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The Pros And Cons Of Vent-Free Gas Inserts

by Zack Gilbert

If you are looking to install a gas insert fireplace in your home, one of the first decisions you will have to make is whether to use a vented gas insert or a vent-free gas insert. Vent-free inserts are fairly new options that allow you to use a gas fireplace without a vent that sends all of the gas byproducts outside. Instead, an oxygen depletion sensor, or ODS sensor, is placed on the insert that monitors the level of gas and oxygen in the air to keep you and your family safe. Learning the pros and the cons of both options will allow you to determine which is ideal for you. Here are the pros and cons of vent-free gas insert fireplaces. 

The Cons of Vent-Free Gas Insert Fireplaces

  • They Are Not Allowed in Certain Cities and Counties

Vent-free gas insert fireplaces rely on a sensor to determine how much byproduct from the gas flows into your home. If the flow is too high and oxygen levels dip, the unit is supposed to automatically shut down to keep you and your family safe. However, if the sensor is faulty, the unit may not shut down, which can make you or your family sick. Because of this, many cities and counties have banned these types of insert fireplaces. Contact your local building code office to determine if they can be installed in your city or state. 

  • The Unit May Shut Off If You Don't Have Good Air Flow in Your Home

The other downside is that the unit may shut down as needed if oxygen levels are low. Having good air flow in your home helps to minimize this from happening. But, some nights, you simply don't have that much air flowing through your home. If you want to be able to use your fireplace all the time, without it shutting down on you, a vented gas insert may be a better option. 

The Pros of Vent-Free Gas Insert Fireplaces

  • Can Be Installed in Places Where a Vent Isn't Possible

The biggest benefit associated with a vent-free gas insert is that they can be placed anywhere within a home, regardless of whether there is space behind and above the fireplace for venting. When you select a vented version, there needs to be space for the vent to go. If you don't have this space, you may be restricted on where you can place a vented fireplace. 

  • Can Reduce Costs Since Venting is Not Needed

The other advantage to vent-free gas inserts is that they help to minimize costs. Because venting is not needed, your installation costs are lower. If you are looking for a budget gas insert, a vent-free one may fit within your parameters. 

Vent-free gas inserts have their place on the market. But they are not ideal for everyone. Learning the pros and cons associated with gas insert fireplaces allows you to determine if they are ideal for your situation.