How Are Gas Logs Different From Gas Fireplace Inserts And Factory Built Gas Fireplaces?

When it’s time to upgrade your hearth, it can be difficult to determine just what’s right for you and your home — but we’re here to help. We have extensive experience and can answer any questions you may have as you shop for your next heating appliance.

One of the most commonly asked questions is, “What are gas logs and how are they different from gas fireplace inserts and factory built gas fireplaces?” While gas fireplace inserts and factory built gas fireplaces typically have gas logs in their fireboxes (with the exception of models that boast glowing embers or glass), gas log sets can also be installed directly in open fireplaces. Why have gas logs installed? The most common reasons to opt for a gas log set are:

  • You want to convert your masonry fireplace from wood burning to gas, but don’t want a gas fireplace insert.
  • You have a gas log set in your fireplace now, but are looking to update with a new, more authentic-looking log set.

Gas log sets can be installed in your masonry or factory built firebox; but not all gas logs work the same way, so it’s important to determine which is best for you and your home before you begin shopping.

What Are Vented & Vent-Free Gas Logs?

Vented Gas Logs

Vented gas logs rely on your chimney to properly vent the gases produced during combustion. For this reason, vented log sets are really only an option if your existing chimney is in good working order. These log sets are typically considered to produce a larger, more authentic-looking flame. If you aim to have a fire that looks like a real wood burning fire, vented gas logs are the way to go.

If high heat output is your goal, vented gas logs probably aren’t your best bet. Unlike a gas insert that pulls outside air in for combustion, they use the conditioned air in your home. While it will warm up the area near the hearth nicely, it typically cools other parts of the home as it pulls air from these areas for combustion. An open fireplace can be viewed as a big fan, which consumes between 200 and 600 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air and sends it up and out the chimney flue.

Room Vented Gas Logs AKA Vent-Free Gas Logs

Room-vented gas logs require a working chimney. If your chimney is damaged, vent-free or room-vented may not be worth considering. Homeowners like room-vented logs because they are good heat producers. However, vent-free gas logs aren’t known for their realistic flames, and these log sets produce water vapor, which can lead to problems with mildew or mold.

Because vent-free gas logs need a lot of oxygen and produce carbon monoxide and odors that do not exit through a chimney, you’ll need to make sure you have a window open or a complex system of vents to provide fresh air to the area when your logs are in use. Even then, manufacturers limit use to no more than 2 consecutive hours. For your safety and health, you will also need an oxygen depletion system (ODS) as well as a carbon monoxide detector in whichever room you have your gas logs installed.

Today’s Gas Log Sets Are Available In Endless Styles & Are More Realistic-Looking Than Ever

There are countless design options to choose from no matter which type of gas log you decide on. From white birch, driftwood, to traditional oak, there’s a gas log set to fit every home decor and style. You will find that today’s gas log sets are incredibly realistic looking - a far cry from the early models.

Schedule An Appointment Today!

Trying to decide if a gas insert or gas log set is right for your home and hearth? Give us a call at 502-435-2364 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced professionals. We’ll talk through your options and discuss your heating preferences and needs in order to determine the best fit for you.

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