What Is A Ventless Gas Fireplace?

A ventless gas fireplace is not only a beautiful addition to a home, it is also an efficient way to heat a space. A ventless system does not require any venting, since the combustion byproducts are exceedingly low. In fact, unvented fireplaces are 99.9 percent efficient, which means that all the gas used in the appliance stays inside the room where it sits, unlike gas furnaces, which send a portion of the heat they create up the chimney or flue.

Appearance

Ventless fireplaces come in all kinds of shapes, colors and styles, from traditional to contemporary units. The fireplaces need to be installed with access to a gas line, whether it’s propane or natural gas. Installers hide the gas line hook up as much as they can to give your fireplace a natural appearance. The gas logs the fireplaces use look as authentic as a wood fire. Some fireplaces use different burner styles to give the flames an individualized, custom appearance.

Use

The fireplaces have been designed to provide aesthetic, supplemental heat in rooms or basements that are hard to heat. Homeowners should not rely on the gas fireplace as the primary heating unit for the home, in spite of their efficiency. However, in the event of a power outage, you can use your ventless gas fireplace to heat a room. If the outage will be long, closing off the room helps retain the heat so you have at least one place to stay warm.

Safety

All ventless fireplaces come with oxygen sensors that work just like electric circuit breakers. When the oxygen depletion sensor detects too little oxygen in the room to operate safely, it shuts off immediately. A licensed plumber or HVAC technician should install the gas lines and the fireplace itself to make sure that the pipes do not have any gas leaks and the clearance requirements for the fireplace the manufacturer specifies are met.

Cost of Operation

The price of propane and natural gas fluctuates with market demand, so the cost varies depending on the supply. However, natural gas is one of the least expensive fuels, compared to electricity. One therm of gas is equivalent to 29 kilowatts of electricity. If a kilowatt in your area were $0.10, it would cost $2.90 in electricity, compared to an assumed average cost of $0.75 for a therm of gas to heat with a ventless gas fireplace.

Maintenance

Ventless gas fireplaces have little to no maintenance during the heating season, especially compared to wood burning fireplaces. Since there’s no flue or chimney, there’s no need for annual vent cleaning and no ashes to remove. The instructions the manufacturer provides can tell you what you need to do to maintain your unit for safe and clean operation.