Fireplaces remain one of the top selling points for new homes. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, fireplaces are the second most requested home feature.
As fireplaces continue to maintain their popularity as a home feature, many homeowners have begun eschewing wood burning fireplaces in favor of gas. Gas fireplaces are perfect for those looking for all the ambiance of a traditional wood burning fireplace without all of the work. With advances in both style and technology, gas fireplaces are now able to even more closely replicate the look and feel of wood.
Gas fireplaces can be divided into three main categories: vented, direct vent, and vent free. Below are descriptions of each type of gas appliance. While there are pros and cons to each, choosing a gas fireplace ultimately comes down to personal preference and choice.
Vented gas fireplaces
Vented gas fireplaces are typically found when an existing fireplace is converted from wood to gas by installing gas logs. In a vented gas fireplace, the gasses produced from the fire along with any smoke travel up and out of the existing chimney structure, preventing them from flowing back into the home.
Vented gas systems are ideal for homeowners who have a wood burning fireplace but would like to install gas logs. However, installing gas logs should not be seen as a solution to a troubled chimney. If your chimney does not draw air well enough to burn wood or is otherwise damaged, it should be repaired before switching to gas.
Direct vent gas fireplaces
In a direct vent gas fireplace, a two-layer pipe is used to directly connect the fireplace unit with the exterior of the home. These pipes allow the fireplace to draw air in and expel gasses directly from outside. Because of this, direct vent fireplaces are considered by some to be the safest gas fireplace option. As no inside air is used and all waste flows directly outside, there is virtually no risk of gas or carbon monoxide entering the home.
Because they vent directly to the outdoors, direct vent fireplaces must be placed on an exterior wall. However, these fireplaces are known for most closely resembling the look of a traditional fireplace. Some models that are meant to be used for aesthetics rather than heating even comes with logs that can be rearranged to even more closely mimic a wood fire.
Vent free gas fireplaces
Vent free gas fireplaces are popular because they can literally be put anywhere in a home: upstairs, downstairs, on interior walls, on exterior walls, or even in the middle of a room. Homeowners with vent free fireplaces enjoy the freedom of being able to install them anywhere, as well as the amount of heat they produce. Because there is no exterior venting, no heat is lost to the outside. However, this lack of venting does lead to a less realistic looking flame and fire.
Most manufacturers recommend having a window open while a vent free fireplace is in use. This prevents any change of accidental indoor air pollution from occurring. Likewise, while no smoke is produced those with a keen sense of smell may notice an odor with the fireplace.
If you’re interested in learning more about the three types of gas appliances, contact the experts at The Cozy Flame today! Our staff will help you find the perfect gas appliance to meet your needs.