Gas fireplace

Old 01-01-03, 07:48 PM
Mary Ell
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Gas fireplace

I am interested in installing a vented gas fireplace. The wall that I really really want it on is not an outside wall and I have a bathroom above it on the next floor. I would like to vent this fireplace to the side. I've had 2 installers give me information and estimates, and of course I've been given 2 different types of information ("no problem" and "we can do it , but..."). Do you have any information on venting a gas fireplace to the side instead of up or out? I want to have book shelves built on each side of the fireplace, but of course the venting pipe could pose a problem. Thank you
Old 01-01-03, 08:26 PM
Doug Aleshire's Avatar
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Mary, have been told 2 storys and confusion starts. Isn't that the way it goes sometimes? Well where do we start to give you some least from my point of view...

Direct Vented Fireplaces offer the convenient option - No chimney is needed - just a hole through the wall behind or right above the appliance. This gives quite a bit of installation flexibility, such as locating the unit below a big picture window. ***NOTE: THESE MUST HAVE PROPER CLEARANCES FROM ANY OPERABLE WINDOWS AS PER CODE*** This direct vent pipe is really two pipes, one inside the other. The outer wall sucks in air from outside to be used in burning the Gas. The inner pipe then returns the flue gases back outside. This "sealed" system is very safe and efficient because no air from inside the home is being used for combustion. These are more costly, selling for $1000 to $2500, including the venting pipe. Installation can run $600 and up for the basic Gas Hookup and Venting - plus the cost of Hearth, Mantels and finish work. Obviously this depends on your current site conditions.

With what you mentoned, you want this fireplace to be on an interior wall but you have a bathroom directly above it and you want to have bookshelves on each side. Care to rethink your choice of fireplace? By the way, what is behind the wall that you want the fireplace on?

You need to make some choices, you can't have everything but there are options. Maybe you should consider a Ventless Fireplace. They have become very popular in the last few years. No chimney or vent is needed with these and installation costs are minimal. The units are "zero clearance" (right against a wall) or close clearance (a few inches away) allowing a great flexibility in the placement. These Ventless Products pass all current safety and emission standards. They are equipped with an ODS (oxygen depletion sensor) pilot light system that has been almost flawless in it's safety record. The are however intended for occasional , attended and supplementary use. Being an open fire (no glass), it is probably prudent to use your Ventless Fireplace only when you are in the room with it. They are also about 99% efficient, and are available in sizes from 10,000 to 40,000 BTU/Hr output. Prices start at $400 and run up to $1500, with finish (marble, mantels, etc) adding to the installed cost.

*** Again, these must be code approved in your area and as usual permits but be obtain and a licensed installer must be used.

If you have any doubts about your 2 contractors, call the building department. They can easily fill you in on what they allow and specifications that meet there requirements.

Hope this helps and Happy New Year!

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