Ventless Fireplace Safety
Welcome to the ventless fireplace safety guide where youíll learn how to safely operate a ventless gas, gel or electric fireplace in your household. One important fact you need to remember about ventless gas and gel fireplaces is the fact they arenít truly ventless. Itís common fact that any type of combustion is going to release emission, and a ventless gas or gel fireplace will release emissions. The different between a ventless and a traditional fireplace is a ventless fireplace vents directly into the room. This is the critical reason why you need to follow simple safety rules when it comes to ventless fireplaces. If youíre ready letís start below on your ventless fireplace safety education; click and a link will drop you down to that section of this guide.
- Choosing the Right Ventless Fireplace
- Carbon Dioxide & Monoxide Detector
- Oxygen Depletion Sensor
- Ventless Fireplace Operation Time
- Maintenance & Inspection
- Other Safety Tips
Choosing the right type of ventless fireplace is half the battle when it comes to safety. If youíre just buying one for dťcor purposes we recommend that you stick with ventless gel fireplaces. However, if you want to use your ventless fireplace as a secondary heating source you will want to consider a ventless gas fireplace or an electric fireplace. Regardless which one you pick itís very important that you follow the manufacturerís minimum requirements and specifications.
Your ventless fireplace will require a room with a certain minimum amount of square feet. Putting a ventless fireplace in too small of a room can result in poor indoor air quality and even oxygen depletion. Always make sure the room you plan on installing your ventless fireplace in meets the manufacturers minimum square feet requirements. If you need help figuring out the square footage of a room check out this article: How to Calculate Square Footage.
Everyones home should have a carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide detector. However, if youíre going to operate a ventless fireplace in your household you definitely need one. Ultimately youíll want to install your detector in the same room that the ventless fireplace operates in. If possible, get a model carbon dioxide & monoxide detector that plugs into the outlet, that way you donít have to worry about replacing batteries. Since carbon dioxide is produced from combustion itís important to protect your family when operating a ventless fireplace with a carbon dioxide & monoxide detector and donít forget the smoke detector!
When searching for the right ventless fireplace for your household you want to find a model that contains an ODS (oxygen depletion sensor). This is a device that is able to detect when levels of oxygen in a room start to fall below safe levels. The device, which is located in your ventless fireplace, will automatically turn it off if levels of oxygen start to fall below safe levels. If you happen to already own a ventless fireplace without an ODS you can buy one at a hardware store or online.
The golden rule is to never run a ventless fireplace longer than 6 hours at any given time; or operating it longer than the manufacturer recommends. Itís good practice to follow the manufacturerís guidelines over the 6 hour recommendation. Letting a ventless fireplace run longer than recommend can result in oxygen depletion, carbon dioxide build-up and even a fire or explosion. Always stay within the limits of your ventless fireplace.
The first step at prevention is to be pro-active, not reactive. This means you should always inspect your ventless fireplace before you operate it. Check for any issues with the burners and gas lines (with gas models). Also make sure to clean your ventless fireplace after 24 hours of operation but make sure itís cooled off first! By taking care of your ventless fireplace and doing annual inspections you can protect your home and family while also protecting your investment in your unit.
Here are some other safety tips to remember when operating a ventless fireplace.
- If your carbon dioxide or ODS alarm goes off you should shut down the fireplace, open a window if possible, get out of the home and call 911.
- Never operate a ventless fireplace when no one is home; even if itís within the 6 hour operation time frame.
- The downtime of should be equal or greater than the amount of recommended time in use.
- Check often for recalls for your ventless fireplace unit; and if you use a gel unit also check for recalls for the gel fuel.
- Always have a professional install any natural gas lines to prevent leaks and dangerous situations.
If you have any other ventless fireplace safety tips feel free to contact us with them.