Vented versus vent-free gas logs??

We have a standard fireplace with a flue - we've never used in 5 years we've lived in this house - now my girlfriend wants gas logs after our friends got them - "they look so cozy" - so now I'm looking at the gas log sets - the vent free sets provide decent heat AND I don't have to worry about remembering to open and close the flue - the vented sets probably run more heat up the flue than they provide in the room AND I have to open and close the flue.
Pricing looks similar - why not go with the vent-free logs? Thanks!
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The vent free are something like 99.5% efficient. There are some people that think the gas logs will give off too many fumes and burn up all the oxygen, but that is not the case in my experience. Burning gas does give some moisture to the air. In most houses, this is not a problem, especially if you burn the logs for a couple of hours to look pretty. If you had a really tight house and burned them on high day and night, it may be too much moisture. They are no worse than using the gas range or the gas oven that is in millions of homes.
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I would suggest making sure you like the looks of the specific vent free you are considering. Other than that, I believe Ed did a great job.
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On Fri, 5 Dec 2008 20:37:58 -0600, "Just a citizen . . ."

Any kind of combustion will produce *some* carbon monoxide and other by-products. How much toxic gas is produced in the living space can be variable and it may (or may not) be safe. Personally, I would prefer the vented type.
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I looked into this years ago, for a home additrion that got shelved.
I BELEVE vent free ones didnt require a power line to operate, a definite advantage in a power failure
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on 12/6/2008 8:33 AM snipped-for-privacy@aol.com said the following:

Unless there is a blower mounted in the fireplace (either vented or vent free), which won't prevent proper combustion, but just moving the hot air around.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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on 12/6/2008 7:32 AM Phisherman said the following:

I have a vent free propane fireplace in my 20' x 20' Four Seasons sunroom. I also have a Smoke/CO detector mounted in that room, just like I have a Smoke/CO detector in my basement where the boiler and water heater are located, and in the kitchen where the gas range is located. The one advantage of a vent free gas fireplace is that all the heat generated is going into the room, rather than having a part of it going out the flue and having another access for cold air to come into the room.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Ed hit the high and low points already, but i work in the hearth industry and I am not a fan of vented or vent free gas logs, even though im pressed to sell both types. The reason most of our customers have been displeased with them is this...
Vented gas logs require that we disable the damper during installation (by building code and product instructions) and this is a huge heat waster as you can imagine. We give the customer an option to have a chimney balloon installed, but that must be removed when the firepalce is used. Furthermore, even while you are using them they dont give off usable heat.
Vent free gas logs are a better option if you want to actually get heat from the gas logs, but they do effect indoor air quality (no matter what the manufacturers propoganda says). As Ed said they put excess moisture in the air and they do out put carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. So if you have infants or pregnant women in the home it is not recommended. Your oven says "dont use as a heating device", likewise vent free gas logs are not a heating device they just happen to put out heat. If you have an old leaky house it is not an issue but if you have a newer efficient home the vent free gas logs are not a great option.
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Thanks, guys - I really appreciate you all taking the time to explain - there's a lot that I don't know - thanks for helping me.

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Just a citizen . . . wrote:

What I have is direct vent gas fire place with temp. controlled fan. Vent free? How can anything burn w/o venting?
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wrote:

Do a Google search. You'll find many vent free gas logs and space heaters these days. Even Rinnai is now selling them.
They have an oxygen depletion sensor and per lab tests, they don't emit hazardous levels of CO, NOX or even water vapor. The water vapor they emit is probably beneficial in winter.
Now, I'll admit that if you have a REALLY tight new home, you might have some problems. Another problem would be putting an oversized vent free heater in bathrooms and bedrooms. The building codes in my area prohibit using a vent free heater of over 10,000BTU/hr in bedrooms or baths.The idea is that there might not be enough make up air for the combustion rate.
Doug
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