A Leading Consumer Magazine Advises Caution Regarding Vent Free Gas Fireplaces

The following is an exerpt from a November, 1998 article in a leading non-profit consumer magazine outlining the results of their independent testing of vent free gas fireplaces.

“….our tests confirm that these heaters contribute significantly to indoor air pollution. If you’re planning to buy a gas fireplace, a vented model should be your first choice. That’s especially wise if any household member has asthma or another respiratory ailment that may be exacerbated by particulate matter, or if your home is very airtight–and so will disperse the fireplace’s emissions less readily. A vented gas fireplace needn’t cost more to buy and install than an unvented model, since some units require only a fairly small vent pipe that runs horizontally to any outside wall.

If you do decide to buy an unvented gas fireplace, here’s how to ensure it operates as safely as possible:

  • Observe GRI guidelines. Insist that the contractor not exceed them when sizing your fireplace.
  • Limit its use. Though occasional extended use of an unvented fireplace should pose little long-term health risk, we suggest limiting operation to no more than two hours at a stretch, as a rule.
  • Provide extra ventilation. Leave at least one window open in the space where the fireplace operates.”

To read about how much CO2 a vent-free fireplace exhausts into the breathing space, click here.

To read about a recent study of the effects of long-term exposure to CO gases, click here.

To read postings from vent-free gas exhaust exposure victims, click here.

To read a posting about vent-free gas appliances from an indoor air quality scientist, click here.

To read our opinion about vent-free gas appliances, click here.