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Vent Free Gas Fireplaces

Vent Free Gas Fireplaces and Gas logs are sold as an alternative to direct vent gas fireplaces and inserts.  The selling features are that the vent free appliances are cheaper, more efficient, and easier to install, because there is no venting required. 

Other consideration that you should be aware of are that Vent Free Products are not considered a heating device.  You need to let some fresh air into the home anytime the unit is in operation.  This also will let any unburned pollutants escape along with the fresh air exchange. The ideal use for vent free products is to use them only for several hours at any given time, and never leave them operating during the time that the occupants of the home are sleeping.  A carbon monoxide detector is always highly recommended with any gas appliance.

The high heat from the flame will burn up most pollutants before they can come into the room. The flame will use a large amount of oxygen and emit a considerable amount of moisture as a byproduct from burning the gas.  Moisture normally is not a problem as long as the room is not too small. most home in the winter time are very dry and the extra moisture will make the room more comfortable to be in.  The depletion of oxygen on the other hand can be a serious problem. All vent free appliances come standard with an oxygen depletion sensor for that reason.  The oxygen depletion sensor is highly prone to get dirty and or malfunction, requiring the unit to be serviced more frequently than direct vent unit.  As with any sensor, never relies solely on the sensor, which is another good reason to always ventilate the home with fresh air supply. Vent Free units are never approved for installation into a bedroom because of the oxygen depletion potential from the unit. Never leave the unit operating when you go to bed.  The primary reason to purchase and install one of these types of units is strictly for ambiance and a short period of warmth into the home.  Defiantly this unit is not a backup heat source; you need a vented product for that type of application.

Vent Free Fireplace

Many states and even some municipalities that are located within a state that approves the units will disallow Vent Free appliance to be installed in any residential home due to safety consideration of improper use.  Never install a Vent Free Fireplace or Vent Free Gas Log without first checking compliance with your local municipality.  If a vent free appliance is not approved and something should go wrong and becomes an insurance claim, the insurance company may not cover the claim because the unit was not installed to code.  A lot of hearth stores will not sell vent free products and a lot of professional installers will not install them for you, due to the high liability of improper use of the units and the difficulty of obtaining permits.

Additional links of Interest
Pellet Stove Venting
Pellet Stove Fuel