You make decisions about your family’s health every day; from the foods you select to the health-care providers you visit. But there’s one big health decision frequently overlooked: how to make sure your home’s indoor air quality is safe.
Studies show that we are more likely to get sick from poor air quality inside of our homes, versus air pollution outside of our home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pollutant levels in the home are often two to 10 times higher than those found outdoors. And with people spending an average of 65 percent of their time indoors, it’s important to reduce the risks of indoor air pollution as much as possible. Selecting the right fireplace for your home can be essential to helping ensure a healthy indoor breathing environment, which is why Direct-vent gas fireplaces are the best choice for a healthy hearth.
Direct-vent gas fireplaces use outside air for combustion, and effectively expel 100 percent of the combustion exhaust and byproducts (like moisture and carbon monoxide) outside the home. As a result, they do not decrease your home’s indoor air quality in any way, creating a pleasant heating experience without the presence of harmful particles. The Heatilator Caliber nXt
gas fireplace is a great choice for assuring healthy indoor air quality.
In contrast, unvented gas fireplaces turn your home into a chimney, and can represent a major source of indoor air pollution in new homes. Unvented gas fireplace flames consume oxygen from inside your home for operation – and they expel exhaust, fumes, soot and strong combustion odors back into your living space, resulting in contaminated air.
Unvented gas fireplaces can also release up to a quart of excess moisture into the room every hour they are in operation. This moisture can condense on window glass and underneath carpet, which encourages the growth of mold and mildew. Because of problems like these, many builders will no longer install unvented gas fireplaces in new homes.
For those who can’t live without the crackle of a traditional wood burning fireplace, it’s important to have a properly-installed outside air kit that has been properly sized for maximum effectiveness.
Outside air kits draw fresh air into your home so that the fireplace doesn’t consume oxygen from your house. In many newer homes, it’s also advisable to open a window when you have a fire, to give the fireplace another fresh-air supply.
If you have questions about how to maximize your home’s indoor air quality, visit an authorized fireplace dealer or check with your builder.