electric Fireplace

Regardless of the name, these units do not produce any real flames. They use their fuel source to produce heat. Electric fireplaces can be mobile and compact and need an electric output to power them. They are generally cheaper than the gas fireplace.

Ventless  Fireplace- Pros and Cons

Now we know what are the ventless fireplace and the three different types, let us consider the positive and negative features of these units.

Positive Features

  • Hot air rises.  Traditional fireplace loses more than 50% of their heat when the hot air is a lot up the chimneys and flues. As vent free fireplace has no vent, the heat remains circulated in the installed area inside the house and such as provides more heat than a conventional fireplace. 

  • A ventless fireplace is smaller units and as such are cheaper and more affordable than a traditional fireplace.

  • Being smaller units and not requiring the chimney, vent free fireplace is easier to install and can be installed against any open wall.

Negative Features

  • Vent free fireplace is thought to be a potential health risk. As there is no chimney to exhaust the combusted air to the outside atmosphere, the combusted air is exhausted to the surrounding indoor location. This can lead to an accumulation of carbon monoxide and other gases in the breathable air. In additional to aggravating persons suffering from headaches, eye irritation, chest congestion and coughing bouts.

  • It is advisable to install carbon monoxide monitors and oxygen detection sensors in the area when installing a ventless fireplace. These safety devices will automatically shut off the fireplace if the emissions go above a certain value. However, this additional device can add to the initial cost of the units. 

  • Fire needs oxygen to burn and these fireplaces are not really meant as a primary source of heat. As such they should not be in periods longer than one hour or the manufactures specifications as they can deplete the oxygen from the room.

  • Water vapor is released from the different units and this can encourage the growth of mold or mildew in the walls.

Final Verdicts 

A ventless fireplace can add home décor aesthetic value to a living area giving it a warm and cozy feeling. They are cheaper and easier to install than a conventional fireplace but it must be remembered that they are not the primary source of heating.

Before consider purchasing a unit, it is advisable to check your local state agency to determine the applicable regulations. Also, ensure a certified is hired to install the unit. Ensure the correct size type is purchased with add the necessary devices and additions. 

In conclusion, you are more aware of what is a ventless fireplace and can make a more informed decision. Ventless fireplace offers a great deal of convenience and home décor. Why not jazz up that living space?

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