Vent-Free Gas Logs
Efficient burn with a brilliant blue flame
When choosing a natural gas fireplace insert, there are a few options – basically, the first choice is whether to have a fireplace that vents outside of the house like a wood fireplace would, or a fireplace that vents directly into the house. Beyond this, there is the choice of a prefabricated fireplace insert, or gas log inserts.
Ventless gas log inserts vent directly into the house without a chimney or anything else for external ventilation. This offers the ability to obtain higher efficiencies than would be possible with any kind of ventilation, but it raises greater safety concerns as well. When natural gas or other fuels are burned, one of the byproducts is carbon monoxide, which is an odorless, tasteless gas which is dangerous to humans. Fortunately, vent-free gas logs are designed to burn at a very high temperature with a blue flame, which burns the fuel almost completely, preventing dangerous waste gases from entering your home, as would happen with a less efficient burn process. The other effect that this has is all of the heat stays in the home, yielding the higher efficiencies already mentioned.
Since ventless gas log inserts require no chimney or vent pipes, they can be installed virtually anywhere. They are more appealing than some of the visualizations available in other fireplace inserts , and offer greater amounts of heat for a lower cost than any vented options. Vent-free gas log inserts are also safer than most other options because of their complete combustion which eliminates traditional dangers of creosote formation and chimney fires, as well as the many safety features which they possess. For example, all ventfree natural gas log inserts must come with an Oxygen Depletion sensor which keeps the fire from burning in the event of a malfunction. This can cause a carbon monoxide leak. Despite this feature, it is a good idea to install a carbon monoxide detector if you have any kind of fuel-burning heating system in your home.
Another thing to bear in mind when using a vent-free gas log insert is the moisture generated by combustion. Although this may be helpful for many homes during winter's dry weather, if you already have a humidifier or if your home is very airtight, you may find condensation forming, which can lead to mold and rot.