a gas fireplace with a roaring fire inside made to look like an old wood burning stove

Gas Fireplace

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 1/21/2021

With a variety of options available to suit just about any budget or design preference, gas fireplaces have become increasingly popular choices as modern heating sources. But what is a gas fireplace and are they dangerous?


A gas fireplace burns natural gas instead of firewood. Gas fireplaces come vented or ventless with several variations and choices to consider. A truly vented gas fireplace requires a chimney and a flue to allow off-gases to escape while air is drawn in from the room. Direct-vent gas 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 gas fireplace draws air from the room and returns the off-gases back into the room. Additionally, gas fireplaces come in three different build categories: a fireplace insert, gas logs, or a built-in unit, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

The Pros And Cons Of Different Types Of Gas Fireplaces

There are a lot of options available when it comes to gas fireplaces. Knowing a few things 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 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.
  • Ventless gas fireplaces are considered dangerous by some and are illegal to install in certain areas. Check your local laws and restrictions before you get too far ahead in the planning phase.