If you own or have ever considered adding a fireplace to a home, you probably have considered a gas log solution. The natural wood option includes scouring the yard for twigs, buying wood, stacking wood correctly to burn well and throw heat appropriately, ransacking the recycling bin for kindling and learning the adjustment of the flue to keep the ashes flowing in the correct direction. Gas logs ignite to perfection at the push of a button or a drop in temperature. Push a button and the flames are perfect every time. Control with a wall switch, a remote, thermostat or a simple push button in the fireplace but any way you do it — gas logs are awesome!
The conflict for designers and builders has always been ventless or vented. Vented gas logs have always looked much more realistic but require all the same components of a wood burning fireplace — cutting a hole in the wall or the roof is never fun. What about the bed above the flue? The average price of a good quality vented gas log set doesn’t begin to pay for the process of making it real inside the home. The necessary safety features that allow ventless gas logs to be conveniently installed and safe have also hindered the affect of the flame. Until now.
If you have shopped gas log fireplaces, you already know the idea is great. Beautiful hand painted ceramic gas logs that ignite to a perfect flame every time need no defending. If the home is built with a vented hearth and gas lines, vented gas logs are an easy sell: a beautiful accent with the convenience of a button. Vented gas logs require a chimney and flue and all the same construction as a wood burning fireplace — plus a gas line.
While many homeowners select ventless fireplaces because of their safety and ease of use, ventless gas logs have become appealing in their own right. Installing a ventless gas log fireplace is simple –a log set purchased today can be enjoyed this evening in a home without a fireplace.
Ventless gas logs are also very safe. Most people harbor a healthy respect for their gas grill and a ventless fireplace is much easier to use, much safer and the igniters are more reliable than your gas grill. Safety features for ventless gas log fireplaces are effective while simple enough for the homeowner to operate. Ventless gas fireplace burners come with oxygen depletion sensors, flame sensors and thermocouples that detect heat from the pilot and stop the gas flow if the pilot is no longer burning strongly. BTU’s are also limited to ensure all the gas is burnt and no residue lingers.
These safety features have contributed to the packaged and often unrealistic look of ventless gas logs. Logs must be stacked in a static position to limit contact with the gas flame. Gas flames that contact solid objects create carbon that must be vented out of the home unless the gas logs are designed for minimal contact and safe minimal levels carbon dioxide. Carbon is not good so the logs are designed to stack realistically while avoiding the flames. The lower BTU rating and static ceramic logs often combine to create a mere hint or a packaged look rather than a variable flame focal point in the home.
New technologies and better quality logs have recently combined to create a beautiful accent and a great looking fireplace but no one is ever fooled by the effect of gas logs. The fire affect is more attractive when it is not feigning realism — it is already real without being fake, it is functional and it is simplicity in operation.
Many designers have to be shown that ventless gas logs have recently become available with crushed glass, fire shapes, fireplace rocks and balls. Modern homes designed with a ventless fireplace have been unable to use the contemporary fireplace alternatives that — until recently — were only available in vented gas log fireplaces. Only recently have alternative gas log contemorary fireplace design options become available for ventless fireplaces.
Ventless gas log alternatives have leapt to the fore. Crushed glass fires, geometric shapes, brightly colored logs, fire balls and fire rocks in a variety of colors are now available for ventless fireplaces! Gas log burners with just a ribbon-like flame running along the firebox are becoming available more frequently with the addition of ethanol. Vent free gas log alternatives are celebrating their difference from traditional gas log designs.
New ventless burners – with all the safety features – throw flames through the crushed glass or shapes to create the illusion of burning coupled with vibrant colors hitherto unknown in the world of fireplaces. Creatively combining fire glass with ceramic shapes or logs adds a variety of design as multitudinous as the individual homeowners. Beautiful ventless gas logs and alternative gas log designs come with convenient controls adjusting flame height from a remote, thermostat, wall switch and even fireplace timers. Accessories have developed alongside providing stainless steel works of art and clean ceramic lines and flat surfaces for the contemporary home.
The next time you are designing the social space and you are brilliant enough to recognize the value of a fireplace, look at alternative ventless gas logs for their distinctive colors and bold statement. Without building a chimney, creating a thousand pages of local code regulations and – most importantly – without sacrificing quality for convenience the fireplace can be more than an encrustation of the larger design and is capable of stopping the eye to become the focal point of the home.
Alternative ventless and vented gas log fireplace with varied sized fire balls:
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