As no heat can escape up a chimney or through a vent pipe, vent free fireplaces are a fantastic and efficient form of supplemental heating. They also save you the hassle of cleaning up all the ash remains of your burned fuel — hurray!
The only problem is that without some decorative vent free logs, your ventless fireplace can end up looking a bit like a barbecue rather than a cozy, in-house feature.
Worse still, when larger ventless fires go undecorated, they closely resemble the incinerators in a crematorium, which, needless to say, is not a great look for your home and hearth.
To give your vent free fireplace a less industrial feel, you need to decorate it with some homely features, and vent free gas logs are 100% the best thing to start with.
Lucky for you, I recently invested in some vent free gas logs myself, so I’ve already done the research for you, and I’m more than happy to pass on what I've learned, today.
You’re a busy person, so let’s cut the fluff and jump straight into some vent free gas logs reviews!
If you’re looking for ultra-realism and premium performance, Peterson Real Fyre is the only name you need to bother yourself with.
This stunning 24-inch set of vent free gas logs is modeled after oak wood. Featuring meticulously hand-painted logs, the likeness is stunning. Almost every possible detail is accounted for.
The custom fire grate, glowing embers, Bryte coals, and lava granules only add to the realism, ensuring a truly authentic look.
Crafted using refractory ceramic (a cement and ceramic hybrid) and reinforced with steel bars, they’ll last longer than any other log material on the market, so you can bet you’ll get your money’s worth.
They arrive with an ANSI-certified G9 natural gas burner, so as soon as they’re installed, you can enjoy some nice cozy fire-lit evenings. What’s more, this bundle includes a remote for effortless control — nice!
- Hand Painted - So real, you may find squirrels living amongst the logs.
- Steel Reinforced Refractory Ceramic - Strongest possible materials.
- ANSI-Certified Burner - No separate purchases necessary.
- Remote Control - Control the logs from your seated position!
- EXTRAS! - Grate, embers, and lava granules all included.
- Smell - Light but noticeable odor.
- Popping - They do make a popping noise every once in a while.
Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Charred Aged Split Oak Log Set With Vent-free Natural Gas Ansi Certified G10 Burner
If you thought it would be impossible to find more realistic gas logs than my top pick, think again. Peterson Real Fyre has outdone themselves with this set by including a natural charred look on the top logs. The bark detail is simply breathtaking!
They’re a refractory ceramic design, ensuring they won’t crack or fade for years to come, and much like my top pick, the logs are reinforced with steel rods to enhance durability.
The set arrives with all the trimmings including glowing embers, a fire grate, and Peterson’s proprietary Bryte coals and lava Fyre granules — exquisite finishing touches.
An ANSI-certified natural gas G10 burner comes pre-installed as standard, saving you money on aftermarket purchases, and it’s all monitored by an ODS safety system that automatically shuts the fuel valve if oxygen levels drop too far.
- Refectory Ceramic and Steel Bars - Maximum service life.
- Hand Painted - Most realistic logs on the market.
- Extras - Embers, lava granules, a fire grate. It’s all there.
- ANSI-Certified Burner - Fire-ready!
- Remote Control - Don’t feel like getting up? No problem.
- Price - Premium price for a premium product.
- Flame Height - Taller flames would be better.
These logs don’t come with a burner, but if you’re looking for quality and value for money, they’re your best bet.
Designed to beautify a ventless fireplace, their lightly charred wood aesthetic brings some homely, rustic charm to an otherwise sterile installment.
They’re made of ceramic fiber, which won’t last quite as long as refractory ceramic, but neither will they crack after a few years like their cement counterparts.
They’re surprisingly versatile for such an affordable product, compatible with ethanol, gel, natural gas, and propane fireplaces.
Granted, they’re not “Peterson real”, but once you and your guests are nestled into your couch, viewing the fire from a distance, no one will be able to tell the difference.
- Price - Unparalleled value for money.
- Open Log Placement - Allows plenty of flame to flicker through.
- Compatibility - Works with propane and gas.
- Ceramic - Lightweight and won’t crack.
- Realism - Not incredibly detailed.
- No Burner - Dang!
This 18-inch, 5-piece pile o’ ceramic logs from Flint Hill are a fantastic option if you chose propane over natural gas.
The log detailing isn’t immaculate, but what I really love about this product is the log placement. Up close, they may look like an old fireside museum exhibit, but once you kick back in your chair, the structure makes them look incredibly real.
Part of the reason Flint Hill really pulls the visuals off here is the inclusion of a fire grate and glowing embers, extras that would normally cost a lot more than they do in this bundle.
Featuring a vent free contour propane burner with three settings, you can adjust the flame height to provide the heat and look you’re in the mood for. Go for the first setting for some evening ambiance, or the third setting if you want some toasty toes!
- Propane - Burns three times hotter than gas.
- 18” - Fits in most pre-existing fireboxes or fireplaces.
- Log Placement - Adds to the realism.
- Ceramic - Lasts a while and doesn’t crack.
- Extras - Includes a grate and glowing embers.
- Log Detail - Don’t look too real up close.
Made of ceramic, these logs are built to last, so there’s no need to be delicate with them; light them up whenever you feel like having a cozy day or night in.
The texturing of the wood has been done well, and while not especially intricate, the paint work isn’t bad either. They look as real as any other logs from a meter or so away, mostly due to the white highlights providing a charred-ish look.
Possibly the best thing about this set is that they’re an extremely low odor design, providing a cozy aesthetic without the smelly side effects. Bear in mind, though, that these logs don’t come with a burner.
My only real gripe with this 5-set of logs is the organization of the pieces. The structure in no way resembles an actual fire.
If you crisscrossed small logs over large logs as they are with this product, you’d never get a fire going, let alone keep it going. Otherwise, they’re a fantastic vent free log set.
- Ceramic - Lasts for ages.
- Low-Odor - Good for those with sensitive noses.
- Price - Very reasonable for the quality.
- No Burner - You’ll have to buy one separately.
- Log Placement - Not realistic.
I know firsthand how confusing vent free gas logs can be to consumers. It’s not a product you really pay any mind to until you suddenly need it. So, to bring you up to speed, I’ve composed this brief yet informative buyer’s guide.
Choosing Your Fuel
For the most part, each set of ventless gas logs is designed to be compatible with only one of two fireplace fuels, and these are natural gas and liquid propane.
That means that the fastest way to narrow your wide array of options down is to settle on a fuel type. Which is better, you ask? Well, they both have benefits and drawbacks, so let's take a closer look.
- Readily available in most cities.
- It’s lighter than air, meaning it completely dissipates into the atmosphere after combustion.
- If your home already has a gas water heater or gas oven, all the necessary requirements are in place for a ventless natural gas fireplace.
- Natural gas is much cheaper than propane.
- Natural gas needs to be hard piped (installed up to code by a professional) to the vent free gas logs from a buried gas service line. This is a difficult job that will inevitably leave you a little light of pocket.
- Natural gas service may not be available in your area, especially in rural neighborhoods.
- Natural gas burns far quicker than liquid propane.
- Burns three times hotter than natural gas, heating rooms more efficiently.
- Burns slower than natural gas.
- Liquid propane is a favorite of rural communities that don’t have access to natural gas reserves.
- It also produces fewer emissions than natural gas and is almost entirely non-toxic.
- Liquid propane tank can be operated independently of natural gas lines.
- Liquid propane is more expensive than natural gas, but as it burns hotter and slower, it just about evens out.
- You’ll need to have a dedicated propane tank installed on your property.
- You’ll often be required to contract a supplier to keep your propane topped up.
Vent Free Logs - Materials
Your next port of call is to decide what you want your gas logs to be made of. Your three options are as follows: refractory cement, ceramic fiber, and refractory ceramic.
Refractory Cement Gas Logs
Cement gas logs range in price from super affordable to quite dear. The higher your budget, the more realistic your logs will appear, so if you’re going for an authentic, homely aesthetic, you may have to pump more funds into the project.
Giving off little to no odor, cement logs are often preferred by those who have sensitive noses or respiratory issues such as asthma.
The only real downside to cement logs is that they’re far more prone to cracking when exposed to extreme heat over long periods of time.
As liquid propane burns three times hotter than natural gas, they don’t pair too well, but concrete is a fantastic option for a ventless natural gas fireplace.
Ceramic Fiber Gas Logs
Ceramic fiber gas logs may be lightweight, but they’re tougher than cement when it comes to extreme heat, making them a suitable option for both natural gas and liquid propane fireplaces.
They also tend to be the most affordable of the three log materials, which is always a bonus. The only problem is that they can give off an odor that some homeowners don’t take kindly to.
Refractory Ceramic Gas Logs
These kinds of logs are a hybrid design, crafted from both cement and ceramic. They don’t just give out the most heat, they can also withstand extreme heat far better than the other materials, meaning they last longer.
They may fade or change color ever so slightly over time, but unlike their pure cement counterparts, they will never crack.
Vent Free Gas Logs - Log Size
These logs have got to fit in your fireplace, so some accurate measurements are essential to finding the perfect logs for you.
Vent Free Gas Logs - Log Style
Believe it or not, gas logs are modeled after specific woods, so, for example, if you like the look of oak, you can source oak-inspired gas logs — pretty neat, huh?
Another aspect of log style to consider is how charred the wood appears. For the most part, charred logs look more realistic, especially when lit, but many prefer the fresh look over the burnt look.
The last part of log style you should consider is log placement. In my opinion, this is where most companies get it wrong. There are tons of gas logs on the market that just aren’t built like real fires. That might not be an issue for you, but it’s something to bear in mind.
Vent Free Gas Logs - Log Extras and Viewing Angles
Finally, you can decide on extras such as grates and glowing embers. It’s also important to note that many ventless gas logs are designed to be viewed from all angles, making them a shoo-in for peninsular, island, or see-through fireplaces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s bring things to a neat close with a handy vent free gas logs FAQ segment.
Are ventless gas logs safe?
When used responsibly, ventless gas logs are perfectly safe, but as they do release small amounts of carbon monoxide, they’re restricted or illegal in many areas of the U.S.
Ventless fire logs also steadily deplete oxygen in the area, so it’s important that you crack a window after or preferably during extended use.
Never install ventless fire logs without a CO detector and alarm.
Which is better: vented or ventless gas logs?
There are pros and cons of both vented and ventless gas logs. Vented logs don’t smell, produce much higher, more realistic flames, do not require a carbon monoxide detector, and they’re generally cheaper than ventless logs.
On the other hand, ventless logs are better for the environment as they burn fuel completely. What’s more, they don’t require ventilation, heat far more efficiently, and burn fuel slower.
Why do ventless gas logs smell?
Surprisingly, most of the smell caused by ventless gas logs isn’t caused by the logs themselves, but the impurities in the air of your home. As air is used for combustion, the impurities burn and exude odors.
Do ventless gas logs need a chimney?
Ventless gas logs do not need a chimney, as they burn 100% of the fuel.
Can you put a TV above ventless gas logs?
Yes, you can put a TV above vent free gas logs, but you’ll need to protect it by redirecting some heat.
How long can you run a ventless gas fireplace?
You can keep a ventless gas fireplace lit for around 3 hours as long as the room is well ventilated. After that, it’s best to turn it off for a spell.
Can you convert a ventless fireplace into a vented fireplace?
I’m afraid you cannot convert a ventless fireplace into a vented one or vice versa. They’re designed to function as one or the other exclusively.
How long do ventless gas logs last?
If you take good care of some refractory ceramic ventless gas logs, they can last as long as 10 years. Cement logs, on the other hand, may last half that time.
That’s your lot from me, folks. I hope you found your perfect vent free gas logs here today, or at the very least learned a thing or two that will help you as you continue your search.
Due to the impeccable realism and attention to detail of their designs, not to mention remote control of flame height, my number one pick is the Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Split Oak Log Set With Vent-free Natural Gas Ansi Certified G9 Burner.
It’s fancy and expensive, so I know it’s not for everyone, but I believe it’s a set well worth saving your pennies for. Enjoy!