Installing fireplaces in homes with no chimney

Installing a fireplace in your home is a great way to add warmth, ambiance, and even resale value!  However, if you don’t have a chimney in your home or if you lack a chimney in the area where you wish to install your fireplace, you may be wondering if your dreams of having a fireplace are out-of-reach. This is a common issue for people seeking our services in Washington DC.  The good news is that there are a few fireplace installation options that do not require an existing chimney. Which one is right for you?

Stove Installation

fireplace stove

Stoves present an excellent option for homeowners that want a more natural wood experience.  Stoves can be purchased to use either gas, wood pellets or real wood.  Stoves are vented through a metal pipe.  The pipe extends from the stove through the roof.  The top of the pipe is covered with a chimney cap.  There is no need for a brick chimney surrounding the pipe.  Stoves are the most attractive option for homes that do not originally have fireplaces. 

Benefits of installing stoves

The beautiful thing about these stoves is that they can be installed just about anywhere and require just a small amount of retrofitting to create the proper pipe exhaust system, which will safely carry gases produced by a fire outside the home. Typically, pellet and wood-burning stoves are installed along a perimeter wall of a home. From there, a flue can be fitted that runs from the top of the stove and out through the roof of the home.

Some other advantages of wood/pellet stove installation:

  • Cheaper installation
  • Can burn real wood
  • Does not have the potential health risks of ventless fireplaces
  • More options and styles to choose from

Ventless Fireplaces

ventless fireplace

A ventless fireplace is another alternative for homeowners without an existing chimney or external ventilation. These types of fireplaces run on either natural gas or propane and are designed in such a way that the fuel is burned efficiently enough to produce very little carbon monoxide.  The remaining byproducts are released back into the home at levels that are considered to be safe.  The result is that you have a fireplace that has no chimney or pipe of any kind.  After installing a ventless fireplace, it is important to follow these maintenance tips.

Benefits of ventless fireplaces

Because these ventless fireplaces do not require a chimney or other ventilation system to be built, they also tend to be slightly cheaper to install than traditional fireplaces.

Due to the lack of a pipe, ventless systems can be installed in spaces that may be difficult or impossible to install any other type of fireplace or stove.

Important Safety Considerations

Ventless fireplaces are UL listed and approved based on the significantly reduced amount of fumes released back into the home compared to a regular vented system.  However, the fumes released by these systems can affect persons in the room who may be sensitive to them.  Ventless systems are particularly a concern when used when small children or people with respiratory issues are present.  People with allergies can also have problems with this system. 

There is much debate about the safety of ventless fireplaces.  Ventless fireplace installation is a service offered by our fireplace installation team.  However, we see ventless systems as a last resort. 


These are just a few options to consider for homeowners who want a fireplace installed but don’t have access to a chimney. Whichever route you decide to go, be sure to find an experienced and skilled installation team to get the job done properly.


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