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Can A Vent-Free Gas Fireplace Be Vented?

By Lawrence Macmillan October 25, 2021

Do you have a vent-free gas fireplace and are wondering if it can be vented? Perhaps you are considering buying a vent-free gas fireplace and want to know if you can convert it should you change your mind? Or maybe you are curious and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you! 

We know how confusing the world of fireplaces can be, especially if you are new! With so many to choose from, it can be overwhelming, and before you know it, you find your mind spinning, a million questions rushing through at the same time. You want to know if you can vent a vent-free fireplace, but the answer seems out of reach forever. 

Well, no more! Today we are here with all the answers you need! Keep reading to find out if a vent-free gas fireplace can be vented and everything you need to know about it! 

What Is A Vent-Free Gas Fireplace?

Before we dive into it, let’s have a quick recap for those in the room that need it! A vent-free or ventless fireplace are fireplaces that don’t need a chimney, piping system, or external venting to remove the fumes from your home. These fireplaces usually use gas or propane and are a fantastic solution for many homes with existing chimneys. 

It also means that your fireplace can be fitted anywhere in your home, increasing your interior design options. A vent-free fireplace can save you money, too, as you don’t need to fit a chimney or remodel your house to fit the new fireplace!

A gas plumber or contractor from the fireplace company will come to fit your vent-free fireplace when you purchase it. 

But how do they work? Instead of venting the gas out of your home, vent-free fireplaces allow it to remain in the room. As these byproducts from the fire remain in the room, the hearth products are manufactured to burn clean. 

You don’t need to worry about your safety with these fireplaces, as they are often fitted with oxygen sensors. These sensors will automatically shut off the fireplace as soon as the levels become unsafe in the room.

Modern vent-free fireplaces have to follow incredibly strict regulations and safety standards, so you don’t need to worry about having one of these fireplaces in your home! 

It is recommended that you take some extra precautions, though. Adding a carbon monoxide tester to your home near your fireplace is an excellent idea. This will alert you to any dangerous levels of carbon monoxide should your fireplace sensors fail to work. It’s also best to have your fireplace inspected regularly and professionally cleaned too.

Unless stated otherwise by the manufacturing company, do this once a year. 

Now that we have covered what a vent-free fireplace is, let's find out if you can convert them into vented fireplaces or not! 

Can A Vent-Free Gas Fireplace Be Vented?

Let’s get straight into it! No, a ventless fireplace cannot be converted into a vented fireplace. Vent-free fireplaces are designed to work without a vent (and are safe to do so); making these changes to the fireplace can be dangerous. By converting your vent-free gas fireplace into a vented one, you run the risk of even more fumes entering your home! 

There’s a chance that the conversion will not be successful, and that could leave you with even more gas in your bedroom or living room, not ideal! These fireplaces aren’t designed to be converted; instead, you install them, maintain them, and generally leave them be.

Gas can be extremely dangerous, and any servicing or internal cleaning should be done by a professional to reduce the risk of harm to you. 

Most manuals for vent-free fireplaces will also state that they are not to be converted or changed, and doing so can void your warranty and leave you out of pocket should something go wrong! Anything fireplace-related should always be conducted by a professional to ensure your safety at all times. After all, nothing is more important than keeping yourself and your family safe! 

In some cases, you might be able to purchase a vent insert directly from your fireplace manufacturer and have this installed, converting your fireplace. For this to work, your vent-free fireplace would already need to be stationed by a fully functioning and safe to use the chimney.

Otherwise, you run the risk of gas emitting into your home at a faster rate! Not all manufacturers will offer this, but it's worth asking the question to see if that is an option you can explore. 

In these cases, though, the inserts tend to be expensive. You should consider your budget carefully before deciding to use a vent insert. The insert will need to be professionally installed, too, pushing the cost up even further!

It is often cheaper to purchase a new vented fireplace than to make adjustments to your current fireplace. Converting a vent-free fireplace can be a lot of work and not always pay off as you would like. 

People who wish to convert their vent-free fireplace into a vented one often have to cut their losses and purchase a new vented fireplace. It's often cheaper to do so and saves you the worry of any conversion work being done safely!

Remember when purchasing a vented fireplace to consider your chimney and where the fireplace will be installed. You might need to have additional work done to your home before going ahead with the new fireplace. A professional can run through this with you and provide you more tailored advice to your home if needed. 

Final Word 

And there you have it; vent-free fireplaces cannot typically be converted into vented fireplaces! Instead, you would need to purchase a new vented fireplace and have that installed instead. While some companies offer vent inserts, they aren’t always suitable for vented fireplaces and are expensive. Be sure to weigh up your options and your budget before moving forward. 


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