Vent Free Gas Logs and Gas Fireplaces
Vent Free Gas Fireplaces and logsVent free Gas logs and fireplaces are an attractive alternative to vented gas fireplaces and vented gas logs, because they are less expensive, easier and cheaper to install, and have a very high efficiency rating.
That sums up the advantages very well, but Vent Free Gas appliances are not considered to be a home heating device, as you need to open a window to let the pollutants out and fresh air in. Vent Free gas units were designed for used only a few hours at a time to limit the pollutants and potential oxygen depletion, definitely do not leave them on over night when the occupants are sleeping. As with any gas appliance you should install carbon monoxide alarms in the room where the gas appliance is located as an additional safe guard for the family. Vent Free gas units can be a safe ambiance for the home if they are used correctly.
The unit’s functionality relates to it high efficiency. Typically the flame is very blue which looks more like the gas burner on a gas-cooking stove. The flame need to be at a peak efficiency to become as hot as possible, which in turn gets almost complete combustion, thereby burning up almost all pollutants that are in the gas. The two major things left over is Carbon Monoxide and moisture. Moisture can be a good thing as most homes in the wintertime are very dry, therefore to add some moisture to the room. What you need to be aware of is if the unit is too large for the area, producing too much moisture, therefore a mold condition could arise. The flame will use a large amount of oxygen for combustion; thereby a carbon monoxide problem could arise. All vent free appliances are equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor in case the room is to air tight; the sensor will work as a safety shut off in case the oxygen level drops below a predetermined limit. It is not uncommon for this sensor to get dirty and or malfunction, thereby requiring service to restore it’s functionality A window or ventilation should be always left open when the unit is in operation to allow some fresh air to come in and prevent any chance of suffocation for the occupants. You should never leave the unit on and go to bed nor install one of the units into a bedroom, again to prevent any chance of depleting the oxygen in the room. Bigger is not better as the unit will use more oxygen and produce more moisture in the room. The primary reason to purchase a vent free unit should be for ambiance, and emit some warmth for a short period of time, and definitely not a back-up heat source.
Many states and some municipalities within a state may restrict or disallow the units to be installed in any residential homes, due to safety concerns. Never buy or install a vent free unit without first checking with your local municipality for compliance. If they are not allowed and there is an insurance claim, you may not be able to collect from your insurance company, as the unit is not installed to code. Many reputable installer and specialty hearth stores may not be willing to sell or install your unit, due to the potential liability of improper use and difficulty of getting permits.
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