Ventless Gas Fireplaces

"Hi Carl!

I am the general contractor for my new home construction.

I am being told that I need to hurry and choose my gas fireplace insert (the box) because the framing is almost complete.

I am so torn over the choice of vented or vent free.

I have only one wall that the gas fireplace can go on and the TV has to be on that same wall. Most people say, it's OK to put the TV over the fireplace. I am concerned about heat damage to my 46" LCD TV. However, I really have no other place to put the TV.

Will putting the TV over the gas fireplace hurt my television? I have asked the gas fireplace dealers around here and they all have something different to say - that is driving me nuts! Isn't there a true answer?

Some say you can but you HAVE TO have a vented box and it will not be as efficient in heat as a ventless box. Then I have others who say the complete opposite. I just want to know is it OK to have a ventless propane gas fireplace with a mantle and the TV above it?

I would like to have a fireplace that is very efficient and also at a lower cost. I heard a ventless unit is cheaper than the vented unit.

I usually only turn on our current gas unit during the winter when the HVAC seems to be doing all it can do. Right now I have one of those wall units that is a 3 brick burner.

I love to stand in front of it when I am cold. :) I came up with the idea of a gas fireplace in my new home for a decorative look in addition to being a heat source.

Can you give me some concrete facts on this issue?


Hi Michelle,

I’m going to catch some flak for this piece, but I would not have a ventless gas fireplace in my home.

Common sense and a little knowledge of science should tell anyone that fire consumes oxygen and gives off odorless, poisonous and deadly carbon monoxide gas.

The oxygen will come from the room the fireplace is in and the carbon monoxide will replace the oxygen in the room.

Ventless gas fireplaces are vigorously defended by their manufacturers, but I am told that several states and Canada have outlawed ventless fireplaces due to health concerns. Good for them!

What you might consider is a direct vent gas fireplace.

Photo courtesy of Heatilator 

As for the TV? Read the following and you’ll see that as you have found out, there is really no clear answer.

Here is an article from

Will the heat from the fireplace harm the plasma TV?
“There are a few precautions to take before hanging a plasma screen TV over your fireplace…Read the rest here.

You could also consider an electric fireplace. They are growing in popularity and are not too expensive. They look just like gas fireplaces, can be put almost anywhere, and they give off heat.

Hope all this helps,
Carl Heldmann,