Direct Vent Fireplaces - Advantages of gas fireplaces
Features of direct vent fireplaces
Direct vent fireplaces are gas burning appliances that use a flue to vent combustion waste outside via the most direct route. This can be either vertically through the wall, known as a rear vent, or up through the ceiling which is known as a top vent. These vents can be as long as twenty five feet or more.
The key advantage to direct vent fireplaces is that they do not require a chimney. Instead of masonry, direct vent units are pre-assembled in the factory and are usually made from metal. These are designed with the intention of being fitted into a wood frame and look very much like a conventional fireplace once installed.
One of the most favored advantages of a direct vent fireplace is the realistic effects of the gas logs , complete with glowing embers. Another advantage is the convenience of instant fire without the hassle of cleaning ashes or chopping wood. They are easy to maintain, fairly cheap to run and both cheap and easy to install. It's no wonder these are becoming ever more popular in homes across the country. Direct vent fireplaces also utilize zero-clearance technology meaning that, along with the insulating glass doors, the rest of the unit is insulated enough that it can be safely placed near flammable materials such as walls, curtains and furniture. The biggest advantage of a direct vent fireplace over a gas fireplace using a chimney is that the flue is much smaller in diameter than the average chimney. This means that less heat is lost through the flue than would be through a chimney.
Direct vent fireplaces, like most other gas appliances, can burn either natural gas or propane (liquid petroleum). Direct vent units burn fuel very effectively meaning there are very few combustion by-products. This makes them extremely efficient allowing for a vertical vent to be used. This efficiency is furthered by the use of sealed glass doors which keeps the combustion waste out of the room. They also keep the firebox well insulated meaning much of the heat does not escape but rather, is circulated into the room via small ducts. Some models even come with a fan option to enhance the circulation of heated room air. Combustion air is brought in from outside and then released via the flue carrying the combustion emissions with it. Direct vent fireplaces must always be operated with an open flue or damper .
Most direct vent fireplaces have an efficiency rating of approximately seventy eight percent. This means that seventy eight percent of the fuel's potential heat is converted to usable heat. Many gas fireplaces use a safety pilot light that is continuously lit so the fire can be turned on by simply turning on the gas. Others may use an electronic or direct spark ignition to light the main burner. Many gas units utilize a millivolt generator that enables the fire to keep going during a power failure.
Direct vent fireplaces come in a variety of styles including multi-sided designs such as island fireplaces. They can be custom made according a range of specifications which makes it easy to couple the convenience of a gas fireplace in a variety of styles. Whatever the design or style, installation should always be carried out according to the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations. Local building codes should also be adhered to and fireplaces should always be certified by a recognized organization.