Ventless Gas Fireplace | Pros & Cons

Ventless Gas Fireplace Inserts offer homeowners an alternative to conventional masonry fireplace chimneys. However, due to safety concerns, caution must be exercised before choosing them for your home’s hearth and comfort.

The decision of what type of fireplace you want in your home is never easy. Especially when natural gas or propane gets involved, there is always something more to consider.

*Please consult your local chimney professional and do not attempt to install gas systems yourself.

Read our previous post “What are Ventless Gas Logs?”

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Disadvantages of No-Vent Fireplaces

A gas fireplace without vents offers the appeal of an inexpensive alternative to the more substantial vented gas fireplace and chimneys. But because non-vented gas logs and fireplaces vent exhaust into the home, this advantage is offset with added carbon monoxide concerns. With that said, it is an advantage to understand the details so when it’s time to talk to your fireplace installer you’ll be armed and ready with information and know the right questions to ask.

Keeping risk vs. reward in mind, let’s compare a few Pros and Cons of Ventless Gas Log Fireplaces:
Pros of Vent Free Units Cons of Vent Free Units
  • Since ventless gas products require no vent or chimney, they cost less to install, compared to vented gas appliances.
  • Since ventless gas logs exhaust into the home, there is an added risk over vented gas fireplaces.
  • A non-vented gas fireplace outputs more heat per BTU produced since all the heat and exhaust produced stays in the home.
  • The flame is mostly blue, therefore ventless gas logs lack the visual appeal and beauty of a wood or vented gas fireplace.
  • The ODS (Oxygen Depletion Sensor) pilot assembly is designed to shut off the gas appliance in the event oxygen levels drop to an unsafe level in the room.
  • Even with the ODS pilot lite system, the ability of the gas fireplace to produce dangerous levels of formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide could occur.
  • Many countries and states restrict or ban the installation of ventless gas products due to safety concerns.
  • Ventless logs cannot be upgraded, customized or rearranged in any way. Plus cheaper models cannot be repaired.
  • Vent-free fireplaces cause humidity in the room which can lead to issues such as peeling paint.
  • Ventless fireplaces will always produce an odor. People with allergies or strong noses could be extra sensitive to the smell.

Vent-Free Fireplace Safety

Vent-free gas logs and fireplaces pose a risk, as do all gas appliances. When any fuel is burned, the potential for carbon monoxide to be produced is a real threat that you and your family must be aware of. Should carbon monoxide be introduced to the indoor air, it affects the health of all occupants and exposure is life-threatening.

Conventional gas appliances, on the other hand, vent their combustion byproducts through a vent or fireplace flue. These types of gas fireplaces and heaters have an added level of chimney safety, as they are built to exhaust the byproducts of combustion to the outdoors. However, ventless gas logs and their more substantial counterpart, the ventless gas inserts do not have a chimney pipe or flue vent. So, if the unit becomes dirty or damaged from contaminated air, or the occupants are sensitive to mold growth or formaldehyde, just know: these appliances vent into the home’s living space.
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If you’re still considering installing a set of ventless gas logs, stove or fireplace insert into your home, please call us first!

Our Certified Professionals can help you make an informed decision.

When called out to a fireplace evaluation, our technicians will fully address all concerns and answer all questions you may have about changing your existing system.

If you’re not ready to commit to an in-home visit, that’s okay call our office at 913-642-6171 and talk to a Certified Chimney Sweep ready to answer your questions Monday-Friday 8am-5pm.