Installing An Indoor Gas Fireplace – To Vent or Not To Vent

"Gas fireplace" "Brennan Heatin...

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Between a traditional masonry fireplace and an indoor gas fireplace, you have decided to install the latter for your home. You value the warmth that this type of fireplace provides minus the extra chores, such as hauling wood and cleaning ashes, that goes with a traditional fireplace. However, your buyer decision-making process has yet forked into another set of choices: whether to go for a vented or ventless indoor gas fireplace.

The Basic Differences Between The 2 Types of Indoor Gas Fireplace

As their labels suggest, the vented and the ventless or vent-free indoor gas fireplaces basically differ in structure. A vented indoor gas fireplace necessitates a chimney and flue as a passageway for smoke and other byproducts from the combustion of such fireplace. In contrast, a ventless indoor gas fireplace does not have such conduit but instead destroys the waste materials from the combustion by burning at high heat. Both are convenient to use and maintain living up to their being indoor gas fireplaces. Clean-up is kept to a minimum and fire and heat can be made available instantly.

The Hot and Heavy Ventless Indoor Gas Fireplace

If you do not have a chimney and flue yet at home, opting for a ventless indoor gas fireplace saves you from incurring additional installation costs. Your savings also extend to fuel efficiency as it consumes slightly less gas since it is ventless and instead traps and sustains heat inside. The ventless indoor fireplaces also generates better heat output owing to its feature to burn hot and heavy to destroy the byproducts of combustion. Its being ventless also means it does not emit smoke and causes less pollution than the vented indoor gas fireplace.

What Can Dampen Your Interest With Ventless Indoor Gas Fireplace?

Although the ventless feature brings in several advantages into the table, you may also want to consider its drawbacks. One disadvantage that can dampen your preference for this type of indoor gas fireplace is its byproduct – water vapor. This excess moisture may result in mold or wood rot in the absence of well-functioning vapor barriers in your walls or good ventilation in your attic.

Since a ventless indoor gas fireplace burns such high heat, extra care must be taken. Burning for a prolonged period in this type of fireplace may use up the oxygen in your home, so you have to slightly open the windows from time to time to usher in more air to replace the depleted oxygen. However, doing this means that you usher in cold air, canceling out the extra heat output it boasts of producing.

People who have sensitive noses complain of smelling an odor similar to burning kerosene. Eye irritation and coughing may also be a possible scenario with this type of fireplace.

What Makes Vented Indoor Gas Fireplace Piping Hot?

The flame patterns of a vented indoor gas fireplace are said to look much more realistic and taller. With an open damper, you do not have to worry about odor and water vapor that are present in ventless indoor gas fireplaces.

Disadvantages of a Vented Indoor Gas Fireplace

The vented type is said to consume a little more gas than the ventless type. However, there is no need for you to open the windows when burning for a prolonged period. It also produces less heat and certain types may not heat the whole room. It also produces more pollution, but the good thing about it is that the waste material escapes through the chimney. Unlike the vented type where you have to endure odor and possible eye irritation and coughing.

Choosing between a vented and vent-free gas indoor fireplace depends on what you value and your needs. If you need some serious heating, a ventless indoor fireplace may suit you. However, if you want a realistic looking flame, are sensitive to odors and want to protect your home from mold and wood rot, you may consider the vented type.

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