Identifying Gas Fireplace Type

jmeggersNovember 7, 2010

Our house is about 14 years old (we moved in 6 years ago) and it has a double-side gas fireplace with glass panels facing both rooms. We get almost no heat benefit from the fireplace and would like to understand what our options are for improving that. My wife would like to remove the glass but I'm not convinced that's a safe althernative. I'm not even certain exactly what type of fireplace it is, whether it's direct vent or something else. I'm pretty sure it's not ventless as I see a thermal controlled vent on the ceiling of the fireplace, so my guess is it vents up through the roof. I see what appears to be some kind of a sensor with wires attached at the top immediately behind one of the glass panels but can't tell what it does. I'm pretty sure it's not any kind of sensor to ensure the glass panel is in place as I was able to operate the fireplace without the panels in place. I don't see a brand name on anything. On the back of the access panel for the burner mechanism are the typical legal disclaimer stickers, and one says it requires fresh air for safe operation. Behind the glass panels there are wire mesh screens that can be pulled to the center but those may be simply for appearance. How can I tell for sure what type it is and whether removing the glass is a safe option? Thanks for any help.

John Meggers

Ashburn, VA

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Not sure what type it is, could be a "B" vent and they are useless for putting out any heat. Vent free's are outlawed in some cities, and many codes prevent them from being installed in bedrooms and sometimes bathrooms (CO).

The best type of fireplace is the "Direct Vent" In most cases you can identify these as they have a "Double wall Tube" coming out of them, either from the top or the back.
The actual combustion chamber is completely sealed on a direct vent. It draws the air it needs from the outside portion of that tube, and exaust the combusted products through the inside part of that tube, thus the outside part of the tube stays cool and these type of fireplaces can be installed "virtually anywhere"

Unfortunately even things here , with direct vent fireplaces are not that simple. There are some made, (Usually larger ones), that throw out little heat--they are rated for "entertainment" or some fool thing!!!
The ones that throw out the heat are rated as a heating appliance, and throw out heat , they do. We have a Valor
and it heats the whole downstairs of our 2700 sq ft house.
Fortunately, it has a hand held remote, as well as a thermostat mode, that will adjust the flame up/down as needed to keep the room (or wherever you have that remote), to the desired temperature.

I Hope you are able to do something with yours, but if not,
hopefully I have provided you with some "Ammunition" for the saleman! (LOL)

Good luck, hope you are able to stay warm!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 9:07PM
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