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Ventless Gas Fire Ball Fireplace Alternative to Wood Logs.

Having your own fireplace really gives off a nice touch to one’s home. It’s a wonderful place to relax during those cold nights and after a hard day’s work. However, not all homes are blessed to have their own fireplaces or are built with the foresight of an installed chimney or gas line. Not only is it quite expensive to build a fireplace hearth but a fireplace emitting real heat can be impractical in warm climates. As gas fireplaces become more popular and more versatile a custom designed fireplace can be installed with or without ventilation, with optional heat and even portable mantles.

ventless gas fireball fireplace alternative fire shape

ventless gas fireball fireplace alternative fire shape

There are two types of fireplaces, vented and non-vented. A vented fireplace is basically your idea of a traditional fireplace: a place where you create a fire, a working chimney, a vent through the roof, and the works. This type of fireplaces uses the oxygen from the outside to sustain the fire as well as eliminate unwanted gas or emissions like carbon monoxide. Non-vented fireplaces, however, use gas to breathe life to the fire, so no vents are need. One advantage of this is less carbon monoxide emission, however, the fire will use the inside air for sustainment.

What I want to really discuss here is about having a modern, hi-tech fireplace that you may want to consider. A traditional fireplace is not a fireplace without a log burning. With the development of gas or fire logs not too long ago, it is now possible to achieve that classic look and feel without the hassle of clean-ups afterwards. Aside from being ash-free, these gas logs don’t emit carbon monoxide, so they’re cleaner and safer as well.

One way of really making your modern fireplace classy is by using fire balls instead of logs. Fire balls are safe, since they are made with the same materials that are used on fire logs. Usually, fire balls come in sets. Since fire balls are of different colors and sizes, you can arrange them however you want to. You will only be limited by your own imagination.

If you want more variety, you can also use fire shapes. They are also made with the same materials as fire logs and fire balls do, but they come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. Popular shapes include, but are not limited to, cones, cylinders, squares, and rectangles. As with fire balls, you can arrange them in any way you wish.

You can also combine fire balls and fire shapes to create a truly unique and individualized fireplace. One can also add fire glass to complete the effect. If you have a vented fireplace, the flames will come into contact directly with the fire logs, balls, or shapes. Carbon monoxide will be produced which will then be taken out through the flues or vents. Non-vented fireplaces, however, should have lesser contact between the flames and the fire balls or shapes. This will allow for less carbon build-up and lessen or prevent carbon monoxide from being produced in the first place.

unvented gas fireplace with fire balls that look like cannon balls

unvented gas fireplace with fire balls that look like cannon balls

Burning plates are needed to arrange fire balls and shapes. These are where you put the fire balls and shapes in arrangements where you want them to be. Burning plates also come in several sizes. Common ones are between 18 to 48 inches. Flames will come from under the plate which in turn will go through or around the fire balls and shapes. The lesser the contact between the flame and the fire balls and shapes, the lesser the carbon monoxide emission will be. You don’t need to worry about oxygen level in the room. Since gas fireplaces are normally non-vented, they are also furnished with a safety feature called an oxygen depletion sensor. If the oxygen level in the room falls under the safety level, an alarm will sound telling you to lower the flames. Gas fireplaces will always have a gas valve to adjust the flame and a thermocouple to monitor room temperature and pilot light.

When fire balls and shapes are used together for your gas fireplace, they can create a distinct and unique look. This can also serve as a good source of heat and light for your room. When not in use, it will just look like your ordinary fireplace. However, when turned on, the resulting complexity of the flames in conjunction with the fire balls and shapes is really a sight to behold.

Worried about your fire balls or shapes not matching to the overall design of the room? No problem, fire balls and shapes also come in different colors to match your taste. As mentioned earlier, you are only limited by your imagination and artistic sense.

So, if you planning to build your own gas fireplace and you are the type who mixes the old and the new, why not use fire balls and fire shapes to add that modern look to the fireplace of your dreams? You’ll definitely enjoy it and you will also have something for others to be envy about.

 

ventless gas fireplace gas logs

empire gas log fireplace

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Ventless gas fireplace logs with ceramic gas logs and alternative fires.

What is a vent-less gas log?

birch log gas fireplace, vent free installation

Grill-Repair.com for ventless gas fireplace logs

Basically, when you shop outside for gas logs, you’ll find there are two major types. Vented gas fireplaces vent to outside like a wood burning fire place while ventless gas fireplaces will burn with little or no ventilation. Burning gas or wood produce few dangerous lethal compounds like carbon dioxide which is obviously harmful to the green earth and carbon monoxide which is dangerous to carbon-based life forms (you and me!). Vent-less gas logs are designed to produce a hot flame that results in nearly complete fuel combustion through which the release of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other results of burning gas is decreased to a safe amount.

 

Generally ventless gas fireplace logs are equipped with oxygen depletion Sensors (ODS) which function to turn the gas off when the carbon monoxide increases to a threat level in the room.  In addition to ODS vent gas fireplaces also use a fixed position for logs, shapes, glass, fire balls and anything else in the fireplace.  By minimizing the space where flames touch solid objects, carbon is not created by the burning gas.  To help with the lowered carbon output the BTU is rated below 40,000 BTU for unvented gas fireplaces.  A thermocouple holds the gas valve open when it is hot so that if the flames or the pilot go out the gas valve closes and there is never an opportunity for a gas leak.

 

The ventless gas fireplace logs can be installed in a masonry fire place but generally the easiest and safest way to install a unvented gas fireplace is with a vent-free firebox.  With a vent-free firebox the gas burning flames and heat are contained and insulated within the ventless box.  The inside of the box is lined with refractive stone like a masonry fireplace but they are also available lined in a flat black and in stainless steel.  The bulk of the fire box is insulation and the insulation contains the eat so wood, dry wall or any other combustible material can be used to build a mantle or decorate the area around the fireplace.

 

A major benefit to opt a vent less gas log is that it does not cost a lot. These gas logs are more functional and easier to install, to use and to clean than traditional fireplaces. Many homeowners who have been through a storm and have damage to a chimney flue will experience the “sticker-shock” at the tremendous expense of repairing or replacing a flue.  A vented gas log fireplace burner needs the same chimney flue as a wood burning fireplace so for this situation an unvented gas fireplace kit is the perfect solution.  Ventless gas logs are not expensive and installation is as simple as hooking up the gas line.

unvented gas fire glass fireplace with blue glass and stainless vent free burner

stainless steel ventless gas fireplace with blue fire glass

Gas fireplaces use a control valve to control the flow of gas and the amount of flames burning through the fireplace burner and displaying through the logs.  Some ventless fireplace burners are designed for glowing embers over tall flames, some designed for taller flame and many burners combine the two styles with both raised flames and a smaller slope burner up front for beautiful displays of color among burning embers.  Because the unvented gas fireplace burner is legally limited to forty-thousand BTU’s the larger the burner, the less display is possible for the flames.  Most unvented burners look best at an eighteen to twenty-four inch width.  The control valves can be manual and work just like the ignition and valve on a barbecue grill but valves are also available that use a remote receiver and transmitter for on-off control, variable flame adjustment and as a wall switch or wall-mounted thermostatic control that turns the fireplace on and off dependent on the temperature in the room.

fire shapes burning in vent free gas log fireplace

ventless gas fire shape fireplace

Ventless gas log fireplace kits used to be used only in situations where a flue was damaged beyond affordable repair or when a fireplace could not be installed with a chimney because of building codes and local laws.  In the past few years fireplace manufacturers have placed a lot of research and development funds into ventless gas fireplaces  Ceramic logs used to be just “logs” that came with the burner, valve and box but today the logs are hand-painted to mimic real wood with startling clarity.  Placed side by side with actual wood logs the steel-reinforced ceramic logs look more real then the real wood logs.  Moreover, alternatives to ceramic logs are flourishing.  Ventless gas fireplaces use fire balls that look like cannon balls with long tongues of flame licking through the stack, geo-metric fire shapes, river rocks and highly reflective crushed glass and even stainless steel and black pan burners with no media that display ribbons of fire.  These modern fireplaces have a stark contemporary decor without the cold emptiness of typically contemporary home design.  Ventless gas fireplaces are no longer something homeowners settle for but a beautiful design sought out for its awesome beauty.

 

 

Ventless gas fireplace design options are on fire!

ventless gas fireplace fireballs on stainless steel unvented burner

ventless gas fireplace fireballs on stainless steel unvented burner

Virtually ever household in America is built with a fireplace. Some households are built with traditional wood-burning fireplaces with an accompanying chimney, and others are built with gas fireplaces which use an outside ventilation system. A gas log fireplace provides the image, heat, and other characteristics of a traditional fireplace, but without the smoke and creosote build up. There are two types of gas log fireplaces: the first type requires outdoor ventilation, and the second requires a gas log burner set with special safety features for ventless gas fireplace usage. A ventless gas fireplace is designed with a special valve to control the flames, heat output and limit the release of carbon monoxide. Both fireplaces have different advantages.

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A ventless gas fireplace can be moved around the house easily. Gas fireplaces produce less sparks (negating the need for a fire screen or spark arresting curtain), do not cause creosote build up (which makes them very easy to maintain and clean compared to a wood burning fireplace) and are built to accommodate different décor because various logs, ship sets, decorative pine cones, rocks and shapes can always be added to affect the flame pattern and design of the log set. Also, gas fireplaces produce the same amount of warmth as a traditional fireplace controlled with the fire flue.

ventless glass fire gas fireplace with highly reflective crushed copper glass

ventless glass fire gas fireplace with highly reflective crushed copper glass

Each part of a gas fireplace has significance in protecting the customer and making realistic flames and logs.  Gas fireplace burners are designed based on the final flame pattern goal.  Some gas fireplace burners are made to produce larger flames burning tall and others are designed to spread the gas flame exhibiting less tall flames while accentuating bright burning embers below the logs.  Ventless gas fireplace burners have very specific port-holes for flames to minimize contact with ceramic logs.

All gas fireplaces should be used in conjunction with a thermocouple.  The thermocouple acts as a safety system to prevent the release of gas if the fire is not burning. In order for the gas valve to open the thermocouple must be hot from the pilot flame. If there is no pilot flame the fireplace will not light because the valve stays closed.  When lighting a standing pilot the valve is pressed in an held in an open position until the thermocouple is hot enough to produce a small magnetic charge which hold the valve open as long as continuous heat keeps the magnetic charge live.  If the flame blows out the thermocouple releases the magnetic charge and the valve closes to stop the flow of gas.

gas fireplace fire shapes on a sand pan burner

The gas fireplace valve is controlled either manually like a barbecue grill or with a remote control that is designed like a hand-held transmitter, thermostatic control or a wall switch to control variable flame height and gas flow.  Vented gas logs and ventless gas fireplaces use different types of valves because vent free burners have a limited BTU output.  While the definition of a British Thermal Unit refers to actual heat, barbecue grills and gas log manufacturers use the term to refer to the amount of gas moving through the valve and burning.  Heat measurements based on fuel consumption are denotively measured

 

Lastly, the fireplace has special gas logs. These gas logs are made to resemble real wood logs of all kinds. Also, the gas logs will often cost less than traditional firewood. Lastly, the logs produce less smoke and only consume about 50,000 to 90,000 BTU/HR of gas, which costs about forty to eighty cents per hour. BTU stands for British thermal unit. A BTU is approximately the amount needed to heat one pound of water.

ventless gas fireplace fire rock alternative to wood burning fireplaces

ventless gas fireplace fire rock alternative to wood burning fireplaces

In conclusion, gas fireplaces are taking the place of traditional fireplaces for many reasons. The first is the fact that gas fireplaces do not require traditional firewood and can be lit with the touch of a button. Secondly, gas fireplaces are easy to move around when redesigning a room. Lastly, it costs next to nothing in terms of gas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ventless gas fireplace with split oak gas logs

ventless gas fireplace with split oak gas logs

ventless gas fireplace with birch ceramic gas log

ventless gas fireplace with birch ceramic gas log

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

blue fire glass with stainless steel ventless gas fireplace burner
blue fire glass with stainless steel ventless gas fireplace burner