What size gas logs should I select?
The size of the gas logs you select will depend on the size of your fireplace burner. Once you have measured your fireplace and have determined what the right size burner is, the below chart can be used to select the compatible log size:
Should I choose fire glass or logs for my electric fireplace?
When it comes to deciding between fire glass or more traditional logs for your electric fireplace, the answer really comes down to preference. Fire Glass will give your fireplace a beautifully modern, clean, and sparkling look. Realistic flames will dance and reflect off glass in a way that will sometimes even add depth to your electric fireplace. Realistic looking wood logs will give your electric fireplace a more traditional look. Some people prefer the feel of a fire glowing over natural looking wood. Consider your space and existing decor in your final decision.
What are panels in an electric fireplace?
Electric Fireplaces are unique in that they do not contain actual flames, though they may sometimes feature a built in heater. Because there are no open flames inside the unit, electric fireplaces and electric fireplace inserts are often able to include beautiful interior paneling to enhance the look of your realistic fire. You may have options in choosing the color, style, or material of these panels. In choosing your panels, consider your existing decor and style, as well as the best fit for the look you are trying to achieve.
What are my options for gas fireplace controls?
When purchasing a gas burner system for your fireplace, you will find that you have an abundance of options for ignition and controls. These options may seem confusing at first, but the choices essentially come down to your ignition source and how much control you will have over the flame.
Match Lit (Only available for Natural Gas): For manual match lit burner options, there is no standing pilot light (a standing pilot light is a flame that stays lit while your fireplace is not in use). Every time you want to light your fireplace, you will need to manually turn up your gas (usually with a manual key valve or other handle), and light the burner with either a match or long lighter. The only control you will have over your flame is to manually control how much gas is getting to your burner by turning the key (or handle), thereby roughly controlling the size of the flame and allowing you to turn off the gas and flame completely.
Safety Pilot System or Standing Pilot (Available for Natural Gas or Liquid Propane): A safety pilot kit is a type of standing pilot light. If for any reason your pilot light is extinguished (due to wind, a draft, etc), the safety pilot system will automatically stop the flow of gas from your fireplace pipes. This safety mechanism will prevent gas from flowing into your house. Some automatic safety pilot kits come with a remote and receiver to allow for wireless control of your flame height, heat output, and pilot light. Basic safety pilot kits have three settings:
OFF: Turn the knob to this setting to extinguish your pilot light.
PILOT: This setting will keep your pilot light lit for ease of use (this setting is also used to light your pilot).
ON: Turn the knob to this position when you would like to use your fireplace, and gas will be sent to ignite your burner.
Electronic Pilot System or Non-Standing Pilot (Available for Natural Gas or Liquid Propane): An electronic pilot system does not have a standing pilot. Most electronic pilot kits have flame-sensing pilot activation, and allow you to light your fireplace burner with the touch of a button from your wireless remote. Because there is no standing pilot, the pilot is only lit when your fireplace is in use.
What is an ODS pilot?
ODS stands for Oxygen Depletion System, and is the essential component of making a vent free fire feature safe. The ODS pilot monitors the oxygen in the room, to maintain safety. If the oxygen levels in the room drop below 18%, the ODS pilot will automatically shut the gas off. The ODS shut-off point is defined by a minimum set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z21.11.2.
Does max efficiency equal max heat?
No, not necessarily. Vent free appliances utilize the oxygen in the room to function. Therefore, in order to maintain safety, vent free heating appliances are rated at very low BTU/heat amounts. For example, a typical vent free burner system at the 18” size will be rated at 30k BTUs. However, a vented H-burner at the same 18” size, is rated at 155k BTUs. That is a little over 5 times more heat potential! Even if you were to lose half of that heat (in this example), due to the draft of the vent or chimney, you would still be receiving well over double the amount of heat you could expect from a vent free heating appliance.
What is a "ventless" gas heating product?
“Ventless”, or vent free gas heaters, fireplaces, fireplace inserts, stoves and log sets are heating appliances designed to be installed and operated without a chimney, flue, or vent. Vent free products can be used with either natural gas or propane, and are intended to provide supplemental heat to a home. Because there is no vent, flue or chimney required, all the heat generated by the product goes directly into the home. That's why vent free products are 99.9 percent energy efficient.
What does an outside air kit do and do I need one?
For wood burning fireplaces, you should consider the installation of an outside air kit. It provides additional combustion air to the fireplace that feeds the fire with oxygen from outside your home. This will help the performance on any fireplace installed in tightly-constructed or well-insulated homes.
How much maintenance should I expect from my fireplace?
Wood is the messiest of fireplace or stove fuel types. Propane gas fireplaces with decorative burner media eliminate ash clean up, but you still have some soot or carbon deposited from the gas being burned. Natural gas fireplaces are the cleanest and are virtually zero maintenance.
Can I vent my fireplace through a wall?
Not if you are using fire wood as your fuel; they must be vented vertically. However, many vented gas fireplaces do have that functionality. Direct vent and B-vent fireplaces are some examples.