While technically it is still summer, most of us are past thinking about going to the pool and are now thinking of ways to stay warm through the winter. If you are thinking of adding a supplementary heating system, there are several ways to go. Wood stoves, Gas stoves, Electric stoves or their corresponding fireplaces, as well as Gas Heaters and Electric Heaters are all viable options for adding additional warmth to your home.
In future blogs, we will discuss the merits of each type of heating method, but today we will try to explain the venting methods used for these heaters.
Vent-Free: Most vent-free systems are 99.9% fuel efficient because with no required venting, the energy and warmth remains in the room, and is not lost up the chimney. Most of these systems have an automatic shut-off, which shuts down the system if the oxygen level in the room reaches an unacceptable level. They can only be re-started once the oxygen level is raised to a safe level. These systems, because of no flues or chimneys, have a greater placement flexibility.
Direct Vent or Horizontal Vent: This type of venting allows the carbon monoxide and other toxic materials to be vented from the fireplace directly through the stove pipe and out the wall to the outside. This is an economical method by way of using outside air to support combustion. The inside air is warmed as ir recirculates around the sealed combustion chamber. This heated air warms the room and eliminates drafts.
Up-Vent or Vertical Venting: With this type of venting, the vent pipes connect to the firebox and an existing flue or chimney, to carry the fumes, etc, outside, or to new flues where venting upwards is a better approach, such as the top floor of a home. Instead of the fumes going out the side of the house, with vertical venting, they go out through the roof. This conventional type of venting uses the inside air to support combustion.
Usually placement of the fireplace or stove will dictate the type of venting needed, but it’s always a good idea to check with your local fire codes for specific information. And remember to check your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition.
Diagram courtesy of Empire Comfort Systems.