American Hearth and Home
American Hearth and Home
Colonial Heights, VA 23834
• What is the difference between vented and vent-free?
• Do vent-free gas log sets have as pretty a flame as vented ones I’ve seen?
• Are vent-free products safe?
• What about routine maintenance?
• I’ve heard they produce soot. Is this true?
• Will they operate if the electricity goes off?
• Is there a difference between gas logs and a gas fireplace inserts?
• How much does it cost to operate vented as opposed to vent-free?
• Are vent-free gas log sets convertible from LP to natural gas or vice versa?
• If I have a problem, who does the service or repair work?
• I live in a state that has yet to approve vent-free gas logs. But I know vented gas log sets are strictly for looks.
What can I do to capture more heat and still be safe?
What is the difference between vented and vent-free?
Vented gas appliances (i.e. gas logs) are “decorative,” they provide little or no heat, because they must be operated with the chimney damper fully open. Also, vented log sets have a high propensity for generating soot. Vent-free gas log sets are operated with the damper fully closed. Therefore, you capture 99.9% of the heat output, comfortably heating from 1000 to 1200 sq. ft. In addition, vent-free gas log sets can be ordered with a built-in automatic thermostat that will maintain the heat level you desire.
Do vent-free gas log sets have as pretty a flame as vented ones I’ve seen?
In the past several years, vent-free gas log sets have taken a giant stride in the improvement of their flame picture. They now have high dancing yellow flames just like the vented models. With our American Hearth Ultra Smart Burner & White Mountain Hearth models, glowing embers are part the burners and under grate. Which adds a realistic burning embers look.
YES! Unlike vented gas log sets or heaters, vent-free appliances are equipped with an automatic safety feature that shuts off the gas supply to the appliance if something goes wrong. All vent-free gas heating appliances are equipped with an Oxygen Depletion Sensor (O.D.S.) Pilot. If for some reason the oxygen level in the room that the appliance is located reaches 19% or less, the sensor will shut the gas line down within a minute, thereby eliminating the fuel supply to the unit. The O.D.S. equipped pilot will not release the regulator until the oxygen level returns to above 19%. In addition, when operated according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, the carbon monoxide levels are well below the parts per million that are the accepted standard. The real key is to match the maximum BTU output to the size of the area that will be heated. The old saying, “More is better,” definitely does not apply here. For more information on Vent-free Gas Heating Appliances visit Vent-free Gas Products Alliance at www.ventfree.org
Depending on how much and how often the Vent-Free appliance is used determines how often it should be cleaned. We recommend the burner and grate (in the case of a gas log set) be cleaned a minimum of every 4 weeks during the heating season and again the following fall before start up. It is an easy procedure that takes about ten minutes and can be likened to changing the filter in your central heating system on a regular basis. Vent-free gas-heating appliances do not generate dust, but are a magnet for it due to the way they operate from natural convection currents of air in the home.
Generally speaking, if they are operated as the manufacturer intends, no. Soot occurs when the flames are impinged by a misplaced log or if the unit is not cleaned regularly. In addition, we have learned that burning scented candles in the same room as the appliance will cause the candles to generate an excessive amount of soot. The reason for this is that the scent is usually made from an alcohol-based distillate and, when mixed with the warm moist heat that the vent-free appliance provides, the candles will soot more than normal.
Will they operate if the electricity goes off?
Most definitely! There is no electricity required to operate any of the vent-free gas heating appliances. The only thing that won’t operate is the electric blower if the unit is so equipped, but this has no affect on the maximum BTU output.
Yes. Gas log sets are exactly what the name implies. A gas fireplace insert consists of an insulated, double-walled, metal firebox that contains a built-in set of gas logs, usually a remote control and a set of automatic or manual blowers. The gas fireplace insert is placed into an existing brick fireplace, virtually sealing off the brick firebox. In addition, it will have a decorative face that covers any of the front opening that the insert does not fill. All of the controls are hidden away in a control compartment. In most cases, the maximum BTU output is lower with an insert than a gas log set, which makes it ideal for smaller areas. But are no more efficient than just a Vent-free Gas Log Set.
Vented gas log sets cost three to four times as much to operate, because they are decorative appliances and the fireplace damper must remain fully open. Vent-free gas log sets can be operated for 30 - 50 cents an hour. For example, on average a vent-free gas log set, which can generate an output of at least 30,000 BTUs can operate for approximately 5 hours on 2- gallons of LP Gas. Natural Gas is equally as efficient.
Absolutely not! Any attempts to convert the appliance would cause a host of safety issues, as well as void any warranty.
If the purchase is made from American Hearth and Home, the manufacturer will pay a pre-determined labor cost and provide the part without charge as long as their warranty is still in effect. This should be a serious consideration when purchasing any vent-free gas heating appliance. However, warranties do not cover travel charges or labor for diagnosing the problem.
I live in a state that has yet to approve vent-free gas logs. But I know vented gas log sets are strictly for looks. What can I do to capture more heat and still be safe?
With a vented log set, there is little, if anything, you can do to capture more heat. However, all of our manual and remote ready vent-free gas log sets are cross-approved as a partially vented gas heater, which is approved for use in all states. Simply use a damper clamp, which holds the damper open one inch. You'll still get approximately 75 to 80 percent of the heat and be in code.