Gas Fireplace Venting – Direct Vent vs B Vent
When shopping for a fireplace, you know ahead of time some of the benefits you’ll soon be enjoying. A fireplace makes a beautiful addition to any home, and with all the styles available, it’s easy to match virtually any current décor. Depending on the model you choose, you can save a lot of money on heating bills. In addition, there’s nothing like a burning fire to create a special mood and ambiance.
Many homeowners start their shopping process by deciding on a gas fireplace rather than wood or another fuel type. Gas fireplaces are economical, good-looking and do a great job of replicating the fire created by burning logs. A wide range of gas fireplaces – along with surrounds and mantels – are available these days from top manufacturers, so it’s easy to select an ideal appliance.
The only remaining choice when buying a gas fireplace is what kind of vent system it will have. The two most popular styles are B vent and direct vent. Let’s look at each.
B vent gas fireplaces are vented in a similar fashion to traditional wood fireplaces: the vent pipe runs up from the unit and ends on the outside of the roof. This system relies on air inside the room to create combustion, but a relatively small amount of air is usually needed.
Vented in this way, a fireplace will have only moderate efficiency in producing heat, making it a good choice as a cosmetic addition to the home rather than as a full-scale heating unit. The installation of a B vent system may be a little more costly than that of a direct vent system. Based on the design of your home, you may be restricted in where the fireplace can be located, since the venting must run through an appropriate section of the roof.
A direct vent fireplace is actually a two-part ventilation system. One part removes exhaust fumes from the firebox, the other brings in air from outside the home for combustion. The fireplace is completely sealed and uses no air from within the home.
This style of gas fireplace typically produces more heat than the B vent variety, making it very popular with homeowners who live in cold regions. Another attractive feature is that direct vent models can be vented through a side wall. For this reason you’ll have many more options on where to place the unit within your house.
Notwithstanding the difference in heat-generation between the two styles, both B vent and direct vent fireplaces will make an exciting addition to most any home. Whether you’re seeking warmth or fantastic ambiance, today’s gas fireplaces deliver with the quality and durability you expect.
United Fireplace & Stove member stores throughout North America offer a wide selection of both B vent and direct vent gas fireplaces. We can help you determine the perfect style, size and finish for your home, regardless of the type of model you choose.