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You'll also want to get in the general habit of sniffing around for gas smells, particularly near the ground as natural gas is heavier than air. Though most fireplaces use similar ignition methods, yours may have a specific element or feature that, when handled improperly, could be dangerous. For starters, the water vapor is slightly acidic, which can gradually eat away at the brick and mortar inside your chimney. Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewedâs editors. Again, we'd recommend sticking with vinegar or fireplace cleaner. As for the fireplace itself, you'll want to start by removing any grating from above or below the main cavity. Burning wood in such a gas fireplace can sometimes be possible since the original ventilation (i.e. Applying pipe thread sealant around the gas line connection on the burner. Assuming they are legal where you live, we'd still recommend operating one in a well-ventilated area, not only to avoid carbon dioxide build-up, but to help disperse some of the humidityâfor every gallon of gas your fireplace consumes, it will exhaust about a gallon of moisture. If you do not have a user manual, check online or contact the fireplace’s manufacturer to get a copy. Contact the fireplace’s manufacturer if you do not have a copy of the user manual. It's good to have a few towels laid out beforehand so you have a thick, soft landing pad you can gently place the glass onto once it's removed. That keeps carbon monoxide from building up in your home and makes them safe to operate. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Put a fireplace key into the device’s gas valve knob. Then, place the head of the lighter next to the device’s burner and pull the lighter’s fuel trigger. While outdoor fireplaces are pretty weatherproof by design, that doesn't mean they're completely impervious to everything mother nature can throw at it. If the pilot knob wasn't set to the "off" position to start, then you'll want to turn it off and wait a few minutes for any lingering gas to clear out. No. At this point you can turn the knob from the "pilot" setting to "on." Check that the lines are clear and call a professional if necessary. After it lights, you'll want to keep the pilot button held down for a bitâmaybe 30 seconds or soâjust to ensure everything is warmed up and the flame is able to stay lit. Gas fireplaces are available in both natural-gas styles and provide the comfort and warmth of a traditional fireplace without the hassle of chopping wood. Normally, new homeowners are furnished with a manual of how to use their fireplace especially gas (considering the likelihood of catastrophe if wrongly used).A quick glance at your manual will give you an idea of the type of fireplace. To start, you'll need your key, be it a hex key or something more old-time to match the rest of the aesthetic. Once everything is out, you can clean up any soot along the burners with a cloth or soft-bristle brush. Should the chimney vent be open when the logs are turned on? You can even use your gas to help the fire get started for a few minutes, then turn it off and let the wood burn on … These can have multiple settings, but to start, turn it from the "off" position to "pilot." Once everything looks clean as a whistle, you can put everything back together, making sure to reposition the mineral wool and logs in whatever configuration they started. Then, remove the gas logs and use a soft paintbrush to get rid of any dirt or debris. A gas log fireplace offers a safe and energy-effective way to replicate a traditional wood fireplace. Before you start applying fire to flammable gasses willy-nilly, you'll need to make sure you're familiar with the particular unit you have. The final option for gas fireplaces is the insert. Without power most fireplace valves will not open. In the former case, some of the materials may dry out and become more brittle or porous, which can cause them to chip easily; in the latter case, materials can become saturated in water, causing breakage when it freezes or allowing plant or fungal growth in perpetually soggy nooks and crannies. If the gas valve happens to be far away from the fireplace, you may not be able to hold both the match in place and turn the key. Direct vents draw in outside air to aid combustion and funnels all emissions through an exhaust hose. Before cleaning a gas fireplace, make sure to turn the gas to the “off” position to avoid a dangerous leak in your house. For example, Gillespie notes a drawback of a gas furnace is that they tend to use up more fuel. All rights reserved. You'll also want to review the manufacturer's guidelines for any special instructions (or to ensure you aren't voiding your warranty). Be prepared to move your hands back quickly if the pilot light ignites unexpectedly. Turn off the gas and ensure that the fireplace's interior is cool to the touch. If you smell a small amount of gas, remove the lighter and open your windows and doors to air the room out. If the pilot light fails to ignite after multiple attempts, restart the entire process and try again. Both a gas fireplace and a gas furnace have certain things to consider. You may need a friend to help you out with this step. Once you've set the dial to "pilot," you can typically push in the pilot knob to manually feed gas into the system. Next, remove the lava rocks and use a vacuum to suck up any loose grime. Smelling gas when you shouldn't could be an early warning that there's some kind of leakâif that happens, shut off the gas at the source and call for a professional to check your system's integrity. Turn the gas fireplace key counterclockwise approximately 1/2 turn to release the flow of gas stoves. Credit: Getty Images / Bob Steiner, Credit: Getty Images / sturti, Credit: Getty Images / Bill Oxford, Got allergies? Though the exact burn rate will vary from fireplace to fireplace, most use about one gallon of propane per hour for every 91,500 BTU. If you notice a problem with your gas fireplace, it's often best to contact a professional rather than trying to fix it yourself. Lighting a gas fireplace via control panel Every control panel is different, but most typically have a pilot knob, igniter button, and a dial to adjust the flame's strength. While there are many different kinds of gas fireplace, they all typically operate in the same way, by drawing in and then igniting natural gas from your local utility. If you have a very old gas fireplace, getting a fuel-efficient model, or even getting a smaller fireplace can be a smart move. A gas fireplace uses a tube placed in the wall instead of a chimney. Gas fireplaces, whether designed for beauty or heating, are factory built boxes enclosed by glass doors so you can see the fire. One of the more important steps to properly using a device is having a general understanding of how it works. Have your fire starter readyâa long match stick or a lighter. Millivolts and 24 volt circuits are rated as a safe voltage to work with but turn off all sources of power to the fireplace before working with the wires. Once you insert the key, do not turn it until after preparing your lighter, otherwise you may release a dangerous amount of gas into the room. The pipe that is used in the gas fireplace connects all the ventilation passages of the fireplace in one place. While the fireplace is cool, open the damper (seal at the top of the fireplace) and inspect the flue (opening connecting the fireplace to the chimney). First, you'll want to locate the pilot knob. Here's all you need to know about the proper technique and safety precautions. To ignite the pilot light, press your finger into the center of the control knob and hold it in place. In addition to keeping it covered when it's not in use, it's a good idea to routinely check for signs of settling, cracking, or crumbling. Then, let your fireplace sit for at least 5 minutes, allowing any excess or lingering gas to clear out. Use the damper to its potential. You don't want to start lighting fires if there's lingering gas present. Inside the main cavity, you'll want to remove the faux logs and any mineral wool insulation, making sure to take a picture first so you remember how they were arranged. You can also find out how to fix them quickly and safely. I moved into a house with a vented gas fireplace and gas logs. It should light immediately, at which point you can use the key to adjust the height of the flames. Remove your fireplace’s outer cover. Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewedâs editors. Next you'll want to locate the slot, typically to the immediate left or right of the fireplace, but sometimes it can be on the floor. The other vent safely removes any exhaust gases created by burning the natural gas or LP to the outdoors. These ventless fireplaces, while much easier to install and capable of harnessing all of the heat produced, also aren't the safestâthere's a good chance they might be outright illegal in your area. The flue should be open and clear of … Beneath the grate holding up the logs there were vermiculite granules in a pan which covered the gas vents. Then, hit the fireplace’s ignition switch, which is typically a red button located near the control knob. If gas costs $0.0042 per cubic foot, then 40 times $0.0042 equals $0.17 per hour. Fixing this might require buying some sealant of your own and giving the affected areas a fresh coat. Gas fireplaces are often a clean, inexpensive way to heat your home. Adjust the flame as you'd like with whatever other settings the control panel offers. If you can’t get a hold of either, call 911 or your local fire department. Absolutely. The cycle of thawing and melting can get water deep underground and potentially making the area less stable over time. A modern gas fireplace emits no smoke and vents its waste gases to the outside through a tube in the wall rather than up a chimney. Before lighting or adjusting your fireplace, read the included user manual thoroughly. Natural vents (or B-vents) draw in air from the room to aid combustion, then exhaust through a pipe. Each unit requires different tools to keep things safe. As you may have guessed, this is generally the most straightforward procedure, often just requiring the flick of a switch to get the fire started. Although studies show that a gas fireplace will not increase the carbon monoxide levels in your home, a carbon monoxide detector is essential if you have any appliances in your home that use gas. Fortunately, cleaning your fireplace is pretty simple once you know what to do. When it comes to venting, there's three major types: direct, natural, or power. This sealed system is efficient, maintains your indoor air quality, and safely expels some of the more problematic byproducts. As with any home fixture that harnesses fire, there's a lot that can go wrong if you haven't done the required reading first. Before turning the gas valve knob, grab a lighter with a long enough head that you can insert it into the fireplace while keeping your hands away from the fire pit completely. With the lighter activated, move the gas valve knob about half a turn counter-clockwise. Since natural gas burns relatively cleanly, some gas fireplaces don't bother with the vents at all, simply expelling the carbon dioxide and water vapor into the room around them. Replace the grates, and gently slot the glass back into place. If you smell a large amount of gas, leave the house immediately and call your natural gas provider. This helps maximize the airflow your fire will receive, making it easier for the fire to burn fast and cleanly when it first ignites. Since they utilize the existing masonry, they're typically a cheaper optionâon their face at least. This starts the flow of natural gas, which should ignite on the pilot light, bringing your fireplace roaring to life. Tap the switch until the pilot light ignites. Hereâs the secret to killing dust mites, You can baby-proof your fireplace without spending a fortuneâhere's how, The most popular fireplace TV stands on Amazon. Most systems are installed so they vent to the outside. Again, avoid general-purpose cleaners, as they weren't designed with fire in mind. Gas fireplaces are safe to burn wood in like a standard fireplace, so a Duraflame log is perfectly fine to burn in your gas fireplace. Press the shutter button on the lighter to produce a flame and ignite the gas logs. Sounds simple, right? The biggest difference here is natural vents aren't a sealed system, which has a few implications but basically boils down to being a bit less efficient than a direct vent. This can be tricky, as it's heavy, awkward to move around, and delicate. This will release gas into the fireplace, causing the pilot light to ignite. These flames light the wood; once the wood is well-lit, you can turn off the gas starter. In a traditional vented gas fireplace, there are two vents that run to the outside of the home. If that's not cutting it, there are fireplace-specific cleaners. Your gas fireplace might come with a control panel, a key valve, or a wall switch, all of which have different steps to actually light the fire (we'll go over these in a bit). You'll also need to decide whether you want a full installation, a ventless model, or an insert. While the ignition method will most likely be similar, knowing the ins and outs of your specific fireplace will help you avoid any dangerous, and possibly even lethal, accidents. When you’re finished, remember to replace the fireplace’s front screen if you had to remove it. Check the instruction manual and call a professional if you can't figure what's wrong. Consult the Fireplace Identification plate. Laws vary from city to city, but you're definitely out of luck if you live anywhere in Canada, California, or Massachusetts. How to Use Silica Sand in a Natural Gas Fireplace - YouTube If you need to manually start the fire, like most systems that use fireplace keys, you'll need long matches or a lighter with enough of a barrel to keep your hand at a safe distance. Your gas fireplace should be checked as frequently as a wood-burning fireplace because even though gas generally burns clean, your chimney can still be obstructed by birds’ or other animals’ nests and become a fire hazard. The third style, power, uses an electric fan to force exhaust out, instead of relying on the natural pressure differential created by the fire's heat. The wall switch sends an electrical signal to your fireplace to open a valve and release the gas for the pilot light to light it. Even though most outdoor gas fireplaces will be installed on a porch or patio, settling can still occur over time, especially in places that have repeated thaws and freezes throughout the winter months. Through which the gas fireplace easily emits waste gases without the help of a chimney. Gas Fireplace Monthly Cost. This will make sure the pilot light stays on indefinitely, allowing you to activate the fireplace whenever you wish using the device’s wall switch or remote control. We help you find the best stuff and make the most of the stuff you already own. Whether you're the new owner of such a gas fireplace, or if you're just planning to install one inside your home before the upcoming winter unleashes polar vortexes and heavy snowfall, it's important you do your research on how to use, maintain and clean a gas fireplace. In outside air to aid combustion, then 40 times $ 0.0042 per cubic foot, slowly... 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