A direct-vent heating appliance doesn’t require a chimney, as the unit directly vents unwanted by-products (including carbon monoxide) outdoors through a single vent, which can be either horizontal or vertical. The unit draws in the necessary air to fuel combustion through this same vent. It’s possible for the unit to draw air in and expel the unwanted byproducts via the same vent because it uses a double-walled pipe, whereby the outer pipe sucks air inside and the inner pipe vents gases outside. It’s a very simple, yet effective design for sure!
Direct-vent appliances have several benefits: fuel efficiency, safety, minimal (if any) indoor air pollution, and less outdoor pollution that traditional wood-burning appliances.
Direct-vent units are very efficient for several reasons:
1. The gases are expelled through the inner pipe are hot, which heats up the air coming in through the outer pipe. The mere fact that the incoming air is already heated increases the efficiency of the unit because the new air doesn’t cool things down once it enters the appliance.
2. A direct vent provides the optimal amount of oxygen necessary for the combustion process.
3. Direct-vent heating appliances are essentially hot immediately upon ignition.
4. Because the direct-vent system is a closed system, heat goes where it should instead of being lost as it would in a large chimney.
Direct-vent heating appliances are considered a safe and healthy alternative to wood-burning appliances because they exhaust all combustion byproducts outside, whereas traditional fireplaces inevitably let some gases escape into your living space:
1. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and tasteless gas (nicknamed the silent killer) that can be deadly.
2. Several other combustion byproducts (especially nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter) are toxic and can cause respiratory problems and/or irritate the lungs.
Direct-vent appliances take up much less space than their other heating counterparts:
1. There’s no clearance needed to ensure that flammable items are out of the range of sparks or ashes, enabling homeowners to place furnishings and items closer to the unit without the fear of a fire.
2. The vent takes up far less space than a large chimney—as is required for a wood-burning unit—would require.
3. Direct-vent heating appliances are particularly easy to maintain. There’s also no need to chop and store wood or clean ashes.
4. It can be ignited with the simple flip of a switch or the push of a button on a remote.
Gas fireplaces as a whole pollute the air less than many other options:
1. Gas has far less particulate matter than wood.
2. Direct-vent appliances are very efficient in terms of units of heat generated per unit of fuel used. Because less fuel is necessary to achieve the same heat output, fewer pollutants are released into the air.
As you can see, the benefits of a direct-vent appliance make it an attractive alternative to traditional fireplaces. Here at Northeastern Fireplace & Design, your family’s sense of security and safety is important to us. Whatever your fireplace needs, you’ve come to the right place. To schedule an appointment with one of our industry professionals, please give us a call, stop by our showroom, or click here. We appreciate your business and look forward to helping you keep your family safe and warm for years to come!