What Is The Difference Between B-Vent And Direct Vent?

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If you’re thinking about installing a gas fireplace in your home, you will need to consider which type of vent to put in. There are several different types of vent models, and two of the most common ones are b vents and direct vents. The main difference between the two is how they pull the air to oxygenate the fire.

Since there are many different options to choose from when buying a gas fireplace, it’s important to be more familiar with the different vents. Today, we’re going to cover the difference between b vents and direct vents. Keep reading to learn more.

The main difference between the two vents is how they pull the air. A b vent always needs to be installed vertically, and it will use the indoor air to keep the fire going. On the other hand, a direct vent has a glass seal that allows it to pull air from outdoors. Let’s take a close look at how each one works.

What Is A B Vent?

A b vent is one of the more affordable gas fireplace vents to have installed, which is why many people are initially attracted to the idea of it. When a b vent is installed, the vent pipe must end above the roof. This is because any appliance that uses a b vent only has one exhaust pipe for air to travel through. 

Many people refer to b vents as the most natural vent. These vents work by drawing air from the room so it can supply oxygen to the fire. That air will travel through the vent’s chamber and be released through the chimney. These vents allow people to keep their fire going while using minimal air.

Pros Of Using A B Vent

The main reason people prefer the b vent is that it’s very user-friendly. Generally, people can find one at an affordable price when compared to other styles of vents. Once they get it home, they usually don’t need to call a technician for help. B vents are easier to install, and many people can take on the job themselves.

On top of being one of the more affordable choices to buy, they are also quite affordable to maintain. Many people have noticed that appliances that use b vents are more efficient and have cut down on their electric bills compared to using appliances that require other styles of vents. 

People often feel safer when they know that a b vent is installed. This is because all of the combustible fumes are being directed outside. They don’t have to worry about breathing in any harsh fumes while keeping their house warm. 

Cons Of Using A B Vent

While a b vent is usually quite easy to install, it can become more costly. This is because there are specific requirements for one to be installed correctly. If your house is not designed for it, installing a b vent may cost more than you were expecting. A b vent’s ending point always needs to be above the roof for the air to travel out. 

Since there is no sealing, a b vent could allow cold air to seep into your home during the winter. While this doesn’t happen to every house with a b vent appliance, it is common in areas where downdrafts are frequent in cooler months. This also causes some heat to get lost in the vent instead of traveling into the room.

One thing to keep in mind about b vents is that they are considered older models. Many manufacturers have stopped making them because other vents are tailored to modern appliances. People who do want a b vent may have more difficulties finding one. 

What Is A Direct Vent?

Direct vents are becoming a more popular choice because they are completely sealed. This allows people to keep their house warm all winter without having to worry about cold air seeping in from their chimney. All of these appliances will need a special pipe tailored to direct vents. If you are interested in one, the supplier will usually recommend a specific pipe.

Direct vents are different because their system comprises two separate sections for the air to pass through. One section is used to draw outside air in to keep the fire oxygenated. The other section allows the exhaust from the fire to travel outside. You can install the exhaust vents for this system to either go out the roof or the sidewall. 

Pros Of A Direct Vent

Most gas fireplaces that use a direct vent have glass sealing to prevent outdoor air from getting into the home. This glass helps them keep their energy bill down while also creating an attractive window. This little feature makes any room more inviting and gives a classy touch.

Since people can install a direct vent, so it goes out the side of a wall, the installation process is a lot less complicated. When an appliance can vent out a wall, it results in much lower costs. They also manage to produce a lot of heat on a lower setting, and the dual venting system allows them enough air to keep that flame going for longer. 

Cons Of A Direct Vent

While the glass front is very attractive and has many perks, some people have become frustrated with the limitation it puts in place. People who enjoy a larger flame may not prefer this style of a vent. A b vent allows people to create a larger flame on cold days for a more cozy setting. Many people are unable to do that with a direct vent.

The cost of a direct vent is usually more than a b vent. However, people should keep in mind that this only reflects the cost of the vent itself. Over time, the direct vent may pay for itself because of its efficiency. 

Frequently Asked Questions about B Vent and Direct Vent

Are B vents fireplace safe?

Yes, b vents are fireplace safe. They are designed to be used with gas or propane appliances.

Can you convert B vent to direct vent?

No, you will not be able to have a B vent converted into a direct vent. In some situations, you may be able to add a power vent. However, you will always need to consult a professional technician first.

Can B vent be installed outside?

It is not recommended to install a b vent outdoor because the liability is too high. Instead, always install a b vent indoor or in an enclosed exterior. 

Do B vent fireplaces provide heat?

Yes, b vent fireplaces do provide heat. However, the direct vents do a better job keeping your house warm because they help seal the heat in.

Wrap Up: B Vent vs. Direct Vent

When looking at different gas fireplace models, you may notice they have options for different types of vents. If you want a more traditional vent, the b vent is easy to install and one of the most natural ways to provide oxygen to a fire. However, they allow cold air to get in the house.

On the other hand, direct vents are completely sealed to keep the outdoor air out of your house. They use a dual vent system to keep the fireplace oxygenated and keep your house warm at a lower cost.