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Vented - vs - Vent Free Gas Logs
Find out which is best for your home...vented or ventless!


Similar Pages: Gas Log FAQs page! Why do Ventless Gas Logs Smell

Basic Overview

Vented Gas Logs Require a Fully Functional Wood Burning Fireplace, Ventless (or Vent Free) Gas Logs can be installed in either a wood burning fireplace, or a ventless fireplace that is rated for aftermarket ventless logs. Ventless gas logs will produce more heat, while vented gas logs will look much more realistic. Read the Pros and Cons of each below:


Vented Gas Logs:

"Fully Vented" gas logs must be burned in a fireplace that is capable of burning real wood and must be burned with the damper open. The reason for this is that they do not burn the gas cleanly and create exhaust that is very similar to burning a real wood fire. This exhaust needs to be able to go up the chimney. The real beauty of vented gas logs is that they produce substantially more yellow flame than ventless logs which makes them look far more realistic. The downside is that most of the heat goes right up the chimney.

However, In most cases, you can offset this heat loss by slightly closing the damper...but you must be careful that the exhaust from your logs is not coming into the room because, just like burning real wood, it contains Carbon Monoxide. A good way to test this is to turn on your gas logs with the damper slightly closed. Hold a lighter or candle in front of the fireplace opening near the top. If the flame from the lighter (candle) is being drawn in toward the fireplace, then you are OK. If the flame is standing still or pushed out toward the room, then your fireplace is not drafting enough and you must open the damper more.

Positive Features of Vented Gas Logs:

  1. Extremely realistic flame pattern that looks like a wood fire.
  2. Flame is much taller than ventless logs
  3. Flame dances and wraps around logs like real wood.
  4. Does not require a CO2 detector
  5. Since the damper is open, most of the smell will go up the chimney

Negative Features of Vented Gas Logs:

Do's and Dont's for Vented Gas Logs
(Additional information you should read before buying Ventless Gas Logs)

  1. Less heat than ventless logs (probably won't heat your room)
  2. Uses slightly more gas than ventless logs

Check out some Vented Gas Log Installation Manuals Here before you purchase.


Ventless Gas Logs:

Ventless gas logs (often referred to as "Vent Free" gas logs) have specially designed burners that burn the gas cleanly and produce almost no exhaust...somewhat like the way a gas range in a kitchen works. Since there is little or no exhaust, they can be burned with the damper closed.

The beauty of this type of system is that 99.9% of the heat produced by the gas logs goes into the room, so they produce substantially more heat than their vented counter-parts. However, there are many negative features commonly associated with ventless logs that you must be aware of before you decide to purchase them:

Positive Features of Ventless Gas Logs:

  1. Much better heat output than vented gas logs
  2. Less pollution
  3. Slightly less gas consumption

Negative Features of Ventless Gas Logs:

Do's and Dont's for Ventless Gas Logs
(Additional information you should read before buying Ventless Gas Logs)

  1. The main byproducts of burning gas cleanly are Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor. Because of this, ventless gas logs will introduce excess moisture into your home which can result in mold or mildew.
  2. You must be careful not to burn your ventless logs for extended periods of time with windows closed, otherwise they can potentially deplete the oxygen in your home.
  3. If you burn your ventless logs for more than an hour or so, you must crack open a window to allow air into your home to replace the oxygen burned by the ventless logs. This will introduce cold air into the room and offset some of the heating benefits that ventless logs claim to have.
  4. Ventless logs produce an odor that many people equate to the smell of burning kerosene. So if you have a sensitive nose, you may not be able to handle the smell and will be greatly dissatisfied with ventless logs. On the other hand, we've heard some people who like the smell because it reminds them of their childhood days at Grandma's house. (Read Why Ventless Gas Logs Smell)
  5. Ventless logs can cause eye irritation and coughing spells to those who are sensitive.
  6. Ventless logs are not legal in California as well as some cities and municipalities. However, you can still purchase ventless logs from us if you live in California...you will just have to burn them with the damper open (which really defeats the purpose).
  7. Ventless logs are required to have an ODS (oxygen depletion system) as well as a CO2 detector...which might tell you that there are some risks involved in operating them if these systems fail.
  8. The flame pattern with ventless logs is not nearly as realistic in comparison to vented logs. Because the gas must burn cleanly, the flame height is very low, it is more blue than yellow and appears to be more nerveous and less lofty.
  9. Also, you will find that the flame does not dance around like a real wood fire and very little of the flame actually touches the logs. The reason for this is that when the flame touches the logs, it gets cooled off and does not burn cleanly and starts to produce soot and exhaust gases.
  10. Installing vent-free gas logs is not a DIY job. Installation must be performed by a professional who can do the proper tests on your gas pressure and make sure that the installation meets building codes and follows the specifications required.
  11. Clearances to combustables is different than that of wood buring fires or vented gas logs. If there is a mantel above the fireplace, you may need to install a hood to divert heat away from it. You should check the Installation Manual for the Ventless Logs for clearance requirements before you order them.
  12. There are also BTU limitations based on the cubic feet of air available to your room. The maximum BTUs allowed is calculated using this formula: Room Width x Room Length x Ceiling Height x 20.
  13. Ventless gas logs may not be legal in a bedroom or confined space (differs with local building codes).
  14. Other restrictions apply with each of the various burner systems available, so again, you should read the installation manual pertaining to the ventless logs you are considering "Before You Purchase".


Bottom Line: We highly recommend that you purchase vented gas logs. You will be much happier with flame that they produce and less likely to experience discomfort from odors or irritation. We only recommend ventless logs when maximizing the heat output outweighs all of the other negative aspects.


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Answers to Recent Gas Logs Questions Posted To This Page
  1. Question #9527 - Posted: 2/2/2017 8:52:54 PM

    Gas Logs Question Model PL-CHCRG46-30-17P

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/model.asp?SetModel=PL-CHCRG46-30-17P&LogSize=30

    QUESTION: 1. How large in diameter will the vent hose need to be for this type of unit?...Thanks, Frank

    ANSWER: I am assuming that you are referring to the size of the chimney. This gas log is designed to be installed in an existing wood burning fireplace that is capable of burning wood. If you do not already have a wood burning fireplace, then you cannot install this gas log without one. With that said, the minimum required vent depends on the height of the chimney. Please refer to this chart copied from the installation manual for specifics:


  2. Question #9526 - Posted: 12/29/2016 9:05:21 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/logsonly.asp

    QUESTION: I have a gas burning fireplace with a broken log. It was originally a wood-burning fireplace built in the early 1960s. It has a damper which is always open when burning. The fireplace was converted professionally to gas sometime before 2000. I converted it to remote-control lighting in 2010 using a reputable firm. Sometime later, one of the logs was dropped and cracked in half. It is held together by internal wires. I would like to replace one log rather than the entire set. Possible?

    ANSWER: It is possible, but that depends on the type of gas log set you have. If you can email us a picture of your gas logs, maybe we can find what you need. Email pictures to: gregt@hansenwholesale.com

  3. Question #9525 - Posted: 12/29/2016 8:58:26 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/best-gas-logs.asp

    QUESTION: I have a classic fireplace 26" in the back, 36" in the front and 26" depth. I live in a two story house built in 1935. The furnace broke and needs to be replaced. I'm looking for something to install in my fireplace to warm up the living room. I live in California so it has to be vented. What do you recommend to keep my room the warmest it can be? log set or would an insert be better?

    ANSWER: A vented gas log is not going to provide very much warmth for your room. Since you cannot install a ventless gas log in California, you are left with the option of installing a gas insert. I would suggest taking a look at the Real Fyre Direct Vent gas insert.

  4. Question #9524 - Posted: 12/29/2016 8:51:36 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/gaslogfaqs.asp

    QUESTION: i live in a 100 year old house and my fireplace was for coal and has a metal firebox. i have burned wood in it until last year, until we realized there was some leakage of smoke from the chimney upstairs. Would it be safe to use vented gas logs? Would we need to line the chimney like we would need to if we continued burning wood?

    ANSWER: Burning a vented gas log produces smoke just like burning real wood, so yes, you would have to reline or repair the chimney. I would suggest considering a ventless gas log so do not have to worry about smoke.

  5. Question #9523 - Posted: 12/29/2016 8:45:42 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/gaslogfaqs.asp

    QUESTION: what size and kind can I put in a woodstove "MORE HEAT" that has a door 20 BY 8.5 FIREBOX 28 BY 18 AND IS 12 INCHE DEEP and will they warm the stove enough to product heat with the fan.

    ANSWER: Unfortunately, you cannot install gas logs in a wood stove. Wood stoves are designed to operate with much lower draft than gas logs and the venting does not meet the minimum venting diameter. Even more, air tight wood stoves are designed to be burned with the doors closed, which is a definite no no when it comes to burning gas logs since they must be burned with the doors opened. There are other reasons why gas logs will not work in a stove, but I will not belabor that here. For more details, read more about Where Gas Logs Can Be Installed.

  6. Question #9522 - Posted: 12/29/2016 7:59:50 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/gaslogfaqs.asp

    QUESTION: I have a 24" peterson gas log set. The gas line in the fireplace is slightly larger than the connection for flex tube that leads to the gas burner. Can I add a smaller fitting to attach to the line leading to the burner?

    ANSWER: That should not be a problem unless the incoming gas pressure is higher than allowed by the installation manual, so you may want to check that.

  7. Question #9521 - Posted: 12/29/2016 7:53:16 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/rhpeterson.asp

    QUESTION: I occasionally turn our ceiling fan on low with the blades drawing the air upward while using our ventless gas logs. Our installation manual says a ceiling fan should not be used when the ventless logs are on. The flame of the gass logs appears to be unaffected. Is there a problem in having a ceiling fan on at the same time as the ventless gas logs? Thank you.

    ANSWER: Running a ceiling fan to destratify the air in your room makes sense from a heating efficiency/conservation standpoint, so I understand why you are asking your question. The responsible answer is that the owners manual says not to run your fan when you are operating your ventless gas log, so we cannot tell you that it is OK to do so. With that said, drafts can certainly cause ventless gas logs to NOT burn correctly and start producing toxic odorless Carbon Monoxide. It is safer for the manufacturer to tell you not to run your fan at all in order to avoid a potentially hazardous outcome rather than suggest that you can run it on a low speed in reverse with no ill effect. They cannot test the actual impact of doing so in your particular room. Their ultimate concern is to prevent any draft from affecting the flame. Whether you decide to follow the instructions is ultimately your decision...I will leave it at that.

  8. Question #9520 - Posted: 12/29/2016 7:31:40 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/vented-vs-ventfree.asp

    QUESTION: I do not really need the heat, and I have a fireplace already,but, the damper is either all the way open or completely closed. can I get that fixed so i can have it open part of the way so all the hot air does not go up the chimney thereby kind of making it silly to have one

    ANSWER: Technically, a vented gas log is supposed to be burned with the damper completely open. Plus, you cannot ever completely close the damper just in case there is a gas leak, so there is a clamp that is included with the burner system that gets attached to the damper to prevent it from ever closing completely. So if you do not really need the heat, then the way your damper operates is sufficient for a vented gas log. Whether you close the damper slightly to preserve some of the heat will not make much difference, you will get most of the heat from a vented gas log radiated into the room from the ceramic in the logs themselves. If you are really concerned about getting heat (which you say you are not), then you should consider buying a ventless gas log.

  9. Question #9519 - Posted: 12/29/2016 7:02:36 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/default.asp

    QUESTION: Question - Are there burners or logs that are better for use with propane to achieve the best flame presentation? Currently my propane flame in my FP is not as robust as I would like. Just curious if there are options that are better for propane specifically.

    ANSWER: Whether you are burning natural gas or liquid propane, each type of burner is configured for optimal performance for the gas you are using. So you would need to make sure you order a burner system for Propane gas, otherwise it will not perform properly. With that said, if you want the most robust flame, we would recommend either the G4 or G45 burners since they operate at the highest BTU (the most flame). However, neither of these may not be the best choice for your particular fireplace depending on the type of fireplace you have and the dimensions. Please send us some pictures of your current setup so we can see what you have and make further recommendations. Email pictures to: gregt@hansenwholesale.com.

  10. Question #9518 - Posted: 12/29/2016 6:53:51 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/gas-log-burn-cost.asp

    QUESTION: Where do I find a remote control for my gas logs? And how much?

    ANSWER: Gas log remote controls are not universal in design. They are made as a transmitter and receiver combination, the receiver usually a built-in component of the gas log valve and burner system. So if you have an existing gas log with a remote and you are looking to replace a remote that is no longer working, you are going to need to contact the manufacturer of the gas log system you own and see if they can supply you with a replacement remote. If you are wanting to add a remote control to an existing gas log, that is a different story. In most cases, you will need to replace the entire burner system with one that is remote capable. Replacing the burner system may also require you to replace the logs since not all logs are compatible with all burners. If you email us some pictures of your fireplace we may be able to offer more direct advice. Send your pictures to: gregt@hansenwholesale.com...or just give us a call at: 1-800-201-1193.

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