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How Do Ventless Gas Fireplaces Work?

By Lawrence Macmillan October 25, 2021

When it is coming up to that time of year when the weather is starting to get colder, lots of people start to think about getting a cozy and warm fireplace to add to certain rooms.

The most common place to put a fireplace is the living room, as this is a room that people tend to spend lots of time in.

Unfortunately, not all houses come with stunning fireplaces. If you are thinking about getting a fireplace, then you might have come across vented gas fireplaces in our search for the perfect one.

However, you might also be left wondering how they work.

In this article, we are going to explain exactly how a ventless gas fireplace works, so you can find out if this is a good option for you.

We are also going to look at other aspects of ventless gas fireplaces, like their safety, and the benefits that they have to offer.

Just keep reading to find out more about what they are and how they work.

What Is A Ventless Fireplace?

A ventless fireplace may also be called an unvented or vent free fireplace, and they are basically a type of fireplace that will pipe natural gas or propane into a gas burning unit.

The flames will reach up through the gaps in artificial ceramic fiber logs. They are designed in order to burn gas more efficiently than vented versions, which means that they will produce less flames. Ventless fireplaces also do not require a flue or chimney.

However, while these fireplaces are beneficial in lots of different ways, they do also present some issues. They are actually banned in some states, so you will first need to make sure that they are allowed where you live.

How Do Ventless Fireplaces Work?

Ventless fireplaces will typically be connected to a gas or propane line, and they will usually need to be installed by a professional. They will have specially designed burners that will burn the gas more cleanly, which leaves behind very little exhaust.

There will usually be a gas unit with a control panel that will allow you to control the pilot light and flames. These units will feature noncombustible artificial logs that have holes in them, and they fit together in a way that allows the flames to pass through them.

They work through a U-shaped pass, and oxygen will be taken in from the room, which usually enters through the bottom of the fireplace.

The regulator will then proceed to mix the air with gas in order to produce the fire. There is also typically a vent at the top that will release the air back into the room.

Are Ventless Fireplaces Better Than Vented Fireplaces?

Less homes are being built with wood-burning fireplaces, and more homes are being built with gas fireplaces, which are only increasing in popularity.

One of the most popular types is the traditional natural-gas or propane-fueled vented fireplace, which uses two vents that run to the outside of the house.

One vent will be the intake vent that draws in fresh air, and the other is the exhaust vent, which removes the fumes from the burning process.

It can become really expensive to add these fireplaces into your home and they can be difficult to install. On the other hand, a ventless fireplace is much easier and less expensive to install.

A ventless fireplace will contain a regulator that will produce a fine mixture of gas and air, which is done in a way that allows the gas to burn cleanly. It will also reduce the fumes that typically come with conventional gas fireplaces.

Federal regulations also require testing of ventless fireplaces to ensure that they work as suggested above. They will need to meet health and safety standards before they can be sold to the public.

Some models will even include built-in carbon monoxide detectors and oxygen-detection sensors that will monitor the air quality in the room.

Are Ventless Fireplaces Safe to Use?

Now that you know how the vented fireplace works and what they are, you might be wondering if they are safe to have in your home.

There are lots of varying opinions when it comes to the safety of ventless fireplaces. You should know that they can still emit byproducts that are created from burning gas. These gases are pushed into the home with the heat.

In order to ensure your safety, it is really important to make sure that the unit is being used as intended by the manufacturer, and that it has been installed properly.

It is also highly recommended that you install carbon monoxide detectors in your home, especially near the fireplace.

If the fireplace has been properly installed and is being used correctly, then they are safe for you to use.

The Benefits of Ventless Fireplaces

  • They do not require the use of a flue or chimney, which saves floor and wall space and installation costs
  • They produce a good amount of heat, which can help to heat up a room faster
  • They are more eco-friendly than wood burning fireplaces

The Downsides of Ventless Fireplaces

  • They can product odors due to lack of outside venting
  • The flames don’t look as realistic
  • The logs do not retain heat well

You should also be aware of the fact that while ventless fireplaces can help to reduce toxic fumes, it is possible for some fumes to still be released into the home. This can increase the risk of carbon monoxide exposure.

It is always recommended to use a ventless fireplace for limited intervals, and keep a window open to allow fresh air to enter the room. Although this may defeat the purpose of using the fireplace to warm a room in the winter.

Ventless fireplaces can also produce water vapor as a byproduct of the combustion process.

This is something that can lead to higher levels of moisture in your home, increasing the risk of mold growth. It might be worth getting a dehumidifier to help with this.


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