When people begin shopping for a fireplace, there are several important decisions they need to make. Probably one of the first decisions is what kind of fuel they want their fireplace to run on. Common choices include gas, wood, and electricity.
These days, many homeowners choose to go with a gas fireplace. These appliances burn cleaner than wood-burning fireplaces and offer instant startup and easy control of the heat level. But there’s another choice to be made with gas fireplaces: do you want a direct vent model or a B vent model?
The answer to this question will be determined by your reason for having a fireplace in the first place. Direct vent fireplaces provide a decent amount of heat to a room and are often chosen when a supplemental heating source is desired. B vent models are not a particularly good source of heat but make ideal aesthetic additions to a home where the prime desire is simply the beauty of a natural wood-burning fireplace.
Direct vent fireplaces
This fireplace style uses a dual venting system, either through the roof or a sidewall, to bring in outside air for combustion and send combustion by-products to the outside of the house. Known as a “closed system,” the firebox of a direct vent fireplace is completely sealed with glass, either tempered or ceramic. This results in air inside the fireplace never mingling with the air inside the room where the unit is operating.
No two direct vent fireplaces are exactly the same, thus each model has its own specs on how the venting system is to be configured and installed. Manufacturers of these fireplaces explain this process in the owners manual that comes with the appliance.
Typically direct vent fireplaces can be installed anywhere within a home, because of their sealed system design and sidewall venting option. Still, it’s a good idea to check local codes and find out if any regulations relating to these fireplaces are on the books.
B vent fireplaces
This type of fireplace is similar in many ways to a direct vent model, only with B vents, combustion air is drawn from inside the home rather than from the outside.
The ventilation pipe on B vent fireplaces always runs from the fireplace through to the roof. The pipe itself is not very expensive and is relatively easy to install. Because of this configuration, these types of fireplaces usually allow for fewer options on where in the home they can be installed.
Regardless of the style of gas fireplace you prefer, you’ll find a wide range of designs, finishes and sizes from which to select the perfect unit for your home.
Marsh’s Stoves & Fireplaces of Toronto will be happy to show you a variety of handsome gas fireplace models from top-name manufacturers. Check out our selection for yourself at our showroom located at 3322 Dundas Street West. If you have questions about any of our products or services, we’re available at (416) 762-4582.