By Pat from CA on March 14, 2013
Are ventless fireboxes allow in Northern California?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on March 15, 2013
Answer:Generally speaking, no. California has outlawed the use of vent-free gas appliances in most applications. Please contact your local building code enforcement office for more information.
By Linda from CT on December 10, 2013
Can you vent a vent free insert? We have one and it gives us headaches.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on December 10, 2013
Answer:If the unit is a true insert, meaning a metal chassis that was slid into an existing fireplace, it cannot be vented. The insert will not have provisions for a vent. A vent free log set can of course be vented by opening the damper. While you may be experiencing sensitivity to the byproducts of a vent free heater, headaches are usually a sign that the unit is producing carbon monoxide. If the unit has not been serviced recently, it may need to be cleaned and the air shutter adjusted to verify that it has the cleanest burn possible.
By Bill from Los Angeles on January 6, 2014
Are vent free gas fireplaces legal in California?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on January 6, 2014
Answer:No, vent-free gas appliances are generally outlawed across the board in California.
By Mike from MO on January 29, 2014
My vent free fireplace has caused my wall to blacken. What do you think caused this?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on January 30, 2014
Answer:This issue is commonly caused if the fireplace has not been serviced in some time. Dust that is drawn into the unit over time can block the air shutter at the base of the burner assembly. Spider webs can also cause this issue. The clogged air shutter keeps the correct amount of combustion air from being drawn in and the fuel rich mixture that results can cause a release of soot. I recommend carefully removing the log assembly and blowing out the air shutter, burner assembly, and pilot with compressed air. This should restore proper function.
By Dan from Hebron, CT on September 28, 2013
Do you have a unit that only requires 12" of depth?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on September 30, 2013
By kisha rose from Arkansas on February 28, 2013
What is the difference in louver and flush vent-free see-thru fireplaces?
By Chris on February 28, 2013
Answer:A louvered model will have slat louvers at the top and bottom of the fireplace allowing air to circulate around the chassis of the firebox. Most commonly, louvered models also allow use of a blower.
A flush fireplace will not have the louvers, but commonly will allow the installer to use their finishing materials almost all the way to the opening of the fireplace.
By Syed. Jalil from Brownsville, Texas on February 17, 2013
We have a large porch. What is the best product for this? We do not have an electrical outlet.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on February 18, 2013
By Karl from Santa Rosa, CA on November 2, 2013
I'm looking for low profile (i.e. 24 inch high) corner unit for a bedroom. I'd like a 12-15000 BTU/hr range and vent free gas model. Do you have any suggestions?
By Kevin E. - NFI Certified Specialist on November 3, 2013
We'd be happy to make a recommendation. However, when installed into a bedroom, vent free appliances are limited at 10,000 BTU. Further, the state of California prohibits the installation of vent free appliances. If you are open to installing a direct vent fireplace and the requisite venting, something like our Small Loft
would be a fine option.
By Sharon from Connecticut on February 7, 2014
I'm interested in a vent less fireplace with zero clearance that operates on propane and is energy efficient. I have propane for cooking and may add a propane generator. I have a small 1200 sq ft house and want to put it in the llvingroom. Can you recommend one? It can be built in or look like a regular fireplace with a mantel.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on February 9, 2014
One of our most popular models of vent free fireplace is the Vail Premium Vent-Free Propane Fireplace with Blower - 36"
. The vent free design ensures optimal efficiency and the 36k BTU output is sufficient to heat an area of 1,000 square feet. The built in blower also helps to optimize thermal efficiency by increasing air circulation. The unit is able to be built into a combustible enclosure or can be used with one of the accessory mantels listed on the item page. Empire has a long history of producing vent free heaters and is among the best of manufacturers for this type.
By G'Anna from Salem, Oregon on February 18, 2014
I am shopping for a vent free fireplace with mantle. All the attractive ones seem to be gel fuel. Can I convert a gel fuel fireplace to vent free gas?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on February 18, 2014
Answer:Unfortunately, the vent free gas units require larger clearances to combustibles than the gel and electric models. This is part of the reason why the gel fireplace mantels are able to be made so compact and are more detailed. I apologize that these mantels cannot be fitted with a gas unit.
By Kris from Fox Lake on December 30, 2013
Can I use my ventless fireplace to heat my downstairs 24/7? Is it OK to leave it going for 3 months straight?
I have the ETF200TCC-MD.
By Chris on December 30, 2013
Answer:A vent free appliance such as your fireplace is designed for supplemental heat only. Having the fireplace operate constantly can cause oxygen depletion issues. Because of oxygen depletion, the unit will eventually shut down if used as a primary heat source. I would recommend the use of a direct vent appliance as a primary heat source instead of a vent free appliance.
By craig from Chicago on October 29, 2012
What are the limits for using a vent-free in an open patio with a roof?
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on October 30, 2012
Answer:The primary concern will be the distance from the top of the opening to your roof. Each vent-free unit will have a minimum distance required for this measurement, and these vary from model to model.
This information can be found in the owner's manual of each unit, and we have PDF format owner's manuals for our fireplaces on each item page.
By Areej from Palos Heights, IL on January 28, 2013
Hi, are any of your vent free electrical wall mounted fireplaces safe to be mounted under a television?
By Chris on January 29, 2013
Answer:The electric fireplaces we offer from Fire Sense can be mounted under a television. However, the manufacturer recommends having at least 3 feet from the top of the fireplace to the nearest combustilbe material such as electrical cords, furnishings, and drapery.
By Ruth from NY on January 11, 2013
I currently have an inefficient builder's grade direct vent fireplace installed in my home. Is it possible to have an energy efficient vent free fireplace installed? If so, how difficult it is to do this? The builder's fireplace is inset in a stone veneer wall.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on January 11, 2013
Answer:It is possible to remove the current direct vent unit and replace it with a vent free fireplace. In order to minimize the amount of stone removal, I would recommend using a unit that is close in size to what you have now. Do you have any model or manufacturer information from the current unit? This will not only give me the size of the opening, but also the dimensions of the unit behind the stone veneer. Please advise at your convenience.
By Stefanie from Morristown, SD on June 13, 2013
Which of your vent free fireplaces would I be able to hang a TV over. My TV is 52 inches, do you have a 30-42 inch fireplace that I could hang it over?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on June 14, 2013
Building the fireplace into the entertainment center is certainly feasible, as long as the required clearances are maintained between the box and the surrounding wooden enclosure. A couple of our more popular and reliable models are manufactured by Napoleon and Empire. The Napoleon models are the Napoleon GVF36 Vent Free Gas Fireplace
and the 42 inch version, which is the Napoleon GVF42 Vent Free Gas Fireplace
. Both of these models offer a realistic fiber ceramic log set and 30,000 BTUs of supplemental heat. As standard, they also feature an oxygen depletion system, should oxygen levels in the room become too low.
The Empire offering is the Vail Premium Vent-Free Natural Gas Fireplace - 36 Inch
. This model features a slightly higher BTU output than the Napoleon models and is the most dependable vent free series we sell.
When mounting the television above the entertainment center, it is best to have at least 24 inches of space between the television and the fireplace. More clearance is better, as is recessing the television into the wall, if possible. Vent free heaters produce a large amount of heat in the immediate area. As such, they can ruin electronics if they are mounted too low.
By Rick from Nebraska on October 22, 2013
I'm looking for a vent free fireplace. What would you recommend for a place that is about 900 sq ft? It is also flagstone tiling.
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on October 23, 2013
By Tom from Myrtle Beach, SC on November 8, 2013
How do you convert a vented propane fireplace to a vent free fireplace?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on November 8, 2013
Answer:To convert the fireplace, you would need to purchase either a vent free log set or vent free insert. Either system could be operated within the opening and would be burned with the damper closed, allowing heat to circulate into the room for supplemental heating abilities.
By Tonya from Alabama on November 27, 2012
I am looking for a 44" wide across front, 14" sides deep, then angled from the 14" to 35 3/4" pointed in the back (this sits in a corner) ventless firebox with stone look inside. Would you be able to help me?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on November 27, 2012
Answer:Most of our vent free fireboxes will have a front overall width and depth that is similar to your needs; however, they range from 20 to 26 inches in overall depth and do not have the option for a liner with a stone appearance.
By Jack from Burlington, NC on July 11, 2013
I have an existing Superior fireplace vent less, natural gas, with a sealed glass panel on the front. Can I remove the panel and replace with more efficient gas logs and not replace the ugly glass front?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on July 11, 2013
Answer:If your fireplace has a sealed glass front, it cannot be a vent-free unit. Vent-free fireplaces cannot have glass fronts or doors, as they need to "breathe" to bring in combustion air and release carbon dioxide and water vapor. Regardless, you will not be able to remove the glass panel as that model requires it for operation. You may want to consider a total vent-free replacement to avoid having the glass front. You can see our full selection below on this page.
By Connie from Avinger, Texas on January 4, 2013
I am looking for vent-free propane logs with an electric start instead of a pilot light. Do you have these? I would like a remote control also.
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on January 4, 2013
By William from Philadelphia, PA on January 2, 2014
I am looking for a vent free gas fireplace for my family room/kitchen. The room is 30' x 20' and all one room. What do you recommend? My original house is connected to this addition and is about the same size. Can this new unit heat that area as well because that is where the thermostats are? Do I need a blower for a ventless unit?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on January 2, 2014
Answer:To provide ample supplemental heat to your room, we would recommend a vent-free fireplace with 20,000+ BTUs. Depending on your preference of style (traditional log set or contemporary linear burner), we have a variety of units that can accomplish this and meet your needs. We would indeed recommend adding a blower to increase the efficiency of the heat output throughout the room. Please advise if you have a size or style preference and we can provide specific recommendations.
By Don from KY on April 27, 2013
Do you have a round, ventless propane firepit that I can use in a sun room?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on April 29, 2013
Answer:Unfortunately, all of the fire pit burners we currently offer must be vented. We do offer some vent free burner assemblies, but they are designed to be used in a standard firebox and would not offer the desired appearance for a fire pit.
By Christy from Atlanta, GA on January 2, 2014
I have a 2-year old home that came ready (has the fittings already in) for gas or propane logs. It is completely ventless. I do not have a chimney. Also my TV sits in an insert (pre-made by the builder) above the fireplace. I've read some of you questions/answers, and I'm now concerned about my TV. I'm also concerned about having heat if I lose power as my home is completely electric. If I lose power and use my gas logs, is there a risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning? Do you recommend that I investigate anything further? I'm strongly considering having a gas line run, but not using propane.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on January 3, 2014
Answer:Because your television is in a recessed alcove above the fireplace opening, you should not have any issues with overheating. This primarily occurs when the television is mounted flat to the wall and is directly above the fireplace opening, subjecting it to a great deal of heat.
Any high quality set of vent free gas logs is designed to be operated for up to four hour intervals without the release of any harmful material. Natural gas is the easier fuel to use with vent free, as it is lighter than air and will rise naturally. LP will sink and requires more specific burner adjustments to burn properly. All log sets that we offer can be operated without an external power source, so they could be an excellent source of backup heat.
By Kashif from Seattle, WA on July 14, 2013
I have a wood burning fire place that I'd like to replace with a gas insert. Should I go for Vent free or Direct vent? What can I use?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on July 15, 2013
Answer:The unit you have pictured is a manufactured type of fireplace, which will likely not accommodate a gas fireplace insert. However, gas logs could be installed into the existing fireplace without an issue. For better heat output and a different appearance, the current manufactured fireplace and chimney could be completely removed and replaced with a manufactured direct vent or vent free fireplace.
By Michele A Delle Cave from USA on November 12, 2012
I am looking for a gas insert - vent free fireplace that is 32 W & 30 H. Would you have anything in this size?
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on November 13, 2012
Answer:We do have some options that are close to that size, but we need a bit more information before we can make a recommendation. Do you currently have a vent-free firebox and need a ventless gas log set, or do you have a brick/masonry fireplace into which you wish to install a full-bodied vent-free insert?
By Tom from IN on February 23, 2014
I want to install ventless natural gas logs in an already existing fireplace with damper. I don't see anything wrong with doing this. The only problem is heat buid up from the flames under the unit. The only way I can run a gas line to it is up through the cleanout from the basement. The only way to do that is to use the newer flexible gas lines. Can this type of supply line handle the heat buildup?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on February 24, 2014
Answer:It is indeed possible to install a vent free gas log set within an existing masonry fireplace. You may need to install a hood at the top of the fireplace opening, if there is a combustible mantel located directly above the fireplace opening.
The flexible CSST supply line can be in close proximity to the fireplace, but the change to an unjacketed flexible supply pipe should be made as soon as possible. Any jacketing inside the CSST in the fireplace should be cut back, as it can become too hot.
By D. Klingbeil from Rhode Island on February 11, 2013
Do you have a wall mounted unit that can be used in the event of a power failure?
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on February 11, 2013
By Jennifer from New Orleans on October 2, 2013
I am looking for a 36" vent free gas fireplace that is 16-18" deep without louvers. Can you help me?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on October 2, 2013
By Paulette from Santa Rosa, CA on October 18, 2013
Our vacation cabin in the mountains has had a vent free Napoleon Arlington for about 3 years now and it has been serving me well until this year. Since I relocated it in the cabin, I checked all connections for leaks using the soap and water method and proceeded to light the pilot. I let the pilot burn for a little bit before starting the fire. When I lit the fire it emitted an odor of what I am thinking is propane, but am not sure. I turned the fire off and rechecked for leaks again while the pilot was still on. Still no leaks and by then the odd odor was gone. I re-lit the fire again and had the odor again so I just tuned the fire off and left the pilot on for one day as there was no odor when the pilot was on alone. Can there be a leak inside the stove that I may have caused by moving it? If so, how would I track it down and fix it? Also, I haven't done yearly maintenance on it because it has always worked so well. Could that be the cause of the odor? Any thoughts on what could be causing this odor would be greatly appreciated.
By Chris on October 18, 2013
Answer:I would visually inspect the valve and gas lines for any cracks or defects. If none can be seen, I would have a specialist come out and use a gas sniffer to pinpoint the area in which the gas is leaking from.
By Olga Longi from United States on February 22, 2013
I have an old gas floor heater that I want to take out and install a gas wall fireplace. I do not know which one I can install.
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on February 22, 2013
If local codes permit it, you can install one of these zero clearance vent-free fireplaces. You may prefer a direct vent fireplace, however. For more information please see our Gas Fireplace and Stove Buying Guide
By Katie from Murfreesboro, TN on October 31, 2012
I am interested in a vent-free fireplace for my home, but am a little confused on how it works. Where does the smoke from the fire go?
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on November 1, 2012
The primary by-products from a vent-free burner are water vapor and carbon dioxide. The clean-burning technology minimizes exhaust.
For more information, please see the "Vent-Free" section of our Gas Fireplace and Stove Buying Guide
By Steve from St Louis, Missouri on December 2, 2013
Do I have to use the rock wool that came with my Monessen vent free fireplace in order for it to work correctly?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on December 3, 2013
Answer:Yes. Each manufacturer of vent free appliances provides a certain amount and particular type of embers that are designed not to impede the flame pattern of the burner or release harmful material into the room. Using different or additional embers can cause the release of soot or CO into the room.
By Gary Lombardo from St Louis, MO on December 8, 2012
Do vent-free fireplaces require doors?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on December 10, 2012
Answer:Most vent free fireplaces are unable to use doors, as they need to be able to readily convect heated air to the room. However, most units will have a safety screen that is placed over the opening in order to serve as a protective barrier.
By Julia from FL on March 23, 2014
I want a fireplace that burns gel that hangs on the wall.
By Chris on March 24, 2014
By Joel from Chicago, IL on December 25, 2013
I have a vent free fireplace that the pilot goes off intermittently. I clean the unit each winter before use. Could there be any other maintenance items that need to be addressed?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on December 26, 2013
Answer:The only other issue that could be causing this issue is the connection point between the thermocouple lead and the gas valve. Depending on your fireplace, there may be either a pair of lead wires or a solid copper lead that is held in place by a nut. Either way, loosening and cleaning the connection point at the gas valve will often make a difference, as excessive voltage drop can occur at this location and cause the pilot to drop out.
By Chris from Michigan on February 24, 2014
How can I recess my electric fireplace flush with the wall if it emits heat out of a vent that is located on top part of the fireplace. The vent would be in wall and I like the look of it being flush but not sure if it can because of that? Any help or ideas please?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on February 24, 2014
Answer:Because of the scenario you describe, many electric fireplaces cannot be recessed into a wall due to the heat hazard. We recommend checking with the manufacturer of your particular unit for more information.
By Doreen from Pittsburgh, PA on November 15, 2013
Can a gel or electric fireplace be converted to a vent free gas log fireplace?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on November 15, 2013
Answer:No, gel and electric fireplaces can only be used as they are designed. We apologize for this inconvenience.
By Robert G. Althoff from Santa Paula, CA on December 17, 2012
What size fireplace do I require for 996 square feet of space, including one sliding door and four large windows?
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on December 17, 2012
By Bill from Manville, NJ on September 25, 2013
Why won't either of my remotes work on either of my fireplaces?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on September 26, 2013
Answer:There could be a number of issues causing this problem, ranging from bad batteries in the remote or receiver, to a defective RF transmitter in the remote. It is always best to first check the batteries in the remote and receiver, then verify if that is the issue. If not, we will need to perform further troubleshooting.
By Mike from New York on November 29, 2012
Are you allowed to have a ventless fireplace in a commercial setting or public forum in New York ?
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on November 29, 2012
Answer:There are varying degrees of rules and regulations against vent-free appliances across the country, but we are not aware of any in New York state. We recommend calling your local building inspector for more information.
By Virginia from Marion, Indiana on December 9, 2013
We purchased a vent free gas fireplace which comes enclosed in a wood cabinet, which is designed to place against a wall. The top of the gas unit is 14 inches from the inside top of the cabinet. We would like to place our large screen television on the wall above the fireplace. The bottom of the television would be 9 inches from the top of the fireplace cabinet. We also purchased a blower unit to help diffuse the heated air. Is it safe to place the television above the cabinet enclosing the fireplace and is it safe to put the fireplace cabinet against the drywall, or do we need to put some type of shielding material on the wall?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on December 10, 2013
Answer:While it depends on the manufacturer, every unit that we sell that is designed to be enclosed in an accessory cabinet has all necessary clearances built into the cabinet. This would mean that the cabinet could be placed directly against a combustible wall and there are no restrictions to clearance over the cabinet. If you would like to provide the manufacturer name and model number of the system, I can verify this further.
By Beth from PIttsburgh, PA on March 9, 2013
I am looking for a modern vent free linear fireplace that is energy efficient and between 30 and 46 inches in width. Our ceilings are 8' and we will be installing a TV above the fireplace. We want it to be recessed or flush with the wall (we will be building out a surround with tile) and we aren't sure if we should get one with or without a glass front. Can you give a few recommendations? And what are the other important things to keep in mind when deciding on a fireplace?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on March 11, 2013
Aside from clearances above the unit, another important thing to consider is the amount of space the unit will heat. One very popular linear vent free model we carry is the FMI Paris Lights 43" Linear Vent-Free Fireplace - Natural Gas
. This unit requires a minimum 14 inch clearance from the fireplace opening to the bottom of any obstructions. I always recommend a recessed installation for televisions, as they are especially susceptible to heat. A recessed installation for the fireplace will also help. Another popular unit is the Napoleon WHVF31 Plasmafire Wall-Mounted Vent-Free Gas Fireplace
. This unit uses a wall mounted design, but can still be flanked with a noncombustible surround. Unfortunately, vent free linear units are still limited in availability, as the technology to build them is still being developed.
By Ronald from Howell, NJ on November 29, 2012
Is there a vent free fireplace that is over 50" high?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on November 30, 2012
Answer:I am not aware of a vent free fireplace that would meet this height requirement. Typically, vent free units have a shorter opening, due to their 40,000 BTU limitation. The extra height would leave a lot of void space that the burner assembly would not fill with flame.
By Lory from NJ on February 25, 2014
We don't a have fireplace, and I want to have one in our living room. What's the best option considering budget? I want to have the look and heat of a fireplace. I'm looking for a 32-36 inches. What would be the estimate cost including installation?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on February 25, 2014
While installation costs will vary according to local labor rates, we do offer vent free gas fireplaces in the 32 to 36 inch range for as low as $995.40. The model at this price is the Vail Premium Vent-Free Natural Gas Fireplace - 32" - VFP-32-BP20LN
. Despite the low cost, the Vail series of fireplaces is a well-built unit that will serve you well. It is capable of providing supplemental to heat to an area of 800 square feet.
By Terry from Pensacola, FL on January 6, 2013
I have an old fireplace in which I have installed Cedar Ridge vent-free gas logs. The fireplace is a model CRHEB24RT, product # 0112970. I want to purchase a blower for it but I am not sure if I can. If I can, which one do you recommend?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on January 7, 2013
Answer:Per the supplied model number, these appear to be vent-free gas logs manufactured by ProCom. Whether or not you can use a blower will depend on the model of fireplace you have, as the blower assembly will be housed in the base of the unit. Do you have the manufacturer name and model number of the actual fireplace?
By Tom from Mishawaka IN on February 25, 2014
Been thinking of vent free fireplaces, but after talking to a couple of fireplace shops in our area, neither one recommends using them as it has side affects such as soot buildup, adding moisture to the air and if someone in the family has asthma definitely don't purchase vent free. They gave me several articles about people developing headaches and feelings of being generally sick. After taking out the vent free f/p all symptoms went away. They do have them for sale in their shops though.
But there are always two sides to every story and wondering if you can supply me with a unbiased article. After all, we run gas stoves in the kitchen without any issues even on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on February 25, 2014
As a retailer of various hearth products, we want our customers to know all the facts. With vent-free gas hearth appliances, the issues you mentioned are legitimate concerns and we feel the need to point out those to our customers. You can read our own article here, which will explain this in more detail:
Gas Fireplace and Stove Buying Guide
As to your point about the kitchen appliances, these generally are burning much less overall gas and therefore are not directly comparable to the hearth appliances. Thus, the concerns about vent-free gas are magnified due to the difference in fuel consumption.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on February 25, 2014
Answer:As you accurately mention, there are indeed two sides to every story. While I do not have an article to provide that gives an unbiased look into vent free appliances, I will be happy to share what I have learned about these appliances from my years in the hearth industry.
Vent free appliances can be a good supplemental heat source, but the problem is that many dealers simply do not take the time to educate the consumer about what they can expect from the appliance. In some instances, a consumer needs to be steered away from a vent free appliance, as they are definitely not right for every situation. With housing and remodeling on the uptick over the past year, many contractors view them as an "easy" way to add a fireplace to a room. They offer nearly perfect efficiency and do not require venting, so their popularity has increased dramatically over the years. Unfortunately, an influx of cheap appliances being installed by these builders also causes vent free appliances to be misunderstood. Hasty installation and poor quality workmanship causes a great deal of problems that are not the fault of the appliance in some cases.
Whether or not a vent free fireplace should be used boils down to a customer being honest with themselves. Are you willing to pay between $100 to $200 every year to have the unit professionally serviced? Does the home the unit is being installed into have low humidity and is it cleaned often? Are the rooms in the home large and fairly open to one another? If you answer no to these questions, a vent free is not for you. One of the biggest issues we encounter is that the vent free unit is not maintained every year, which is crucial to removing dust and lint that is drawn into the unit from the combustion air in the room. A dusty or dirty house or a home with many pets makes the situation worse. The air shutter in the unit quickly becomes clogged, causing an uneven and dirty burn, which results in the release of soot and potentially harmful material back into the room. Small rooms also have limited oxygen to supply and can make the problem worse.
On the other side of things, vent free appliances can be an excellent addition to a home that is cleaned regularly and has rooms that average 14 x 14 or 15 x 15 at least. The limited amount of dust the unit draws in and larger space allows what little combustion byproduct the unit produces to dissipate properly, having less effect on air quality. Initial installation of an appliance is also important. Close attention to placement of the log set and embers will also help to ensure that flame impingement does not occur.
In conclusion, vent free appliances can be a good supplemental heat source in the right scenarios. As I mentioned earlier, a full explanation of the intended purpose for the unit is warranted before a decision can be made. If your scenario meets the criteria explained earlier and you are still interested in using an unvented appliance, I will be happy to assist you further and discuss details of your installation.
By Tim H from Shenandoah, Iowa on November 30, 2012
If I have a wood burning fireplace and I want to hook up a gas line and do a glass pebble fire with the arch style burner, does it have to be vented?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on November 30, 2012
Answer:This type of setup would indeed need to be vented. There are a limited number of vent free burners available for glass beads, but they do not allow the burner itself to come in contact with the decorative media. Rather, the media would be placed out in front of the burner, with the burner flame functioning as more of a backdrop.
By Glenn from NV on August 8, 2013
I'm looking for a 42" or 48" vent free fireplace that has a sealed glass front or has an option to add glass doors. Do you have anything like this?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on August 9, 2013
None of our vent-free fireplaces offer the ability to have a sealed glass front or glass door assembly. This is due to the nature of vent-free gas appliances; they must be open to the room in order to "breathe," as there is, of course, no vent pipe. We offer a variety of large direct vent gas fireplaces
that do have a solid glass panel, but of course these models require venting. For more information, please see our Gas Fireplace and Stove Buying Guide
By David from Pittsburgh, PA on January 5, 2014
I have a finished basement. I'm looking to put in a gas log fireplace. Can I do it without venting the fireplace and without having a glass front?
By Chris on January 5, 2014
By Dawn Booth from South Jersey on February 14, 2013
I wanted a natural gas media storage fireplace. I only see electric - is it that they don't make gas? Something with the heat and electronics maybe? I'm new to this and wondering if I'm chasing something that doesn't exist.
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on February 14, 2013
Answer:There are no vent-free gas fireplace media cabinets available, due to the amount of clearance required for a vent-free gas fireplace around the opening, and especially over the top opening (where the vast majority of heat emits).
By Ben from Raleigh, N C on January 7, 2013
Do any of you fireplaces have internal lighting? If so, can you send me the model numbers.
By Chris on January 7, 2013
By Michael from Rex, GA on November 17, 2013
I need a gas vent free fireplace for my 1000 square foot basement. My gas furnace is in the basement. Do you have any recommendations?
By Chris on November 17, 2013
I would suggest one of our 36" vent free fireplaces to effectively heat your basement. A model such as the Empire Vail
would be a great addition to your basement.
By Warren from Memphis, TN on December 10, 2012
Is there a recessed vent-free propane heater available that's thin enough to be mounted in a standard 2"x 4" wall? The desire is to have a heater that has the appeal/look of these flush mounted recessed electric heaters, only with propane.
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on December 10, 2012
Unfortunately, all of our vent-free heaters are wall mounted or free-standing units. Most of our vent-free fireplaces
can indeed be recessed, however.
By DeJuan from NC on August 9, 2013
If I have a wood burning fire place, can I install propane gas logs in it with out any issues?
By Dawn H. on August 9, 2013
Answer:Yes, you can. You need to make sure you select the proper size.
By James from Oklahoma on December 27, 2013
How do vent free fireplaces work?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on December 27, 2013
Answer:Vent free fireplaces operate without a standard venting system. They accomplish this by using a highly engineered burner assembly that meters air to fuel very precisely, ensuring that all fuel is burned completely, releasing a minimal amount of byproduct. The burner assemblies are also limited to 40,000 BTUs for indoor applications. This also helps to ensure that the flame is kept small enough to burn cleanly. Because they pull their combustion air from within the home, it is important to have the unit serviced on a yearly basis. This will help to ensure that dust and dirt do not build up and cause the burner to operate improperly.
By Art from Mashpee, MA on September 18, 2013
Do vent free gas fireplaces require electricity? I am looking for a heat source in the event of a power outage.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on September 18, 2013
Answer:Almost all vent free fireplaces use a standing pilot and do not require voltage to operate. Only if the unit states that it is electronic ignition does it require power. Even so, most of these units have a battery backup that would allow operation in the event of a power outage.
By Cindy from NC on January 28, 2014
Our unit has started making a beeping noise from the thermostat box. What might be causing this?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on January 28, 2014
Answer:This sound may indicate an overheating of the thermostatic remote receiver.
By Dave from KY on January 21, 2014
I have a vented see through fire box with vent free logs (I don't know why). I want to build a top and trim the box out. The box has stand offs which are the same height as the vent pipe. Can I remove the vent pipe/flue, cover the hole with fireproof material/insulation, and build a top on the set offs? The whole unit was given to me and I want to use it as a peninsula fireplace with a bookshelf at one end. Can you help me?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on January 21, 2014
Answer:Unfortunately, this firebox cannot be safely modified in this way. Any box that is produced from the factory with a flue collar must have a working chimney system installed, even if vent free logs are used inside the box. This is because some heat is expected to draft up the chimney flue and unless the entire upper chassis of the fireplace is rebuilt with a sealed metal enclosure, it would be difficult to guarantee that the unit will operate safely. Depending on the brand of the box, we may have the chimney piping available to vent it.
By Kim on November 9, 2012
Are there restrictions as to what rooms and altitude vent-free fireplaces can be used? At least one manufacturer has stated that they are not permitted in bedrooms, bathrooms, and altitude greater than 4,500 feet. Is this unique to their
line or are these standard requirements?
on November 9, 2012
Answer:There are indeed standard requirements for vent-free appliances. These are as follows:
1. No vent-free appliance shall be used in a bathroom.
2. No vent-free appliance, greater than 10,000 BTU input, shall be used in a bedroom. Some manufacturers do not allow use in a bedroom, period.
3. Most vent-free appliances do not perform well above 4,500 feet, due to the lack of oxygen. A few manufacturers do offer a "high altitude orifice" to remedy the issue, but this is usually only effective to 7,500 feet. I do not recommend using a vent-free appliance above this elevation.
By Zach Goudy from Vincent, Ohio on October 26, 2012
I am looking for a gas fireplace insert for an original non-working fireplace. I am curious as to whether this is possible. The opening I have is 20 inches wide by 30 inches tall.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on October 29, 2012
Answer:My apologies, but we do not carry a fireplace insert that could fit into a 20 inch wide opening. Our smallest model would require at least 24 inches to fit properly. Because of the tall, narrow size of your fireplace, it will likely be difficult to find an insert that could fit your needs.
By James on November 9, 2012
Hi, we have an antique wooden mantle, and want to get a fireplace vent-free insert. The mantle opening is 35.5" wide and 43.5" tall. We would like to know how much (if any) top and clearance should be accounted for when sizing a firebox? Can the firebox go behind the mantle opening, if we purchased a firebox that is 36" wide (outside)?
on November 9, 2012
Answer:Most vent-free fireplaces do require some level of side and top clearance to combustible material. They will also have a chart that shows the minimum acceptable angle of combustible material to the face of the fireplace. The further back the fireplace is position in a mantel or combustible enclosure, the further away the combustible material has to be from the face.
Is this mantel being installed around and existing masonry fireplace that the insert will be pushed into, or will you be framing the fireplace into a wall? Please advise.
By Rob from CT on January 21, 2014
Where can I find maintenance for a gas (vent free) fireplace? My local gas dealer that I bought it from no longer provides service.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on January 21, 2014
In order to find a specialist in your area, you can visit the NFI Certified site
. This will have a listing of gas technicians in your area that may be able to service the unit. Your local utility provider may also have technicians on staff that can assist as well.
By Vito on November 9, 2012
I'm looking to buy a vent free natural gas fireplace but I don't want the surround, only the logs and burner and all the gadgets that come with it. I need a very big one to fit inside a big fireplace. Please send pictures - it must be very nice and look real.
on November 9, 2012
Per your description, it would appear that you require a vent-free log set, rather than a true fireplace. I am not certain of the exact size of the unit you are fitting the logs into, but below are a couple links to the largest vent-free sets that we carry:
vent-free Log Set 1
vent-free Log Set 2
These are some of the most popular sets that we carry. Please advise if you have any questions about either.
By Robyn on November 9, 2012
I'm looking for a high efficiency heating appliance that I can insert in an existing ancient fireplace. The chimney is cracked, and rather than fixing it, only to have most of the heat escape with a traditional fire, I'd prefer to install a ventless natural gas appliance.
I have looked around your site but I'm having trouble coming up with a complete system, (along with the price tag.) I'm assuming I'd need a box, logs, maybe a blower? Do you have a whole system you can recommend?
on November 9, 2012
We do indeed have appliances that fit your criteria. You'll want to check out our vent free inserts. Finding the right appliance boils down to the size of your current fireplace. Please follow the below link to view our insert options.
Vent-Free Fireplace Inserts
By Rene on November 9, 2012
What about carbon monoxide? Don't you require an exhaust?
on November 9, 2012
We understand your concern about a gas-burning appliance that has no exhaust. Vent-free fireplaces and stoves are designed to burn cleanly, so there is no incomplete combustion, and, thus, no carbon monoxide. The clean combustion by-products are primarily carbon dioxide and water vapor. All vent-free appliances are also equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS). This sensor will shut down the appliance if the oxygen in the room drops below normal levels, and well before any dangerous levels are reached. For more information about vent-free fireplaces and stoves, please see our gas fireplace and stove buying guide
By Mark on November 9, 2012
I am looking for a gas fireplace, but it looks like all your options have an open front and the flames are exposed. The fireplace I have upstairs has a solid glass front with just vents to let the heat into the room and this seems much safer for my kids. Do you have a option that has a solid glass front where I don't have to worry about my kids touching it and getting burnt?
on November 9, 2012
The type of fireplace that you describe sounds like a "direct vent" model. Direct vent models have a sealed pane of glass that encloses the firebox. The fireplace radiates most of its heat through the glass and circulates additional heat from louvers. Non-louvered models will produce only radiant heat. Our available direct vent fireplaces can be seen at this link:
direct vent fireplaces
Direct vent fireplaces are very versatile, as they can be vented directly through a ceiling or horizontally through a wall. There are also models that are equipped with ceramic glass, which does not retain heat like the tempered glass versions. This would be a safer option for children. An example of one of our popular ceramic glass models can be seen here:
ceramic glass models
The bay front on this fireplace is an option that does not have to be used, if you do not like the appearance of it.
By Jessica on November 9, 2012
We bought our current home with the fireplace "as is." We recently found out that the inner walls of the chimney are falling into the firebox and need to be repaired. The house was built in 1927 and in the current state, use of the fireplace might cause a fire. Can we install a vent free fireplace without repairing the chimney lining? We already have a gas connection. The estimate to repair the chimney was several thousand dollars, and an insert seems like a much less costly solution.
on November 9, 2012
Answer:It is possible to utilize a vent free fireplace insert rather than relining the entire chimney for continued use for a vented application. Vent free inserts are entirely self contained and do not put off any heat to the chimney system, unlike vent free logs.
By Susan on November 9, 2012
Can any of these be used as the sole heat source for a well-insulated 680 sq ft home using propane as the fuel?
on November 9, 2012
Because these units use oxygen from within the home for combustion, a vent free fireplace cannot be used as the sole source of combustion. Dangerously low oxygen levels can result if the unit malfunctions. I would recommend using a "heater rated", direct vent fireplace instead. These types of fireplaces utilize air from outside the home and vent their exhaust to the outdoors as well, making them a safer alternative that can be continuously used. The following model would be a good unit to heat the square footage you have:
Direct Vent Gas Fireplace
By Margaret from Marion, NC on December 4, 2013
I am interested in a vent free fireplace for my living room. Will it discolor the surrounding carpet? Can I place a TV on the mantel without damaging the TV?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on December 4, 2013
Answer:As long as proper clearances are maintained from the fireplace to all combustible materials, there should be no ill effects. When it comes to televisions, it is not the best idea to place one directly above a vent free fireplace, without some sort of barrier. All heat produced by a vent free fireplace will immediately rise and can damage sensitive electronics. Only if there is a mantel or shelf that projects further from the wall than the television does or if the television is placed on a free standing mantel should this setup be okay.
By Ed from Knoxville, TN on January 26, 2013
Hello - great website, very informative! I'm interested in replacing an existing Dimplex brand electric fire place (model #BF39STP/DXP) with a vent-less gas fireplace. The exterior dimensions of the existing Dimplex fireplace are 38.5 inches x 30.5 inches.
I already have a gas stub inside the fireplace enclosure, so I'd like to get something that is close to the existing dimensions to minimize the stone surround on the exterior that will have to be removed. Do you have any suggestions and product recommendations? The room is relatively small, so a smaller unit is probably good. Thank you!
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on January 28, 2013
Answer:I will be happy to recommend a replacement unit for your needs. Will you require a unit that is fueled by natural gas or propane? Also, do you have an idea of the depth that you have to work with? Electric units are usually quite a bit shallower than a gas fireplace of similar width. Please advise.
By Dennis from St. Charles, Michigan on October 21, 2013
I have a vent free natural gas fireplace that seems to deplete the oxygen in the room and then the flame slowly diminishes and goes out. Is there a way to open the back of the firebox to supply more oxygen without damaging the firebox integrity?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on October 22, 2013
Answer:If the fireplace has provisions for one, an outside air kit can be added to allow additional oxygen to be drawn from the outdoors to prevent the oxygen depletion you are experiencing. I do not recommend modifying the box otherwise, as the listed clearances to combustibles could be compromised.
By Anna from Cincinnati, OH on September 10, 2013
We are looking for a vent free fireplace that is contemporary and gives out some heat. We would prefer something without logs that has rocks/stones instead. I am thinking we need a 36" set.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on September 10, 2013
A unit that has been a popular model for this sort of application is the Loft Vent-Free Zero-Clearance Gas Fireplace with Millivolt Pilot
. While the unit is smaller than your optimal size, it offers an excellent flame pattern and a large tray that surrounds the burner, allowing the installation of glass or ceramic stones.
By Jane from Osage beach, MO on October 6, 2013
What can I do to prevent my smoke detectors from going off when I start my ventless fireplace?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on October 7, 2013
Answer:Unfortunately, some smoke detectors are sensitive enough that they can be tripped by heat or the small amount of byproducts released by the fireplace. If the fireplace has not been serviced and cleaned regularly, it can release small amounts of smoke from burning dust, lint, etc. I recommend cleaning out the logs and burner assembly, as well as the pilot assembly. If this has been done, one of the smoke detectors may be too close to the fireplace and is causing the issue. They are likely wired together, causing them all to go off.
By Amber from Salem, MO on February 17, 2014
I just moved into a house with a freestanding propane fireplace, and I know NOTHING about it. I got it lit and all, and it seemed to get real hot. Should it have a blower?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on February 17, 2014
Answer:A blower for a fireplace such as this is an optional accessory; it is not required for proper operation or safety. However, it can indeed force out some of the heated air to more efficiently distribute it. If you can locate the manufacturer and model information, we can check availability of a compatible blower.
By Pat from CA on March 14, 2013
In order to install a vent free natural gas firebox, does the gas connection have to be in place before I install it?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on March 15, 2013
Yes. The gas line will need to run inside the firebox for connection to a ventless gas log set