The seasons have officially changed, and fall is here in full force. Colorful trees create a stunning landscape, while fallen leaves decorate the ground. The chilly winds have everyone snuggled into cozy jackets and sipping hot cider. In addition to the usual fall activities, homeowners are also thinking about heating their homes throughout the next couple seasons. Particularly in the D.C. area, late fall through winter can be especially cold. For those with fireplaces fueled with natural gas, the usual maintenance involves the annual chimney sweep and inspection to make sure everything is in working order. Before starting to burn for the season though, these fireplace owners should look into a product called vent free gas logs to help heat their home more safely and efficiently.

Vent free gas logs are a special log set that is burned in a fireplace designed to house them, and burning a fire using them does not require the damper to be open. The way the set is designed, the fire efficiently burns nearly 100 percent of the fuel, which reduces the toxic products to negligible amounts. The main benefits of choosing a vent free gas log set are that it produces extremely low levels of emissions, making it very safe for your family, and it creates a relatively high levels of heat.

Vent free gas logs also have a number of safety features to keep you safe while the product is in use. The first feature is known as the oxygen depletion sensor – the ODS – and it is designed to shut off the gas supply, and thus, the fire, if the oxygen level in the room ever falls below 18 percent. For this reason, if your house is particularly air tight, you may need to slightly open a window to maintain acceptable oxygen levels.

Another safety feature is the safety pilot. If, at any time, the flame goes out, the safety pilot shuts off the gas supply. This feature protects the home from filling with the high flammable fuel and keeps you from wasting money through the leakage.

As mentioned, vent free gas logs produce very low emissions – as low as five parts per million of carbon. In fact, 100 hours of exposure to a vent free gas log fire is equivalent to a single exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke.

Keep in mind a few safety precautions you need to take with a new vent free gas log set. Do not operate the new set for more than four hours at a time, for this can result in low oxygen levels and high amounts of moisture in the home. A new set needs to burn for three to five hours with the vent open while it cures before it can safely be burned with a closed vent. Also, as with any fireplace, keep any combustible materials far from the fire.

If you want to invest in the convenience and safety of a vent free gas log set, get in contact with a qualified dealer today. Winston’s Chimney Service of the Washington D.C. area can give you a professional consultation and help you choose the best set for your fireplace.