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Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?
Old 12-08-2006, 09:28 AM   #1
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Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?

Recently moved to the north Georgia area and bought a house that has a fireplace for use with ventless gas logs. In doing some research on epinions there are some that are very much opposed to using any type of ventless gas heat sources for the reasons of breathing the by-products of combustion. I realize as with anything else one has to use common sense and make sure burners are cleaned and maintained and there has to be some source of fresh air introduced periodically. Also realize these appliances are not to be used for a main heat source and and they shouldn't be operated more than a few hours at a time. Just wondered if anyone here has experience, suggestions or reccommendations concerning using ventless gas logs/fireplace. I have yet to buy the logs, and again any suggestions on what to buy or to avoid. All responses are appreciated.
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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?
Old 12-08-2006, 09:45 AM   #2
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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?

Shouldn't be any by-products of combustion ... should be the same as running the oven and/or gas oven (these are ventless now too). The "logs" are just ceramic log-like replicas. Get the individual logs - vice 1 piece sets - so you can move the logs if the setting gets boring.
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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?
Old 12-08-2006, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?

Shouldn't be any by-products of combustion ... unless you start running out of oxygen. Better make sure that you have more than one Carbon Monoxide Alarms scattered through the house... one or more on each floor. Better be safe than sorry; carbon monoxide is not something to be casual about.

On a lighter note, I had a friend in the 1970s with one of those fireplaces in an old, drafty 3 story home who used it often... The fireplace made for very quick warmup on those frosty nights.

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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?
Old 12-08-2006, 11:59 AM   #4
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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?

your local fire department might actually require venting of ventless devices -- mine does.
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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?
Old 12-08-2006, 01:12 PM   #5
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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?

Some years back lots of Texans heated their cabins with ventless log gas burners. I never remember visiting down there in winter that I didn't get a cold or allergy.

Don't count on their being no by-products of combustion. Of course there are products of combustion, if they are not vented to the outside, they must wind up inside.

If I were you I would save some discomfort and the possibility of real trouble and go with a vent. The installation is no big deal.

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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?
Old 12-08-2006, 01:16 PM   #6
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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?

In Minnesota the building code prohibits ventless fireplaces.

I understand that one of the byproducts of combustion is water. If you live where humidity may be an issue, you could end up with problems from the excess humidity. (Dantien and I would appreciate any excess humidity you can send our way. . . )

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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?
Old 12-08-2006, 08:31 PM   #7
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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?

An unvented gas fireplace that's safely sized needn't pose any acute health hazard. But our tests confirm that these heaters contribute significantly to indoor air pollution. If you're planning to buy a gas fireplace, a vented model should be your first choice. That's especially wise if any household member has asthma or another respiratory ailment that may be exacerbated by particulate matter, or if your home is very airtight--and so will disperse the fireplace's emissions less readily.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/h...view/index.htm
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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?
Old 12-08-2006, 08:47 PM   #8
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Re: Ventless Log Fireplaces, Safe or Not ?

Ventless heaters and fireplaces are illegal in many places (Canada, for instance) because of te hazard they pose. When operating perfectly, they don't vent much carbon monoxide into your home, but when operating imperfectly they can vent a lot. Even when operating perfectly they will add a lot of water vapor (the equivalent of gallons of liquid water in a few hours) into the air of your home. In many homes, this water vapor causes mold/mildew problems inside the walls and in the attic when it comes into contact with cooler surfaces and condenses.

If you just want to light it up for an hour or two when company comes over, I think that would be okay. Even so, I would operate it only if:
- I had a working digital CO alarm in the house
- I left a window open at the top and the bottom to assure enough oxygen was entering the room, and that some dilution of exhaust products would occur
- I had high confidence that my house had good vapor retarders on the interior of the walls and ceiling.

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