Vented Pan Burner versus Heat-Effect (vent-free/reduced vent heaters)
Please consider the following factors when deciding between vented pan burner pan burner and heat-effect gas log sets:
CHILLBUSTER: These sets are designed, certified and manufactured by Rasmussen to two nationally recognized consensus standards: ANSI Z21.11.2 Unvented Heaters and Z21.60 Decorative Gas Appliances. This permits Chillbuster Heat-Effect Gas Log Sets to be sold and used in any jurisdiction, regardless of their position on vent-free use or the position of the chimney damper.
Safety: Rasmussen only sells safe products and has been doing so for over 95 years. You enhance and ensure the safety of the product by properly installing and operating it in accordance with the instruction manual and applicable codes and ordinances. All heat-effect gas heaters are equipped with oxygen depletions sensors (ODS) and safety control valves to shut down the unit in case of unhealthful oxygen levels or in the event of an interruption in gas supply or flameout. Vented pan burner sets may be ordered with safety control valves to shut down the unit in the event of an interruption in gas supply or flameout.
Efficiency: Heat-effect sets are the best products if you desire a supplemental and/or emergency heat source for the room in which the fireplace is located. Since the damper may be closed, there is no heat loss up the chimney. Please note that heat-effect heaters, like all gas burning appliances, require fresh air for proper combustion and customer satisfaction. With heat-effect heaters used in the vent-free mode, the products of combustion vent into the living space; with vented pan burner gas logs, the products of combustion vent up the chimney. Some people are more sensitive to the natural odor associated with the burning of gas, which can be exacerbated with a lack of adequate fresh air in heat-effect applications.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION about “Partially Vented” or “Reduced Vent” Gas Log Sets:
A few manufacturers of gas log sets have introduced gas log sets that purport to allow the consumer to close the damper to a minimum opening while enjoying rich, yellow flames and more heat in the room. The basis for their claim is a chart in the National Fuel Gas Code that specifies minimum venting area based on BTUs consumed. The manufactures reduced the BTU use from their standard fully vented gas log sets to a point where the chart allows for a smaller damper opening, which would keep more of the heat in the room. The PROBLEM with these sets is that they all produce soot and the soot is either going to go up the chimney or out into the room. The market experience is that the specified “reduced vent” openings are not sufficient to always exhaust all of the products of combustion up the chimney, therefore putting soot into the living space (which can be harmful to health and furnishings). The only TRUE SOLUTION for someone who wants to close the damper to a setting less than full open is to use a HEAT EFFECT gas log set (such as a CHILLBUSTER) that has been certified to ANSI Z21.11.2 Unvented Heater Standard, since these sets are not permitted to produce any soot.
Aesthetics: “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” Rasmussen manufactures what we consider to be the best looking vented pan burner and heat-effect gas log sets available. The national standard for vent-free heaters is very restrictive in ways that limit the flame appearance (40,000 BTU/hour maximum input; lowest level of carbon monoxide allowed of any gas burning appliance, no carbon (soot) formation). The flame characteristics of a vented pan burner pan burner set are fuller (more BTUs) and more wood-like in appearance. Since the yellow, smoky flame produces carbon (soot), and the standards to which these sets are certified allow more carbon monoxide than heat-effect sets, the damper must be open when operating a vented pan burner pan burner set. Since most fireplaces are very inefficient with the damper open, much of the heat is lost up the chimney. However, the ceramic logs radiate some heat into the room, as do the burning embers. Additionally, one gets a warm feeling from the presence of the flame itself.
Soot: Heat-effect gas log sets are not permitted to soot by the vent-free standard to which they are certified. This makes them well suited for “smoking” fireplaces (those that do not draw or vent properly). Vented pan burner gas logs sets are designed to burn with a yellow smoky flame that produces soot. Vented pan burner sets require that the chimney flue exhaust al of the products of combustion up the chimney, otherwise the soot will enter into the living space.
Product Size Selection: Heat-effect gas log sets are available in 18-, 24- and 30-inch sizes with various log appearances and burner styles. Vented pan burner log sets are available in sizes ranging from 12- to 60-inches, with custom sets available for large and unusual fireplaces. We currently offer 14 styles of vented pan burner log sets.
Summary: Heat-effect gas log heaters (like CHILLBUSTER) give you the best heat value from your gas dollar spent. They also give you flexibility of venting, as you can safely use them with no or little damper opening, as desired and permitted by local jurisdiction. The vented pan burner set better approximates the aesthetics of a wood fire. The choice is yours based on your needs and desires.