I am going to purchase some gas logs soon for my fireplace. These will
probably be the vented type.
My house was built in the 70s so the fireplace is somewhat larger than
today's fireplaces. It is 39" wide at the opening and 36" wide at the back
of the fireplace. It uses natural gas.
We have been using an older set of gas logs. These will be thrown away
(mostly cracked)-they were not a very good set.
Although it is now set up with galvanized pipe, I may want to reinstall the
I am looking for suggestions as to what kind of gas logs to purchase and
install and what to look for when installing these.
Thanks for suggestions.
As "efficient" as a very inefficient furnace.
Even the best gas fireplaces (those that preheat outside combustion air with
the exhaust) are hardly models of efficiency. They are first and foremost
designed to "look good."
Ventless gas inserts are quite safe. In some respects they are safer than
vented models which do produce some CO. They add a VERY small amount of
moisture to your home (the equivalent of a few quarts of water). Unless
your home is VERY tight, the moisture will be a benefit.
Some folks are "sensitive" to the combustion products of ventless units. We
have a ventless unit. The flue has been sealed off and 100% of the heat
goes into the room. We are quite happy with it.
When the electric service goes out we use a portable LPG heater (ventless
type) to keep the family room comfortable.
The ventless units burn with grossly excess O2 and thus don't produce any
CO. They might produce very small amound of nitrogen oxides.
For "belt and suspenders" purposes you should have a CO detector (or 2 or 3)
if you bus gas (natural or LPG) in your home.
If you go with a vented gas log install you will certainly have to
commit yourself to having the chimney damper removed or clipped or
disabled in the open position according to current code for vented
fireplace install. This means you will have a gaping hole to the
outside all the time. You can use a chimney balloon to act as a damper
if you are commited to a vented gas log, or if you already have one
installed. Many gas log owners are surprised to find that their
fireplace flue damper has already been disabled when their original
gas log was installed. The code to disable the damper alone, is often
an adequate reason for a homewowner not to go with any vented variety
In the ventless model you do get the benefit of retaining all of the
heat if you keep the damper closed, but any of the CO, CO2, Nitrogen
or moisture that it puts out will enter your living area as well. In
the winter when your home is closed up you really want to minimize the
extra polutants you introduce to your already recycled inside air.
This is not just wiith the fireplace, this goes for candles, sprays,
paints and other pollutants. You obviously cant avoid these items all-
together, but do you want to introduce new contributors like a vent-
vented gas log, and you were just looking for brand name references.
But please take into account other options like electric fireplace
inserts if you are looking for firepalce ambiance, or maybe even a
candelabra with candles burned with the damper open as other suitable
ambiance option that wont cost you in heat loss.
I bought two sets of logs from a guy on ebay. His user name is
jmays92996 . His Phone Number is 314 581-9168. He gave me the absolute
best prices on Monessen which is a very nice hi quality system. I live
in Virginia and I could have bought one set locally at a gas supply
house for 800 dollars. He sold me two sets for 1100. He was very
helpful and even talked on the phone with my installers to guide them
through the process. I highly reccomend that you see if he has any
auctions going on, or give him a call.
As for vented or non vented, my house was made in 62. I too have a big
fireplace. I installed the non-vented ones. They are really beautiful
and I get all the heat coming into the house and none wasted up the
chimney. Since we have a heat pump, the gas logs are a nice way to go.
The vented zero clearance gas log inserts have a double wall so the vented
air that goes around the log never enters the room. There is no air from
the room going up the fireplace whether it is off or on.