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Do Gas Fireplaces Need To Be Vented?

By Lawrence Macmillan October 25, 2021

Gas fireplaces are still one of the most popular types of fireplaces to be installed into homes, which is mostly due to their versatility when it comes to where they can be placed in a house. There are also a few different options for you to choose from, which is convenient. 

However, as there are a few different types of gas fireplaces to choose from, you might be wondering if they all need to be vented, or if there are specific types that do not need to be. 

In this article, we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about the different types of fireplaces, and whether or not they need to be vented. We are also going to cover the venting requirements for each type of gas fireplace.

Do Gas Fireplaces Need to Be Vented?

Not all gas fireplaces will need to be vented. When it comes to natural vent and direct vent gas fireplaces, they will need to be vented through a chimney.

However, you can also get ventless gas fireplaces which do not need to be vented. We are going to look at the different types of gas fireplaces and how they are vented below.

Natural Vent Gas Fireplace Venting Arrangements

Natural vent gas fireplaces do not require any special air intake arrangements as they will simply take air from the room in order to feed oxygen to the flames.

Natural vent gas fireplaces will usually be gas fireplace inserts that will be  installed within existing masonry open fireplaces to convert the fireplace from wood burning to gas.

Due to the fact that these fireplaces will be located inside a masonry fireplace with an existing chimney, the waste air will be exhausted up the chimney.

Therefore, this is a type of gas fireplace that will require proper ventilation. You will need a chimney in order for the waste air to have somewhere to go. 

If you have a damper located in your chimney, then you will need to ensure that it remains open when you are using a natural vent gas fireplace.

These fireplaces can also be located on an internal wall inside our home, and they are only connected to the outside through the use of a chimney.

Direct Vent Gas Fireplace Venting Arrangements

If you have or are thinking of getting a direct vent gas fireplace, you should know that they are different from natural vent gas fireplaces.

This is because the air that is used for combustion and the waste air will both be vented directly to and from the outside of your home.

Direct vent gas fireplaces are often more common as they do not require the use of a masonry chimney in order to allow you to use the fireplace. However, even though you do not need a chimney, you will still require proper ventilation. 

A direct vent gas fireplace will need a dual vent that goes directly through an external wall so that it can vent and exhaust air.

Where a natural vent gas fireplace would take the air from the room, a direct gas fireplace would take the air straight from the outside through the use of a vent pipe. They can then also exhaust the waste air through the same vent pipe.

However, depending on the configuration of the gas fireplace, there might also be another direct vent that is located further up the wall or that goes straight through the roof for exhaust air.

It is quite common to have a dual vent and exhaust for direct vent gas fireplaces that go straight through the exterior wall of a home out from the back of the fireplace unit.

This will help to make the direct vent gas fireplace much more versatile when it comes to deciding on where you want to place it within your home. Having an existing masonry fireplace to put one inside is not a necessity.

As well as all of this, you should know that a direct vent gas fireplace features an enclosed system, which means that the fire chamber is kept within a sealed environment and behind closed doors.

This means that all of the air, both fresh and waste, will be used as part of the operation of a direct vent gas fireplace. It will not interact with the air inside of the home at all.

Heat from these types of fireplaces can be radiated out into the room. If the unit hasan integrated blower, then the air from the room can be circulated through the gas fireplace and heated up as it passes around the combustion chamber.

Therefore, direct vent gas fireplaces will require venting in the form of direct vents that go through an external wall in the home or that are exhausted up through the roof.

Ventless Gas Fireplace Venting Requirements

If you are looking for a gas fireplace that does not need to be vented, then you should consider a ventless gas fireplace.

These types of gas fireplaces will burn the gas fuel so cleanly that they can be used for internal use without any external venting or exhaust requirements.

A ventless gas fireplace will use the oxygen supply that is already circulating within the air in your home.

When using this type of fireplace, it is possible for the oxygen levels in the air to reduce, which is why it is recommended to not use this fireplace for long periods of time without opening any windows.

One of the main reasons why these fireplaces don’t need to be vented is that the main by-products of the fire have been deemed safe for indoor use without ventilation.

However, these rules do vary depending on your location, so you should double check this before you make a purchase.

You should always install and use a ventless gas fireplace in line with the manufacturer’s instructions and local codes and regulations.

They are also illegal in some states, which is something that you should be aware of before purchasing.


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