Direct Vent Fireplaces
To put it simply, a direct vent fireplace is prefabricated metal fireplace designed to be easy to install, easy to use, look realistic, burn clean and have little maintenance. They are closed combustion units so they have a sealed glass panel on the front of the fireplace which allows them to be highly efficient. The glass panel allows heat to pass through it and radiate into the room.
Since this is a zero-clearance install you do not need a complicated foundation or frame for these units. This simply means you can bring your wood frame directly to the sides of the unit and set the unit directly on a plywood base. All direct vent fireplaces have metal standoffs on the top of the units, these cannot be removed and you set your top framing right on top of them.
Direct vent fireplaces have a lot of options when it comes to how you want to turn the unit on and off. For the most basic use you can either use the rocker on/off switch that is pre-installed in most fireplaces or you can use a millivolt wall switch, this is specific switch that looks like a standard light switch to turn the fireplace on and off. If you do not want to walk up to the fireplace to you can use a wall thermostat or a remote control to turn the unit on. With the remote controls you have a number of options as well, you can get the most basic version that will just turn your flame on and off or you can go to the most complex version which will allow you to control your flame height and fan speed or have the remote control do it automatically depending on the temperature in the room. Like mentioned before, these features are all depending on the type of valve that is installed in your fireplace so make sure you get the one that fits your needs.