G.N. from Cook County, Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I am buying a condo that currently has a gas ventless fireplace. I want to replace it with a direct vent fireplace (for all the obvious reasons). My condo is on the top floor/corner. Any chance or any advice on getting this approved? Not sure why a new building would install ventless fireplaces.
Mister Condo replies:
G.N., congratulations on buying your condo! If this is your first condominium living experience, welcome to our world! While your observations on safety make complete sense, I think you will find that getting an approval for a fireplace with an external vent will be challenging. An external vent will require a building modification to the exterior of the building and most condominium Boards of Directors will frown upon that. That is very likely the reason there is a ventless fireplace in your unit now. You can certainly apply for the variance in architectural control but don’t be too surprised if the Board rejects your application. For what it’s worth, I had a ventless fireplace in my own condo for many years and never had a problem. I strongly recommend working Carbon Dioxide detectors in place for extra safety. All the best!