What Are Gas Logs?
Gas Logs are an alternative to burning real wood in your fireplace. They are made to look exactly like real wood, but make enjoying your fireplace quite a lot easier. These convenient self-igniting fireplace logs are clean, insect free, and yield up to 40% less emissions than traditional wood.
Like the bricks used in many conventional wall mounted gas heaters, the logs are made of materials that are fire resistant and hold up well for an extended period of time. They are often made of a combination of metals with synthetic agents that help to create the appearance of cut wood logs. Gas logs provide a safe, energy efficient way to warm your living space, your friends, and the entire family.
Vented vs. Ventless
Gas logs can be either vented or ventless, depending on your needs and the building codes in your area. Vent free gas logs are designed to produce such low emissions that the smoke can go right into your home without danger. The fumes and smoke from vented gas logs must be directed out of your home through a chimney or direct venting. More info on the different types of venting here.
Ventless gas logs produce a lot of heat since none escapes out the venting. They must be installed into an approved vent free fireplace. Vented gas logs look far more like a wood burning fire and produce a supplemental heat.
It is important to check your local fire codes; some states don’t allow vent free gas logs. We also recommend installing a carbon monoxide detector.
For more info on the differences, click here.
Type of Fireplace
Not all fireplaces accept gas logs. This is a crucial point so what kind of fireplace do you have? Your fireplace is either masonry or prefab. Masonry fireplaces are built from either brick or stone. The walls of the firebox will be stone or brick; that’s it. Prefab fireplaces are built in a factory then sent to a home to be installed. If you have a prefab fireplace, the walls of the firebox will be metal or a ceramic material made to look like brick.
You can install gas logs in a masonry fireplace. Not all prefab fireplaces are safe to use gas logs in. While this might sound strange, you cannot use gas logs in a gas prefab fireplace. If you have a wood burning prefab fireplace you can safely add a gas log set.
A basic rule of thumb: if you already have a gas fireplace, you won’t be able to install gas logs.
How to Measure Your Fireplace for Gas Logs
To measure your fireplace for gas logs, measure the height, depth, front width, and back width of your firebox. If your firebox is narrower in some places than others, be sure to record the smallest measurement. Check out our step by step measuring guide for more info.
How to Light Gas Logs
Light your logs according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, the basic process is turning on the gas and lighting it carefully. Some sets may have a pilot light and starter. You will use the starter to start the pilot light, and the pilot light starts the flames as you turn up the gas. Take a look at this video for a demonstration.
Who Should Install Gas Logs?
Gas logs should only be installed by a licensed professional. We strongly recommend you utilize a HVAC installer or licensed plumber. These professionals have proven knowledge of gas fireplaces, log sets, and stoves as well as their venting systems. In addition, these specialists are fully qualified and have all of the required materials and tools on hand to make the connection safely and ensure it complies with fire codes.
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