When those cold winter months start to approach, there is nothing quite like a nice warm roaring fire to light up your home. Having a fireplace in your house is a luxury, and not everyone can have a huge wood-burning fireplace or even a chimney in their home or apartment. However, if you are someone that wishes to try out the ventless gas fireplace world, then keep reading to get the full scoop on the pros and cons of ventless gas fireplaces. If your home is not accustomed to a fireplace, that does not mean you can’t enjoy the warmth and coziness of one, and there are plenty of the best direct gas vent fireplaces out there for you.
What is a Ventless FirePlace?
A ventless fireplace can also be known as an unvented or a vent-free fireplace, but they are all the same thing. These types of fireplaces were first designed to produce fewer fumes, be used without a chimney, and burn gas to heat your home. A ventless fireplace is built with a regulator which produces natural gas and air which then allows the gas to burn cleanly. The way that ventless fireplaces produce heat also reduces the various fumes that come with a traditional fireplace.
How does it work?
Essentially, the process of a ventless fireplace is rather simple. They are first connected to a propane or gas line, usually by a plumber. Once connected, the burners that are inside are uniquely designed to burn the propane cleanly and leave little to no traces of exhaust. Most models are equipped with a control console that controls the flames and the pilot light. What is cool about these ventless fireplaces are the logs. They are artificial logs that are noncombustible and allow the flames to simply pass through. The “U-shaped” air path that these fireplaces produce, flow the heat and air through your room efficiently and cleanly.
Are they safe for me to use?
When using a ventless fireplace, it is recommended to not keep it going for extremely long periods, and rather utilize it in intervals throughout the day. It is also vital to keep a window open (only for short amounts of time) to allow for a correct passage of air flow throughout the home. This may sound silly since it will most likely be very cold outside, but it is important to be cautious.
If you choose to purchase a ventless fireplace you should have it inspected once a year by a professional, and see if you need to have any of the logs cleaned or replaced. It is also vital to follow the manufactured instructions for your specific model, to ensure you are utilizing it in the safest way possible.
Even though the level of fumes that are released in the house are small, some of the fumes that do remain can increase the risk of carbon monoxide exposure, so one way to combat that is by installing CO detectors in your house. CO is an odorless gas, so these detectors are very beneficial in seeing if it is present in your home. Lastly, it is very important to make sure that flammable materials are not covering or near the fireplace and to keep children and animals a safe distance away. If you diligently follow all of the guidelines and instructions, then ventless fireplaces are perfectly safe to use.
Pros of a Ventless Gas Fireplace
Purchasing a ventless fireplace comes with many benefits, we have them listed below for you.
- If your home does not have access to a fireplace, this is a great solution to enjoy one without all the hassle of changing logs.
- No flue or chimney required.
- More affordable to install, compared to vented options.
- Do not produce soot and ash.
- More energy efficient, as you save money on gas bills while still enjoying a heated home.
- Versatile locations. These can be placed virtually anywhere in your home.
- Produces more heat than a traditional fireplace, since the heat stays circulating through the home, rather than benign vented outside.
- ODC (Oxygen Depletion Sensor) will turn off the gas if the oxygen levels reach an unsafe number.
Cons of a Ventless Gas Fireplace
While on the surface a ventless fireplace sounds like the perfect and inexpensive solution to adding a fireplace to your home, there are some risks associated.
- Since these fireplaces are not allowed in some geographical locations, installing them can be illegal and result in fines. If you are looking to get a ventless fireplace, it is important to first see if they are allowed in your building.
- More likely for your home to feel more humid than usual or show signs of paint peel because these fireplaces release water vapor into the air. This is because of the gas combustion inside.
- Even though they claim to provide little to no fumes, there is still a very likely chance that some fumes will be emitted into your home.
- Lack of venting can cause unwanted odors. If you are someone who is sensitive to smell or has allergies, this may not be the model for you.
- Flames are not authentic-looking, typically blue, and lose the authentic look that traditional fireplaces offer.
It is no denying that the warmth and coziness that a fireplace offers is unmatched. Everyone should be able to enjoy the ambiance of a fireplace, even if their home was not built with one. While there are various risks associated with a ventless fireplace, if you follow the instructions, guidelines, and safety precautions, then owning one is completely safe. Now it is time for me to go cozy up with a book and put on a nice warm fire, what’s stopping you to join me?
Written by Michaela Kayal