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Has anybody burned vent-free in a bedroom and lived to tell?

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by nola mike, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. nola mike

    nola mike Feeling the Heat

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    Thinking about putting a vent-free 10k BTU LNG heater in my 3rd floor bedroom. Right now it's a guest bedroom. It doesn't get that cold up there, and I wouldn't run the heater for more than a few hours a day to take the chill out before bed. Yeah, I'd rather vent. But drilling through 100 year old 12" thick brick doesn't seem worth it to me. I have baseboard heaters up there now which work fine but are phenomenally expensive. I've read the hype on both sides. Here's my thing: I've never had a house with a vented gas cook stove. They can put out more than 40k BTUs easy, and I've never had a problem with odor, moisture, nothing--and they weren't designed specifically for a vent free application. I don't like the idea of running it when people are sleeping, but I also don't like running the baseboard heat during sleep. So anyone have any positive experiences with these things?

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  2. ROVERT

    ROVERT Member

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    I'm not a complete vent free hater. I think they do have their applications. In a bedroom is not one of them.

    I'm pretty sure that the only "fires" allowed in a sleeping area are direct vent units. The units must be sealed and bring in all combustion air from the outside.

    Making holes in 100 year old brick isn't so bad. I've made lots of holes in lots of houses, including my own. Brick isn't bad at all to deal with. The ironstone that my foundation is made with is a different story.

    What kind of gas do you have? I doubt it is LNG.
  3. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    If they lived to tell about that experience, they were: 1 - STUPID for putting one in a bedroom & 2 - LUCKY.
    As far as your gas stove & no vent, let me say THIS: In a power outage during a winter storm, how many times have you read about single persons or ENTIRE families dying from CO poisoning because they tried to stay warm using the kitchen range/oven?
    Be SMART. Stay ALIVE. Follow the codes & VENT a bedroom unit...
  4. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Whenever kitchen stove is on, supposed to have the range vent running to pull the gas fumes.

    Many areas (most?) won't allow a vent to room range vent with a gas stove for that reason... Has to vent to outside.
  5. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    I wouldn't. The two we've had stated to leave a window open @ 1/4" when running it and even then, NEVER in a bedroom. Plus they have a certain "smell"...and I don't know that all of our guests would appreciate sleeping in a room that smelled like it-especially if they are sensitive breathing wise.
  6. nola mike

    nola mike Feeling the Heat

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    Trying to find info on the codes. Certainly some jurisdictions allow it.
  7. nola mike

    nola mike Feeling the Heat

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    I found this, but can't find a copy of the actual ANSI standard:
    ANSI Z21.112 Standard and National Fuel Gas Code permit wall mounted installations of vent-free gas heater of 10,000 Btu or less in bedrooms and 6,000 Btu or less in bathrooms
  8. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    I believe there's a caveat to that statement. While I can't remember the exact formula, the amount of BTUs allowed is based upon the cubic feet (volume) of a bedroom. That would indicate that even LESS that 10K BTU may NOT be allowable. Bottom line is anything other than a DV gas burner is not a good idea...
  9. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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  10. nola mike

    nola mike Feeling the Heat

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    I had found the purchase option on the standards. Yikes.
    @daksy: that formula is cu ft/50 = max btus without additional fresh air input. Not an issue for my application.
    I would LOVE to see some evidence of harm coming from vent free appliances. I have yet to see anything but rhetoric and anecdote.
  11. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    More RHETORIC:

    CON:

    http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/energy-solutions/avoid-unvented-gas-heaters

    http://www.epinions.com/content_5004370052?sb=1

    PRO:

    http://www.gaslogpro.com/allianceQAPage.htm

    Most of us who have dealt with these products realize that there may be benefits, but we also believe the CONS outweigh the PROS. We will argue on the products ad infinitum & not reach a consensus one way or the other...
    Bottom line? Choice is yours. Believe the rhetoric or not. Your choice; your home; your family's lives...
  12. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    Just consider that the "PRO" argument "has been prepared by the Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance, a coalition of members of the Vent-Free Gas Products Division of the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA)." I'm sure they would't be biased... uh... would they? :rolleyes:
    jharkin and DAKSY like this.
  13. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    Vent-free fireplaces are designed to burn hot enough for nearly complete combustion, thus producing almost exclusively carbon dioxide and water vapor with little to no carbon monoxide. If you get one that is rated for bedroom use (which should include an oxygen depletion sensor) and keep flammable materials sufficiently away from it and you install a carbon monoxide detector just in case, I don't see anything wrong with it. In a small space, it won't run for very long anyway if it's got a thermostat. If you want it to run longer for the ambiance, you might have to crack a window to keep it from overheating. That will also keep fresh air coming in. I wouldn't personally suggest using a vent-free as your primary heat source as it might put too much moisture into your house, but as a secondary, back-up, and/or aesthetic source, they work great.
  14. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    In your house, maybe. Not in mine.
  15. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    Indeed, you're responsible for your own choices. But when you wade through the FUD, you might realize that a typical wood stove/fireplace will release more combustion products into your home while opening and closing the door to stoke it than a vent-free gas unit will during moderate usage. I have family members with asthma and they can handle the vent-free gas units fine but have trouble with the rooms with wood stoves. That should tell you something about the relative toxicity. Carpets and home electronics put out more noxious, cancer-causing fumes than a vent-free gas stove. You have every right to be over-cautious if you like though.
  16. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    If your wood stove is releasing fumes into the house while loading you have a draft problem.

    I'm with daksy, I'd never have one of those in my house, much less a bedroom.

    Also, I believe the cu ft/50 formula is for makeup air requirements for vented furnaces in tight rooms, there may be stricter rules for the ventless units.
  17. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    When new and burning clean air, yes. But they also burn anything that is suspended in the air, dust, cooking fumes, pet hair, whatever... and that stuff produces more than just CO2 and water vapor.
  18. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    I don't want to breath that stuff in the first place! That's why I have adequate ventilation as well as air filters. If your vent free stove ever puts out carbon monoxide above trace amounts, it will trip your detector, so you won't get poisoned.

    As for wood stoves and fumes, it's inevitable that you'll cause a draft into your house by opening the door. I'm not talking about billowing smoke filling your room; I'm talking about trace amounts which cling to the air around the door as you open it. That stuff affects sensitive people even though the rest of us can't notice it (or even enjoy it as just the scent of a wood stove).

    In any event, we're talking about trace amounts of stuff here. There's already much worse in your home and on the roads and in the towns which you already subject yourself to. Our noses and lungs already filter out much of it. You're not exposing yourself to anything alarming by running a vent free stove.

    But don't do it if you don't want to. We all have psychological hang-ups over certain things. Some people maniacally wash their hands but have no problem brushing their teeth with a brush sitting right next to the toilet. To each their own.
  19. Deron

    Deron Member

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    Spider web burn off every year...no biggie, except for the spiders.
    Thomas Anderson likes this.
  20. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    All arguements about whether or not it's a good idea aside, I think you'll be hard pressed to find a unit that doesn't state that it is NOT to be installed in a bedroom in the instruction manual. I looked at ours last night, and it specifically says that it cannot be installed in a bedroom, mobile home, bathroom and a few other places.

    I would eventually like to replace ours, but I doubt it will be until it fails, because DH really likes it. And then it will be a struggle to get him to go DV unless we can't find a VF. I *almost* had it gone this fall, but the Thelin Parlour I found for sale cheap enough turned out to be a B Vent instead of DV and we don't have a good way to run a B Vent where we want it. Oh well. I will continue to randomly hunt for a Thelin for that corner, maybe one day I'll get lucky and find a DV version that's cheap enough.

    On a side note, if you're determined to put one in, run it without the logs. I think that's what causes most of the smell from them-we went into a local pizza place the other day and they have a Procom stove in there without the log set, and it's the first time I've been anywhere with one running and didn't smell the "vent free smell".
    Thomas Anderson likes this.
  21. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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  22. Lisaparn

    Lisaparn New Member

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    Once again, I would like to respond to this older post as it will be viewed many more times in the future. I work in the fireplace industry (gas-fireplace.com) and sell vented as well as vent free fireplaces, stoves and gas logs. You can legally install a 10,000 BTU gas fireplace or heater in a bedroom. When I have a customer shopping in our store for a secondary heat source for the bedroom, and want vent free, I always try to point them in the direction of a lower BTU vented gas fireplace. The main reason is due to the smell of gas when the fireplace is being turned on. In an open area such as the living room or family room the gas odor would dissipate very quickly but in an enclosed bedroom that wouldn't be the case. Because of the heat, the fireplace would be turned on and off multiple times during use, and therefore the room would smell like gas during the time the fireplace is being used. I am not concerned with a fatality, they couldn't be legally sold if that was the case, I'm just not a fan of vent free in a bedroom.
  23. Stegman

    Stegman Feeling the Heat

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    I use a vent-free stove every day [of heating season] in the office above my garage. I've also slept out here on occasion, as have various relatives and guests. Never experienced any issues. We have CO2 and smoke detectors in place as a safeguard.
    Thomas Anderson likes this.

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