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Ventless Fireplaces - Considerations Before You Purchase

Nov 20, 2007
The choices in fireplace styles used to be very limited. You had to choose between a vented wood burning or gas fireplace. But that has all changed. Now there is the ventless fireplace giving homeowners, condo owners and apartment dwellers many more choices. But with these new options come several things you need to think about before buying.

For starters, the ventless fireplace can be permanently installed or can be portable. What is best for your particular situation needs to be carefully considered. If you're renovating an existing fireplace than installing a ventless fireplace insert is a good option. If you're not into tearing out walls and running flu pipe, than a portable ventless fireplace is the way to go. For apartments, condos, offices or anywhere else there is limited space the portable fireplace is usually the best choice.

If you opt for the permanently installed ventless gas fireplace here are some things to consider. In years past the technology only allowed for a vented gas fireplace because of the massive amounts of carbon monoxide generated as a by-product of burning. Today the technology has been improved so there is more efficient burning of the gas, producing very minimal carbon monoxide. It's all in the burners that are used. And while they burn more efficiently they just don't look quite as good as the vented gas fireplace. This is because with the vented fireplace the burners could be covered with silica sand making it look like the whole area around the logs was burning, giving a much more realistic fire. Because these high efficiency burners can't be covered with anything, you won't get the burning embers effect. If this isn't a big deal for you, than this option may be a very attractive way to go.

In addition, other safety features have been added such as oxygen depletion sensors (ODS). These sensors monitor the amount of oxygen in the air around the floor. If carbon monoxide builds up, these sensors are activated and the gas is shut off. This would happen long before you would start to feel any effects from the carbon monoxide.

One of the things to consider with the ventless gas fireplace is moisture. When you burn natural gas, water is produced. This water can collect in undesirable places when it gets trapped in your home. It can condense on cold surfaces and cause unseen damage. On the other hand, if you have radiant heat you may find the added moisture a welcome addition.

If you don't want the ventless gas fireplace, there are other alternatives. The gel fuel fireplace is a great option. It is portable, easy to install and burns gel fuel in cans placed behind the logs. Just light and you're ready to go. The fire is real and can be made larger or smaller depending on how many cans of fuel you burn at one time. But this is not an alternative heating source. It really is only a decorative fireplace.

The electric fireplace is another ventless fireplace option you should consider. These are portable fireplaces that are easy to install with absolutely no maintenance. Advanced features allow them to be operated with the flame only, heat only or with both the heat and flame. Many have remote controls. Their fan or blower allows you to heat a small room. Nevertheless these are only decorative fireplaces with a simulated flame and no crackling fire. But these can be just the thing for apartments or offices.

With a little thought and planning, you can find a ventless fireplace option that will meet your specific needs and situation. Whatever the choice, ventless fireplaces will give you years of pleasure and provide a spectacular gathering place for family and friends.
About the Author
John Stoner is the owner of Patio Furniture, Fountains and Fireplaces a website featuring decorating tips for the home, and garden. Here you'll find more information on ventless fireplaces .
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