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direct vent propane heaters

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by tony guthmuller, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. tony guthmuller

    tony guthmuller New Member

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    does anyone here have any experience with Empire, (or any other brand) direct vent propane heaters, like the DV-35? I'm not talking about the high efficiency models, like the Rinnai or others like them, as they require electricity, and I'm looking at supplemental and also back-up heat as well, in case of power outages. I was thinking about Empires B-vent heaters, ('tho nobody answered my post regarding them) but I have heard they are somewhat wasteful of room heat that escapes up the chimney when the unit is not operating. Thanks for any help, input, or recommendations. tony

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    I have experience with many different manufacturers, but not Empire. What do you want to know? Both of mine work without Power & are remote thermostat controlled. Haven't worked on B-Vents in awhile. as they're not as popular as DV units.
  3. tony guthmuller

    tony guthmuller New Member

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    thanks for your response. are the direct vent units pretty trouble free? is the optional blower a good idea, even though it wouldn't work during a power outage? why do direct vent models only come in a maximum of 30-35,000 btu's whereas the B-vents have a 65000 btu model? do you generally think they are a good supplemental/back-up heat source? seems like they'd be a lot less hassle than pellet stoves. Thanks.....tony
  4. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    If you've got NG they're the way to go. LP is about 3X as much & the price per gallon pretty much follows the price of oil or gasoline. Blowers help to distribute the heat better & they are nice if you need them. You can always turn them off. They are VERY trouble free, especially the standing pilot models. The ones with electronic (IPI) sometimes have issues, but they've gotten better over the years. Jotul has a 40K BTU unit & Regency has a 39K BTU model. If you choose a DV fireplace, you can get more, but you're gonna need a lot more work at install...
  5. tony guthmuller

    tony guthmuller New Member

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    upstate ny
    the one I was considering was the Empire DV35SG just because that's the largest most common one I found on-line. Yeah.....natural gas is great; that's what I've got now, but where I'm moving the only options are oil, propane, pellets or wood. Pellets seem like more trouble than they're worth plus you need some sort of back-up power for them; I heated with wood for 30-plus years and don't want to go back to that (getting too old); and oil is too expensive and needs power as well. So that leaves propane. thanks.....tony
    DAKSY likes this.
  6. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    I just replaced my oil furnace with a 30KBTU DV propane fireplace in the living room and two 7500BTU DV heaters in the back bedrooms. The heaters are "Housewarmer" brand, which seems to be a discount brand from Empire. Worked great, and propane is considerably cheaper than oil in my area.
  7. Heatsource

    Heatsource Minister of Fire

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    the empire dv 35 is a solid unit, with long history of good use. I've sold/serviced and installed many of the "lower efficiency" empire wall heaters. and can recommend them.

    avoid b-vent appliances whenever possible, they suck warm air out of the house even when not in operation
  8. tony guthmuller

    tony guthmuller New Member

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    thanks.....that sounds like good advice about the B-vent heaters. I had sort of come to that conclusion already from doing research, but that confirms it. One last question: Although considerably more expensive, would a DV stove like the Quadra-fires or Jotuls or Napoleons that look more like a fireplace type stove with a log set and visible flame be any more or less efficient? One thing I am thinking is that they are available with a larger btu rating, but are they as trouble free as say the Empire DV-35? thanks......tony
  9. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    All units require maintenance, Tony. The frequency of that maintenance is generally based on usage. If you use a DV stove or fireplace once in a while to take the chill off, & one weekends for entertaining, you can probably get away with servicing it every other year or so. If you use it as a PRIMARY heat source, you should service it every year, so that it remains trouble-free. You want it to be there when you need it. I use my DV units a LOT. I service them every year.
  10. tony guthmuller

    tony guthmuller New Member

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    Yeah, I get it about everything needing maintenance. When I started my quest for supplemental / back-up heat, I was originally thinking pellet stove. But after doing considerable research and reading a number of reviews on major brand pellet stoves, I started thinking maybe I don't want to go that route because they seem pretty fussy and need to be cleaned quite frequently. Plus I'd need a back-up power source during power outages, which are not infrequent where we are moving to. Gas in general, whether it be natural or propane, seems like a lot less hassle and trouble-free, at least maintenance-wise. And so I just wondered in my last post if the fire-place style propane heaters were any more trouble to keep running smoothly than the Empire DV-35 style heaters. Wood is the simplest, but I did that for decades and just don't have it in me anymore. tony
  11. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

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    Hi again Tony, Bob is absolutely right, DV stoves or fireplaces are awesome heaters. You should get the blower, its an added expense to some, most of the serious heaters have them. I am not a fan of IPI, I like standing pilots myself, even if they do consume 1-2 gallons a month to run. IPI's are gaining in popularity though. B vents were a nice replacement for a wood stove, normally powerful in BTU's and used the existing chimney, but does use room air and loses room air when not being used, I'd avoid them too if possible. Jotul, Quad, Napoleon are all good reliable heaters. Hopefully you have NG, its about 2.00/therm (100,000BTU) here in CT, propane is expensive at around 3.00/gal (92000BTU). A 35.000 btu stove burning on high would consume a gallon of propane about every 2.5 hours, but most people set the valve at about midrange (around 25,000btu). Good luck in your hunt.

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