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Gas logs: Vented versus vent-free

Gas logs can be a fantastic way to bring the warmth and glow of a wood-burning fireplace to your home without the work of maintaining a wood fire. When you install gas logs, you can enjoy a cozy fire with the flip of a switch or the push of a button! Made of ceramic or refractory cement, gas logs come in two varieties: Vented or vent free.

Vented gas logs

Vented gas logs are installed into an existing wood-burning fireplace. When burned, the logs produce carbon and soot that draft up your chimney as it wood with a traditional wood-burning fireplace. Vented gas logs produce the most realistic flame pattern, with yellow flames that leap in a random pattern around the logs. The realism of the logs can be enhanced by placing the logs on a bed of sand and rock that add the look of glowing embers.

Vented gas logs must be burned with the chimney damper open, meaning much of the heat of the gas logs escape up the chimney. Vented gas logs provide about the same heat output as a tradition, open-hearth, wood-burning fireplace. Because of the output of smoke and soot, fireplaces outfitted with vented gas logs require the same cleaning and maintenance as a wood-burning fireplace. Chimneys and fireplaces must be swept and inspected each year to avoid a potential fire hazard. However, any smell or carbon dioxide produced by the fire is exhausted up the chimney.Gas logs, vented versus vent-free - Royal Oak MI - Fireside hearth and home

Vent-free gas logs

Vent-free, or ventless, gas logs can be installed in an existing open-hearth fireplace and burned with the damper closed, or in a separate firebox approved for use with gas logs. One major advantage to vent-free gas logs is that they be installed in virtually any room or along any wall, as chimneys or ducts are not a consideration. The major advantage to vent-free gas logs is that all of the heat of the fire is returned to the room, rather than being lost up the chimney.

However, the logs do produce a less-realistic blue flame with a pre-programmed burn pattern. Additionally, the primary byproducts of the fire are carbon dioxide and water vapor. The amounts of carbon dioxide introduced to a room by vent-free logs is generally recognized as safe, though if logs are burned for more than an hour, a window should be opened to allow for better venting. The water vapor also can cause moisture or mildew to build up within a room.

FireSide Hearth & Home can help you decide!

If you’re considering gas logs for your home, talk to the experts at FireSide Hearth & Home. We can help you weigh the pros and cons of both vented and vent-free gas logs, and help you determine which type of gas logs is right for your home!

All About Gas Fireplaces

Unless you are looking to build a new house, planning the construction of a fireplace can be very expensive. Well, not any more now, if you consider opting for a gas fireplace. If you can envision a mess free fireplace with modern looks to complete that special corner of your house, we at FireSide Hearth & Home guarantee that it will become a reality.

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Options galore

Over the past decade, American consumers have come to realize the benefits of opting for gas fires over the traditional wooden fires. For one, even if you do not have a pre-built fireplace, you can still have a fire roaring in just a matter of hours. And talking about the style, these are just as gorgeous as, if not better than your traditional hearths. If you don’t want it to occupy a huge corner of the room then you can try the portable gas stoves and you can have all the comforts of a fireplace without the hassles of a permanent solution.

Changes to expect

Let’s talk about the advantages of a gas fire. Primarily, in case you have a traditional fireplace with a chimney in your home, most of the heat escapes through the flue and only about 10% is actually retained. While this might not be much of a concern in places where there is an abundance of wood available, maintaining a pile of fire ready dry logs is not an easy task. That is where gas logs come in.

These work on the principle of gas circulation and “burn” artificial logs or crystals. Gas systems come primarily in 2 categories:

  • Vented

These are connected to the chimneys like normal fireplaces, which ensure that they work on the same principle.

  • Vent Free

These systems, with a statistic of about 95% heat retention, offer a clean burn of natural or compressed gases and do not need a chimney to be connected. However, these also come with some disadvantages. If you opt for gas systems, you will need a working gas line to your home. In case of the vent free option, you should make sure that your home has a good air supply since mild suffocation might be a problem to those with respiratory problems like asthma. All of the gas systems usually come equipped with carbon monoxide sensors which shut off the system if the CO level rises above a certain threshold; so the chances of CO poisoning are eliminated.

Transforming your fireplace

Already got an old and dilapidated fireplace lying there which simply does not provide enough warmth anymore? You could try a gas insert. These are metal boxes that leave your chimney partially or fully blocked, leading to higher heat trapping capability with the added advantage of no ash remaining; all from the comfort of your couch with a remote for controlling the flame. After all, most consumers now wish to come into a cold room, switch on the fire and switch it off while leaving.

Still confused? According to the Health, Patio and Barbecue Association of US, out of the 1 million units shipped in 2010 alone, over 650,000 were gas fueled units. Decide to join the majority today and usher in a new level of warmth into your home.