We have put together a couple of visual aids to help you understand industry terminology and help with fireplace installation and configuration. This is still a work-in-progress, so as always, feel free to call us toll free at (877)669-4669 if you have any further questions regarding fireplaces or fireplace components/accessories.
If you are planning to add a direct vent or vent-free fireplace to an existing smaller room, you may want to consider a "dog house". Before you think you'll have to go out to your backyard to enjoy your new fireplace, let me explain what a dog house is. Usually, your fireplace will add 2 feet to your room and your hearth will add another 2 feet. You are therefore giving up 4 feet of living space. A dog house allows you to add your fireplace into your wall and build the exterior walls and roof to cover your new fireplace and allow for proper venting.
The picture below shows an exterior chase with an extension pipe. An extension pipe will be needed if the top of your chimney is less than 3 feet above anything within a 10 foot radius.
Failure to follow the above specifications will lead to smoke coming back into your house.
The pictures below show the top and bottom of a dual-venting fireplace with a retro-fitted gas line from the exterior of the home. Notice the chimney is 3 feet higher than anything within 10 feet. This ensures that no smoke will come back into the house.
Galvanized Piping vs. Stainless Steel Piping
Is Stainless Steel Piping Worth the Extra Cash?
Stainless steel piping has nothing but benefits over galvanized piping. A stainless steel pipe will always look better than a galvanized pipe and won't rust. Generally, stainless steel piping comes with a better warranty because it is designed to last longer. You'll have piece of mind when a big storm hits and you don't have to worry about venting damage. Additionally, many manufacturers change their piping style/size every few years. In the past, many people have had difficulty replacing a damaged galvanized pipe because they can no longer find the proper size to fit their fireplace.
Although stainless steel piping is more expensive up front, we believe it is much less costly in the long run. For additional information, contact one of our Certified Installers at (877)669-4669.
When To Use a Roof Chase
A roof chase can be used to vertically extend venting if necessary. Vents must be 3 feet or higher than everything else on the roof within 10 feet. This 3-foot minimum exists to make sure vent exhaust does not re-enter the home. A roof chase can be used with any venting configuration and can be made to blend with the rest of the exterior of the home.