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Using Ventless Gas Logs in Wood Burning Fireplace, with Damper Open?

Annapolitan (Zone 7A)
3 years ago
last modified: 3 years ago

Our home was built in mid-90's and we plan to be here for a while. We have a wood-burning fireplace but never use it due to the hassle(s) that come along with it. The wood-burning fireplace has a damper right above the firebox that can be opened/closed with a metal lever and another damper at the top of the chimney with a long cable that you pull and latch to close it. It has an ash pit with a little trap door towards the middle back of the fireplace. It also has a small opening that can be opened/closed at the back of the fireplace that allows fresh air from outside into the fireplace; so you feed your fire with outside air as opposed to heated air from the house.

Anyways, I would like to put gas logs in our fireplace and initially was leaning towards the direct-venting gas logs but believe that the building code will require that we clamp or weld both of the dampers open for safety reasons. Having to permanently open both dampers is a very big negative for me and makes me view the direct vent gas log option as a non-starter. I'm considering putting a ventless gas log in the fireplace and using it with the dampers open so the exhaust would go up the chimney. While the ventless gas logs are more expensive and don't put out as much heat/BTUs as a direct-vent option, it would allow us to open the dampers when in use and close them when not in use; avoiding the building code requirements to weld or clamp open both dampers. Can you think of reasons this would not work or doesn't make sense to do?

Also, ventless gas logs put out less heat and burn differently than a direct-vent equivalents, was wondering if there will be issues getting the heat and air to draw up the chimney correctly; thoughts on this?

Thank you in advance for your time.

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