Vented Log Sets
Vented Gas Logs are designed to use right in your traditional wood-burning fireplace. Vented sets are the best way to achieve an experience close to that of burning real wood. Realistic flames surround the edges of logs and ascend high into your firebox, just the way that wood burns naturally. Besides the installation of the gas line, no major modification needs to be done to your existing fireplace, barring unforeseen issues. Vented Gas Logs have been around for over 20 years, and are the tried and true method to achieving a hassle free and beautiful fire on a cold evening.
Vented Gas Logs are more flexible than their Ventless counterparts. Logs can often be moved around and reconfigured to achieve a realistic and aesthetically pleasing arrangement. Ventless logs need to be arranged in a certain matter so that there is no impingement of the flame coming out of the burner. Vented log sets to not have this limitation. Logs are arranged on the burner so that flames “lick” over the logs, creating a convincing realism.
When Vented Gas Logs are in use, the fireplace damper must be in the open position. This is because Vented Log sets do not burn as efficiently or a cleanly as Ventless of Vent-Free sets do. They still, however, burn much more cleanly than a fireplace that burns wood. This type of burn creates a more natural looking flame, and cuts down on cost per unit. Generally Vented Log sets are cheaper than Ventless sets of the same size.
Ventless Log Sets
The main draw of a Ventless Gas Log installation the amount of heat output it is capable of. Ventless Gas Logs are able to operate with the fireplace damper closed. This way the heat circulates into the room rather than up the chimney. This leads to efficient and low-cost heating of your room. In situations of power loss, a Ventless Gas Log set can even be used as a backup heat source.
Since burning material of any kind creates a certain amount of carbon monoxide, one may wonder how an unvented log set can safely operate. Unvented Log Sets actually burn so hot that nearly 100% of the fuel is combusted. This decreases the amount of soot and carbon monoxide generated down to a negligible level, allowing Ventless Gas Log sets to operate in a safe manner.
Another byproduct of using a Ventless Log Set is a small amount of moisture. In the winter months this moisture can be beneficial in a dry room. If you are also using a humidifier, excess moisture may result in condensation on windows.
For an additional safeguard, Ventless Gas Log Sets are always equipped with an Oxygen Depletion Sensor. An ODS measures the amount of available oxygen in the room and will turn off the burner before the oxygen in the room reaches a dangerous level. The method in which this fuel burns can be thought of as similar to how a natural gas range works in your kitchen. The burner on your range is specifically designed to achieve a clean and smokeless flame. The technology available in Ventless Gas Log Sets on the market today works on similar principles.
One disadvantage of Ventless Logs are that the flame is generally smaller. A realistic flame is still possible, but it may not be as large as a flame from a Vented set of comparable size.