Direct Vent Gas vs. Vent Free Gas – What’s the Difference?

Direct Vent and Vent Free Fireplaces - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Saver SolutionsPeople have been enjoying the warmth of a crackling wood fire since long before they even had a fireplace in which to burn it. As wonderful as wood is, however, many have grown tired of the messy ash that is left behind. Needless to say, the love affair many have had with wood-burning fireplaces has burned out. Fortunately, there’s a relatively painless solution to this problem—converting from a wood-burning to a gas-burning fireplace. This conversion will likely provide you with more free time as well, as it will relieve you of your wood hauling, cutting, and stacking duties. No more wood-induced backaches for you!

Gas log sets come in two basic varieties, vented log sets and vent-free log sets. A vented gas log must be used in a regular fireplace, designed to burn a wood fire, and run with the damper fully open; vented log sets have the option of connecting to a manual on/off valve (which is lit with a match) or can be connected to a manual safety pilot or a millivolt pilot valve. Vent-free gas logs can be used in a regular fireplace or in approved vent-free firebox enclosures. Because they don’t require you to open a damper, more heat is sent directly into the room as opposed to up the chimney.

When shopping for a gas log set, there are several things to consider. Remember, good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good. A cheap price usually means something is missing or the set is of lower quality, whereas higher priced log sets have more detail to their logs and better burner systems, thereby producing a larger and more visually-appealing flame pattern. It is also important to get a log set that is properly sized to your fireplace. The log size you can use in your fireplace should meet the following minimum dimensions:

  • A front-opening dimensions of your fireplace should provide a minimum of 2”-6” on each side of the nominal log set size. Translation: if you’re planning to use a 24” log set, the front opening dimension of your fireplace should be at least 28”.
  • The rear dimensions of your fireplace should not be less than the nominal log set size. Translation: if you’re planning to use a 24” log set, the rear dimensions should be at least 24” wide.

No matter which option you choose, however, there are some important things to consider. Check with your local building and/or codes officials to determine the necessary permits, applicable fees, requirements, and restrictions. Remember to have all work involving the actual gas lines themselves done by a licensed professional. Purchase the manufacturer’s recommended log set/insert for your space. Always follow the manufacturer’s scheduled maintenance and inspection recommendations to ensure you get the most out of your investment. Keeping these considerations in mind will help to provide you with the best opportunity to rekindle the love you once had for your fireplace.

Here at Chimney Care Company, your family’s sense of security and safety is important to us, which is why we’ve spent the last 25 years installing, repairing, cleaning and maintaining the chimneys, fireplaces and dryer vents of our neighbors in Cincinnati, southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky. Whatever your fireplace, chimney or dryer vent needs, if you’re looking for high-quality, professional services from industry experts, you’ve come to the right place. To schedule an appointment, please give us a call. We appreciate your business and look forward to helping you keep your family safe and warm for years to come!

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Chimney Care Company | 413 Wards Corner Road, Loveland, Ohio 45140