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Choosing Between Vented and Vent Free Gas Logs

AMBIANCE OR HEAT?

Gas Log Sets are usually divided into two categories, Vented and Vent Free. Vent Free gas logs are also called unvented and ventless. They all mean the same thing! They do not need to be vented when they are in use.

Vented logs must be fully vented when they are in use.

Vented

  • Think ambiance! Because the flames dance on and around the logs they are typically considered more realistic than vent free.
  • Must be installed in an approved, fully-functioning wood burning fireplace.
  • The chimney must be fully open when the unit is in use. This means, the majority of the heat will be lost. Think of it as a decorative appliance.
  • The unit will produce some soot when the flames touch the logs.

Vented gas logs are a fantastic option when you have a fully functioning chimney, want to run the gas logs for a couple hours in the evening, want ambiance more than heat.

FAQS ON VENTED GAS LOGS

Q1 - What are vented gas logs?

Ans: Vented gas logs are a way to bring a fire into your home within seconds. They are installed in a fully functional wood burning fireplace. They must be operated with a fully open damper or flue. Most of their heat will escape through the open flue, which makes them the perfect option when ambiance is your primary goal.

Q2 - Will Vented gas logs heat a room?

Ans: Not really. They will provide some heat, especially when you’re right in front of the fireplace. However, because they must be operated with a fully open flue or chimney, the majority of your heat will escape out of your home.

Q3 - Which is safer, vented or ventless gas logs?

Ans: Both are safe options when installed in an approved fireplace or firebox and operated correctly. There are some municipalities where ventless gas logs are illegal. If you are unsure about the legality of ventless gas logs in your community, contact your local building department.

Q4 - Can we use vented gas logs in a ventless fireplace?

Ans: Absolutely not! Vented gas logs can only be installed in wood-burning fireplaces with fully functional and open chimneys, dampers, or flues.

Q5 - Can I close my fireplace doors while my vented gas log is on? 

Ans: No. If you have fireplace doors, they must be fully open whenever your vented gas logs are in operation. 

Q6 - I already have a burner for vented gas logs. Can I just buy a new set of gas logs and not a new burner?

Ans: It depends. If you are replacing the same set of gas logs with a new set, or you are replacing a set of gas logs with a set that is compatible with your existing burner, then yes. If you are unsure, err on the side of caution and purchase a compatible burner with for your new logs. 

Q7 - I like my logs, but I want to add a remote. Can I do that?

Ans: It depends. If you have a millivolt valve (meaning you have a standing pilot) then you should be able to add a remote that can adjust the flame height, like this one. If you’re not sure, give us a call. One of our fireplace experts will be happy to assist you.  

Q8 - I am replacing my current gas logs. Should I automatically buy the same size gas logs?

Ans: No. Every vented and vent free gas log set requires proper ventilation on both sides, in the front, and in the rear of the fireplace. Each gas log set will have minimum fireplace requirements. To ensure you are purchasing the proper size gas logs for your fireplace, measure your fireplace and review the minimum fireplace dimensions on the product page of the gas logs you are considering. 

 

Vent Free

  • Notice how the flames come up between the logs? Vent Free units are designed this way so they don’t produce soot. The flames stay on the burner track and the logs are placed around the flames.
  • It’s gettin’ hot in here! That’s what you will be saying as your vent free gas logs warm the room. Vent free gas logs do not require venting, therefore, you can heat your home and not the neighborhood!
  • Must be installed in a fireplace approved for a vent-free gas log set
  • Installation is subject to state & local codes (some areas do not allow vent-free)
  • Some units are available with thermostat options, allowing you to set the temperature!

Vent Free is great when you want to heat the coldest room in the house, you are more considered about heat that ambiance, you have an approved vent free box or no working flue. 

 

FAQS ON VENT FREE GAS LOGS

Q1 - Which is better, vented or ventless gas logs?

Ans: It’s a personal choice and depends on your heating goals. If ambiance is your main objective, then go with a vented gas log. If you are looking for heat, then ventless gas logs are the way to go.

Q2 - Are ventless fireplaces illegal?

Ans: Ventless (aka Vent Free or Unvented) gas logs are legal in most states. However, there are a couple of states where they are illegal. In addition, there are some local municipalities that do not allow ventless gas logs. If you have questions about the legality of ventless fireplaces in your community, contact your local building department.

Q3 - Why does my vent free gas fireplace smell?

Ans: When vent free gas logs smell, it’s a by-product of the chemicals that are used when the logs are made. The odor will tend to go away after the logs are seasoned and the chemicals burn off. The smell is less noticeable with more quality vent free gas log sets. If you have vent free gas log in a natural fireplace with a vent, you can open the vent, allowing the fumes to escape. If you have a vent free fireplace with vent free gas logs, you can crack a window. Although they are 99% efficient, they do require fresh air intake. For those with sensitive noses, vented gas logs may be a better option.

Q4 - Can I use my existing burner? I only want to replace my gas logs.

Ans: Probably not. Vent Free gas logs MUST sit on the burner designed for them. Unless you are replacing an existing set of vent free gas logs with a vent free set of logs designed for that specific burner, you will not be able to use your existing burner. Using the wrong burner can have catastrophic results and void your warranty.

Q5 - I am replacing my current gas logs. Should I automatically buy the same size gas logs?

Ans: No. Every vented and vent free gas log set requires proper ventilation on both sides, in the front, and in the rear of the fireplace. Each gas log set will have minimum fireplace requirements. To ensure you are purchasing the proper size gas logs for your fireplace, measure your fireplace and review the minimum fireplace dimensions on the product page of the gas logs you are considering.