Gas Log Buying Guide

A fireplace with a Gas Log Set installed offers a number of advantages over a traditional wood-burning fireplace. Not only does gas burn cleaner than wood, but often puts out more heat. Once you have decided to install a gas log set, there are a number of factors to consider.

Gas Types

The gas that you burn may be decided by a line that has already been installed in your fireplace. If you are converting from a wood burning fireplace to gas, you will need to choose what type of gas will provide the fuel for your fire.

PropanePropane

The main advantage of Propane is that it contains more carbon than Natural Gas. The increase in carbon allows Propane to burn up to three times hotter than Natural Gas. Because Liquid Propane is heavier than air, a safety pilot is required when using it. Liquid Propane is readily available in areas where Natural Gas in not accessible to the home.

Natural GasNatural Gas

Natural Gas is lighter than air meaning that in some areas it can be used without a safety pilot. It is still best to check local code requirements before installing any gas system, however. If you have Natural Gas coming into your house, but not to your fireplace, it is very important to know the BTU input of the gas log set that you will be installing. If you have this information a certified plumber will then know what diameter line to run into your firebox. This will ensure a safe amount of gas is flowing to your log set so they perform at the expected performance level.

Vented or Ventless?

Gas Log Sets are commonly separated into Vented or Ventless. Choosing the one that suits your installation depends on a number of factors.

Vented Gas LogsVented Gas Logs

Vented Log Sets are made to be used in fireboxes that would traditionally be capable of a real wood-burning fire. Even though Gas burns cleaner than wood, it is still important to have your chimney cleaned and inspected periodically.

The true value in a vented gas log set is how realistic they look. Rich yellow colored flames will “lick” the logs, creating the illusion that the logs are truly on fire. Recent advances in gas log technology have greatly improved the look, feel and quality of the flame produced. Vented logs produce a taller flame as well, allowing it to look more like a wood fuel flame. Because of the heat produced, the damper is required to be open, just as in a traditional wood fire.

Because the damper is required to be open a drawback with vented log sets is that they are less efficient in heating a room compared to ventless logs. Vented Gas Log Sets will also use slightly more gas than ventless.

Ventless Gas LogsVentless Gas Logs

Ventless or “Vent-Free” Gas Log Sets are unique in that they produce little or no exhaust. The manner in which they operate is similar in nature to your home’s natural gas-fueled stove or range. In this case, the log set can be used with the damper closed. This is one of the main attractions to ventless units-their high heat output. With ventless units, about 99% of the heat produced is circulated back into the room rather than escaping up through a chimney. Ventless units come standard with an oxygen depletion sensor, or “ODS”. The ODS measures the amount of oxygen that is present in the room, and will alert you if oxygen levels get too low.

Sizing

MeasuringMeasuring

At Woodland Direct, we strive to give customers the easiest buying experience. To find the correct Log Set size for your fireplace, there are a few critical dimensions that need to be obtained. Once you have decided on a log set, our configurator will walk you through choosing the correct log size for your purchase.

Simply measure your fireplace width at both the front and rear locations inside the firebox. Then measure the depth of the firebox from front to back. These measurements will aid us in selecting the proper log size for your specific set up.

ValveOther Considerations

With many models, the type of control system you choose will determine how much clearance you will need between your burner pan and the wall of your fireplace. A Gas Log installation will look much better if it is centered in the firebox, so determining the right size is crucial to the aesthetic of your fireplace.

Control Options

Controls

There are a myriad of options when it comes to controlling your Gas Log Set. Match lighting is no longer necessary, and may in fact be illegal in your area. Today, there are much simpler and more convenient methods of lighting your Gas Logs. Manual Safety Pilots are the most basic method. This simple setup uses a knob that turns the flame up. The pilot stays lit throughout the season. For more control, a remote system can be used. Remote systems can light a fire from across your room, or from a wall mounted switch. Some remotes are on and off only, while more advanced remotes can have LCD displays they even show room temperature. Also available are variable remote controls, where the amount of flame is set from the comfort of your sofa. A new control method is the Electronic Ignition System. These systems turn the gas on and off remotely without requiring a standing pilot. There is no wasted gas and no gas pilot noise when the fireplace is not in use.