Question: My main priority is additional heat (for my wife) in the family room/kitchen. I'd also like to get the most visual appeal. I've been told to go vent free by some and direct vent by others. we'll use the gas logs from 5 pm to 10 pm on a daily basis. is vent free the way to go? can i get the same amount of heat from a direct vent? how many btu's in direct vent matches btu's in vent free? in other words- if a vent free will give me 32-000 btu's- is this the same as 32-000 btu's in a direct vent or do i need to get a higher btu rated direct vent. is vent free used as i described safe? I always prefer a direct vent if it can be used--cause it takes the air from outside and returns the gases there also. Answer: Vent-free's are safe- but if you are very sensitive to odors- or the oxygen level in the air- you may feel mild discomfort. Most direct vents are 80% efficient- so 40,000 input would equal 32,000 output. <p> Five hours every day is fairly heavy use. I would suggest that a vented appliance might be the best fit for your situation.