When it comes to selecting gas logs for your home, there are two beautiful but different options to choose from: Vented or Vent-Free Gas Logs. A real wood-burning fireplace requires logs as its primary fuel source, while wood stoves can operate on logs or wood pellets. While some homeowners love the smell of charred oak and the glowing embers of a wood-burning fireplace, others want to avoid the smoke and extra work that comes with wood-burning fires.
In recent years, gas logs have become more and more popular for a variety of reasons. Primarily, because their heat source is either propane or natural gas, which is extremely accessible and far less messy than real wood. Plus, many gas fireplaces are highly efficient, heat homes effectively, and in many instances can be controlled via remote control.
However, prior to installing gas logs, there is one important decision buyers have to make while they shop: you’ll have to choose between a vent-free fireplace and a vented fireplace.
While we’ve previously discussed the unique qualities of vent-free gas logs (also known as ventless gas logs) and vented gas logs, today we wanted to take a closer look at the components and compare vented vs vent-free gas logs.
For many homeowners, there are plenty of advantages to gas fireplaces in the home. For starters, their fuel source is propane gas or natural gas, which is fairly easy to access for most homeowners compared to wood-burning fireplaces. Additionally, because there are artificial vent-free or vented gas logs resting inside the hearth, there is no mess produced by either gas log sets.
The largest advantage of gas logs is their ease of use. There are also minimal safety risks that come with vented gas fireplaces and vent-free gas fireplaces. You don’t have to worry about the fireplace popping, or smoking up the house. Additionally, there is no chance of elderly members in your home, or members with respiratory problems, breathing in unnecessary smoke. While the EPA has mandated new safety regulations limiting the grams of smoke released per hour in new wood-burning stoves, the appeal of a gas fireplace limits this possible safety concern.
Gas logs have many advantages, but when it comes down to vented vs vent-free gas logs, there are plenty of differences that should help ease your decision.
While both forms of gas logs run on natural gas or propane, this is where their similarities end. The biggest differences between vented vs vent-free gas logs are the installation requirements and the production of carbon monoxide and soot.
Vented gas logs are a very popular option among homeowners because they have very large authentic-looking flames, which can be very appealing. However, just like a wood-burning fireplace, a vented gas fireplace produces carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. Vented gas fireplaces, therefore, require a fully operational chimney, so the CO emissions (think smoke) have a place to exit your home, just like a real wood fire.
While vented gas logs look incredible, and can be ordered in a variety of different sizes and finishes that mimic real wood logs, the biggest factors to consider prior to installation are:
In comparison to vented gas logs, vent-free gas logs do not require a chimney and produce limited CO emissions. The major difference here is appearance and heat output.
Vent-free gas logs don’t require a chimney because they burn clean and recycle used air that has been previously expelled in the room. Vent-free gas log sets also produce more heat than vented gas logs, at a lower operating price.
However, vent-free gas logs don’t produce the same large, realistic flames that vented gas logs do, which can be a deterrent for some. Additionally, because vent-free gas logs recycle air that is used throughout your room, they require an Oxygen Detection System to monitor the flow of oxygen throughout the room. For this reason, it’s recommended that vent-free fireplaces don’t run for longer than 2 to 4 hours at a time, for safety purposes. For more safety information, review How to Use Vent-Free Gas Fireplaces Safely.
Both methods provide additional heat to your home - the real decision comes down to appearance vs heat output. Vented gas logs are more stylish, realistic, and are compatible with pre-existing and functioning chimneys and are considered to be a “decorative gas appliance”. Meanwhile, vent-free gas logs do not require a functioning chimney and can heat around 1000 to 1200 sq. ft. (as a secondary heat source only).
If maximum heat and a lower operating cost are more valuable to you than the appearance of your fireplace, then vent-free fireplaces and gas logs are a better option for your family. They still provide plenty of heat and have come a long way over the last few years in terms of appearance.
If you are interested in the best of both worlds, you may be interested in a Direct Vent Gas Fireplace. Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces come in all shapes and sizes and are available for new construction and inserts that can be placed in existing fireplaces. Direct Vent Fireplaces are the most efficient gas fireplace, so much so that they can be considered a primary heat source, but do come with an additional price tag. Please keep in mind there are direct vent fireplaces on the market that are considered “decorative” and do not have the heat output of a heating unit.
No matter which heating method you prefer, both gas log types require the same annual service repairs and inspections. While they don’t operate the same way, it’s important to see how well they are functioning and have them cleaned every one to two years.
At Casual Furniture World, we take your comfort seriously, which is why we offer annual gas log service to all our Winston-Salem customers.
From now until February 1st, you can schedule your annual gas log service for Casual Furniture World sets at our Winston-Salem store location, guaranteeing a warmer North Carolina winter. During your appointment, our technician will:
The best part? Customers that schedule their gas log service online will receive a $15 dollar discount towards your service. Due to high service demands, and to ensure we have access to necessary parts, our team is only able to perform service on gas logs and fireplaces that were purchased from a Casual Furniture World store. Just remember that our gas fireplace service is only available through our Winston-Salem store location. Whether you have vented or vent-free gas logs, one thing is essential - scheduling annual service to keep your family warm around the fireplace.