Whether you followed our guide for determining what type of existing fireplace you have, did some research on your own--perhaps by perusing the rest of our blog--, or worked with a contractor, you’ve come to the conclusion that you’ll be working with a vent-free, or ventless, fireplace in your residential or commercial space. But what does that all involve? You still want to customize it to be perfect for your space, so how can you do that? Worry not, fire friend, in this article we’ll break down the key areas of a vent-free fireplace, to better help you understand what’s what, and where you can inject your personal flair.
Reminder: Vent-free isn’t legal in every state, nor in every type of installation or location. Make sure to double check your state and local codes.
Starting Point: Gas Logs, Fire Glass, or Fire Shapes?
Because of the way that vent-free burners are designed, your best bet in keeping your decision-making process smooth is by choosing the fire media you’d like to use, before anything else. The three most common options are gas logs, fire glass, and fire shapes. Let’s take a closer look at each…
Traditional in style, but contemporary in function, gas logs are commonly made of refractory ceramic or refractory cement, and then painted to look as realistic as possible. Ceramic logs have a higher durability when it comes to heat, so you will find that they last longer, but they are therefore often a bit pricier than their cement brothers. Both are designed to be incredibly realistic, however, and many brands even have their logs hand painted for superior appeal. Vent-free gas logs are specifically designed to ensure that the flames of your fire will never touch the logs, which is called flame impingement. Keeping the logs from touching the fire ensures that your whole system will run much longer, and it prevents soot buildup and discoloration on the logs.
The ultimate in chic and modern, fire glass is available in a huge assortment of sizes, styles, and colors, so you’re sure to find the right option for your space. Browse our wide selection of fire glass here—we promise you’ll find something you like. And when it comes time to redecorate your space, it’s easy to switch up your glass style and color.
If you’re keen on a modern look, but don’t want the glimmer of fire glass, this is the perfect solution. Fire shapes are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, to ensure the perfect option for your hearth—fire balls are especially popular. Rasmussen has a large selection of these, but if you have trouble finding the right ones online, give us a call or chat!
The Details: Burners & Ignition Systems
Real Fyre’s G21 Vent-Free Burner is available with silver and gold reflective fronts to add a little extra pizazz to your fireplace.
You’ll be pleased to know that vent-free burners are just as versatile and convenient as their vented cousins. From manual to electronic remote-control ignition, and everything in between, you can pick whichever ignition type best suits your needs—be it based on ease of use or affordability. The biggest difference with vent-free is simply that these systems always include an Oxygen Depletion System, or ODS, to shut off the system if Carbon Dioxide levels get higher than is safe.
Our most popular fireplace brand, Real Fyre, has a variety of burners that are compatible with specific logs and other media. This tends to be the case with most fireplace brands, which is why we recommend selecting your media type first. Once you’ve opted for gas logs, glass, or shapes, and depending on the burner that is compatible with that selection, the ignition options may change, but for the most part, there are three types you can select from…
For vent-free burners this will likely include a standing pilot, sometimes called a safety pilot, and requires you to turn a key or knob on to ignite the fire. Because there is more manual work required to ignite, this is the most affordable ignition option. It is also the easiest to maintain, since there are fewer parts involved.
More convenient than manual, remote controlled options have a few variations. Many vent-free burners are offered with on/off remotes, which simply turn on and off the flames, and variable remotes, which allow you to adjust the flame by level. Just like match lit, however, standing pilots are part of these systems. These are mid-level when it comes to cost and maintenance alike.
Electronic Remote Controlled
Electronic ignition systems normally feature flame-sensing technology that result in safety pilots not being required, with the bonus of remote control convenience. So, if you’re not keen on always having to deal with a safety pilot, this is your best option. Because of the added technology, you’ll find that this is the most expensive option for initial price and maintenance over time.
Tip: For a more comprehensive view of fireplace ignition systems, check out our article: Fireplace Ignition Systems Explained.
Final Touches: Accents & Additions
This Vent-Free Evening Fyre Gas Log set is paired with an elegant gold tool set, which brings a traditional fireplace feel to the hearth.
The key components of your ventless fireplace are of course the media and the burner. But now that you’ve made your selections there, there are some additional upgrades you can add to bring your fireplace to the next level…
Screens & Doors
There’s something incredibly nostalgic and comforting about a roaring (gas) log fire behind a fireplace screen. Whether it’s something simple and minimalistic, or something ornate and intricate, a door or screen is a wonderful addition to any fire, but doubly so for gas log fireplaces.
Décor & Accessories
If you’ve opted for some fire shapes, easily add some additional pieces around the burner for a grand look. Or if you’ve chosen logs as your media, add some rustic acorns or twigs. Some additional Ember Glow will also make your gas log fireplace appear more robust.
A standout from the rest of the hearth accessories, Real Fyre’s Fyrebacks are a fantastic way to upgrade your fireplace. Available both in contemporary and traditional styles, and multiple colors, these mirrored pieces will make your fireplace appear even larger and more open.
The fire glass in this fireplace adds a warmth to the transitionally styled space.
Your vent-free fireplace is most definitely customizable for your space, as you’ve seen throughout these three sections. We hope this has helped to guide you in your decision-making process, and if you’re ready to make a purchase, or have some lingering questions, our sales staff is eager to assist you. Please reach out to us by calling us as (866) 578-8538, filling out our contact us form, or chatting us by using the live chat button on the bottom right of your screen. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!Main Image: A vent-free fireplace can be just as welcoming and warm as a vented or wood fireplace. Paired with some stunning doors and the right fire media, your fireplace will be a beautiful center for your home.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Starfire Direct's Ecommerce Development Coordinator, Emily works closely with the marketing, ecommerce, and development teams on continuously improving the site. When not working, she enjoys tending to her many indoor plants, spending time curled up with a good book, and going on adventures with her dog, Sophie. She is an NFI certified Hearth Design Specialist.