Weather experts have predicted this year’s winter to be as frigid as the previous winter, and that has everyone thinking hard about the best ways to heat their homes. For homes that rely on gas-fueled fireplaces for a portion or all of the home’s heat, choosing between vented and vent free gas logs might mean the difference between a cold house and a cozy house. Vented and vent free gas logs each have their advantages, so the ideal choice depends on your home and your lifestyle.
Vent free gas logs have the main benefit of burning nearly 100 percent of the fuel that goes through it. For this reason, the vent free gas logs can be used even when the vent to the outside is shut. In addition, the fires from these logs burn extremely hot, meaning they are capable of heating a relatively large space. The high efficiency and heating capacity of the vent free gas logs makes them suitable for many homes and homeowners because they cost very little in wasted gas. These units also come equipped with several safety measures, including an oxygen depletion sensor, which shuts off the gas supply once the oxygen levels fall below 18 percent. Another safety feature is the safety pilot, which shuts off the gas if the flame ever goes out. This prevents gas from pouring into the house and creating a fire and explosion hazard.
There are some aspects of the vent free gas logs to be aware of prior to purchase, however. First, the vent free logs must burn for three to five hours prior with the vent open to properly cure. If this is not an option for your space, then vent free logs may not suit your needs. These logs also cannot burn for more than four hours at one time. Any more than this can deplete oxygen levels and create excessive moisture in the house. Thus, the vent free gas logs work well for zone heating for short periods of time, but would not suffice as a sole, long term source of heat.
Vented gas logs offer a very realistic look, similar to actually burning wood in a fire. The logs can be rearranged in any way you want, aside from the bottom two logs. As the name suggests, these logs must be burned only when the vent is open. The fire produces toxic materials like soot and carbon monoxide as a result of combustion, so the vent must stay open to properly flush the byproducts out of the house. Unfortunately, having the vent open means the majority of the heat will escape with the smoke. While vented gas logs should not be purchased with the intention to heat the home, a blower rated for vented gas logs can be used to harness some of the heat from the fire to heat the home. The advantage of the vented gas logs compared to the vent free variety is that it can burn for a much longer period of time without becoming hazardous.
If you want to install a gas log set in your fireplace or you have questions about the vented or vent free gas logs, contact Tri County Hearth and Patio Store out of Waldorf, Maryland.