Whether you’re switching fuel sources or installing an entirely new fireplace, operating a gas log set can seem more intimidating than simply lighting a wood fire. Once you learn how to properly operate your gas log set, however, the convenience and ease of use far outweigh the use of wood.
Why choose gas logs
Gas logs are one of the most popular choices for gas fireplaces because they most realistically mimic the look and feel of wood burning fires. In gas log fireplace, a gas burner is covered by a man-made “log”; logs are molded out of materials such as clay, concrete, or ceramics and can be made to mimic different types of wood such as oak, birch, and hickory.
Most modern gas logs are designed to burn “dirty” using incomplete combustion. Doing this helps to create a more realistic looking flame; unlike the blue flames sometimes created by other gas fireplaces, gas logs create a more realistic looking yellow flame that can pop, crackle, and “dance” similar to a wood burning fire.
Operating your gas log set
Because each gas log set is different, it is important to read your specific unit’s manual. However, below are some considerations for properly operating a gas log set.
- Pilot light: Pilot lights can be run in two modes: standing or intermittent. Standing pilot mode keeps the pilot light constantly on and is recommended to help keep the chimney warm during the winter. Intermittent pilot mode means the pilot light is only turned on when the fireplace is in use and is best for the summer months or in homes where the fireplace is infrequently used.
- Power outages: The ability to operate without power depends on the model. Some gas logs may lose power to the blower, but because the pilot light remains lit heat will still be produced. Others, however, may have enough stored power in the remote control systems to operate normally.
- Remote controls: Most modern gas log sets are operated by remote controls. These controls allow you to control flame height, temperature, the blower, as well as create a heating schedule similar to a programmable thermostat.
Special considerations with gas logs
While gas logs are a convenient and easy to use heat source, there are several special considerations that should be taken into account when using  a gas log fireplace.
- Paper, cardboard, and other materials should never be burned in a gas fireplace. The chimneys and venting systems used by gas fireplaces are not designed to carry ash or debris from burning paper products. Likewise, the ash or soot accumulation created by burning outside materials in the gas fireplace can damage the gas log.
- The exterior glass and metal surfaces of the fireplace may become extremely hot when in use. Because of this, care should be taken to keep small children or pets away from the fireplace in order to prevent burns. Curtains, furniture, and other décor should also be kept a minimum of three feet from the fireplace to prevent accidental fires.
- Close the glass front completely when the gas logs are lit. Not only does this improve the efficiency of the gas logs, but it also helps prevents accidental burns and fires from contact with an open flame.
- Evacuate the house and call your gas provider immediately if you smell gas close to the fireplace, especially low to the floor as gas sinks.
When used correctly, gas log sets can provide safe, efficient, and reliable heat. To learn more about how a gas log set can benefit you and your family, contact The Cozy Flame today!