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Has anyone put ventless gas fireplace in existing fireplace

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Has anyone put ventless gas fireplace in existing fireplace

Postby McCall on Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:17 pm

and if you did what did you have to do to the fireplace itself to have it installed.
My fireplace I believe was originally a coal burning one I am almost certain, but at some point [firebox is 12" deep.]the coal grate and such were removed. In the years since then various owners/tenants have burned wood in it, and not burned the place down at least.
I have no idea when it was cleaned last, or what the lining, if it has one is like, I do know that several bricks have fallen, I assume mostly into the chimney though a couple might have fallen outside, not good with about 10 between houses.

So I know the top of the chimney needs to be taken back to a solid layer, I think the chimney is high enough to do this and still be legal dimensions. this would be cheaper than having it all rebuilt.

I am thinking of converting it to gas ventless with a gas coal basket, instead of logs. I have read on one site that you need to cap the chimney and the throat where the damper is must be sealed, what they did not say was do they mean permanent capping like sealed with cement or chimney capped with a metal cap. Also does the throat have to be permanently sealed like with cement or just the damper completely closed?

So has anyone had VENTLESS gas logs or coal basket installed in an old fireplace and what did they require you to do to the fireplace itstelf? I don't want to have to reline the fireplace if it is not being used
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Re: Has anyone put ventless gas fireplace in existing fireplace

Postby jharkin on Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:37 pm

Think carefully about a ventless. All the CO produced by the fire goes into your living space.:(
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Re: Has anyone put ventless gas fireplace in existing fireplace

Postby triguy128 on Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:29 pm

Ventless logs are about as safe a parking your in your living room and running it to heat your house... with only a cheap $2 oxygen sensor and CO detector to shut the car off. There's no difference. Gasoline and natural gas and just two different types of hydrocarbons.

I'm not joking here. They aren't safe unless you use the existing, properly lined flue, to vent it. But then, it puts out so little heat that it's pointless other than looking pretty.

Do you want your health or even life to depend on a $2 oxygen sensor probably made in china by the lowest bidder?

Put in an electric fireplace or a direct vent gas fireplace (preferred). No, the later isn't cheap.
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Re: Has anyone put ventless gas fireplace in existing fireplace

Postby triguy128 on Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:33 pm

jharkin wrote:Think carefully about a ventless. All the CO produced by the fire goes into your living space.:(


So does the CO2... or more importantly, it lowers the oxygen levels in your home. A 20k BTU ventless gas log is equivalent to having about 40 people in your home. Except the gas log is also releasing CO and some other not so healthy trace componds from impurities in the gas.
1925 Neo-Classical

Previous home - 1968 single story Ranch/Colonial, 1200sqft - 11 windows
Current home - 1925 2 story Beaux Arts Neo-classical overlooking the Mississippi River, 3200sqft - 48 Windows
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Re: Has anyone put ventless gas fireplace in existing fireplace

Postby McCall on Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:12 pm

I am surprised with the responses, the new vent free fireplace inserts are very safe, as they are designed to burn many of the gases involved, In a super tight modern house I might be bit concerned but even there they are now very popular.

the have automatic shut off sensors in case the air is to carbon monoxide laden. they are very popular and you cannot have them Vent up your chimney, the chimney has to be blocked so that the gases that are produced are burned and can't be blown into the room because of chimney drafts.

Doesn't anyone one here have one?
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Re: Has anyone put ventless gas fireplace in existing fireplace

Postby downtowndahlgren on Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:42 pm

McCall, I have a large ventless propane fireplace (32K BTU). I hesitated to post a reply due to all of the above responses. I had it installed in Nov. 2009, but had a smaller freestanding one prior to that. My fireplace is intended for a backup heat source if the power goes out, since the generator runs everything in the house except the heat pump. I don't usually run it unless it's a really cold night or I just want the enjoyment of live flames (plus the cats love it!). However, I don't have a chimney that had to be blocked up (at least in that location); I installed it in the dining room which is the most central as well as largest room. I know there are safety concerns, but I have never had any problems .
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Re: Has anyone put ventless gas fireplace in existing fireplace

Postby Old Colonial on Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:04 pm

I looked into a ventless gas stove (looks like a woodstove) to put into a non-functional fireplace. One dealer gave me all the standard sales pitches. Another (with a good reputation) told me they won't sell them. They stopped due to customer complaints. They also said they expected them to be banned in the future for safety reasons.

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Re: Has anyone put ventless gas fireplace in existing fireplace

Postby s.kelly on Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:21 pm

It was a few years ago, but I gave up on the idea when I read a consumer reports article advising against them. Might have changed since, but I agree with the people that think all that exhaust gas can't be a good thing.
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Re: Has anyone put ventless gas fireplace in existing fireplace

Postby Lynners on Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:28 pm

For what it's worth, ventless fireplaces are illegal in Canada.
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Re: Has anyone put ventless gas fireplace in existing fireplace

Postby McCall on Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:56 pm

They are legal where I am.
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