Shopping for Vent Free Gas Logs
When shopping for gas logs, the first question you will be asked at The Hearth and Grill Shop is whether you would like vented gas logs or vent-free gas logs. There are several factors that will go into your decision.
Before that decision can be made, here are a few things to be aware of. The way vented and vent-free gas logs operate are completely different. They are not interchangeable and an old set of vented gas logs cannot be turned into vent-free. Vented gas logs operate more closely to a real wood fire than they do their vent-free cousins.
The Hearth and Grill Shop offers over fifteen choices for vent-free gas log sets from three of the leading manufacturers in the United States. Empire Comfort Systems, Real-Fyre by Peterson and Vanguard offer a variety of sizes and styles sure to please even the most discerning eye.
But before you can make that decision, let’s go over some of the logistics of vent-free gas log products.
A vent-free gas log system operates with the damper closed on a wood burning fireplace or in a UL listed vent-free firebox. Fire box manufacturers include Vanguard, Empire Comfort Systems and Martin Industries. 100% of the heat produced from a vent-free gas log set emits into the room making it not only attractive but an efficient source of heat on a blustery day. With a vent-free gas log set, power outages won’t leave you in the cold. Vent-free gas logs require no electrical power and will be a welcome source of viable heat even if you are in the dark.
A vent-free gas log set also uses a fraction of fuel compared to their vented cousin.
The question often comes up as to exactly how do vent-free gas log operate with the damper closed on a fireplace? The first thing that makes a set of gas logs vent-free is the burner is designed to use 99% of all the gas that comes into it. Since all of the gas is combusted, the only byproducts are heat, water vapor and carbon dioxide(the same thing we breathe out). Vent-free gas logs are not designed to be a primary heat source. They are designed to be an attractive, efficient, and dependable source of supplemental heat. Extended use of vent-free gas logs as a primary heat source isn’t recommended, as water vapor emitted can cause mildew issues over an extended period of time.
The second part of the vent-free gas log equation can’t be overstated. It is extremely important that the gas logs themselves be set up and operated strictly per the manufacturer’s instructions. The gas logs and burner are designed to have the flame move up between and around the logs, but not to be in contact with the gas logs. Proper installation and placement of the logs are paramount in successful and satisfying operation of vent-free gas logs.
There are several different types of controls for a vent-free gas log system. The most cost effective is manual control on the valve of the unit. This manual valve turns the unit on and off and the flame up and down. Please bear in mind a manual control unit cannot be upgraded to another control type. The next option is the remote ready or Millivolt units that can be turned on and off from a switch or an on/off remote control. The remote ready units also have the ability to be controlled with various forms of thermostats or a wall switch. Due to the number of different types of control and the fact a remote can be added at any time, the remote ready units are the most popular. Variable flame remote controls are available from some manufacturers, such as, Peterson and Empire Comfort Systems. Variable remote control units boast the capability of being able to control your flame as well as turning it on and off.
The dimensions of your fireplace and the type of controls will determine what size vent-free gas log will be best for any fireplace. A masonry fireplace is only limited in size by your individual taste and have no specific standards for size. Every bricklayer or mason can make a fireplace the size a homeowner desires. When considering a vent-free gas log set, it is important to have the following measurements available when coming to The Hearth and Grill Shop.
1. Across the back wall of the fireplace
2. Across the front of the fireplace
3.The depth and height of the fireplace.
These dimensions with the controls and gas line
factored in will ensure the perfect size logs for a fireplace.
The positive features of Vent Free Gas Logs are:
o The best heat output the fireplace may obtain.
o Higher efficiency and less gas consumption.
o Less pollution
o Availability of various types of controls.
Though a vent-free gas log set has many features that their vented cousin can’t claim, a draw back of a vent-free set is that by nature of the way it must operate to be vent-free, their realistic look of wood can’t be reproduced as intricately. Also, with many new products, proper installation of a new vent-free log set will help eliminate the odors associated with its initial use. Another factor to take into consideration is that vent-free log sets emit enough heat that a hood may need to be installed. The hood will eliminate any possibility of damage caused from heat emissions from operating your vent-free log set with a closed damper in a fireplace setting.
The Hearth and Grill Shop has been proud to carry our vent-free products from Empire Comfort Systems, Real-Fyre by Peterson and Vanguard for over twenty years. Efficiency, dependability, appearance and savings on your gas bill have made vent-free gas logs a great investment and one of the most sought after items by The Hearth and Grill Shop customers.