381-8 Old Riverhead Road

Westhampton Beach, NY

Tel. 631-998-0780

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am to 5pm / Sat. By Appointment / Sun. Closed

Reasons to Avoid Vent Free Gas Products


As the most recent fireplace fad, vent free gas logs have drawn a lot of interest based on their high burning efficiency of up to 99 percent. Companies also emphasize the ability to burn these logs with the flue closed, which only further entices consumers. These impressive features make this product seem like an obvious choice, but in reality, vent free gas logs actually pose some serious hazards.

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Vent free gas products use natural gas as fuel and require no ventilation. Rather than utilizing the air flow up through the chimney, or the draft, of a traditional fireplace, vent free fires consume the oxygen in the house. Designed specifically to burn without any type of venting, these logs should not be substituted with any other types of logs for use in a vent free system.

Any time combustion occurs, imperfect burning always results in the production of some type of waste. Even though the vent free gas logs boast a nearly perfect efficiency, they can still leave up to eight percent of the fuel incompletely burned. This incomplete burning produces harmful waste materials, such as carbon monoxide. Fatal in high enough concentrations, the inhalation of carbon monoxide and other fumes is a real threat when using vent free products because the system offers no escape for these gases. In fact, there have been reported claims of aggravated asthma, allergies and other respiratory issues by people living in homes that use vent free gas logs.

In addition to harmful gases, vent free units also produce excessive amounts of water vapor. All types of fires produce water vapor, but because the vent free systems offer no escape, the vapor ends up condensing inside the house. This is evidenced by moisture on walls, floors, and furniture, which can also lead to a variety of problems. Water damage can ruin the walls and furniture, and the home will become uncomfortable humid. Mold growth throughout the house also becomes a valid concern.

For all the claimed efficiency, vent free gas logs cannot be relied on as a source of heat. Marketers promise the production of a lot of heat, but they fail to mention that the vent free units should not stay on for more than a few hours at a time. Burning for lengths of time beyond this recommendation can lead to a depletion of oxygen levels, an increase in toxic fumes, and an increase in humidity.

Another issue is in newer houses, where the airtight build can cause interference with the combustion process. When the house is sealed tight, air cannot enter quickly enough to provide the amount of oxygen needed for the fire to burn and this lack of oxygen will extinguish the fire. Some manufacturers suggest fixing this issue by opening a window, but this defeats the purpose of investing in a vent free system in the first place.

Vent free gas products might sound great in theory, but the problems heavily outweigh the benefits. Rather than investing money into a dangerous and unhealthy vent free unit, consider high efficiency traditional fireplace inserts or direct vent fireplaces. If you live in the area of Westhampton Beach, New York, contact Beach Stove and Fireplace for more information on fireplace options.

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Our Location

Beach Stove and Fireplace is located on Old Riverhead Road between Montauk Highway and Sunrise Highway. From Sunrise Highway take exit 63 south, travel 1.2 miles and turn right at the 381 complex (just north of Gabreski Airport)