The Mantis super-efficient hearth system exceeds 93 percent AFUE, the company says. The exhaust gas exits the flue at 120° to 130° F, making the system a condensing fireplace. Exhaust from the Mantis is cool enough to run in PVC. The Mantis uses PVC for venting, so the total installed price (unit, labor, and materials) compares favorably to a conventional B-vent or direct-vent fireplace, according to the manufacturer. It can be installed as a zero-clearance fireplace, insert, or freestanding stove as well as direct-vent or single-vent. The dual-burner delivers 9,000 Btu (front only), 19,000 Btu (rear only) or 28,000 Btu (front and rear combined). The unit automatically purges unburned gas from the combustion chamber for 40 seconds before each ignition, resulting in controlled, even starts.

Empire Comfort Systems, 918 Freeburg, Ave., Belleville, IL 62220-2623; 618-233-7420 or 800-851-3153; 618-233-7097 or 800-443-8648 (fax);;

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