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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?” Great question!

While gas fireplace inserts and factory built gas fireplaces will typically have gas log sets 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:

  • 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 right 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.

Vented & Vent-Free Gas Logs, What’s What?

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, so if your number one concern is having a fire that looks like a real wood burning fire, vented is probably the way to go.

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

Room Vented Gas Logs AKA Vent-Free Gas Logs

Room-vented gas logs, according to the manufacturers, require a working chimney, so 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. On the down side, vent-free gas logs aren’t known for the biggest, most realistic flames, and these log sets produce water vapor, which can lead to problems with mildew or mold. Additionally, vent-free gas logs need a lot of oxygen and produce carbon monoxide and odors that do not exit through a chimney, so 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. You’ll also need to have an oxygen depletion system (ODS) and a carbon monoxide detector installed in whatever room you have your gas logs installed in for your safety and health.

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

Whichever type of gas log set you settle on, know there are countless options to choose from in the design and looks department. From white birch and driftwood to traditional oak, there’s a gas log set to fit every home decor and style. You’ll also find that today’s gas log sets are incredibly realistic looking, a far cry from the early models.

Schedule An Appointment For A Private Consultation In Our Showroom With One Of Our Helpful Professionals.

Need assistance deciding if a gas insert or gas log set is right for your home and hearth? Give us a call at 502-435-2364 and schedule an appointment to walk through our Showroom with one of our experienced and knowledgeable professionals. We’ll talk you through your options, discuss your heating preferences and needs, and help you determine what will bring you the most enjoyment. 

What’s the difference between natural gas and propane? What if I don’t have a gas line run to my fireplace or home? Check out our FAQ page for answers to these questions and other commonly asked questions!

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