As the nights get longer, and chillier, more customers are contacting us looking for information about adding a propane fireplace that use gas logs. They’re a great option for supplemental heat—and they look looks great, too!
One of the most common questions that people have is how long you can run a gas log. The answer is that it depends on whether your log set is vented or vent free.
Direct vent and vent-free gas fireplace technology are both great ways to add a gas fireplace even if you don’t have a chimney or flue. All that’s needed is access to propane gas.
Ventless models have a regulator that produces a fine gas-air mix that allows the gas to burn cleanly, and reduces the fumes associated with traditional gas fireplaces. However, because there’s no vent for the minimal fumes, it’s not recommended to run them for more than a couple hours at a time.
With direct venting, a single dual-chambered pipe is installed directly through a wall to the outdoors. The pipe simultaneously draws air for the fire from the outdoors, while it expels the fire’s combustion byproducts to the outside. That means you can run a vented gas log set virtually as long as you want.
You can also convert traditional fireplaces to a maintenance-free propane hearth with a gas log insert. The existing chimney is used to vent combustion gases up and out—and, like a direct-vented set, you can run it as much as you want.
If you are planning to run your vented gas logs a lot, the real question is should be whether a propane fireplace is efficient to run. The good news is that that propane fireplaces run at about 80 percent efficiency—which makes them four or five times more efficient than a wood-burning fireplace.
A big reason a propane gas log set is more efficient than a wood fire is the chimney—or lack thereof. A wood fire needs a chimney to burn safely, but as much as 90 percent of the heat is sucked up the chimney along with smoke and combustion gasses. With direct vent or ventless propane options, all the heat stays in the room, instead of going up the chimney.
Today’s propane logs use a remote control and a thermostat that lets you dial up the heat you want—which is great not only for controlling temperature, but for controlling your propane use. Those electric igniters are also more efficient than a standing pilot light.
Another feature you don’t get with a wood fireplace are multispeed blowers that push warm air into the room, providing better, more even heat—especially in larger spaces like great rooms.
Lastly, they let you spend time enjoying time with family and friends, not tending a fire—how efficient is that?
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