How Do Direct-Vent Fireplaces Work?
The growing popularity of direct-vent fireplaces is no surprise when you consider the clear-cut benefits they bring to most any home: they’re safe, highly efficient and can be installed just about anywhere in the home without the need for major remodeling or hassle. We’ll look at these benefits more in-depth, but first – what is a direct-vent gas fireplace, and why is it different from traditional gas fireplaces?
How air is used makes a difference
Traditional gas fireplaces and inserts draw air for combustion from within the home. After this air is heated, much of it is lost up the flue. These appliances still have some value as heating units, but they can’t match the efficiency of direct-vent.
A direct-vent gas fireplace works just the opposite. Direct-vent technology brings air into the unit from outside the house through the outer chamber of a double-vent pipe. As this is happening, the inside chamber sends exhaust fumes and toxins out of the house and into the air. So rather than pulling already warm air out of the room only to lose it up the flue, direct-vent fireplaces bring in and heat cooler outside air and make it available within the house.
With this kind of vent system, the problem of backdrafting is prevented. A traditional gas fireplace with a standard flue can be prone to backdrafting any time a depressurized situation is created inside the house by running a kitchen exhaust fan or even having a door or window open. Harmful gasses including poisonous carbon monoxide are pushed out of the firebox and into the room as depressurization pulls outside air down the flue. And this is the first of three key benefits with direct-vent gas fireplaces.
1. Safety: The danger of backdrafts with gas fireplaces is that often people in the home don’t even know they’re happening. With a wood-burning fireplace, smoke enters the room and provides a clue that there’s a problem. The carbon monoxide produced by burning gas is invisible and has no scent. A room can be full of this toxin without anybody knowing it, and it can cause severe health problems up to and including death. Direct-vent fireplaces provide the ultimate safety in this area.
2. Efficiency: The technology used in modern direct-vent gas fireplaces allows the units to create heat more efficiently by burning a larger percentage of the fuel. The more fuel burned, the more heat produced. Additionally, glass fireplace doors form a very tight seal to maintain a higher level of heat inside the firebox.
3. Easy placement: A third great benefit with direct-vent gas fireplaces is ease of installation and versatility in placement. With a venting system that can be fed through any wall to the outside, you can place these fireplaces virtually anywhere you want inside your home. This means you can add them to smaller rooms like kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms for instant, flip-of-a-switch heat when you need it.
Is it time to learn more about the joys of owning an efficient direct-vent gas fireplace? If so, Inglenook Energy Center of Conifer, Colo., can show you all the latest models by the top names in the industry. We’ll help you choose the perfect unit for your heating and décor needs. Give us a call at (303) 838-3612, or stop in and see us at 26731 Main St. We install and sell.