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Ready to replace Vent-Free fireplace with Vented

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by BJsBuds, Nov 16, 2010.

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  1. BJsBuds

    BJsBuds New Member

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    SE Ohio
    When my house was built 12 years ago, a builder grade fireplace was installed with a B-Vent since the fireplace is not against an outside wall. This fireplace didn't provide any heat, and actually made the whole house much colder. We use propane heat.

    Upon the suggestion of a co-worker, I installed a vent-free fireplace and re-tiled the surround. We have had it for about six years now, and have had to have it serviced three times. It sure does kick out the heat, but I just can't stand the smell. When I walk past it, even when it's off, I can smell gas, yet the carbon monoxide detector has never gone off.

    The vent-free box and logs were relatively inexpensive, and I completed the whole project including a wireless remote for under $1,000. We have always loved the open look, which is why we shyed away from a closed glass unit, but now I am thinking we should opt for a closed unit to improve efficiency. Our fireplace gets heavy use, as it is turned on almost every night from Nov - Feb. The fireplace is installed in the living room when is 17' x 24' with 14' ceilings, and open to the dining room, kitchen, and breakfast room.

    I am ready to replace the unit with a vented fireplace. I do not see anyway to install a vented fireplace out the side, as it would have to go thru another room to get to an outside wall, so I think I would have to use the existing B-Vent, up the roof.

    My current vent-free unit is 36" W x 36" H x 20" D. As I recall, there was more depth available, but I am not sure it is another foot. The most important features to me in order of importance:
    - Heating capacity
    - Realistic Look
    - Efficiency

    I have been searching the web to find the best brands, and plan on beginning my visit to fireplace shops this weekend. Can you please offer some recommendations, or what I should be looking for?

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  2. 98dingo

    98dingo New Member

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    Oct 18, 2010
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    Loc:
    Shawano, WI
    http://www.valorfireplaces.com/ Valor makes awesome gas fireplaces. They have so many features and options to choose from. The output of some of them is comparable to a mediumn sized furnace so atleast you get something more than just a flame to look at.
  3. Fsappo

    Fsappo New Member

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    Valor is a great one. Regency, Heat N Glo are also good. You can still install a direct vent fireplace up thru your roof, you may just need to enlarge the hole and pay attention to any restrictor plate requirements. There are plenty of 36" fireplaces with less than 20" depth. You could always do something nutty and visit a fireplace shop that would have units on display to look at, specs, advice and perhaps bless them with your business.
  4. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    :rofl:
  5. BJsBuds

    BJsBuds New Member

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    Nov 16, 2010
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    Well, I started my fireplace replacement search today. Quite a surprise, I went to what I believe is a reputable retailer, and they recommended that I not replace my fireplace with a vented fireplace but to replace my vent-free fireplace again. This came after I said I was looking for something that would provide good heat. He said that the newer vent-free fireplaces have made great improvements and they do not smell.

    So, now I don't know what to think. Any suggestions?
  6. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    Find another dealer. ANY room-vented (aka Vent-Free) appliance will smell.
    If you have a pet, dog or cat hair or dander will float into the flames & burn
    & you WILL smell them.
    Household sprays - furniture polish, Lysol, whatever - will float into the flames
    & burn & you WILL smell them.
    Not sure how much water vapor you want to put into your house. What does the dealer say about that?
    Every 100,000 BTU will release a GALLON of water vapor into the room.
    Do you have unfinished wooden doors or windows? Do you want them to open?
    When they absorb the water vapor, they wil swell & may not open OR close.
    How much is the "Acceptable amount of Carbon Monoxide" that will be intoduced into your home?
    My guess is ZERO.
    You will get arguments for (some) and against (a LOT) in here, so you can make the call yourself.
  7. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    yet again, Bob is right on!
    if you plan on using it as a real heater, vented is the way to go
  8. peedenmark7

    peedenmark7 Member

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    Oct 22, 2010
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    Loc:
    wisconsin
    vent free units are illegal in many states... if your dealer is telling you to buy the same type of unit again, I'd walk away in a hurry as he is doing you, your family, or any pets a great disservice.
    vent free units are dirty and they can and do cause health problems.

    but..... if endless cleaning and lung trouble are your thing, by all means stay the course.. I am glad we moved the vent free unit to the garage where it belongs !
  9. rachely476

    rachely476 New Member

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    CANADA
    Thanks for sharing the link!
  10. maplewoodshelby

    maplewoodshelby Member

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    I have had both and vent free is the way to go more efficient and more heat. IF it stinks all the time there is something wrong
  11. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

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    Alabama, NY
    more death with a vent free too.
  12. mariacw

    mariacw New Member

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    Are you comparing a vent free log set to a vented log set?
    Vented log sets mainly for looks. Cost $500-$1200
    Vent Free logs give heat but you should not use if there are elderly, young ones, or people with any kind of breathing issues. The can cause sooting in a home, moisture issues, and you shouldn't run them for more than 3 hours at a time. Cost $500-$1200.
    Direct Vent Fireplaces if rated as heating appliances give lots of heat, can operate on a thermostat, are completely independent from your breathing air, and you burn all day and all night if you want. cost $1200 plus.
  13. martin 007

    martin 007 New Member

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    Vancouver

    Not sure if you ever go an answer that would work for you.

    There is a new fireplace that has been manufactured to replace the B-vent fireplace. www.abr19.com
    Savannah Heating is the manufacturer. First of its kind to convert B-vent to Direct Vent.
    Cut out old fireplace and install new in same space. New vent inserted down existing vent for exhaust. New vent cap. Done. Can be installed in under 4 hours by qualified installer.

    Good luck.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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