Not all gas logs are the same. When shopping for logs to use in your gas fireplace, you’ll need to choose between vented or ventless. Both vented and ventless gas logs are designed to look like real logs. You can place them in your fireplace, and after turning on the pilot light, they’ll create heat and a relaxing ambiance that radiates throughout your home. So, should you choose vented or ventless gas logs?
What Are Vented Gas Logs?
Vented gas logs are those designed exclusively for use in a traditional fireplace with a chimney and a damper. Like real wood logs, they produce emissions when exposed to a flame. As they heat up, vented gas logs will release carbon monoxide, which is why a chimney and damper is required.
A chimney and damper allows the emissions produced by vented gas logs to escape. Prior to turning on your fireplace, you should open the damper. The damper is a valve that seals or unseals the chimney. When it’s closed, the chimney will be sealed. When the damper is open, the chimney will be unsealed, thus allowing the emissions to escape.
What Are Ventless Gas Logs?
Also known as vent-free gas logs, ventless gas logs are those that can be used in either a traditional fireplace or a sealed fireplace. They don’t produce the same amount of emissions as their vented counterparts. Rather, ventless gas logs are designed specifically to produce a minimal amount of emissions that’s considered safe for homeowners and residents.
With low emissions, ventless gas logs can be any fireplace. Even if your fireplace doesn’t have a chimney or a damper, you can still use them. You can also use ventless gas logs in a traditional fireplace with the damper closed.
Maintaining Ventless Gas Logs
If you’re going to use ventless gas logs, you should get them serviced regularly by a heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) company. Ventless gas logs require cleaning. But you can’t use just any standard household cleaning product on them. Cleaning products often contain chemicals that, when exposed to a flame, can release emissions.
Do-it-yourself cleaning also carries the risk of moving the ventless gas logs. You may accidentally move your ventless gas logs when cleaning them. Unlike vented gas logs, ventless gas logs require a specific position where they don’t directly touch the flame. An HVAC company can safely clean and your ventless gas logs while ensuring that are properly positioned over the pilot light.
Gas logs can be classified as vented or ventless, depending on the type of gas fireplace with which they are intended to be used. Vented gas logs are intended to be used be strictly in a traditional gas fireplace with a chimney and damper so that the exhaust gases will be released. In comparison, ventless gas logs can be used in any type of fireplace, including those with or without a functional chimney or damper.