How to Install Vent-free Gas Fireplaces

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A vent-free gas fireplace that runs on either propane or natural gas doesn’t require a flue or vents to the outdoors. Today’s vent-less gas fireplaces have oxygen-detection safety pilot lights on them that do not light if air conditions in the room are unsafe to operate the fireplace. If the levels of carbon monoxide get too high, the vent-free fireplace shuts itself off. This type of fireplace is simple to install, but many municipalities require that a licensed plumber run the gas lines to the unit.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill and drill bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Anchors

Select the location for the vent-free fireplace installation. Depending on the model you select, you may need to build an alcove for it, or you may need to purchase a mantel surround for the fireplace. Follow the recommendations on the packaging for required clearance space. Pick a location that is near an electrical outlet if the model you select needs electricity to run the thermostat.

Contact a licensed plumber to install the gas line into the designated location. With the fireplace on the premises, he can make sure he is installing the proper fittings on the gas line so you can complete the connections later.

Set the hearth in position. Pre-drill holes so you can attach it to the wall and floor following manufacturer’s directions and using screws supplied with the hearth.

Slide the fireplace into the hearth. Thread the end of the gas line through the opening in the back of the fireplace. Secure the fireplace to the hearth with screws from the assembly kit.

Attach the mantel surround, if you are using one, to the wall. Drill pilot holes into the wall to make it easier to attach the fasteners that come with the installation kit. Try to insert screws into studs wherever possible. If studs are not available, use additional anchors to hold screws firmly in the wall. Fasten the fireplace to the mantel surround using screws that come with the installation kit.

Set the fireplace logs in place inside the fireplace. Connect the gas line to the logs and turn on the gas to the fireplace. Mix up a small amount of soapy water. Wipe some of the water around the connection to look for air bubbles. If you see bubbles, tighten the connection one-quarter turn more or until you no longer see bubbles around the connection.

Thread the electrical cord from the fireplace logs out of the fireplace and along the outer edge of the mantel to the nearest electrical outlet. Plug in the logs.

Set the fireplace screen in place. Turn on the fireplace to ensure it is operational.

Tips & Warnings

  • Vent-free gas fireplaces add a lot of moisture to the air. You may need to operate a dehumidifier to avoid problems with mold and mildew.
  • If you use propane gas, you must purchase a separate gas conversion kit for your fireplace.
  • Some vent-free fireplaces combine the hearth, fireplace and surround into one unit. You simply set it in place, fasten it to the wall, connect the gas line, and plug in the electricity.
  • Do not attempt to light the fireplace if you smell gas. Call the gas company to check for leaks.
  • Even though a vent-free fireplace has an oxygen-detection safety pilot light, install a carbon monoxide detector in the same room as the fireplace.

References

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