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changing a vented fireplace to vent-less

I have a vented fireplace that doesnt work, I also have a ventless fireplace in the bacement.  Both are gas, and I was wondering if I could take the vent-less insert and replace the vented one upstairs?   Pending they are the same size, are there any hazards if I do this?



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Posted 2011-10-31T18:28:16+0000  by rkay1974 rkay1974


Hi Robin,


I’m Travis from The Home Depot in Atlanta. Welcome to the Community!!


Fireplaces are great to have so that you can heat a room without having to heat the entire house. They’re the original “zone heaters”. That being said, some fireplaces can be very inefficient. Vented fireplaces lose their convection heat to the outdoors through the chimney, or vent. The heat that they provide is radiant heat, the heat that radiates from the flame and surrounding hot surfaces.  


Because of the carbon monoxide that is produced by heaters that describe themselves as “vented”, the hot air that is produced must be vented to the outside of the home. This hot air is convection heat.


You stated that your vented fireplace doesn’t work. I don’t know if that means that it doesn’t heat efficiently, or that it smokes up the room. In either case, you’re right: it should not be used for safety reasons.


The vent free fireplace can be used upstairs. The term “vent free” or “ventless” means that the heater can be operated without a vent, or chimney. Of course, the proper operation and placement of the logs, if logs are present, is assumed. The flames that emit from the gas burner are intended to burn unobstructed. This means that the flame should never touch anything. The logs are to be arranged around the actual flame so that the flame is burning between them.


Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced when a gas flame is obstructed and has to bend its shape around the obstruction. If a log falls into the flame, you will eventually see black buildup on the bottom of the log. That’s carbon, and carbon monoxide has been produced there. The log can be close, but actual contact needs to be avoided. If this happens, shut off the fireplace and rearrange the logs, after they cool down.


Because vent free fireplaces don’t produce CO, they can be used in most rooms, even where there is a vented fireplace. The damper on that fireplace can be closed. This allows for the convection and radiant heat to be utilized in the home. Check your local codes for any restrictions in your area.



Posted 2011-11-01T12:48:52+0000  by Travis_HD_ATL

I have a vented gas f[rep]ace with a blower and no damper so cold air comes in when there is no fire. can I block off the vent and change the logs to ventless and also remove the glass front ?

Posted 2012-12-31T21:28:26+0000  by BobbyJoe

Hi BobbyJoe,


Welcome to The Community!


There are many different types of fire places. I need to know some details about yours before I can recommend any changes to it.


If your fireplace is Direct Vent, the glass should not be removed. If your fire place has glass doors added to it, they should always be open when you have a fire in the fire place. 


Look inside the fire box for a manufacturer's name and model number. These are usually located high on the side wall in the front corner of the opening.


Gas log sets, both vented and vent free, are intended for use in fireplaces where wood can be burned. They are not, however, intended for use in stoves.


Give me some more details so you can safely keep warm this winter.



Posted 2013-01-04T14:39:26+0000  by Travis_HD_ATL
We had to close off and remove the chimney from our vented fireplace as the builder placed the chimney in a valley, and the geometry of the roof made rerouting the chimney pretty much impossible.

We would like to install a ventless fireplace, but I am having trouble finding the ventless FIREBOX that will fit into the same space without removing surrounding marble, drywall, etc.  I would love to be able to just replace the INSERT.

I would like to know if I can place the VENTLESS insert into the vented firebox after removing the existing VENTED insert.  It seems like a no-brainer, however we just need to be sure.

The existing box has a glass front and a fan that blows heat out the top vents/louvers.

Since this is on the top floor of our home, which is always pretty warm, this is more a cosmetic - ambiance issue.  We would like to keep the appearance of a fireplace at the least.  I may just place a ventless firepan with some river stones...  no logs.
Posted 2015-08-26T21:31:08+0000  by faithd
Faith here again - I thought I should post that the existing fireplace (both firebox and insert) are manufactured by Heatilator.
Posted 2015-08-26T21:33:06+0000  by faithd
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