Installing A New Gas Fireplace In Your Home? Here's What You Need To Know About B-Vent Vs. Direct Vent Systems
If you plan to install a new gas fireplace in your home, you'll need to choose a way to vent it. Gas produces harmful combustion byproducts such as carbon monoxide when it burns, and venting your fireplace will ensure that all of these combustion byproducts are safely discharged into the outside air. The two methods of venting a gas fireplace are a B-vent system and a direct vent system. To learn about the differences between the two and how to know which one is the best fit for your home, read on.
B-Vent Gas Fireplace
A B-vent gas fireplace operates similarly to a traditional wood-burning fireplace. It uses the air inside your home for combustion. All of the combustion byproducts are exhausted through a chimney that exits through your roof above the fireplace. B-vent fireplaces rely on the fact that warm air naturally rises in order to keep air circulating through the fireplace, so they need to be vented through a chimney coming through your roof.
Direct Vent Gas Fireplace
Unlike a B-vent fireplace, a direct vent fireplace is able to bring in outside air to use for combustion. The firebox is completely sealed off from the inside air by a heat-resistant glass panel. When you turn the fireplace on, it will draw in air from a pipe that enters from outside your home, burn it, and release the byproducts of combustion through another pipe that exits outside.
Direct vent fireplaces don't rely on the fact that warm air rises in order to keep air circulating through the firebox, so you can install one without needing to build a chimney. You can take in air and exhaust it through an exterior wall near the fireplace. If your home doesn't have a chimney, this makes a direct vent fireplace easier and less expensive to install — you can vent it through a wall instead of building a chimney on your roof.
Another advantage of direct vent fireplaces is that they won't affect your indoor air quality since they're completely sealed off from the air inside your home. This also helps keep your home warmer in the winter. When a B-vent fireplace draws in the air inside your home and exhausts it through the chimney, it will be replaced by cold outside air that comes through gaps in your doors and window frames. This can make your home cold when outside temperatures are very low.
Overall, a direct vent fireplace is the superior option for a gas fireplace installation. Direct vent fireplaces are easier to install since they don't need a chimney, and they also don't reduce indoor air quality or make your home colder in the winter. One potential disadvantage of a direct vent fireplace is that your view of the fire will be blocked by the heat-resistant glass, but you can find models where the glass is almost completely transparent. If you're planning to install a new gas fireplace in your home, a direct vent fireplace is almost always the best option.
For more information on fireplace installation, contact a company near you.