Vented vs Ventless Gas Logs
So you're ready to buy a gas log set, but you're just not sure which type to get? We have the facts on vented gas logs vs. ventless gas logs (also known as "vent free"). Learn the differences between venting types, the advantages to each one, and how to tell which one is best for your fireplace.
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What's The Difference In Vent Type?
Vented Gas Logs
Requirement: A fully functioning fireplace with a working chimney
If you have a functioning wood-burning fireplace and want the ambiance of a real wood fire, vented gas logs may be the choice for you. Vented gas logs offer the most realistic flame. The fire wraps around the logs like they would in a real wood fire and the yellow flames are generally taller than those in ventless sets which adds to the realism.
Just like wood, vented gas logs produce CO (carbon monoxide) emissions. Because of this reason, it can be dangerous if not properly vented to the outside through an open chimney. Since you need the damper or flue to be open, you will lose more heat than you would with a ventless set which is why vented gas logs are mainly considered a decorative appliance.
With vented gas logs, you can rearrange the logs in any position you want, as long as you leave some room between the logs for airflow (this will prevent a lot of soot build up.) You can even add decorative gas log accessories such as pine cones, branches, & wood chunks to completely customize your fireplace. Take a look at our best vented gas logs to get started!
Vented Gas Log PROs:
- Most realistic looking gas logs, boasting fine detail in the logs and dynamic flames.
- They make use of an existing fully functioning wood-burning fireplace.
- Taller yellow flames enhance the realism of vented gas logs
- Generally, less expensive price than their ventless counterparts
Vented Gas Log CONs:
- Doesn’t produce as much warmth as ventless sets since the heat goes out the chimney.
- If you don’t have a fully functioning wood-burning fireplace then you can’t use these.
- Vented gas logs produce more soot since the flame is touching the logs. This means you might want to clean the logs more often than their ventless counterparts.
Ventless Gas Logs
If you’re looking for an efficient way to heat your home, ventless gas logs may be a great option for you. Unlike their vented counterparts, ventless gas logs don’t need a chimney or flue to function (though they can be installed in a functional fireplace with the damper open or closed). Because of this, most of the heat stays in your home and serves as a great way to heat a space.
What you gain in heating you lose a bit in appearance as ventless gas logs tend to be a little less realistic. Also, ventless gas logs and fireplaces are not allowed in California or Massachusetts, as well as other areas of the US. Before purchasing and installing a set in your home, you’ll want to double-check that your region and building allows them.
To avoid carbon monoxide emissions, the flame has to avoid touching the logs. The gas logs must be installed, and must remain, in the arrangement specified by the manufacturer. Lucky for you, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style! We’ve compiled the best ventless gas log sets so you can still enjoy a beautiful ventless gas log set while heating your home.
Ventless Gas Log PROs:
- Greater heat output makes them a great way to warm your home quickly and efficiently.
- Most ventless gas logs can be installed either in a fully functioning wood-burning fireplace or in a factory-made ventless fireplace but you will want to refer to your gas log’s manual to find out specifically where they can be installed.
- More environmentally friendly because the fuel burns almost completely, producing less pollution
- They use slightly less fuel than their vented counterparts
Ventless Gas Log CONs:
- Can’t be customized very much. You can’t use decorative items in the flames and you can’t rearrange the logs.
- Can’t be upgraded. Whichever logs and ignition method you choose is what you get. You can’t upgrade to a remote option later on if you don’t buy it from the onset.
- Produces humidity in the room. If you don’t crack a window sufficiently then you could run into related issues such as peeling paint. If you live in an area with a dry winter, the humidity can actually be beneficial in making your home more comfortable.
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