One of the most common questions we get here at BensDiscountSupply.Com is regarding venting for refrigerators, whether it's needed, costs vs benefit, possible issues, health concerns, etc. So lets go through a quick discussion on the topic...
Venting for refrigerators is used to provide fresh air directly into the propane burner box and for allowing the carbon monoxide from the burned propane to exhaust outside.
In a large or open space room with windows and doors to the outside that get opened frequently which allow for plenty of fresh air to be exchanged, venting may not be completely necessary. With that said however, many choose to opt for venting so as not to worry about opening windows or to provide permanent fresh air exchange. Venting provides for a more efficient cooling system as heat is dissipated quicker and not allowed to pool or linger in the immediate area, and there is always fresh air to draw into the propane burner box.
Being that oxygen is consumed in the combustion of propane, many choose to provide venting so as not to have the interior oxygen levels slowly depleted, though complete oxygen depletion would require a lot of time and probably be impossible as there is always air coming into a property unless it has been specifically designed to be air tight.
As for the carbon monoxide emitted from the propane combustion, it is in very small quantities that fall well below safety levels, however we always recommend our customers install a carbon monoxide alarm in the room for safety and added peace of mind. Don't forget to maintain fresh batteries and have them tested or switched out every 6 months.
One of the added benefits of venting is that the heat from the exhaust is piped directly outside, this isn't that big of an issue in the winter, but in summer months most people notice the increased temperature differential in the room with the refrigerator from this added heat source, venting helps remove this.
The cost for a venting kit with us is under $140 plus installation. Or you can have one fabricated to suit your particular situation. So depending on your budget and kitchen design, it can be added without too much trouble. Ultimately your final decision of the ultimate question, to vent or not to vent is one that requires much self reflection and internal discussion, either way we are here to help with any questions or concerns. Hope this information was helpful and as always exercise caution as well as check with your local health and safety codes to see what is required in your area.