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Contemporary Ventless Fireplaces.. The Evolution of the Fireplace

Fireplaces have always been highly valued for their relaxing ambiance, and the touch of class and style they bring to living rooms. They originally began as fire pits. These hand-dug pits have been found in human homes and caves since the beginning of recorded time on five different continents. They were made for the purpose of providing heat to families and cooking their food. Early fire pits were also used as a gathering place and were commonly centered in the home’s main room, which allowed more people to gather around its circumference.

The Contemporary Ventless Fireplace

Ventless FireplaceAs fireplace designs evolved, many impractical flaws were exposed. The intense levels of smoke filling homes were a problem until the Roman era, when chimneys were first invented. During the Victorian period and Industrial Revolution, housing developments such as apartments and rowhouses poses more problems to fireplace engineering. During this time, smaller fireplaces made of higher quality materials made them easier to use and much more fashionable. These fireplaces were made of two main parts known as the the insert and the surround. The surround is the outer part of the fireplace, consisting of the sides and mantle. This piece and was usually made of traditional materials such as wood, granite, and other stones. The chamber of the fireplace where the fire is known as the insert, which is made of cast iron, metal, and decorated with stone or tiles.

Traditional fireplaces have the problem of creating a mess caused by ash, burnt wood, and other remains of burnt material. This issue can be solved by installing a ventless fireplace instead. A ventless fireplace does not require a chimney nor a flute and duct system. This makes them much more compact for use in homes, apartments, and businesses. This leads to much cheaper installation and upkeep costs. The energy for these fireplaces come from liquid propane, special gels, natural gases, or bottled gases. Logs inside a ventless fireplace are for decoration only and do not have to be replaced. Not only does this prevent a mess, but it eliminates the cost of traditional fireplace wood, which may be priced at over $200 per cord.

No matter how the fireplace has changed, its chief purpose has always been to warm homes at night, during poor weather, and during the colder months of the year. Heating from a fireplace is the result of direct radiative heating. The chimney greatly benefited from Count Rumford’s advanced long firebox which drew resulting smoke up and out of the building, a technique which also improved the amount of produced radiative heating. This heating is caused by heat moving (or transferring) through the air and hitting the surface of nearby objects, thereby warming them. As a result of heating, a traditional fireplace moves air out of the home which then must be replaced by outside air. This outside air is usually cooler than the air inside and is typically warmed by the home’s heating system. That is why some fireplace units have a blower installed. This device transfers the fireplace’s heat to the air by means of convection, which then leads to a more evenly heated home.

How Does a Ventless Fireplace Work?

The heat from ventless fireplaces does Ventless Fireplace not reach the BTUs (British Thermal Units) of a traditional fireplace. Still, they are very effective at warming an entire room. All effective fireplaces burn energy sources. Modern wood-burning fireplaces either have an iron gate or a large glass window through which the process can be seen. The convection chamber, designed by Benjamin Franklin, enabled fireplaces to efficiently move air without causing inequalities. His designs also brought about a more advanced form of the chimney that increased airflow.

Ventless fireplaces, however, use chemical sources as their energy rather than physical objects. Wood and other items must never be used in a ventless fireplace. This is because of the large emission rates caused by wood combustion. Common gases to use include propane and ethanol. A natural gas source requires a gas line connecting to the fireplace, while a propane source requires a fuel line connecting the fireplace to the propane container. Gel fuels are also used to power ventless fireplaces. These fuels are gels stored in containers which are then burnt inside the fireplace.

Some of these gel canisters are able to produce the similar cackling sounds and rich mahogany scents of traditional burning wood. While cheaper, their heat distribution is often not up to par with gas fuels. Gas logs are another option. These are inexpensive logs designed to mimic the appearance of wood and are sold in bundles. Gas logs are very popular because they do not release toxic carbon monoxide fumes and stay hot for a long time. They are very easy to install and are environmentally friendly. However, gas logs release excess water into the air and require an open window, or the room will lose large amounts of oxygen.

Ventless fireplaces are not designed to heat entire homes, and separate models should therefore be purchased for different rooms accordingly. They should therefore never be depended on as a primary heating source.

All Viesso fireplaces burn ethanol fuel, meaning there are no foul-smelling emissions. Ethanol is a naturally occurring gas and is also used in the operation of motor vehicles. It is a very effective heating source and may be found to power other heating systems as well. Ethanol powered fireplaces, especially ventless fireplaces, help cut down on homeowners’ electricity bills. This means that once the winter months roll around, the energy savings help pay for the fireplace. Also, when it’s tax season, owners will be thrilled to know that many states and jurisdictions may allow you to file your ethanol-using ventless fireplace away as a tax break. Devices using ethanol are easier to shut down in case of serious problems. Flame height and other aesthetic settings can be controlled with much more precision than with traditional fireplaces.

Venteless Fireplace Design

Viesso’s extremely eco-friendly design means your carbon footprint is reduced with every warmed evening. Ventless fireplaces may be placed in the center of a room as the main focal point. Large and small designs may be placed off center and against walls as side decor, or near beds and other reclining furniture as mood accents. Viesso’s smaller models are perfect for added warmth in kitchenettes or dining rooms. They may be added to already existing fireplaces or indoor firepits. Fireplace insets are models that fit directly into wall insets. Sitting against any vertical surface, they appear very clean-cut and fit perfectly into their environment. Fireplace burners work in the same manner as stove burners. These can be placed on existing table tops, counters, or floors as added warmth and flair.

Ventless Fireplace Design

Positioning your Ventless Fireplace

Traditional fireplaces cannot move from the position they were originally built in. Furniture is often directed to point toward them. With free-standing fireplaces from Viesso, the structures can be placed nearly anywhere you would like. The lack of a chimney and emissions system means the fireplace designs can be sleeker, have more detail, and be better suited to the current decoration themes of the rooms in your home.

Upon installation, specific safety concerns of a ventless fireplace must be taken into consideration. Ventless fireplaces should not be ran longer than the manufacturer recommends, which is commonly a daily maximum of six hours per day. Many ventless fireplace models come with a timer that shuts the model off once it has ran the prescribed amount of hours. Also, it is a good idea to install a timer on the gas line itself, in case you leave the home or fall asleep. A timer may be purchased separately and then attached to the structure or line.

Ventless Fireplace

Venteless Fireplace Safety

Since the emissions seep out into the room, the possible levels of emitting carbon monoxide are a concern. Audible carbon monoxide alarms should always be installed in homes no matter what, but their need is even more vital in homes with ventless fireplaces. Due to the use of oxygen to fuel gas combustion, oxygen depletion is another concern and is just as serious as carbon monoxide poisoning.

These safety hazards can be solved by making sure your ventless model is the correct size for the room it will be running in. Measure the square footage of your room to guarantee it is compatible with your model. Purchasing on the smaller side is always better than the larger side. To combat the threat of oxygen depletion, check to see if your model comes with an oxygen depletion sensor. These sensors automatically shut off the fireplace if the air quality becomes dangerous or if oxygen levels dip too low.

There are laws in place to help make sure ventless fireplaces are operating safely. Individual states, counties and cities have ordinances about their installation. It’s important to read up on these laws since ventless fireplaces do not require building permits. Therefore, it’s difficult to know what is permitted ahead of time. In case of an accident caused by your fireplace, your health or house insurance might not pay full benefits if you did not pay attention to the law.

The Benefits of a Modern Ventless Fireplace

A ventless fireplace offers many benefits not found in the design of traditional fireplaces. Traditional and ventless fireplaces both have the same amount of safety concerns. These chiefly include the design, portability, placement options, and size. Even though they do not produce the heat of a wood-burning fireplace or central heating system, the warmth from ventless fireplaces is still excellent for warming individual rooms. Viesso carries the finest fireplaces and other green furniture. To view products and receive more information, please visit Viesso’s Online Showroom, a professional is standing by to assist you today.