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Wisdom needed: Crack a window to use gas fireplace?
#1
My wife and I have been living in our apartment for over a year now and the apartment has a gas fireplace that we have never used. It seems to be a bit colder this year (or at least my wife thinks so) and instead of turning the heat up (our heat is electric) I suggested we turn the fireplace on because it is natural gas and we cheaper to run than our electric would be.

Here is what I need to know. The landlord tells me that we need to open a window when using it because of the carbon monoxide risk. The fireplace does not have a chimney or vents that go to the outside. I think it is a bit counter-intuitive; the idea is to heat the apartment and not have the electric heat kicking on as much so opening a window would seem to defeat that purpose. The other issue is that growing up we had a natural gas stove and never had to open windows when cooking.

So, anyone know? Anyone have one and have experience with this?
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Pround member of Pa2a.org since September 2012
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#2
I have actually used a Propane Fireplace to heat my house for years. I heard the same thing when I first bought one. But I haven't cracked a window in years and have had no problems.

Streaker put it best on another posting. Back when everyone's goal was to make your house totally airtight for insulation purposes, yeah, this may have been an issue. But as I stated earlier. I have no problems whatsoever using mine with the windows closed all winter.
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In the beginning a Patriot is a scarce man, Hated, Feared and Scorned; but in time, when his cause succeeds, the timid join them, because then it cost nothing to be a Patriot.... Mark Twain.
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#3
If you have a fireplace you MUST have a carbon monoxide detector, and if you do not than I highly recommend you NOT light it until you do...Keep it in the room with the fireplace, you'll know soon enough whether you need a window cracked.
Vampire pig man since September 2012
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#4
Camper;42308 Wrote:If you have a fireplace you MUST have a carbon monoxide detector, and if you do not than I highly recommend you NOT light it until you do...Keep it in the room with the fireplace, you'll know soon enough whether you need a window cracked.

^^This^^

If you have any kind of combustion source in your home, you should have CO detectors in the same room, so you get the earliest warning possible.

I have one that I can just plug into any wall outlet that I use when I run the woodstove in the winter time. I have another one in the basement because of the furnace, and I have another one upstairs in the kid's room, that's a combo Smoke/CO.
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#5
Just remember co2 detectors are good for 5 years, they should beep or have a led light on them showing trouble. Theres also cumbustable gas detectors for propane and natural gas.
"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"

goofin, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#6
goofin;42319 Wrote:Just remember co2 detectors are good for 5 years, they should beep or have a led light on them showing trouble. Theres also cumbustable gas detectors for propane and natural gas.

You mean CO not CO2.
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#7
Natural gas burns cleanly enough that you don't need to vent the fumes. Ask anyone that's cooked a big holiday meal on the holidays and had their gas stove running all day.

That being said, the carbon monoxide detector is NEVER a bad idea.
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#8
Thanks for the information. We have a CO detector here in the apartment, which is one of the reasons why I was not too concerned about running the fireplace. And again, we had a gas stove running in my house for my entire childhood without any adverse effects.

I guess I will double check the batteries in the CO detector and maybe it light it tomorrow when the kid is not around, just in case.
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Pround member of Pa2a.org since September 2012
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#9
Running an oven for 10 hours with people coming and going and opening doors is not the same as running a wall unit with no ventilation for 24, 36 or 48 hours.

You don't have to open the window a foot, just a half inch to an inch is probably ll you need. Pick a window that won't allow the wind to rush in.

Remember, that heater is using up your oxygen, it's not fumes you need to worry about, it's literally waking up dead that you need to be concerned about.

I have responded to enough CO calls to know that a sealed up apartment or mobile home with a gas wall unit or kerosene heater can turn out badly for the occupants.

Open a window a half inch and make sure your CO alarm is working properly, not doing so is just foolish unless saving a few pennies on heat is worth risking your life for.
Some people need to read this book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1936976021/ref=...jwbZH1GAZF

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#10
Valorius;42421 Wrote:Natural gas burns cleanly enough that you don't need to vent the fumes. Ask anyone that's cooked a big holiday meal on the holidays and had their gas stove running all day.

That being said, the carbon monoxide detector is NEVER a bad idea.

True, but the flame on a gas fireplace is significantly larger than the flames of any gas stove.

I'd be more cautious about the fireplace, but a carbon monoxide detector is a must either way IMHO.
Vampire pig man since September 2012
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