When it comes to fireplaces, you may quickly realize that there is more than just one type. When someone refers to a fireplace, they could be referring to one of a variety of different fireplaces.
As confusing as this sounds, once you know what’s what, you’ll soon be able to distinguish between the different types of fireplaces.
In this article, we will be exploring one type of fireplace in particular - ventless fireplaces. So, if you have been wondering what on earth a ventless fireplace is, or if you just want to find out more about them, this is the article for you!
What is a ventless fireplace?
Ventless fireplaces use natural gas or propane gas to power them. This gas is piped through the fireplace to power a gas burning element. The gas ignites and the gas flames burn up to the hearth, usually through fireproof and non-combustible ‘logs’ or other decorative pieces such as stones and pebbles. These are usually made from artificial ceramic or fiberglass.
You may also hear ventless fireplaces referred to as unvented fireplaces or even vent free fireplaces. They are all the same thing, though, so if you hear mention of either of these, just know that they work in the same way as we described above.
Ventless fireplaces (or vent free and unvented if you prefer these terms) are desired by many people as they are thought to burn gas more efficiently than vented fireplaces. They are designed in this way so that they produce fewer fumes when burning. They also work without the need for a chimney or flue, which is an attractive selling point for those in modern homes.
In order for a ventless fireplace to work properly, it needs to be connected to a propane or gas mains line. Because of this, it is very important that they get installed by a professional plumber or someone who specializes in the fitting of these types of fireplace installments.
They work in a similar way to a kitchen gas stove in that they burn gas cleanly, leaving behind no fumes. The burners are specially designed in this way, with a control panel to use to control the flames and pilot light.
As we mentioned earlier, the ventless fireplaces that are used today often feature fake logs or stones.
These are an important element of the fireplace setup because they are made from a non combustible material that allows the flames to flow through. There are gaps and holes made in the log that control the amount of gas flames that can come through. These flames provide heat for your room.
You may be wondering what exactly ignites those gas flames. Well, the answer to that is simple - oxygen. As you may know, oxygen is a vital element of any fire, and a ventless gas fireplace is no different.
Oxygen is provided to the fireplace system from the room. It gets taken in through a ‘U’ shaped path and then mixes with the gas in the regulator. This can then produce flames. The air gets released from a small vent at the top (so, the ventless fireplace does have some kind of vent!) back into the room.
These types of fireplaces are still a very popular way of heating a house, especially if the home in question does not have a chimney or the chimney has been closed up. However, they are not without their issues and have even been banned in several states. Keep on reading to learn more about the safety of ventless fireplaces.
Are ventless fireplaces dangerous?
There are many things to consider when determining whether ventless fireplaces are dangerous. As such, there are many questions raised about the safety of ventless fireplaces. Opinions vary, with some professionals stating they are safe if used properly, and others believing that alternative heating forms should be sought out.
The safety issues that arise when considering ventless fireplaces are typically concerning the gasses that can be emitted from them. It is possible that noxious, dangerous gasses can be emitted from your ventless fireplaces.
The noxious gasses can cause very serious health issues and even death! This is because the gasses that can be emitted are nitrous dioxide and carbon monoxide. Death by carbon dioxide poisoning is said to occur in almost 500 people each year!
With this in mind, it is absolutely essential that you practice fire safety when using your ventless fireplace.
You need to ensure that the room in which the ventless fireplace is in operation is well ventilated and that there are safety measures such as carbon monoxide alarms. A professional plumber or ventless fireplace installer can help you with this.
You should also ensure you have further safety measures in place such as shut off valves that work automatically. This measures the oxygen in the room.
You should also bear in mind that using ventless fireplaces increases water vapor. When water vapor is present in your home it can wreak havoc! It causes moist air which can, in turn, cause mold to grow. This affects the air quality of your home and can affect your health.
Do ventless gas fireplaces give off heat?
Yes! Ventless gas fireplaces do indeed give off heat. This is their main purpose. The gas flames that are produced work in the same way as regular fire, and as such, they can provide lots of heat in the room in which the ventless gas fireplace is set up.
In fact, many people actually prefer ventless gas fireplaces as a source of heat when compared to traditional methods of heating the home. However, as with anything, there have been many disputes over this with some people stating that the level of heat emitted is low.
As well as this, the use of a ventless gas fireplace is thought to be a great source of heat that is easy on the wallet. This is because the installation and running costs are generally much lower than other types of heating, especially woodburning stoves.