LP gas logs have become very popular within the past decade. With their growth in popularity, consumers are asking may questions about these units and their use. While most individuals living in urban areas where natural gas is available will prefer models designed for this fuel as it is less expensive, rural homeowners will want the propane models.
Vented log sets are designed for fireplace use with the damper in an open position. Unvented sets work with the damper set in either position, but more heat is retained when it is closed. Unvented sets create a clean flame with the primary combustion byproducts of water and carbon dioxide.
Vented log units have been available for much longer than the ventless models. They continue to be most popular today and are available in models to fit almost any fireplace. Some units are only 12 inches in length while others are over five feet long. They can provide a realistic look and are available with fake firewood that mimics the look of birch, oak, hickory and other wood species.
With all older models and some of the newer ones of vented units, the realistic flames came with a price. These were very inefficient at actually heating. They could consume up to 90,000 BTU every hour and cost up to $1.75 each hour of operation. Newer models are available that provide more heat and efficiency.
Unvented sets have grown in popularity. The sales volume today is approaching that of vented models. Engineers have determined methods of creating yellow flames like a wood fire while also creating a clean burn. This has made these units much more popular.
When operated with the damper closed, the sets have an efficiency rating of more than 95%. They provide greater economy that vented sets and provide the same amount of heat with less than half the fuel consumption. While not as realistic in looks, they do still offer the desired yellow flame and glowing embers.
There continues to be some controversy surrounding vent free sets. Some states, such as Massachusetts and California do not allow use of any unvented devices. In addition, individuals with respiratory problems or asthma might note an uncomfortable decrease in levels of oxygen. Sets are equipped with a special sensor that will stop their operation if oxygen levels drop too low for safe use.
Either kind of log set will work to replace the wood fire. They provide more convenience and safety for home occupants. Unlike wood fires, the units can be immediately extinguished when rooms become overheated. In addition, they provide an alternative heat source for power outages and require no electricity to operate.
LP gas logs provide a good option for those living in an area without access to natural gas. They are sold in different types and models, with unvented providing the most economical use. Recent innovations in vented models have increased their efficiency. Each type will work to provide emergency heat if the home experiences a power failure.
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