Home Buyers Find Big Energy Savings by Zone Heating with Vent-Free Gas Appliances PDF Print E-mail

Arlington VA. – January 11, 2006–With today’s high energy prices, home buyers are increasingly on the lookout for energy conservation features in their new homes. Many are finding a money-saving answer that is both economical to install and economical to use in vent-free supplementary gas heating appliances.

Vent-free gas products give the homeowner the opportunity to turn down the central thermostat and use zone heating. Reducing the central heating and supplementing with a vent-free gas appliance results in comfort and warmth when and where it is needed plus substantial energy cost savings. The American Gas Association states that, by turning the thermostat back 10 percent to 15 percent for eight hours per day, annual heating bills can be cut by 10 percent per year.

"Vent-free gas zone heating is an idea whose time has come," said Sue Walker, Chairman of the Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance. "Vent-free appliances enable the builder to economically offer home buyers a highly sought-after feature: the substantial savings of zone heating along with excellent heating comfort. Homeowners could save upwards of $100 a month on energy costs this way."

Since 1980, over sixteen million American homes have relied on vent-free gas space heaters, fireplaces, logs, inserts, and stoves for supplemental heating. Because they operate on natural gas or propane, they can easily and affordably be placed almost anywhere in the home, even in the middle of a room. These gas heating products do not require a chimney, vent, or hole-in-the-wall, so they offer major installation cost savings for the builder. For example installing a vent-free gas fireplace can save the builder up to 75% of the cost of installing a masonry fireplace. Furthermore, because most vent-free gas products do not use electricity, they provide reliable emergency heating even during severe electric power outages.

All U.S. Code Groups Now Allow Vent-Free

The city of Las Vegas is the most recent municipality to allow the use of vent-free gas appliances. Vent-free gas appliances have been approved for use in a new $500 million condo housing project in Las Vegas. Last year, Massachusetts became the 49th state to approve the sale of vent-free supplementary gas heating products. With the International Association of Plumbers and Mechanical Officials’ (IAPMO) Uniform Mechanical Code adoption of the use of vent-free products in January 2006, every gas code group in the U.S. now allows the sale and installation of vent-free gas products. This new code is in the process of being adopted in some areas of the U.S. Builders should always check to see which code is in effect in their area.

Vent-free products range from 5,000 to 40,000 Btu – including up to 10,000 Btu units for bedrooms and 6,000 Btu units for bathrooms. Super-sized fireplaces, measuring 52" from floor to top, are also available for larger rooms.

Vent-free appliances offer the builder enormous installation cost savings and a huge selection of styles, sizes, and colors to choose from to suit any home décor. For fireplaces and log sets, builders can choose from such wood styles as driftwood, oak, weathered oak, maple, pine, aspen, birch, and many others. The builder can select a wood that’s appropriate to the new home’s region. There’s also a choice of log types, such as split oak and solid pieces of wood, as well as glowing embers – even an amazingly realistic set of coals in a gas-fired coal basket. With no wood to haul or ashes to clean out, home buyers appreciate the convenience, savings of time and effort, and ease of use of vent-free gas products.

Innovations in Vent-Free Appliances

Consumer demand has spurred manufacturers to continue to invest in vent-free gas appliances. Some recent advances in heating technology and design:

  • A new vent-free heater uniquely combines infrared and convection heat without using ceramic plaques. Instead, it uses ceramic fiber imprinted with a sun pattern that glows.
  • Another new design hides the flame behind smoked plexiglass, styled similarly to a plasma TV.
  • Air cleaning plasma technology is now available in some vent-free appliances. This process emits positively and negatively charged ions, which cluster around impurities and completely inactivate them at the molecular level – much the same way nature cleanses the air outdoors.
  • A CSA-approved gas outlet links a standardized plug on an appliance connector to a home's gas supply. For example, one outlet can be used for multiple appliances, such as vent-free gas patio heaters, gas grills, or gas lights.
  • Of course, vent-free gas fireplaces and heaters have always been a great answer for transforming an unused corner into a new gathering place for the family. Now, recently introduced designs are "going vertical and slim" so they tuck very unobtrusively into corners and blend with home décor.

In addition to its appearance at the 2006 NAHB Show, the Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance will also be featured in the upcoming AHR Show, the HPBA Show, and the Build Boston Residential Design 2006 Show.

An Outstanding 25-Year Track Record for Safety

Every vent-free gas product sold in the U.S. is equipped with a precision-engineered Oxygen Detection Safety-Pilot (ODS), which automatically shuts off the gas supply if the oxygen level in the room approaches a defined minimum set by American National Standard (ANSI) Z21.11.2. This safety standard requires the product to satisfy many construction and performance requirements. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has stated that it is not aware of any documented incident in the CPSC In-Depth Investigation (IDI) database of fatal CO poisoning associated with an ODS-equipped vent-free gas heating product. These appliances have earned an outstanding safety record.

For a free copy of the Builder’s Brochure, or the recently updated 16-page Consumer Guide to Vent-Free Gas Products – which includes detailed sizing guidelines, and the results of independent studies on indoor relative humidity and indoor air quality – write to the Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance, 2107 Wilson Blvd., Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22201, email to mcarson@gamanet.org, or visit the website at http://www.ventfree.org.