Are Ventless Gas Logs Right For You?
Have you considered buying ventless gas logs? Many people don't realize they are not right for every home. In an attempt to sell product, some companies have labeled vent free gas logs as the be all, end all solution to your heating needs. However, this can't be further from the truth.
- Real Fyre Vent Free Gas Logs
Modern ventless gas logs can heat up to 40k BTU's. So, while they have come a long way in their appearance and have much more attractive flame patterns than they used to, their heat output isn't strong enough to fit the needs of every person. At efireplacestore, our mission is always to pair you up with the right heating appliance for your needs.
So, in this article, we want to discuss who vent free gas logs are right for... and who they are not.
Who are vent free gas logs good for?
People who need supplemental heating:
Do you have a spare room or converted garage that seems to stay colder than the rest of the house? If so, adding ventless gas logs may be a good solution. Sometimes, due to high ceilings and compartmentalized floor plans, heat doesn't move around a house like it should.
- converted garage
Instead of cranking up the heat from your furnace and potentially burning everyone else out of their room, it might be good to add ventless gas logs. Vent free gas logs are not to be used as a primary heat source and need to be used in a space where they won't be burned for more than four hours continuously. So, for a room that only needs supplemental heat, this is a great option.
People who are ok with the doors left open on their firebox:
Because vent free gas logs do not require a venting system, it is required that the doors to the firebox stay open. The little bit of by-product that emits from the logs has to have a place to escape. So, if you have young kids or are concerned about your pets interacting with the lit appliance, you might want to consider a direct vent fireplace instead.
- closed firebox
Also, it's good to note that you don't have to be concerned about the by-product that emits from the gas fireplace logs. The Consumer Product Safety Commission did studies to test the emission rates of vent free fireplaces and gas logs. They found vent free appliances emit significantly less carbon monoxide and nitric oxide than the maximum levels set by the CPSC.
It's worth noting that the CPSC uses children, pregnant women, and the elderly as the baseline for its standards. So, while there is a small amount of gas fumes that emit from any gas appliance, their safety has been thoroughly tested so you can rest assured, it is not harmful to your health.
People who want to update an old masonry fireplace:
Do you have an old brick or stone fireplace that you love, but are tired of dealing with the maintenance of burning wood? Well, gas fireplace logs may be the perfect thing to keep the beauty of your existing structure while updating the fuel source and relieving you of the burden of heavy maintenance.
- masonry fireplace
If you decide to go this route, can I give you a word of caution? Not all ventless gas logs are made equal. Try to avoid the low cost boxed store logs at all costs. Those models are cheap for a reason. They don't burn as clean as newer systems that use more modern burner designs because they use technology from decades past.
The older u-shaped burners that were decent when they first came out can no longer compete with pan burners that don't put off any odor. So, be warned, if you want to update your current masonry fireplace, don't go with the least expensive gas logs you can find. You will end up paying for it in the long run.
Ventless gas logs should not be used in:
Now that we explored the places vent free gas logs are best for, let's touch on a few spaces they should never be.
Homes where a lot of cooking with strong-smelling ingredients is done:
This might seem like a strange qualification at first, but hear me out. If you enjoy cooking with strong-smelling ingredients like curry, onion, garlic or some vegetables, then ventless gas logs won't be a good option for you. Many logs, especially the cheaper ones we just discussed, are very porous. Cooking odors waft through the air in your home and will absorb into the material of your log set.
- strong smell
Then guess what happens? You light your logs a few days later and two day old burnt onions and curry billow out into your room. Those ingredients may be delicious when you first eat them, but I assure you, they won't smell very appetizing when they are charred and stale.
So, unfortunately, some of you chefs out there might need to look at a wood burning stove instead. You may find cooking on top of a wood burning stove is really enjoyable and a much better option for your home.
Direct vent gas fireplaces are another option. They can be vented either vertically or horizontally and use a pane of glass to seal them from the room air. Because of this, they remain unaffected by cooking odors.
Homes with built-up dust that isn't cleaned often:
Again, this may seem like an odd qualifier for why you don't need vent free gas logs though, there is a reason. If you are elderly, physically ill and unable to move easily or have lots of pets, and a good bit of dust gets built up around your house regularly, you will need to reconsider buying ventless gas logs.
- dusty home
Like we mentioned in the previous section, gas fireplace logs can be very porous, so along with strong odors, dust and pet hair can cling to the logs and be sent back into your home when they are lit. There is nothing worse than flaming kitty tumbleweeds rolling around your living room. So, if you aren't able to maintain a pretty regular cleaning schedule, maybe consider an electric fireplace for a low maintenance option that's beautiful and great for supplemental heating.
Homes with many divided rooms or floor plan:
One problem you may not have considered encountering with gas fireplace logs is moisture buildup. If you have low ceilings or a home with many divided rooms, a lot of heat can build up in one room and cause humidity. Unfortunately, if this is not dealt with quickly, the condensation can turn to mold or mildew and cause a real problem for your living space.
- condensation on windows
If used indoors, vent free gas logs are best suited for homes that have high ceilings or an open floor plan so moisture has room to dissipate.
Types of logs you can choose from:
If you come this far in the article and still think vent free gas logs are right for you, then great! We are excited for you and want to discuss two types of gas fireplace logs
First, let's start with ceramic fiber logs:This material is going to be the less expensive of the two. Ceramic fiber gas logs are very light, with a material similar to cardboard.
They are also very porous and will pick up all of those strong smells and kitty tumbleweeds we talked about earlier. Because of their thin material, they are made easily at a lower price point.
So, be aware and look closely at wording to make sure this is the level of quality you are looking for.
Next, we have ceramic refractory logs:This type of log is a lot more durable and similar to reinforced cement.
They aren't nearly as porous, though, anything lingering around on their surface will be burned off into the air when they are lit. Due to the reinforced cement mixture they are made from, they tend to last a lot longer than ceramic fiber because they can withstand high temperatures.
Now that we have discussed different types of vent free gas logs and who should have one and why this brings us to the end of this article. I hope you feel confident in deciding whether ventless gas logs are right for your home. If you have questions, feel free to call our NFI certified technicians at 800.203.1642