Which is Better: Vented or Non-Vented Gas Logs?

by | Oct 4, 2022 | Fireplace, Gas Fireplaces

According to the National Association of Home Builders, about 55% of homebuyers said fireplaces were “desirable” or “essential”.  

If you’re considering adding a gas fireplace to your home, you need to know the difference between vented gas logs and ventless fireplaces. They both offer different benefits, and there are also some downsides.

In this guide, we are going to compare vented vs ventless gas logs so you can make an informed decision. Keep reading to learn about the cost of gas logs and how they work.  

Vented Fireplace

If you love the look and aesthetic of a real fireplace but are tired of cleaning up and burning real wood, then a vented fireplace may be a great option for you. You can have these logs installed in your existing wood-burning fireplace.

These gas fireplaces can be fueled by propane or natural gas. They release carbon monoxide, so you need a chimney or vent that allows the fumes to exit your home or commercial building.

Installing vented gas logs requires a professional and isn’t a project you should attempt on your own. The contractor needs to be the one to hook up the gas lines to ensure your safety. 

Vent Free Gas Log

Vent-free logs are more efficient and don’t require a chimney. This means lots of fumes and gases are being emitted into your house.

They are federally tested and contain safe levels of carbon monoxide because they burn cleaner. However, because chemicals are released, you may want to invest in carbon monoxide and oxygen detectors. 

However, it’s always important to follow the directions and not run your fireplace for too long. You may even want to crack a window to add some fresh air back into your home.

They don’t look or smell like a real wood-burning fireplace. Some states have restricted vent free gas logs.

You’ll need to check with your state, city, and county to ensure you can have a ventless fireplace installed. If you ignore local laws, you could be asked to remove it and fined for not being in compliance with the building codes. 

Cost To Install 

Vented Fireplaces are more expensive to purchase and have installed, especially if you don’t have a vent or chimney. You’ll likely pay between $3,500 and $8,000 depending on the quality of logs you purchase and the labor. It will cost you about $0.52 per hour to run it. 

For ventless fireplaces, you’ll pay somewhere between $1,000 and $5,000. It’s much easier to install these logs because you won’t have to cut a hole in the wall or roof for ventilation. It’s also slightly cheaper to run and will be about $0.25 an hour. 

There are also fewer restrictions when it comes to installing ventless logs. They can be placed anywhere in your home and don’t have to be near an exterior wall. However, with that being said, it’s not recommended that you have them in bedrooms or run them for long periods of time. 

Life Span

Both fireplaces have a lifespan of about 15 to 25 years. However, the logs themselves won’t last that long. Logs are typically made of ceramic which allows them to last longer than when they were made of cement.

Vented ones last a little longer, and you won’t need to replace them for about ten years, while you’ll need to switch out the ventless about every three to five years. Having your logs and fireplace inspected once or twice a year can help extend the lifespan and ensure you’re safe. If you depend on your fireplace as a main source of heat, you’ll want to schedule a maintenance check in the fall before winter comes. 

Converting from Ventless to Vented 

If you’ve previously bought and installed a ventless fireplace, or if the house you bought came with one, you might be thinking about switching to vented logs. It sounds like it should be simple, but it’s not.

Unfortunately, you can’t just add vented logs to a ventless fireplace. You’ll likely have to hire a contractor to take out the ventless and install the vented one. You’ll need to get a quote or estimate for the project as it could cost you between $5,000 and $20,000. 

Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons to both vented gas fireplace logs and ventless ones. One of the great things about both vented and ventless is that there is minimal cleanup.

Vented are typically safer. However, they are not as efficient and will cost you a little more. This is because the fumes are released through the chimney. This also means that they don’t out as much heat. 

Ventless logs are going to be less expensive but not as safe. They may also make your home feel humid. At the end of the day, you’ll have to decide which components are most important to you.

Gas fireplaces, both ventless and vented, can gas house fires, so you must keep anything flammable away from the fireplace. This includes papers, blankets, and curtains.

Vented Gas Logs

When it comes to renovating your home and adding a fireplace, there are a lot of options, and it can be overwhelming. However, knowing the difference between vented gas logs and ventless logs will help make your decision easier. 

If you’re building your home or thinking about adding a fireplace to your existing house, contact us. We have helped many homeowners, and we are confident that we can assist you with your decision. 

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Philadelphia, PA 19111

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