School is officially back in session for everyone ranging from kindergarten all the way to colleges. Back to school also means that in no time, it will be fall. My, where the year has went! With fall approaching quickly, you’ll need to start thinking about turning your nice, cool home into a warm, cozy home soon. Most, if not all of you reading this, already have a heating unit in your home ready to be used to for the colder months. Let’s say you have that one room that does not seem to want to warm up no matter what temperature you set your unit to. There’s a solution to that problem, one that can actually be a fashionable add on to your home: Gas logs.
Gas logs are a low maintenance way of heating an area of your home when all other options for heating that area just aren’t possible. Roughly ten (10) years ago is when gas logs started becoming more popular, because people were looking for a cleaner and less smelly way to heat their home other than wood fireplaces. Wood fireplaces can not only be dirty and smelly, but not good for your health because you’re inhaling all that fire/wood smoke. It’s especially not good if you have somebody in the household that has some type of breathing problem such as asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema. Not to mention, all the trouble you would go through with a wood fireplace. Collecting enough to fire wood, making sure to store it properly to where it stays dry, and storing wood against your home or any building is a good place for pests and insects such as termites, ants, rats, and snakes, to take up residents. With gas logs, you avoid all this trouble. You can have heat and flames with just a flip of a switch. If you have already considered gas logs for your home, but aren’t sure where to start, start with which type you would like to have. Vented or unvented.
Vented gas logs are the logs that are more realistic looking right down to the flame. With vented gas logs it is required to have a chimney or flue system (a duct, pipe, or opening into open air) so fumes like carbon monoxide, can be released outside instead back into your home which can be dangerous. Since vented gas logs do not burn gas cleanly, they do produce a smell from the exhaust but luckily with having a chimney, that smell tends to go straight up. Even though vented gas logs look like real wood and have a realistic flame, they do not let off as much heat as what unvented gas logs do. The heat, just like the smell, tends to go straight up the chimney. Only if you have the damper open though. You can change this and have more of a heat output by closing the damper to the logs some (be sure not to close it all the way), but by doing this, it can be more likely the exhaust/fumes from the logs will come back into your home. Having vented gas logs with a chimney or flue system means you are not required to have a CO2 detector, although we highly recommend having one anyway. Especially if you plan to close off the damper a little for more heat output.
Unvented gas logs are the more popular option simply because they release more heat and a chimney or flue system is not needed with these logs. Gas is burned cleanly with unvented gas logs, which means there is remotely no smell from the exhaust so you can completely close the damper. With unvented gas logs, you’re getting roughly 90% heat back into your home whereas with vented, it’s about 30%-50%. Despite being more popular than vented gas logs, unvented logs do have their down sides. Burning unvented gas logs for long periods at a time, an hour or longer, can deplete the oxygen in that room. In order to avoid oxygen depletion, you must crack open a window in that room to restore fresh air to the room. By opening a window though and allowing in this fresh air, it can offset some the heating features the unvented gas logs are said to have. Also, with unvented gas logs, you are required to have a ODS (oxygen depletion system) and CO2 (carbon monoxide) detector in your home. If you are considering purchasing unvented gas logs, be sure to check that they are legal in your city because there are some cities, municipalities, and states (California) that do not prohibit the usage of unvented gas logs.
Whichever set you decide to choose for your home, vented or unvented, be sure you have done the proper research on both set of gas logs to ensure you pick the right one for your home. If you go with vented, be sure to have a chimney or flue system and again, we do recommend getting a carbon monoxide detector even though it is not required for vented gas logs. If you’re going with unvented gas logs, be sure to not burn them for longer than an hour seeing as it can deplete the oxygen in that room and make sure to have an Oxygen Depletion System and carbon monoxide detector installed in your home, both are required. If you have any further questions, feel free to call either of our two offices. Our main office in Prestonsburg and our secondary location in Richmond. Both are dedicated to serving Eastern, KY (Prestonsburg, Pikeville, Paintsville, Louisa, and surrounding areas) and Central, KY (Richmond, Lexington, Winchester, and surrounding areas).