A gas fireplace in a living room decorated for Christmas

Gas Fireplace

Originally contributed by • last updated 3/17/2021


When it comes to keeping your house warm, there are a few options you'll have to consider as a homeowner. One popular choice that not only heats up the place but also adds a bit of style is the addition of a gas fireplace. With a variety of designs and functions available to suit just about any budget or preference, these easy-to-operate appliances can work in just about any room throughout the house. But what is a gas fireplace and are they dangerous?


A gas fireplace burns natural gas instead of firewood. These heating appliances come in vented or ventless models with several variations and choices to consider. A truly vented version requires a chimney and a flue to allow off-gases to escape while air is drawn in from the room. Direct-vent fireplaces allow for the off-gases to be expelled and fresh air to be drawn in from outside the home through a coaxial vent in the wall or roof. A ventless version of the appliance draws air from the room and returns the off-gases back into the room. Additionally, these heaters come in three different build categories: a fireplace insert, gas logs, or a built-in unit, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

What Are The Different Types Of Gas Fireplaces?

There are a lot of options available when it comes to gas fireplaces, with models coming in both vented and ventless forms. Knowing a few things about each before you make your decision will help you get the best results without wasting your budget:

  • If you want the flames to look more authentic and/or you’d like to be able to switch up the appearance of your gas logs or glass beads, a truly vented gas fireplace will be your best option. They can either come in the form of a traditionally vented unit or a direct-vented unit, the latter being more common these days.
  • Ventless gas fireplaces are considered dangerous by some and are illegal to install in certain areas. However, many manufacturers and specialists insist on their safety and efficiency. Check your local laws and restrictions before you get too far ahead in the planning phase.