Want to replace Vent-Free Fireplace, need suggestions
My house was built 12 years ago, and a builder grade fireplace was installed with a B-Vent since the fireplace is not against an outside wall. We hated the fireplace as it didn't provide any heat, and actually made the whole house much colder. We use propane heat, as natural gas is not available in our area.
Upon the suggestion of a co-worker, I installed a vent-free fireplace and re-tiled the surround. We have had it for about six years now, and have had to have it serviced three times. It sure does kick out the heat, but I just can't stand the smell. When I walk past it when it's off I can smell gas all the time, yet the carbon monoxide detector has never gone off.
The vent-free box and logs were relatively inexpensive, and I completed the whole project including a wireless remote for under $1,000. We have always loved the open look, which is why we shyed away from a closed glass unit. Our fireplace gets heavy use, as one of us lays in front of the fireplace almost every night from Nov - Feb.
I am ready to replace the unit with a vented fireplace. I do not see anyway to install a vented fireplace out the side, as it would have to go thru another room to get to an outside wall, so I think I would have to use the existing B-Vent, up the roof.
My current unit is 36" W x 36" H x 20" D. As I recall, there was more depth available, but I an not sure it is another foot. The most important features to me in order of importance:
- Heating capacity
- Realistic Look
Can you please offer some recommendations?