Vent vs. Ventless Fireplaces

by | Dec 24, 2022 | Fireplace

Approximately 44% of homes have at least one fireplace. It makes sense since homeowners want to add warmth and comfort to their living spaces during the cold winter. Not knowing the differences between vented and ventless fireplaces can lead to the wrong purchase.

However, knowing the pros and cons of each can help you make the best decision for your home. We understand how complex this can get, so let us help you. Keep reading to learn more about these fireplaces.

What Is a Ventless Fireplace?

A ventless fireplace burns natural gas, liquid propane, ethanol, or gel. It does not require a chimney or flue and does not vent to the outside. Instead, the air inside your home can fuel the fire, and the combustion products are vented back into the room.

Advantages of a Ventless Fireplace

Ventless fireplaces are typically cheaper and easier to install than their vented counterparts. Since they don’t require a chimney, they can also be placed anywhere in the home. They are also more efficient since all the heat stays inside the house.

Disadvantages of a Ventless Fireplace

The main disadvantage of a ventless fireplace is the risk of air pollution. They don’t vent to the outside, so the combustion products can build up in the home, resulting in an unhealthy environment. Ventless fireplaces are also illegal in some states, so it’s essential to check the local building codes before installing one.

What Is a Vented Fireplace?

Vented fireplaces work by burning wood, natural gas, or liquid propane. Unlike ventless fireplaces, they require a chimney or flue to vent the combustion products outside the home.

Advantages of a Vented Fireplace

A vented fireplace doesn’t pose the same air quality risks as a ventless fireplace. They are typically more powerful and can produce larger flames, making them better for heating a room.

Disadvantages of a Vented Fireplace

Vented fireplaces are more expensive and difficult to install since they require a chimney or flue. They are not as efficient as ventless fireplaces since some heat is lost through the venting system.

Safety Considerations

Ventless fireplaces can produce a lot of carbon monoxide, so it’s vital to have a CO detector installed. The fuel sources used in ventless fireplaces can be flammable, so keep them away from any potential ignition sources.

Vented fireplaces can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning, so ensure that the chimney or flue is in good condition and free of debris. The fuel sources are explosive, so keep them away from anything that can ignite a fire.

Heating Efficiency

Ventless fireplaces are more efficient than vented ones since they don’t lose any of the heat through the venting system.

They are also more robust because they burn fuel hotter than vented fireplaces.

Installation

Ventless fireplaces are easier to install because they don’t require a chimney or flue. However, you must connect them to a fuel source, such as natural gas or liquid propane.

Vented fireplaces require a chimney or flue, so they are typically more difficult and expensive to install. The chimney or flue needs to be properly insulated. This ensures that the heat from the fireplace doesn’t get lost through the venting system.

Maintenance

Vented and ventless fireplaces require regular inspections to ensure they work safely. The fuel sources from the ventless ones require regular checks and replacements if necessary.

Vented ones also need regular inspections and care to ensure that the chimney or flue is in proper condition. 

Cost

The average cost of a fireplace is between $877 and $3,917. The cost of a ventless or vented one will depend on the type and size of the fireplace. It will also depend on the complexity of the installation.

Ventless fireplaces are cheaper than vented ones since they don’t require a chimney or flue. However, they may need additional costs for fuel sources, such as natural gas or liquid propane.

Aesthetics

Ventless fireplaces are typically more modernized since they don’t require a chimney. They can be placed anywhere in the home, making them an excellent option for smaller spaces.

Vented ones have a more traditional design due to the chimney. Their need for a venting system means they are unsuitable for smaller spaces.

Different Types of Fireplaces

Most real estate agents believe a fireplace can add $1,000-$5,000 to your home value. Since there are many types of fireplaces to choose from, which one is right for you? Check out some recommended ones below:

Gas Fireplaces

Gas fireplaces use natural or liquid propane to create a flame but require a venting system. They are typically more powerful than other types of fireplaces and can be used to heat an entire room.

Outdoor Fireplaces

Outdoor fireplaces are designed to be used outdoors and often feature open designs to provide better airflow. They can be fueled by wood, natural gas, or liquid propane, creating a warm and inviting outdoor space.

Wood Fireplaces

Wood fireplaces are the most traditional type of fireplace and use logs or other wood-burning fuel sources to create a flame. They require a chimney or flue to vent the combustion products to the outside.

Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces are powered by electricity and don’t require a venting system. They are more affordable and easier to install than other fireplaces and can create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Insights on Vent vs Ventless Fireplaces

When choosing between a ventless and a vented fireplace, there are a few important factors to consider. Ventless is cheaper and easier to install but can cause air pollution. On the other hand, vented ones are more efficient and powerful, but they require a chimney or flue.

That is why they are more expensive. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on your specific needs and the local building codes. Whether you need one or more vented or ventless fireplaces, contact us to help you through the installation process.

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Philadelphia, PA 19111

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