Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ventless Fireplace " The Possibility of Enjoying a Warm Fire Without a Chimney

By Gelli Marr

One great option for fireplaces today is a ventless fireplace. Compared to traditional vented wood or vented gas fireplace, this is a better alternative for most homeowners. This type of fireplace runs on natural gas or propane. So, unlike the old traditional fireplaces, a ventless fireplace do not need external outlets like chimneys, flues or side wall vents.

A lot of people may actually prefer ventless units. They do not require the burning of wood which produces ash and soot which are a chore to clean. Moreover, vent free units are often cheap to install and use. Since they can do without an external exit, they may be installed on any wall even if it is not an externally facing one. Construction for chimneys and vents are also not necessary which makes them even cheaper to set up.

There are other advantages. Compared to wood-burning fireplaces, vent free units give off more reliable heat control. With vent free units, you need not push logs around in order to get the right amount of heat you need. Convenient-wise, you can recreate the feel and look of traditional winter fires without the inconvenience of using wood.

When it comes to vent free units, you can choose from a wide range of sizes. The bigger the room, the bigger the fireplace needed and smaller rooms should have small units " otherwise, it could prove to be dangerous. Take careful note of BTU ratings to determine heat output. Those with high heat output should only be reserved for large rooms.

Not everyone is comfortable with a ventless fireplace. In fact, in some states and countries, the use of this type of heating unit is forbidden by law. Some places recommend its use only as a secondary power source during power outages. The main reasons for caution are health related.

Vent free units produce minimal carbon monoxide. There is however a concern, that there is a possibility that the harmful gas could build up and oxygen in a room could become significantly depleted. When this happens, room occupants could suffer serious consequences the worst of which is death.

One other concern is the buildup of moisture. Since vent free units do not have external exits to release the water vapor that they produce, moisture could find its way into a room. This could lead to the formation of molds and mildew. Aside from potentially ruining furniture, some individuals may have allergic reactions.

Of course, you can always counteract these possible problems. For the carbon dioxide issue, make sure you get a fireplace with a standard gas sensor to warn you if carbon monoxide levels are too high and if oxygen levels drop. For the moisture problem, you can always get dehumidifier.

Before getting a ventless fireplace, check with local authorities first if there are no prohibitions against using such. Based on its given advantages and disadvantages, it is up to you to determine if a ventless fireplace is right for you or not.

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