Direct Vent Gas Stoves

Considerations and Benefits of Owning a Direct Vent Gas Stove

By Mark J. Donovan

A number of winters back we lost power in our home for several days. Though we had a wood fireplace we were only able to keep the temperature within the home to around 45 degrees. Though we survived those cold days, I decided then and there that we would never go cold again. A month later I went out and purchased a direct vent gas stove and had it installed in my family room.

The particular direct vent gas stove unit I chose pumps out about 28,000 BTUs per hour and keeps our entire downstairs (approximately 1500 square feet) at a balmy 70 degrees, even during the worst of winter weather, with the main heat system turned off.

What are Direct Vent Gas Stoves?

As the name suggests a direct vent gas stove has a 6 inch diameter pipe on it that vents fuel combustibles directly out of the home. They look comparable to modern day wood or pellet stoves and operate similarly however they do not require the continuous manual loading of fuel. They also operate very efficiently and are clean to operate. Unlike a wood stove there are no wood chips or splinters lying around the gas stove. They are available in various shapes and sizes, as well as BTU output levels (heating capacity). They can also be purchased to operate off of either liquid propane or natural gas.

Due to the fact that they require a vent pipe, some consideration needs to be made on where to locate the gas stove within the home. In addition, a gas stove needs to be mounted on a non-combustible surface, such as stone or ceramic tile. In addition, there are code requirements on how far a gas stove needs to be away from walls and other combustible surfaces.

There are other ventless gas stove types that work similarly to direct vent gas stoves however I have some concerns on not venting out combusted fuel.

Though the manufacturers of ventless gas stoves say they are extremely safe and are 99.9% efficient in the burning of fuel, I still have reservations on using them.

Direct Vent Gas Stove Prices

Direct gas stove prices vary with make and model but suffice it to say expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000.

Direct Vent Gas Stove Options

There are many options to consider when buying a direct vent gas stove however features and options vary with manufacturers and models.

One key area you want to consider carefully when buying a direct vent gas stove is the on/off control. ON/OFF direct vent gas stove control options include a handheld remote control unit, a simple switch near or on the gas stove itself, or via a local wall thermostat. Gas stove remote control units characteristically include the ability to adjust the thermostat, fan speed and flame height.

Direct vent gas stove fireplace

Another direct vent gas stove option you most definitely want to consider is the incorporation of a variable speed blower fan. By selecting a direct vent gas stove with a variable speed blower fan you can control the flow and circulation of heat from the gas stove into the room and home.

Direct Vent Gas Stove Ignition Options

Probably the most important option you want to consider when buying a direct vent gas stove is the type of ignition system. Some direct vent gas stove options include a constantly burning safety pilot light. With these types of safety pilot light systems, in the event the pilot light goes out the safety system shuts off gas to the stove within a fraction of a second.

Other direct vent gas stove models have an electric spark ignition system to reduce the consumption of gas.

There are also some direct vent gas stove models that use a piezoelectric ignition system for situations where there isn’t an electrical hookup near the gas stove. What’s particularly valuable with the piezoelectric ignition system is that it does not require electrical power to operate. This can be extremely helpful when you lose power on a cold winter day. With a simple push of a button you can turn on your gas stove and heat your home.

For information on how to maximize a wood stove’s heating efficiency, see’s Installation of Hood over Wood Stove eBook

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