What is a direct vent gas fireplace?
A direct vent combustion system is unique in that it will incorporate air that it sources from outside your house in the combustion system. Similarly, the fumes and combustion gases produced when burning the provided fuel exits directly from the fireplace to the outdoors.
Also, these fireplaces often feature a prefabricated metal design. However, a glass screen may as well be included so that users can view the flames that are providing their homes with heat.
Additionally, the main difference between this and a vented fireplace is that the latter uses oxygen from the room where it is installed as part of the fuel-burning process.
Benefits of direct vent gas fireplaces
These fireplaces are associated with some benefits, which is probably why you are thinking of buying one in the first place. The closed design for one ensures that you do not have to deal with harmful gases in your home. If you were to use a traditional wood fireplace, some of the carbon dioxide would waft into your space due to the open design. If you are not careful, you may even experience carbon dioxide poisoning. This tool eliminates that problem.
One may also consider the fact that the fire does not use up the oxygen from the room. You will thus breathe a little easier with a direct vent option.
Increased safety is another benefit. The flames are enclosed and regulated easily using the controls provided. You, therefore, never need to come into contact with the fire. Pushing a button is enough. Of course, this also means that you and your family are further away from harm.
Another benefit is the increased heating efficiency. With other fireplaces, a lot of heat can be lost through chimneys and other outlets. With these devices, the design ensures the heat goes into the home rather than get wasted. For this reason, heating efficiency statistics are quite high.
Features to consider when choosing a direct vent gas fireplace
Also, if you want to know whether a direct vent gas fireplace is right for you, look at the features. If, you don’t know what the features listed mean, we have provided a comprehensive breakdown below.
Do you want a big or a small fireplace? Can your home even handle a large installation? These are some of the questions you need to ask while looking at available fireplaces. One example is that mobile homes don’t often have the largest walls. As such, having a fireplace that takes up 42” of space on such a wall might be overkill. It will also serve to clatter your space a lot more. This is why the Empire DVC28IN31N Innsbrook Large Clean Face Fireplace Insert is better suited for such a situation with its 34” size.
Framing dimensions are also a big part of the size of the device and will determine installation. Remember that there is an exterior frame, an inner frame, and space in between.
These are the measurements you look at so that you know how well the fireplace will fit into your wall. Also, this tells you whether you need to make additional space arrangements in your wall before you bring in the fireplace.
Where total heat output is concerned, the Empire Boulevard Direct Vent Linear Fireplace mentioned above is the most superior. This is because it produces the highest BTU value of all the devices on our list. However, you have to be aware of even your heat requirements before you decide that this is the tool for you.
In a small apartment, you will likely never need to turn it on to the maximum. As such, it would be a waste for you to purchase that while you could make do with something like the Majestic JADE32IN Jade 32″ Gas Fireplace.
You also want a tool that converts most of the fuel it burns into heat energy. This means higher efficiency. If this was the only thing you considered in your purchase decision, then the Empire DVD36FP30N Tahoe Deluxe 36″ Millivolt Fireplace is the perfect fit. None of the other tools mentioned can match up to its 83% efficiency.
It would as well be wise to invest in a direct vent gas fireplace insert that won’t present any problems when you try to turn on the device. There are a few options out there, all with different benefits. Also, some ignition and control systems have battery backups so that you can turn the device on during a power outage.
The venting in your house as well should help make a lot of your decisions. You might also have to build a venting system for your fireplace. After all, you are going to need to get rid of the byproducts of the burning process.
For those who have previously owned fireplaces, they should pick up similar venting systems. This way, if it was a top venting system, you won’t have to convert it, so it lines up with your rear vent purchase. Installation, as a result, will take less time and will be easier.
Also, a venting collar is more likely to work with a top vent system like the Napoleon GX36NTR Ascent 35 Gas Fireplace than it is with a rear venting system. The same is the case for rear venting if you want to use pipes to get rid of the gases produced.
You as well have to be considerate of your walls and ensure the system you choose does the least damage possible. If you are undecided on a venting system, you can select an option like the Empire Comfort Systems DVCD42FP31N Tahoe Clean Face Deluxe Fireplace. This gives you both top and rear venting options, and you get to decide which one to use once you have the product in your house.
Also, powered venting is an option just in case you choose a central wall to be the new home of your direct vent fireplace.
There are a lot of small household accidents that happen now and then, especially with kids running around. This being the case, it would be smart of you to ensure you purchase a very durable fireplace. As such, it will be able to take a few knocks without significant signs of damage. Also, more durable fireplaces are sure to remain in good working condition for longer.
You will no doubt have seen that some options feature ceramic glass for their protective screens, while others are made of tempered glass. Of course, you will have to pick one out of these two options.
If you are looking for the best quality, the ceramic option is the one for you. Benefits include high heat resistance, durability, and corrosion resistance.
However, the tempered glass option has one huge benefit that may lead to a lot more people considering it for purchase. This is the affordability. As such, if you are at the limits of your budget, the tempered glass may serve to keep the cost down.
Surrounds and liner
The direct vent gas fireplaces shown in the images above seem like they are molded into single units. However, they are made of several attachable components, some of which cannot be seen once the installation is complete. You also have to take these components informally known as surrounds into account. This ensures that there are no complications in the process that will make installation impossible.
Additionally, some of the areas around your fireplace will face repeated heating and cooling since they are near a source of heat. As such, this may lead to eventual damage, which you should want to prevent. Fireplace liners serve this purpose. This makes it so that you need to think about a liner as well if you are to put the fireplace in your living room, bedroom, or anywhere else.
Ease of installation
Also, if you do not have an extra budget for installation, you should find a product that is relatively easy to install. This is because you will be forced to do the installation process yourself. If you neither have the tools nor the knowhow to get the installation job done, you should pay someone else to do it for you. As such, you have to be prepared for this even as you select the product you want to purchase.
Given the price points of these direct vent fireplaces, a warranty could be immensely beneficial to the user. The option for you to send it back to the manufacturer for repairs without having to pay anything extra is also another incentive to make the purchase. Worth noting is that warranties have expiry dates from the day that you make the purchase. An example is that you can only use the warranty on the Empire DVC28IN31N Innsbrook Large Clean Face Fireplace Insert if you have spent less than three years with the tool.
It is no secret that direct vent fireplaces are expensive. Some of the relatively cheap ones will require that you part with close to 2000 dollars. This is only the purchase price. The installation will likely cost you more money. Also, you have to budget for the gas that you are going to use, whether it’s the natural gas or propane option. As such, you should look into a tool that is affordable for you. Nevertheless, if you have enough money you can even go for 5000 dollar options and nobody would have a problem with that.
Some of the manufacturers also want to make sure that they add value to their offerings by adding a few extra features. Ceramic fiber logs, for example, are an excellent way to make the flame look better while it burns in the fireplace. Backup batteries as well are not found in all models but can be handy. Any of the extra features you find in a direct vent fireplace will likely be very useful to you. This being the case, you should look for and purchase a device with all the extra features you like if you can afford it.