A Fireplace Without a Chimney

by Matt Goering

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Ventless fireplaces are exactly what their name makes them out to be: natural gas or propane fired fireplaces that don't require a chimney in order to run. For many homeowners this is exactly the product they've been looking before. Because vents or chimneys are unnecessary, vent free fireplaces are much cheaper to install than vented models, and can be placed in rooms where previous fireplaces simply weren't an option, such as small dens and bedrooms. If you're looking for a cost-effective fireplace or if you didn't think your home could accommodate a fireplace at all, take a long look at a vent free fireplace to meet your fireplace needs.

How Do Ventless Fireplaces Work?
A ventless gas fireplace works on a fairly simple principle. When installed, the "fire" is adjusted to burn at optimum efficiency, minimalizing the production of harmful carbon monoxide gas and moisture to a safe level that can be vented into the home. The result is a comfortable, clean burning fire that burns much more efficiently than ventless fireplaces, saving you money on your gas bill in the process. As mentioned before, the implications this has on where a fireplace can be installed is what has really caused ventless fireplaces to take off with homeowners across the country, since they can be easily installed in just about every room of a house.

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Vent Free Fireplace

Things to Consider
Because ventless gas fireplaces do vent into the home rather than to the outside through a chimney, it is very important that you choose an appropriately-sized model for the area you plan to use it in. Not doing so can lead to unsafe carbon monoxide levels and damaging moisture build-up in your home. For this and other reasons, installing a ventless gas fireplace is not a do-it-yourself job. Improper installation by a weekend handyman who doesn't know the ins and outs of these units can lead to disastrous consequences, including carbon monoxide poisoning and even death. When installed and properly adjusted by an experienced, certified ventless gas fireplace installer, however, these units are more than safe. Ventless fireplace features such as carbon monoxide and oxygen sensors that shut the flame down if unsafe levels are detected are standard fare on these fireplaces, protecting you and your family from potential harm. Combine this with responsible ownership (it is recommend you burn these fireplaces no more than 4 hours a day), and there's really nothing to worry about. In the end you'll have a cost-effective, energy efficient vent free fireplace that will bring you many a cozy night cuddling up by the fire.

Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.