Question: We're planning to add a fireplace to our house and are running into the problem of where to put the chimney. Do you know of any direct-venting gas fireplace?
Answer: You're in luck: Superior Fireplace Co., Fullerton, has just introduced a gas (natural or propane) fireplace that directly vents through any outside wall, without the need for a chimney flue. Although the Superior Model GDV-5000 is ideal for high-rise apartments and condominiums, it will also fit many single-family detached-home applications, such as yours, where locating the flue is a problem.
According to David Brazell at Superior, the unit is listed under ANSI's Z-21.50 standard, as well as being listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). You shouldn't have any trouble even in the city of Los Angeles, which has the most stringent building codes in the nation. Just to make sure, however, have the contractor put the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) number on the plans, should you decide to use the GDV-5000.
Brazell said the fireplace features a sealed combustion design that also makes it appropriate for mobile homes. It offers a 75% thermal efficiency, with 24,000 B.T.U. input in the natural gas model and 21,000 in the propane version. It is designed to be a heater and fireplace in one unit. Accessories include fan kits and three horizontal trim finishes (antique brass, polished brass and stainless steel).
Availability: Superior Firepace Co., 4325 Artesia Ave., Fullerton, Calif. 92633. 714/521-7302.