If you own or are about to buy a home with gas logs, there are some things you need to know.
Vented gas logs are a less expensive option to factory built zero-clearance units (typically installed during renovation / construction against walls where there is no existing fireplace) or free-standing gas fireplaces (which resemble some wood-burning stoves), but are problematic. All of these units feature simulated artificial logs and a gas burner inside a firebox and sometimes a ceramic or tempered glass front that allows you to view the flame.
The gas logs however are mounted over gas burners that are installed directly in an existing vented wood fireplace. These gas logs are very inefficient, don’t produce much heat in the room and pose a number of potential problems, including spillage of combustion gases into the home, such as dangerous Carbon Monoxide (CO). Further, the glass fronts can become very hot and burn, for example, children / infants.
They are not recommended for well-insulated, air-tight homes in Canada.