Direct Vent Fireplaces
Direct Vent Fireplace Information
A direct vent fireplace is a pre-fabricated metal fireplace designed to be easy to install, easy to use, have a realistic look, burn cleanly, and have little maintenance. They are closed combustion units so they have a sealed glass panel on the front of the fireplace which allows them to be highly efficient. The glass panel allows heat to pass through it and radiate into the room.
Easy to install
Because this is a zero-clearance installation, you don't need a complicated foundation or frame for these units. This means you can bring your wood frame directly to the sides of the unit and set the unit directly on a plywood base. All direct vent fireplaces have metal standoffs on the top of the units. These standoffs cannot be removed and you will set your top framing right on top of them.
Because of the unique vent style, your installation can be quite simple! You could vent your direct vent fireplace directly out the rear of the unit to a side wall of the home or vent it vertically through your roof like a traditional masonry fireplace. You can look at our Chimney and Chase Information page for some basic venting examples. There are different options and limitations for each fireplace so please refer to the fireplace's owner's manual for the unit limitations.
Once you have the unit framed you have a number of options to finish the face and the look of the fireplace. Almost all manufacturers offer trim kits which will give you a simple and clean way to cover the gap between the fireplace and the face material. Some manufacturers even offer bay windows which can give your fireplace a completely different look. Don't think you are limited to trim options that the manufacturers offer! You can trim and face the unit with any non-combustible material. If you want to do a tile, brick, or marble hearth and have the trim match ' you can! Your only limitation is that your facing materials cannot cover any part of the vent or grill panels. For more detailed instructions visit our Direct Vent Fireplace Installation page.
Easy to Use
Direct vent fireplaces have many options when it comes to how you want to turn the unit on and off. The options you have vary depending on what type of fireplace you decide to purchase, so check out our Direct Vent Fireplace Control Valve Options page for more information on this.
For the most basic use you can either use the rocker on/off switch that is pre-installed in most fireplaces or you can use a millivolt wall switch. The millivolt wall switch is a specific switch that looks like a standard light switch to turn the fireplace on and off. If you don't want to walk up to the fireplace to turn it on and off, you can use a wall thermostat or a remote control to do it instead! There are a number of options with the remote controls as well. You can get the most basic version that simply turns your flame on and off - or you can go to the most complex version which will allow you to control your flame height and fan speed ' or even have the remote control do it automatically depending on the temperature in the room! Of course, these features all depend on the type of valve that is installed in your fireplace so make sure you get the one that fits your needs.
A Realistic Look
The ambiance of your room is very important and can be the main reason to choose one fireplace over another. When you are shopping, make sure to look at the fireplace while it is burning and while it is turned off. Most of the time your fireplace is not going to be burning, so make sure your logs look real. All of these units have artificial logs, but some manufactures make them look more realistic than others. When the unit is burning, look for a unit with large, yellow, dancing flames. A nice flame pattern and realistic logs will give you the best look possible.
A Clean Burn
These units burn very cleanly and efficiently as compared to other models on the market. You can find some models that have up to an 88% Steady State Efficiency rating. This means they burn your fuel cleaner and produce more heat. Direct vent fireplaces make a great addition to any home by adding ambiance to your room, increasing your home value, and they can even lower your heating costs!
There is not a great deal of maintenance to go along with a direct vent fireplace. During the fireplace operating season, you should clean the glass and clean the burner compartment. It is also necessary to clean the glass panel periodically. You will notice that dust, lint, dirt, and other airborne particles will stick to the glass surface. Most manufacturers recommend that you clean the glass about three times each operating season. For this, you can use non-ammonia cleaner and warm water. There are specific fireplace glass cleaning products you could purchase as well. Do not clean the glass when it is hot and do not use abrasive cleanser.
At least once a year you should clean out the burner compartment and standing pilot assembly. You will clear out the burn area, including logs and ember material, then vacuum and wipe and dirt from the area.
Please refer to your owner's manual for an exact maintenance schedule and instructions.