Is a Direct Vent Fireplace Right for You?
Direct vent fireplaces are generally a good option for most anyone looking for extra heat. Because they are "sealed" they do not burn up inside air. This means that the fireplace is not taking already heated air (heated from your furnace) and using it as combustion air. It is taking air that is outside and bringing it into the fireplace through a vent system for combustion air. It also vents byproducts of combustion (Carbon Monoxide, moisture, smells, etc.) back through the same vent system so they end up outside. Because they do not burn you house air they can be very efficient. The heat produced by the unit is radiated through the glass and into the room. If you are looking for even more heat you can add a fireplace blower to the unit (as long as the unit will accept a blower).
Direct vent fireplaces can be installed in most rooms and situations, however, clearances to combustibles must be kept in mind. These clearances will be defined in the owners manual of the individual fireplace. Each make and model may differ so be sure to check these clearances before purchasing. Some common items that require clearance are windows, doors, ventilated soffits, raised decks, patios, mechanical air supply inlets, sidewalks, paved driveways, balcony's, etc. I recommend reading through the entire owners manual before buying, that way there are no surprises when your fireplace arrives. We offer the owners manuals in some form or another for almost every fireplace we sell, so take the opportunity to get to know the fireplace you are going to buy. The owners manual will also show what venting options you have. Some models offer venting from the top, back, and sides of the fireplace and some don't. This may also end up being important when choosing the placement of your fireplace. Here are some typical installation options for direct vent fireplaces: