Gas fireplace advice


We live in coastal NH and renovated out house a couple of years ago. The one thing we miss from our old house is the fireplace and wood stove. Without going into the difficulties of putting in a real fireplace/chiminey in this house I have come to the conclusion that a nice solution might be a gas fireplace.
My undertanding is that these are, or can be, ventless so I would not have to worry about an external chimney. My fantasy would be to build a stone wall in the middle of the wall with the fireplace in it and hang the LCD screen above the mantle. The house was originally a 1920's bungalow and this is the original part of it, thus it has only 2x4 walls. So I don't know if weight would be a factor. I think I could get this done for less then 5k.
Any advice on this idea? Things I might run into as roadblocks? What should I look for when looking at gas fireplaces?
Thanks, Jim
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On 6/28/2010 11:45 AM, jtpr wrote:

Personally, I don't like the idea of ventless. Even with safeguards in place, you'll be breathing combustion products. I'd consider electric.
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I like ventless, myself, but with cautions. Check your local laws and insurance regs for the sizing requirements. For peace of mind, install a CO/Explosive gas detector in the room.

I think you'll find that isn't isn't a good idea to put your TV over a fireplace. Though not terribly extreme if sized right, there will be more than the normal swings of temperature there; a tendency to create a dusty draft; and a higher-than-normal humidity level. None of which is good for a TV.
Good luck- Jim
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Thank you for the replies. Here is a picture of the house I am talking about:
http://jtpryan.smugmug.com/House/New-Castle/DSC03521/597504556_vRXmM-L.jpg
My concern is the hight of the back roof. I want the fireplace to be between the 2 side windows in the front room (lower peak). I haven't checked yet, but I assume they will want the hight to be above the second peak. You can see what that would look like. Not to mention this is in an historic district and I would have to go through a lot of hoops to make it happen, if it would.
But a totally interior solution would be somewhat painless, except to my wallet. As for the danger, keep in mind this is an occasional aesthetic use thing, not really a heat source. It would never be left on overnight or unattended.
-Jim
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wrote:
-snip-

If it is just for aesthetics, then build a pocket wall to slide the electric fireplace [they make them as realistic looking as gas] out from in front of your TV, or vice-versa. Or build the TV into a fireplace setting and run a fireplace video when you want ambiance.
OTOH- I think it is prudent for anyone who lives in the great northeast to have a heat source ready for when the electricity goes out.
Jim
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On Mon, 28 Jun 2010 12:36:24 -0700 (PDT), jtpr wrote:

Aside from all else that's been said, assuming that attending the fire mitigates the CO danger is dangerous. Often the first symptom of CO poisoning is passing out. At that point it's hard to do anything about it. I'll defer to others as to the actual CO danger from a ventless heater, but if you're in the least concerned about CO, being in attendance will not protect you. In such a case you should use a CO detector or eliminate the potential source.
Edward
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jtpr wrote:

Hi, It is not much of a trouble installing direct vent FP.
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jtpr wrote:

Get a fake fireplace for your TV. Then get a vented gas or pellet heater that can be vented straight through the outside wall.
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We have a real fireplace with ventless gas (propane) logs. Ventless logs put out a lot more heat and are a lot more efficient than those designed to be vented. Ours put out 35kBTU/hr, which is enough to heat the house if we lose electricity. We use heat pumps for our primary heat, so this is a big advantage.
When we lived in Vermont we had a wood stove for backup and for those nights when it was -25F. Fortunately we don't get those here in Alabama. ;-)

*Not* a good idea. Heat and electronics don't go well together. Also, mantles tend to be too high for TVs anyway. It may look good in a magazine but it doesn't work.

It was close to $1500 just for our logs, installed. The fireplace was already there and plumbed outside.

Shouldn't be any major roadblocks.
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They work well and are very efficient. I use one in my shop and it has been very good.

Leave it as a fantasy. That is too high for a screen and you'll regret it after while. There as some guides as to screen size and mounting height for best viewing so check them out.
Saw the picture. Nice house. Looks well kept.
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I'm not a fan of ventless. Basically you're breathing the conbustion products. How well do you trust that you gas is 100% gas and nothing else slips in?
You can install a vented fireplace that vents directly out a rear wall. It does not have to go up. I have one at our lake house. The vent is on the outside wall behind it. Funny thing is they built a fake chimney above it. For curb appeal I guess. It also has a tv space above it. It is a bit high but it's not too bad. Helps if you have the fireplace directly at the floor level rather than up on a hearth.
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For me, the issue is safety. The only CO monitor to buy is one that has a constant digital readout. This will tell you if you have 5 parts or 205 parts. The screamers only scream when they reach threshold levels. With the constant display models, you can fine tune a bit by opening a window, or making a draft. A dumb thing to do when you are trying to heat, but some fireplaces are just not very good at venting.
I have seen fireplace pipes where there are two pipes, one inside another. One brings in fresh air, the other takes out combusted air. I don't believe they give off a lot of radiant heat, but some do have blowers that catch some of it.
Do your homework so you aren't installing a safety hazard, or something that is going to cost 3x to yank and fix right. Do it once, do it right.
Steve
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If your house is real tight and you have condensation on the windows now in winter it will get worse since Gas releases alot of moisture. In a tight house you can make air unhealthy from combustion byproducts. In some areas of Canada unvented heaters are outlawed and thats what you will have , an unvented heater. I would get a stove that can run gas and wood and vent it, and forget the LCD its a dumb idea , you will cook the tv to an early death, and its to high for proper viewing. Tvs should be eye level in the middle of screen where you sit, not 6-7 ft up where you strain your head to see it. You are thinking all about looks, not practicality and useage.
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