There’s nothing better than gathering around the fireplace on a cold day, but unless you have a functioning chimney to vent the smoke, it can be dangerous and difficult to manage. However, now there’s a cheaper, safer alternative: A ventless fireplace allows you to bypass the ventilation and enjoy a roaring fire safely, without a chimney or flue. Here are five things you need to know about ventless fireplaces:
- They use something called perfect combustion. Running on natural gas, the fireplace’s burning is a result of the combustion of oxygen and methane. When the two combine, the byproducts they release are water vapor and carbon dioxide, which, unlike traditional fireplace smoke, is harmless and doesn’t need to be vented outside.
- “Perfect combustion” isn’t always perfect. The chemical reaction requires a certain amount of oxygen to work properly. If your ventless fireplace isn’t properly maintained or if you have a drafty house, are running a fan nearby, or even burning a candle, it can mean less oxygen in the reaction, resulting in poisonous carbon monoxide instead of carbon dioxide.
- There are safety measures. Most ventless fireplaces do come with certain fail-safes to guard against accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Oxygen monitors will let you know when O2 levels are getting low and shut the system down automatically if there’s any danger. There are also a variety of guidelines for proper use which, if you follow them carefully, will keep your fireplace burning safely.
- They’re cheaper than other fireplaces. To purchase and install a regular fireplace can cost up to $6,000. Electric fireplaces generally cost $1,000 or more. Ventless models cost around $300 to $700 and are much easier to install.
- They must be properly sized. Much like an HVAC system, you need to get the right size fireplace for your home to produce enough heat to warm the room safely. Talk to your HVAC contractor to find the correct-size fireplace for your space.
To learn more of the pros and cons of a ventless fireplace, contact us at Powers Heating & Air today. Peachtree City’s home-comfort needs are our top priority.