Converting your wood burning fireplace to gas logs is a great option when you’re tired of building a real fire every time you want to use your fireplace.
Get Your Chimney Inspected First
A professional chimney sweep should be hired to inspect your chimney as the first step. They’ll check for any faults or problems with your fireplace or chimney, and ensure that they’re ready for a gas log set.
Seal Off Your Ash Dump
If your firebox has an ash dump, it will need to be sealed off. The access door is usually located in the center of your firebox. An ash dump is used to collect ash from your wood burning fire, making your fireplace easy to clean. But with gas logs, gas can pool up inside it and create a potential hazard if the situation is not addressed.
Hire a Professional
It’s important to hire a professional to install your gas logs. If they’re not properly placed, flame impingement can result, leading to carbon monoxide production. Flame impingement is when the logs block the flames from the burner—a certified professional will be able to place them correctly and avoid this situation. They’ll also be able to run a gas line to your fireplace if there’s not one there already.
Vented vs. Ventless Gas Logs
Gas logs come in vented and vent free varieties. A vented gas log set provides an attractive flame appearance, while a ventless gas log set prioritizes heat in order to produce more warmth for your home. Vented logs require your fireplace damper to always be open a certain amount, so if you purchase them, make sure to use a set of glass doors to help prevent heat loss.
Converting to Wood Burning from Gas Logs
If you find yourself missing the natural look and feel of a wood burning fire, you can always convert back. You’ll need to hire a professional to remove the gas logs, burner system, and all related components first, and then cap the gas line. If you have an ash dump, you should also consider unsealing it—it makes clean up after a wood fire much easier.
Once the gas log set and its components are removed, clean out your firebox and then have your chimney professionally inspected. After that, you’re all set—enjoy your wood burning fireplace again!
Should You Keep Your Gas Line?
When converting back to wood from gas logs, you may want to keep the gas line in your fireplace. Leaving your gas line allows you to add a gas starter pipe to your fireplace. A gas starter pipe provides gas to your fireplace, meaning you won’t need any kindling to start a fire—just a match. Please note, however, that this is not recommended if you’re using Propane. It should only be used with Natural Gas.