Replacing the wood logs in your fireplace with a propane gas log set can be a great way to make evenings by the fire more accessible and convenient for your family. But how do you choose a gas log set for your Central Pennsylvania home?
Mostly, the decision comes down to choosing between direct vent and vent-free options – each has its pros and cons, and the best choice for you will depend on your needs, your home, and your local building codes.
Here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons of these two propane gas log possibilities:
Vent-free gas log sets: Pros and cons
Vent-free log sets are basically space heaters and include similar features, such as a safety shut-off, room oxygen sensor. They are nearly 100 percent efficient, since no heat is lost to your chimney or a vent system.
The flame on a vent-free log set is reduced so it burns less fuel and emits fewer exhaust fumes in order to meet safety standards; a typical vent-free log set is rated at about 40,000 BTUs / hour.
Vent-free log sets are great if you want an efficient heat source for a small- to medium-sized fireplace, or if you want a back-up heat source during power outages. However, some building codes prohibit the use of vent-free heaters in living spaces, so be sure to do your research before committing to buying one!
Vented gas log sets: Pros and cons
Vented gas logs produce bigger flames, but your “roaring fire” comes at the cost of efficiency: although a vented fire log set can generate as much as 90,000 BTUs per hour, much of that heat escapes through the chimney. As a result, a vented log set can burn more than twice as much fuel as a vent-free log set.
Vented log sets are great if you have a large fireplace, value a realistic, roaring fire and can live with higher fuel bills.