Replacing Fireplace Dilemma

Old 12-10-03, 03:49 AM
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Replacing Fireplace Dilemma

When we built our house five years ago our builder was planning on installing a Lennox Vented fireplace. Because we hated the sealed glass look and wanted to feel the fire, we had them install one that was not sealed. They installed a Lennox B-Vent decorative fireplace. Our mistake!

We love sitting by the fireplace, and I would estimate we run our fireplace six days a week for at least two hours a day between Nov-Mar.

Here's the problem - our house is cold all the time. We have had two different companies look at our HVAC system and it checks out. We have a ranch with 14' ceilings, with the great room, dining room, kitchen, and breakfast room all contecting to one another without walls. The great room measures 18' x 24'. This is where the fireplace is located. The vent goes up 14+' out the roof because the unit is on an interior wall.

We have decided to replace the Lennox B-Vent fireplace, which I have been told by both Lennox customer service and a local fireplace specialty company the vent has to be replaced if we install another Vented fireplace. Something to do with the size of the B-Vent. Actually this unit has been discontinued by Lennox.

Our local fireplace shop manager spent over two hours with me last Saturday explaining the Pros and Cons of a Vent-Free fireplace vs. a Vented Fireplace. We were comparing the American Hearth Vent Free fireplace to the Lennox Elite Vented fireplace.

We selected the Vent Free fireplace for the following reasons.
1. It is half the cost of the Vented unit
2. Installation is half the cost because the existing vent would not have to be removed
3. It gave out a tremendous amount of heat (music to our ears for this cold house)

Installation is scheduled for Dec 19. I decided to do a little research because I want to make the right decision. While the cost is important to me, I don't want to have to do this again.

I just read the posts under VENT - FREE, and now I am questioning my decision and you guys scared me. Given my circumstance what would you do?
Old 12-10-03, 05:03 AM
Doug Aleshire's Avatar
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I'm sorry if you are getting scared but the intent is to make sure that everyone knows what the advantages and disadvantages are. Then there is the issue of what is allowed per Code. Everyone sells non-vented fireplaces, no regard to Code and then you have the mishaps.

I would go with vented as you already read the threads on the pro's and cons. I am assuming that what I wrote was what your fireplace man told you.

Have any doubts about vented fireplaces, call the fire department or local building official. TYhey wil surely provide great feedback. These do require a permit to be installed.

The question should be, what is important to you, saving money or your family?

Hope this helps!

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