How to Select a Vent Free Heater

When installing a gas heater in your home, other than choosing the type of gas you will be using, another decision you need to make is between a vented or vent-free model. While there are pros and cons for each method, there are a few things to consider for vent-free models.


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    Consider the application: Vent-free gas products are available in five categories: Vent-Free Gas Heaters, Vent-Free Gas Logs, Vent-Free Gas Fireplaces, Vent-Free Gas Stoves and Vent-Free Gas Fireplace Inserts. The choice to be made between these categories is determined by the application of use, and the design appearance preferred by the consumer.
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    Vent-Free Gas Heaters: Available in small through large BTU units, Vent-Free Gas Heaters can be used almost anywhere. Radiant units heat the objects in the room, whereas convection, or blue flame, units heat the air. Depending on the style, these units can be floor or wall mounted and can be accessorized with thermostats and blowers.
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    Vent-Free Gas Logs: For use in vent-free fireboxes, stoves, or in gas conversions of wood-burning fireplaces, Vent-Free Gas Logs are available in many widths and burner sizes. Using Vent-Free Gas Logs in a wood-burning to gas conversion eliminates the need for relining the flue if damage exists in the masonry. Gas logs and burners are designed to work as a unit; they are not interchangeable between manufacturers. Pairing incompatible logs and burners will cause malfunctioning and even a dangerous carbon monoxide condition.
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    Vent-Free Gas Fireplaces: Increasingly popular as an economical way to add warmth and design easily into your home, Vent-Free Gas Fireplaces offer a large range of choices. Depending on whether it’s used for remodeling or new construction, Vent-Free Gas Fireplaces can be mounted on exterior walls or used as a see-through unit or peninsula, on interior walls.
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    Vent-Free Gas Stoves: Whether your home is traditional or modern, you can find a Vent-Free Gas Stove to match your home's décor. Completely self-contained, these units can be accessorized with remote controls, wall thermostats and a wide variety of design features.
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    Vent-Free Gas Fireplace Inserts: By creating a vent-fire gas fireplace from an existing masonry fireplace, you can increase the heating efficiency as well as customize the appearance. The surrounds, doors and liner choices depend on the manufacturer, but a wide range of sizes and styles are available.


  • All Vent-Free gas products sold in the U.S. are tested to construction, performance and safety requirements of the national product standard by an authorized certification agency. Additionally, all Vent-Free Gas products must meet the U.S. indoor air quality guidelines.
  • The presence of other gas burning appliances may compete with the heating unit in using inside air for combustion. Adequate fresh air needs to be integrated into the rooms, which can mean occasionally opening a door or window, or providing another method of ventilation. Additional ventilation may also be required in homes with extremely tight construction.
  • “Remember to have the heating unit installed by a qualified service technician. Installing a gas heater is always best left to the professionals.”
  • Homes at higher altitudes may have pilot blowout or flame shutdown issues due to lower atmospheric pressure. The recommended maximum elevation for not having blowout problems is generally set at 4,500 feet (1,371.6 m) above sea level, though many units have been shown to work with minimum issues up to 6,000 feet (1,828.8 m).


  • For bedroom or bathroom use, some states prohibit installation, while others allow smaller sized BTU units to be used. Vent-free heating units may add moisture to the room. In homes where the air is dry this can be helpful, while other homes may find condensate builds up on the windows. Again, a little ventilation may be all you need.
  • While most states allow the installation of vent-free heaters, there are a few that do not. Some states also prohibit certain applications of vent-free heating, so check with your municipality before purchasing a vent-free unit.

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Categories: Heating Cooling and Energy Efficiency