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Fireplace Venting Options

Direct Vent

Direct Vent ElbowDirect vent fireplace venting uses a co-axial pipe system (a small pipe within a large pipe) and draws combustion air from the outside, through the outer pipe. It is part of a sealed and balanced system that is designed with and air intake and exhaust in a single venting system. Some of its features:

  • An inner pipe that vents the exhaust
  • Can vent either out the top or out the back for installation versatility
  • Can vent horizontally through an outside wall, or vertically through the roof - no chimney required!
  • Ideal for adding warmth & efficient heating to a cold room
  • Zero clearance to combustibles (can be installed directly next to non-fireproof materials/walls)
  • Convenient to install, space-saving depth - requires finishing such as a mantel and surround
  • Suitable for well-insulated homes or homes with no existing chimney
  • Always has an enclosed front
  • Best choice for newer, more air-tight homes
DuraVent is one of the primary manufacturers of Direct Vent piping. Take a look at their DirectVent Pro® Venting.

B-Vent Diagram

B-Vent/Natural Vent

This type of fireplace venting uses economical B-vent pipe for a chimney. Some of its features:

  • Uses room air for combustion, and venting terminates above the roofline like a furnace
  • More decorative but less efficient
  • Zero clearance to combustibles (can be installed directly next to non-fireproof materials/walls)
  • Relatively easy to install, space-saving depth - requires finishing such as a mantel and surround
  • Less cost than Direct Vent systems

Vent Free/Ventless

A vent free gas fireplace operates without a chimney, flue, or vent, so you can install one just about anywhere. Modern vent-free gas fireplace features:

  • Vent Free Diagram

    Inexpensive with low operating costs
  • 99 percent energy efficiency provides warmth during power outages
  • Design-Certified to the latest national safety standards
  • Does not exceed 40,000 Btu/hr of heat output

45 million homes worldwide and more than eight million American homes enjoy the comfort and convenience of vent-free gas fireplaces. In fact, more Americans are buying vent-free gas fireplaces than any other type of supplemental gas heating product. However, there are some areas where these units are restricted. Check with your local building departments to see if a vent-free system can be used in your home.

How they work
Vent-free fireplaces operate using natural or propane gas. The gas fuels the flame through a permanent line that is connected to a blue-flame/yellow-flame burner or ceramic plaque burner within the heating appliance.

Inside air quality
The primary gas combustion byproducts that can affect indoor air quality are carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, oxygen, and water vapor (causes humidity). Today's vent-free fireplaces operate well within national standards and recommendations concerning these five byproducts. The American Gas Association research division ( confirms these low emission levels.

Oxygen Detection Safety-Pilot
Since 1980, vent-free-gas-heating appliances have been equipped with unique safety pilot systems called “oxygen detection safety pilot,” or ODS. The ODS is the technological innovation that revolutionized the safety of vent-free gas heating appliances by automatically shutting off the gas supply in the rare event that the oxygen level in the room falls to 18 percent (~20.9 percent is considered a normal oxygen level).

Previously, questions remained about the long-term effect of vent-free gas fireplace emissions on indoor air quality. In 1995, the Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance of the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association commissioned a study on indoor air quality as it relates to vent-free gas heating products in the home. The results proved that vent-free gas heating products meet or exceed the most current and applicable nationally recognized standards and guidelines for inside air quality.

Please Remember:
The Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association recommends the installation of a carbon monoxide detector with all gas hearth products.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to call 1-877-669-4669 and speak with a team member.