Is Heat Comparable?: Vented “Decorative” Gas Log vs. Prefab Wood Firebox

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Star Dog

New Member
Sep 22, 2022
I have an older Majestic prefab wood burning firebox and chimney. I’d like convert it to a propane gas burner with fireglass, as I don’t care for the esthetics of gas logs. The box is only rated for decorative logs. It doesn’t have glass doors, but a retrofit is available.

I’m not expecting much heat out of it, but I would like some, and it’s difficult getting a straight answer from people attempting to upswell me into ventless, direct vent, b-vent and other alternatives, instead of just a vented ”decorative” burner.

My question is how would my perception of heat compare between a wood fire and a vented gas fire in the same fireplace and chimney?

The story I get from some people is the gas fire would be barely noticeable, but this defies my experience that a wood fire puts off heat comparable to maybe a 3000-6000 BTU space heater which is plenty for me. Are there any metrics on what percentage of the rated BTUs of a gas heater make it into the room in a vented system? I understand that the reflectivity of fireglass may improve matters, and a reflective or radiant fire back may help too. I understand the flue would be required to be fixed-open with a vented install, yet I’d expect a retrofit of glass doors would help with air leaks.

Thank you.
HeatnGlo has a direct vent insert, the Cosmo, that is a linear style (ribbon burner) with glass media.
I don't know if your existing fireplace allows for it though.
Thanks for your reply. I’m not looking for a direct vent solution. There’s a conventionally vented solution from Real Fyre that allows for fireglass and there may be others. Perhaps mentioning contemporary alternatives confuses my question, and that’s why I’m having trouble getting answers.

My core question is the comparative heat output between any vented gas log retrofit versus burning wood in the same fireplace.