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Old 08-21-2012, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,381 posts, read 9,119,787 times
Reputation: 2948

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I have a wood burning fireplace that we actually use in the winter to warm up the game room since there is no HVAC in there. It's a good 500sf room that is open to the rest house. I was thinking about putting a propane gas log in the fireplace instead of burning wood (very hard to find properly seasoned firewood here in FL... it's always damp). I would hook up the logs to a 100lbs propane tank that is outside on the other side of the wall. I don't think this would be difficult to do, would provide plenty of burn time and be able to transport it to be filled when required (I think MAYBE three times during the winter here).

Since the logs would be in a functioning fireplace I could go wither Ventless or Vent required, right? From what I have read, ventless is more efficient (the heat doesn't go up the flue because it would be closed) but makes a blue flame instead of a nice orange flame.

So should I go ventless or vent required and do you think this is a feasible alternative to a wood burning fireplace, something done by a pretty handy DIY guy and a relatively efficient way to heat the space with some nice ambiance? Yes, I understand a wood stove insert would be a good way to go as well, but I am not interested in that. Those inserts are expensive and as I said, seasoned wood is hard to find here. Not interested in a pellet stove either.

The fireplace is covered in jagged rock. I would like to remove the rock and make it more modern, but am not sure what is involved to do so. Is it rock attached to wire mesh and then just has to be framed out and tiled or what not? I don't know.

Thanks!
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:51 PM
 
2,729 posts, read 5,367,641 times
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First of all, your decision to go vented or un-vented is up to you. Either will work. I put a gas log insert in our wood-burning fireplace several year ago. We really, really like it.

Regarding removing the jagged rock, I'd think VERY seriously about it, and get a lot of details, before proceeding. That's hard work, and requires some serious skill - plus, you just don't know how it is constructed.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 12,663,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big George View Post
First of all, your decision to go vented or un-vented is up to you. Either will work. I put a gas log insert in our wood-burning fireplace several year ago. We really, really like it.

Regarding removing the jagged rock, I'd think VERY seriously about it, and get a lot of details, before proceeding. That's hard work, and requires some serious skill - plus, you just don't know how it is constructed.
In some states, ventless fireplaces are illegal.

My last two were natural gas, ventless, with artificial logs. They looked good but were more a take the chill off and look good versus our main heating source.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:05 AM
 
2,957 posts, read 5,900,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by accufitgolf View Post
In some states, ventless fireplaces are illegal.

My last two were natural gas, ventless, with artificial logs. They looked good but were more a take the chill off and look good versus our main heating source.
Don't you need to put in a fan to use the fireplace as a heating source?
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,381 posts, read 9,119,787 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big George View Post
First of all, your decision to go vented or un-vented is up to you. Either will work. I put a gas log insert in our wood-burning fireplace several year ago. We really, really like it.

Regarding removing the jagged rock, I'd think VERY seriously about it, and get a lot of details, before proceeding. That's hard work, and requires some serious skill - plus, you just don't know how it is constructed.
George - did you install it yourself? I think I will go vented, I might as well since I already have the flue there and it just seems safer to me (I know the ventless has oxygen depletion sensor, etc.).... not to mention orange flames would be prettier than blue ones.

Yeah - the rock around the fireplace is something that may get addressed a few years from now. I'm sure it will become a nightmare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by accufitgolf View Post
In some states, ventless fireplaces are illegal.

My last two were natural gas, ventless, with artificial logs. They looked good but were more a take the chill off and look good versus our main heating source.
This room never gets much colder than the other rooms, even though it has no HVAC. Last year I had an electric oilfilled radiator heater plugged in to keep it warm and knock off the chill. Since we live in Tampa the heat is only needed in the morning/evening and the "cold spell" we have for a week or two a year. I think it would be sufficient... although ventless is more efficient...

Quote:
Originally Posted by blazerj View Post
Don't you need to put in a fan to use the fireplace as a heating source?
Our fireplace did a good job on warming up the room last winter using real wood and even those Duraflames did a decent job all without a fan. I think fans are typically used on wood stove inserts. I am looking for 70% looks 30% heat source. LOL
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 12,663,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazerj View Post
Don't you need to put in a fan to use the fireplace as a heating source?
With ventless there is no where for the heat to go but out the front. I use it mainly for looks versus a heat source.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Apple Valley Calif
7,474 posts, read 22,875,208 times
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Better check you local codes before you use propane for your fireplace. In California is is illegal to have a high pressure line in your home. You must reduce the pressure before it enters the dwelling or it becomes a explosion hazard.
Natural gas pressure in a dwelling is reduced at the meter, to around 5 PSI. Propane right out of the tank is considerable higher and not legal for indoor use.
In my case, I put a pressure regulator outside the building and ran the low pressure line to the inside appliance. You don't have to do that, but if there is ever an explosion or fire, and they find a high pressure line in your home, your insurance is voided and you will receive a heavy fine, if you are still alive.
My company had a small block building that housed just and engine and a pump, used as emergency back-up in case of a power failure. The engine was propane powered. No one live there, one rarely ever even entered the building, but the inspectors made me re-plumb it so the high pressure was reduced outside the building.
Check it out before making a mistake, it may save your life...
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:46 AM
 
2,729 posts, read 5,367,641 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaKash View Post
George - did you install it yourself? I think I will go vented, I might as well since I already have the flue there and it just seems safer to me (I know the ventless has oxygen depletion sensor, etc.).... not to mention orange flames would be prettier than blue ones.
Yes, and no. I had a guy from the natural gas company come run a line up into the fireplace. The total cost (after they gave me a credit for installing a gas "appliance") was only $100. There's no way I could really beat that, even doing it myself. Plus, if anything was wrong it was their problem.

I did install the log set itself, though. It was not really very difficult.

Mine does not have a pilot light, or ignitor. I wanted it to be as simple as possible, and it is. We like it a lot.


As has been mentioned by others, be sure to check local & state codes!
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:37 AM
 
41,813 posts, read 51,023,289 times
Reputation: 17864
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazerj View Post
Don't you need to put in a fan to use the fireplace as a heating source?
Yes and no. A fan will distribute the heat more evenly, an insert like or small standalone stove he is talking about buying typically have a fan no matter what the heat source is. There is a separate chamber on the outside of where the combustion is taking place. It pulls air through a bottom vent, as this air traverse the chamber it gets heated and expelled through a top vent.

On my wood fireplaces this is done naturally, there is two air vents on either side of the fireplace. The air is heated inside this chamber and naturally flows out the top vent pulling the colder air from the floor into the chamber from the bottom vent. It actually works very well because you're creating air circulation and much more efficent than regular fireplce. This isn't mine but it's similar to this:

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Old 08-22-2012, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,381 posts, read 9,119,787 times
Reputation: 2948
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donn2390 View Post
Better check you local codes before you use propane for your fireplace. In California is is illegal to have a high pressure line in your home. You must reduce the pressure before it enters the dwelling or it becomes a explosion hazard.
Natural gas pressure in a dwelling is reduced at the meter, to around 5 PSI. Propane right out of the tank is considerable higher and not legal for indoor use.
In my case, I put a pressure regulator outside the building and ran the low pressure line to the inside appliance. You don't have to do that, but if there is ever an explosion or fire, and they find a high pressure line in your home, your insurance is voided and you will receive a heavy fine, if you are still alive.
My company had a small block building that housed just and engine and a pump, used as emergency back-up in case of a power failure. The engine was propane powered. No one live there, one rarely ever even entered the building, but the inspectors made me re-plumb it so the high pressure was reduced outside the building.
Check it out before making a mistake, it may save your life...

Absolutely, a regulator would be a must. Thanks for the info.
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