MAKING YOUR CHOICE BETWEEN VENTED AND VENT FREE LOGS:
Vented Gas Logs must be installed in a wood burning fireplace approved for gas logs. The logs must be burned with the damper open. Vented logs beautifully replicate a wood fire, but in doing so they do not burn “clean” and must be vented in the same way a wood fire is vented. The beauty of vented gas logs is that they look the most realistic of any other option available. The downside is that like a wood fire the much of the heat escapes up the chimney. There are some models that allow you to adjust the damper to a more closed position thus providing more heat. It is important to follow manufacturer’s instructions on this. Carbon Monoxide is not something you want in your home. We recommend Carbon Monoxide detectors on every level of your home if you burn gas or wood.
Positive Features of Vented Gas Logs:
- Extremely realistic flame pattern that looks like a wood fire.
- Flame is much taller than ventless logs
- Flame dances and wraps around logs like real wood.
- Since the damper is open, most of the smell will go up the chimney
Negative Features of Vented Gas Logs:
- Heat Loss
- Uses more gas than vent -free and Direct Vent Inserts
Vent-Free Gas Logs (often referred to as “Ventless” Gas Logs) have specially designed burners that burn the gas cleanly and produce almost no exhaust…somewhat like the way a gas range in a kitchen works. Since there is little or no exhaust, they can be burned with the damper closed. Because of this technology, 99.9% of the heat produced by the gas logs goes into the room, so they produce substantially more heat than their vented counter-parts. However, there are many negative features commonly associated with ventless logs that you must be aware of before you decide to purchase them:
Positive Features of Ventless Gas Logs:
- Much better heat output than vented gas logs
- Slightly less gas consumption
Negative Features of Ventless Gas Logs:
- Byproducts of burning gas cleanly includes Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor. Because of this, vent-free gas logs will introduce excess moisture into your home which can result in mold or mildew.
- It is important to be careful not to burn your vent-free logs for extended periods of time with windows closed, otherwise they can potentially deplete the oxygen in your home.
- If you burn your vent-free logs for more than an hour or so, you must crack open a window to allow air into your home to replace the oxygen burned by the vent-free logs. Unfortunately, this will introduce cold air into the room and offset some of the heating benefits of vent-free logs.
- Vent-free logs produce an odor that is offensive to some. It has been compared to the odor of burning kerosene. Some people find this odor intolerable while other people don’t notice it at all. However, you should consider your sensitivity to smells before purchasing.
- The American Lung Association recommends against vent-free products. Vent-free logs can cause eye irritation and coughing spells to those who are sensitive. We highly discourage any one with asthma or breathing problems from buying vent-fre..
- Ventless logs are not legal in California as well as some cities and municipalities. This doesn’t affect our Georgia folk, but is good information to have.
- Vent-free logs are require an ODS (oxygen depletion system) and we recommend a CO detector.
- The flame pattern on vent-free logs are not as realistic or pretty as on vented-logs. Because the vent-free logs have to burn clean, the flame cannot impinge on the logs and simply does not have as natural of a look.
- Clearances to combustibles must be taken into consideration. This is different from clearances required for wood buring fires or vented gas logs. If there is a mantel above the fireplace, you may need to install a hood to divert heat away from it.
- There are BTU limitations based on the cubic feet of air available to your room. The maximum BTUs allowed is calculated using this formula: Room Width x Room Length x Ceiling Height x 20.
- Vent-free gas logs may not be legal in a bedroom or confined space (differs with local building codes).
- We offer vent-free as an alternative, but it is important that you are well educated before you buy. We will be happy to answer all of your questions in our showroom.
Contemporary alternatives are available in both vented and vent-free.