Vented vs. Vent Free Gas Logs: Which Is Better?

So you’ve made the decision to go with a gas fireplace. That’s a great move; natural gas is far more renewable than wood, it’s friendly for the environment, it saves money on energy bills, and it still allows you to enjoy all the benefits of a beautiful and welcoming fireplace hearth.

There are two major kinds of gas fireplace — vented and vent free gas logs. When exploring options, many people wonder what the real difference is, between the two. Explore the pros and cons of vented vs vent free gas logs in fireplaces and learn which is the better option to replace your old-fashioned wood burner.

Vented Gas Logs

Vented gas logs are installed in a traditional fireplace with a chimney. They can only be placed in a fireplace that is also capable of burning actual wood, and burning them requires that you have the damper open in the same fashion. This is because vented logs don’t burn cleanly; they produce exhaust that has to be vented up the chimney.

These fireplaces are desirable for their realistic yellow flame pattern that dances like a wood fire. It doesn’t require CO2 or oxygen sensors, and most of the gas smell vents up the chimney. However, they tend not to put off as much heat as ventless logs, and they use a bit more fuel. Finally, they produce more pollution than vent-free logs, making them a bit less eco-friendly.

Vent-Free Gas Logs

Vent free gas logs, or ventless gas logs, do not require a chimney for installation. They use specially-designed burners that emit flame in much the same way as a gas oven or grill might. They produce very little in the form of exhaust or pollution, and send almost 100% of the heat they produce out into the room.

The down-sides of ventless logs are that they can produce carbon dioxide and water vapor which creates excess moisture in the home. This can result in mildew, but it can also help to offset dry air in the winter. Also, burning them for too long with the windows closed can deplete oxygen in the home. They are also noted to produce a gas odor while burning which some people find unpleasant.

Finally, some cities and municipalities, as well as the state of California, don’t allow these fireplaces, and those that do require sensors to detect CO2 and oxygen depletion. There are also restrictions on BTU based on the air available in your room. You’ll want to check with your local area and your installation company to determine if a vent-free fireplace is available.

Vented and Vent Free Installation

While nominally vented logs can be installed by the user, it’s always best to call on the services of a professional to avoid mistakes that could be costly or dangerous. If you’re in the Bowling Green area, Emberside can help you determine which kind of fireplace installation is best for you and your home, and we can install it fast and with no hassle. Check out some more information about vented vs vent free gas logs, and get in touch with us for answers to all your questions today!