One of the most frequently asked questions at The Hearth & Grill Shop is, “What is the difference between Vented and Vent Free gas logs?” The answers to that question are outlined below.
- Vented and Vent Free gas logs are as different in operation as night and day. They are not interchangeable and an old set of Vented logs cannot be turned into Vent Free. Vented logs operate more closely to a real wood fire, than do Vent Free. Vented gas logs must be operated with the damper fully open on a wood-burning fireplace, either masonry with a flu and chimney or a prefabricated firebox with vent pipe.
- Vented gas logs, such as Real Fyre logs by Peterson, are typically installed for their realistic appearance, providing the flame and coals that most closely resemble a wood fire. Vented gas logs will produce heat, however, Vented gas logs use more gas than do the vent free and have to be vented with significant portion of the heat going up chimney, therefore they are NOT an efficient heat source.
- Vent Free gas logs, such as Empire Comfort Systems, Peterson, and Vantage Hearth, are designed and manufactured to be operated in a wood burning fireplace, in good working order, with the damper closed or in a manufactured Vent Free firebox. With the damper closed all of the heat being produced by the Vent Free logs stays in the room.
- Vent Free logs, also burn less gas than do the Vented gas logs. Typically, half to two-thirds of gas is used with Vent Free, compared to the Vented logs. The combination of consuming less gas and being operated in an environment where all the heat stays in the room make the Vent Free logs extremely efficient.
- It is important that a set of Vent Free gas logs be set up according to the manufacturers directions. With the logs arranged properly and the burner combusting all of the gas that comes into the vent free logs are close to 100% efficient. However, they do not have quite as realistic appearance, compared to the Vented gas logs.
- Vent Free gas logs are designed to be a supplemental source of heat and there are codes governing where vent free products can be used and how many BTU’s they can burn within the home.
- Vent Free gas logs can be used in an existing Masonry or Prefabricated wood-burning fireplace with the damper closed. With the damper closed all the heat will travel to the top of the firebox and then out of the front of the fireplace. There are strict clearances involved with combustible materials above and around the fireplace opening. If there is a combustible (Wood) mantle or mantle shelf above the opening of the fireplace a deflective Hood may be necessary help alleviate clearance issues when using Vent Free gas logs.
Hopefully, this helped to clear up questions about the difference between Vented and Vent Free gas logs. Come by The Hearth and Grill Shop to do your own comparison with live burn examples of both Vented and Vent Free gas logs available year round.