gas fireplace consumption

Old 03-27-02, 05:53 PM
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gas fireplace consumption

anyone here have any experience with vent-free gas fireplaces? someone told me that theirs used so much gas they got rid of it. seems to me that a regulator would be integral to one of these things, and i wouldn't expect it to use much more gas than a good sized water heater. we're debating putting one in our bedroom, so any info appreciated.
Old 03-27-02, 07:16 PM
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Hello jwb260572 and Welcome to our Do It Yourself Web Site and the Gas Appliances forum.

It would be difficult to determine how much gas the appliance would use when attempting to consider monthly fuel costs.

Each appliance has a BTU rating and a built-in gas regulator to control the gas input, thereby regulating the flame size and heat output.

In my opinion, no unvented heating appliances should ever be installed in a bedroom. Doing so will create a hazardous condition. Carbon monoxide poisoning and or asphyxiation.

Dangerous place to install any non vented appliance.

Check with the local building any safety department.

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Old 03-29-02, 06:02 AM
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Thanks for reply

Since posting, I've done some research. Thought I'd post what I found in case anyone else was curious.

Generally speaking, vent-free appliances are NOT approved for use in bedrooms. Surprisingly, the reason is not CO, but heat output. The vent-frees have an oxygen depletion sensor that cuts off the unit when oxygen in the room begins to deplete. Of course, as with any gas appliance in a home, CO detectors should be installed nearby. Apparently, the vent-frees are so efficient at burning the gas that a 40K BTU unit puts out as much or more heat as a 90K BTU vented model. I suspect part of the reason for this is that there is no vent for the heat to escape from.

Having said that, the manufacturers are beginning to make low-ouput units, (10K BTU or less), and these are approved for bedroom use.

Now, I've used the word approved a couple of times in this post. So not to mislead, approved does not refer to building code. The vent-frees are still relatively new to the market. I'm in Georgia, which is SBCCI territory, with NEC, UPC, and UMC backing it up. The vent-frees are not mentioned in any of the above that I have found. Now, if you're the sadistic type, check out NFPA, it does touch on the subject, but remember -- a vent-free is NOT a fireplace. It has no chimney, thereby disqualifying itself from the definition.

So at this point, I was totally frustrated. As a last resort I called my local building dept. Here's the deal -- as long as its installed to manufacturer spec, it will pass inspection (How's that for chicken-sh**?). So back to the usage of the word approved, the manufacturers have units specifically 'approved' for bedrooms (10K BTU or less) and bathrooms (6K BTU or less).

Also, as far as consumption, converting BTUs to Therms, then figuring that I'm paying @ $0.66 per therm, a 40K BTU vent-free should cost about $0.26/hour to operate on the highest setting.

Again, thanks for the reply. Hope this info is helpful to others out there.

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