What Are Ventless Gas Fireplaces?
No Flue or Chimney Required
A ventless fireplace –also referred to as an unvented or vent-free fireplace— is powered by either liquid propane (LP) gas or natural gas that flows into a gas burner mounted in the fireplace. This is a specially designed burner that bursn the gas cleanly, leaving behind almost no exhaust, similar to how a gas stove in your kitchen works.
When ignited, the flames run through gaps in artificial ceramic fiber logs, providing you with the illusion of a real wood-burning fireplace.
One popular example is the vent-free gas fireplace log set, a self-contained system that can be installed in walls or even open areas, with no outlet to the outdoor air. These gas log units can also be installed in place of old and unused wood-burning hearths that connect to a chimney but where the flue has been sealed shut.
A ventless gas fireplace is a great choice if you are looking for the highest heating efficiency possible. As its name implies, this type of fireplace is not vented to the outside. Because of this, all the heat produced is contained in the living space. Ventless fireplaces are more energy efficient than vented fireplaces because no heat escapes up the flue, so you’ll save money on fuel.
Ventless Gas Fireplace Vs. Vented Gas Fireplace
If you decide on a propane gas fireplace insert in your existing masonry fireplace, you must choose whether to get vented or vent-free. Efficiency, fireplace location, local building codes, and fireplace appearance of the fireplace are all considered before the gas fireplace installation.
If you choose vented gas logs, you’ll see a lifelike flame that is comparable to a genuine wood fire. However, in order to get this look, an open chimney flue or damper is required, and a lot of the generated heat escapes through these venting outlets.
With vented gas logs, you’ll have excellent energy efficiency, but the flame may not be as lifelike or powerful so it doesn’t provide quite the same level of warmth. A thermostat regulates the temperature in vent-free log sets to maintain a constant environment. Because vent-free gas logs introduce moisture to the air, adequate ventilation is necessary to prevent mold and mildew growth.
And because vent-free gas logs do produce a small quantity of exhaust into your indoor environment, they are not appropriate for bedrooms or other small, closed spaces like bathrooms or RVs. Vent-free gas logs are also prohibited in some local building regulations. Before going ahead with your ventless gas fireplace installation, see if vent-free gas logs are permissible in your community.
Gas Fireplaces vs Propane Fireplaces
If you’re on the fence about the purchase of a propane or wood-burning hearth or stove, keep the following in mind.
Convenience. With a propane fireplace unit, all you need to do is touch a button or flip a switch for heat on the spot. Whenever you do that, consider all of the time you have saved by not having to haul wood to your fireplace—not to mention cleaning out the ash afterward. Also with a propane fireplace, when you’re ready to leave the room, it’s just as easy as starting the fire. Just turn off the fireplace. That’s it. No smoke, no dangerous embers, no ashes, no soot, no problem.
The environment. A wood-burning fireplace emits up to 4,000% more emissions than a propane-fueled fireplace!
Efficiency and availability. Propane stoves and fireplaces are more efficient than wood-burning units, and they run on a fuel that’s readily available even in rural areas of our state.
Read more about propane vs. wood as a heating source.