direct vent recommendation

favabeans5November 24, 2008

i have a 15x18ft addition out back that has no has a vaulted ceiling that gets up to about 12-13ft i believe.. it has 4 large windows.. a sliding glass door out to the backyard and a steal entry door.. it is insulated.. i live about 25 miles north of Chicago so we get some cold and snow around here.. the addition still has the exterior door that can be closed to cut it off from the rest of the house..

there is a gas wall heater in there now..

i am considering replacing that wall heater with a direct vent fireplace.. would like something a bit more pleasing to the eye and less utilitarian.. think it would be nice to come in from the cold and be able to sit in front of the nice warm fire..

we also have a wood burning fireplace in the basement that we use from time to time.. but would like one in a more common/social area..

i would like to keep it in the 32in range and place it in the corner of the room.. the gas line for the wall heater comes up through the floor right by the corner in question..

anyway.. anybody have any good recommendation for a brand/model and or good price retailer?


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Unfortunately, there are no "objective" ratings of the Consumer Reports type. The first thing you need to do is find a contractor or installer you have confidence in. This is really the highest priority -- if you can't find one with an established reputation who is willing to do it, don't do it. So you need to size up a reputation by asking around. Next you need to comb the web for direct vent gas fireplaces, to see which appeal to you. Some fireplace stores have fireplace inserts on display, which may be an indirect help in selecting the right one for you. If a company with good reputation in their stoves and inserts also makes a fireplace that you like, and the installer you like says they can put it in for you, then you decision is made.

We have a direct vent gas insert by Jotul that was retrofitted into our prefab wood burning fireplace, and we're very pleased with it. The Jotul brand is well known for its quality stoves and related products. They are manufactured in Norway and assembled in Maine. I believe they have a gas direct vent fireplace that fits into a corner. You can check out their website, which is pretty informative--you can download all the installation manuals, etc. the one thing I did not like about Jotul is that their customer service 800# is not intended for "retail" calls, but for installers. So if you have a question that your installer cannot answer, you cannot expect an answer directly from the manufacturer.

I am sure there are many options other than Jotul. Just shop around on the web. Do a google search for direct vent fireplace.

One more thing: Most of these units come with a remote control thermostat at an extra cost. I think they charge too much for them, but they are really worth the cost, because these units can feel like a blast furnace after a while, and you do need to control them with a thermostat.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 9:23AM
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