Are you looking for a direct vent fireplace?
Then you've likely spent some time searching on the web to see what's offered in the current marketplace. And like most you're head is spinning as there are literally hundreds of choices and styles being offered from a multitude of fireplace manufacturers. These manufacturers know that to stay competitive they must give people what they want. So what's hot in direct vent fireplaces?
One thing's for certain, the traditional log fireplaces are beginning to take a back seat to some of the newer trendy fireplaces now available. One of the most popular new trends is a low-profile contemporary gas fireplace without a traditional log set. More and more, homeowners are opting for a more metropolitan feel, rather than a traditional campfire log set design.
In contrast, a contemporary fireplace usually consist of a clean black or stainless steel face frame with no louvers to detract from the viewing window. Next, a flat pan burner (vs. a traditional dual tube burner on a cast iron grate) is used. This allows flames to shoot up uninhibited through a strategic pattern of holes for a beautiful elongated ribbon flame effect. Optional rocks or glass beads can be set in place to surround the burner holes, without blocking the flames. The result is a very clean, attractive look that works well in less-traditional and contemporary interior spaces.
A good example of the above-described fireplace is either the L series or custom C-View series fireplaces made by Montigo Fireplace Products of Ferndale, WA. These low profile fireplaces offer a contemporary and distinctly metropolitan feel that appeal to designers and homeowners alike. Other manufacturers offer similar contemporary designs.
While popular in all parts of North America, a major percentage of contemporary fireplaces are sold in heavy-populated and trend-setting cities such as New York, San Franciso and Chicago. Most are installed in new higher end homes and condominiums, as well as hotel lobbies, resorts, clubhouses, and galleries.
Traditional looking fireplaces will continue to be popular in the coming years, especially in less-densely populated and rural areas, and the choices are almost limitless.
Contemporary fireplace options have been more limited, but that is changing rapidly as more manufacturers are adapting to the demands of more discriminating customers.
Let's shift gears a little bit.
On the more practical side of the fireplace discussion is energy efficiency. Using your direct vent fireplace as a primary heating source is a great way to reduce your overall heating expense during the winter hours. By shutting off your central furnace and using only your direct vent fireplace as a zone or room heater you can actually cut your fuel consumption by 50% or more.
How's that possible?
By not heating unused or underutilized space in the home, and instead heating only the dwelling space where you spend the most time, you can eliminate a whole lot of thermal energy waste. In other words, most of the forced air heat pushing through ducts and heat registers into unoccupied spaces wastes heat energy. Instead, why not just heat the space you're in? That's called zone heating, and is a practical, common sense approach to saving a boat load of fuel dollars during the winter months.
You may be interested to know that a direct vent fireplace can be controlled with a thermostat. As the room calls for heat, the fireplace kicks on, just like your furnace. When satisfied, the fireplace turns off.
Now your fireplace serves two functions. It gives you the beautiful ambience only the glow of dancing flames can offer and, when used more tactically, can be a huge energy saver during the cold winter months.