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Community and Q&A

Direct-Vent Sealed Gas Fireplace

Rian Bart | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

I am thinking about putting a fireplace in my around 400sf living/dinning room combo (share a wall with the garage). Wood burning fireplace is not allowed in my area. I was told that direct vent sealed gas fireplace is the most energy efficient option.

How do I minimize energy loss from the fireplace when it’s not in use?

What brand model do you recommend?

Is fireplace an energy efficient way to heat this room if I don’t need the rest of the house heated when I am entertaining?

Although the fireplace is very nice to have during the holiday season, I don’t use it that much and do not want to overspend on an item that is rarely used.

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Replies

  1. Expert Member
    Armando Cobo | | #1

    All gas direct vent fireplaces are sealed combustion units, and as long as you make sure all walls to the exterior are sealed and insulated you should be fine. As far as recommending a brand and model, you should go to several fireplace dealers as see all the options you have for your budget.

  2. TJ Elder | | #2

    A sealed combustion fireplace is not an energy efficient way of heating a room, but that's not typically the selling point. To actually generate heat you'd want a stove, located away from windows and not buried in an exterior wall. The more fashionable fireplace designs are what you might call a summer fireplace, for ambiance without adding heat to the room. But you would feel still some heat to sit right in front of the fire.

  3. terrell wong | | #3

    If it's just for looks, why not an ethenol fireplace one that can be moved about the place. Eco-smart fireplaces are like eye candy..

  4. Rian Bart | | #4

    Terrell, thanks for the pointer on eco-smart.

    Do you have first hand experience on if the fireplace works well? The pictures look great but small flame from some of the videos.

    The main concern is ventilation in a tight house. I will call them next week and find out more about the ventilation recommendation and price.

  5. Andrew Henry | | #5

    Hi Rian,

    If you are just going to use it occasionally then the fireplace will be a huge waste of energy as you will be putting another hole in your house that heated/cooled air can escape through.

    Andrew

  6. William Li | | #6

    Rian,
    If it's just for looks (depending on what part of the country you're in), you might want to consider putting in an electric fireplace. I'm planning on taking out one of the B-vents in my house, sealing and insulating after, then fitting a small electric in its place. The idea is to just turn on the light show but hardly ever would I turn on the heating unit. No combustion by-products. Even the ethanol units weird me out on that count, and the fuel for them is quite expensive.
    The recent cold snap here, though, has made me reconsider with the other B-vent, and I'm considering replacing that with a direct vent.

  7. Riversong | | #7

    If you want both heat and the ambiance of a fire, you might consider a free-standing direct-vent gas "woodstove", like the several that Vermont Castings makes:

    http://www.vermontcastings.com/products.asp?model=DV_intrepid
    http://www.vermontcastings.com/products.asp?model=DV_stardance
    http://www.vermontcastings.com/products.asp?model=DV_radiance

  8. William Li | | #8

    Or you could install a TV playing a fireplace DVD... in front of a bunch of bubble wrap. ;>
    (sorry, couldn't resist... was reading the bubble-wrap thread instead of doing work.)

  9. Tom May | | #9

    i would confront or ignore your local government and tell them to shove their wood fire place policies up their flue.....

    1. Expert Member
      Michael Maines | | #10

      You're always adding value, Tom--now in necro-threads!

      1. Tom May | | #12

        Thank you, because I'm here from the government and I'm here to help....

    2. James Someone | | #11

      I've seen this happen on Cape Cod. Home insurance wanted to make it unbearable to have a pellet stove in the house. Clearances are minimal with a pellet stove , however insurance wanted the stove three feet from exterior wall.
      I'm the middle of the room? so a person could trip over the extremely long exhaust pipe out of backside.

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