What is the Difference Between Vented and Ventless Gas Fireplaces?

Fall and winter are coming up, check out your options on keeping warm inside your home and outdoors as well. Fireplaces are a great addition to any home, the looks and use bring a home together. There are two main types of fireplaces, vent free and direct vented.

Vented Fireplaces

Vented fireplaces mean that the fireplace is vented either horizontally through the wall or vertically through the roof. This option is a little more labor intensive and can include the following; running ventilation through walls or ceilings, gas lines, electrical lines, and finishing interiors and/or exteriors of homes to complete the installation. So make sure you contact your local licensed professionals for installation. Vented fireplace options:

  • Vented wood fireplaces - vented vertically and a classic wood burning fireplace, great if you want the feel of a natural fire. Also, somewhat easier installation process compared to gas.
  • Fireplace inserts (used with existing chimneys) - vented through the roof using existing chimney. If you don’t want to constantly find wood and have the hassle of starting a fire this is a good alternative. Using what is already provided inserts are placed inside of the existing fireplace and offer a wide range of style and look for the fireplace. Use with either natural gas or propane requires a gas line, gas logs / fire glass, and burner set.
  •  Direct vented gas fireplace - can be vented through a wall or the roof. Most convenient and safest option for a fireplace. Requires a gas line, gas logs / fire glass, and burner set.

Vented Fireplaces

Ventless Fireplace

Vent free fireplaces use air from the room to deliver as much heat as possible directly back into the room or outdoor space. These are convenient fireplaces that are less expensive and easier to install than a traditional fireplace, due to the fact there is no ventilation to run through the roof or walls. The great thing about these is that they can work well outside to add an ambiance to your outdoor living area.  

  • Vent-free fireplaces with electrical components such as a blower will usually need a 120-volt outlet for it to work. 
  • Natural gas or propane can be used, with some even coming with automatic ignitions (i.e. piezo or push-button spark igniter).Extremely useful if you don't have access to electricity in the area you want the fireplace.

important note

  • When it comes to vent-free options of fireplaces, please look up your local county building codes before purchasing. As many counties all have different guidelines when it comes to vent free fireplaces.


  •  It is highly recommend with ventless fireplaces for indoor use that you have a carbon monoxide detector.