Gas Logs

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Your Guide to Lighting a Gas Fireplace Pilot Light

There’s a reason gas fireplaces are becoming more and more popular for homeowners today. The joy of having a gas fireplace is truly in the ease it brings to everyone. Who wants to go out in the cold to chop wood, haul it inside and get messy while doing it?

Most gas fireplaces have a standing pilot light, which is a small flame that burns at all times. This makes the fireplace easy to start when it’s cold outside, but when the weather gets warmer, it’s a good idea to know how to shut it off for energy conservation. When that happens, you’ll also need to know how to restart come the next cold season. The procedure isn’t exactly the same for all models but for most, the steps are the same.

First Steps

Remove the decorative cover from the fireplace to reveal the gas controls at the bottom of the unit. There, you should be able to see a gas shut-off valve. Turn the handle parallel to the direction of the gas pipes to turn the gas on. If you don’t see the valve, it is probably behind the fireplace. Follow the same process. Be sure to then pull the fixed glass assembly off of the fireplace. This is an important safety precaution that prevents the buildup of gas should the pilot be difficult to light.

Turning it On

Locate the gas control knob. Just above it, you should see a red or black push button, which means that the unit has a piezoelectric spark mechanism. Press the button once or twice to verify that there is a spark at the end of the pilot tube. If you don’t see this button, you might need to light the flame manually. Turn the gas control until the “pilot” setting lines up with the hash mark on the outer rim of the control. Push the button in while you push the starter. If the pilot doesn’t light, wait 10 seconds and push again. Continue doing this until it gets started.

Getting it Lit

Now comes the part that makes the gas fireplace so convenient, lighting the flame. Light the flame with a match or long-barreled lighter if there is no piezoelectric control. Hold the gas control button down while you hold the end of a lighted match or lighter at the end of the pilot tube. The pilot should start as soon as the flame becomes close enough.

Hold the pilot button down for about 20 seconds to give the thermocouple time to heat up, and then release. If the pilot doesn’t stay lit, relight and hold in the button a little longer. Turn the button on, and then replace the fixed glass assembly and the decorative cover.

Helpful Reminders

If the fireplace is new or the pilot hasn’t been lit for a long time, there might be air in the pilot tube. This can sometimes make it difficult to light, but should light after a number of attempts once the air is removed. If you find that you need to consistently re-light the pilot, the tube may be blocked with debris. If this is the case, cleaning out with a small pin should do the trick.

If the pilot is particularly hard to start, and you begin to smell gas, stop and wait for the gas to disperse before trying again. Lighting it while there’s a strong gas smell could be dangerous in an enclosed space so be sure to ventilate the area before trying to light again.

Here at Aspen Fireplace, we pride ourselves on knowing all there is to know about fireplaces of all kinds. If you have questions about installing or replacing your fireplace, or simply need to have questions answered around basic use, fill out a contact form or give us a call and one of our technicians would be happy to help.

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7 C’s of Choosing Gas Fireplace Over Wood-Burning

Selecting the right type of fireplace should be simple, right? Many homeowners debate this issue as they like the atmosphere that a traditional wood-burning fireplace can offer but seek the cleanliness and ease offered with gas fireplaces.

What many homeowners fail to see are the additional benefits that a gas fireplace can offer. The following infographic will walk you through some facts you may not have known before:

The 7 C’s of Choosing Gas Fireplaces

Consistent Heat Supply – With wood-burning fireplaces, the logs burn out and need to be constantly fed in order to keep the heat going. With a gas-burning fireplace, you can have the benefit of regular heat for as long as you keep the fireplace on.

Clean Operation – Wood-burning fireplaces require regular cleaning to remove soot and the potentially dangerous by-product, creosote. Gas fireplaces do not leave any contaminants and require little cleaning in the long run.

Caters to family safety – In addition to not leaving behind soot or creosote, gas fireplaces do not spark or pop from the burning of wood. This prevents a common source of housefires and provides peace of mind to allow the fire to run without needing to always have someone present in the room.

Cheaper to Run – While wood-burning fireplaces might seem to be a cheap option, they can actually costs a decent amount. An Average family spends about $200 a year on logs and $200 on inspection and cleaning (Thumbtack) whereas gas fireplaces on average only cost about 29 cents to run per hour (Hunker) to run for the year and $75 to have inspected (if desired).

Chimney-Less Installation – Wood-burning fireplaces require a chimney to release the mass amount of smoke being expelled from burning wood. Gas fireplaces offer the option of installing a balanced flue which removes the hassle of having to install an expensive chimney.

Controlled Flexibility – Gas fireplaces offer a few nice features for control and ease. First, they give you the option of controlling the flame and, in turn, the temperature. Some gas fireplaces also come with remote control operation which means they can be instantly turned off in case of emergency or need.

Conserved Personal Energy – And finally, the best part of all, with a gas fireplace, there’s no need to purchase and store firewood at home. This saves you space and energy. You also don’t need to purchase additional stoking tools or find a place to keep them inside the house.

The benefits of gas fireplaces are high when it comes to convenience and ease. Here, at Aspen fireplace, we offer many types of gas fireplace inserts as well as accessories. Be sure to visit our website and reach out to a representative to learn more!

The Difference Between Vented and Ventless Gas Logs

If you decide to install a gas fireplace, one of the first questions you’ll be asked is what kind of gas logs are you interested in: vented or ventless? Most people aren’t prepared for this question. This blog will break down the differences between vented and ventless gas logs so that you are prepared to make a choice.

 

Vented gas logs look more realistic. The first major difference is that vented gas logs look more like a real flame than ventless gas logs. Vented gas logs dance around the logs and the flame is much taller. The flame is also more realistic in color than ventless logs.

 

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Ventless gas logs are more efficient. Vented gas logs are more realistic, but ventless are the way to go if you’re looking for efficiency. Ventless logs disperse almost all of the heat into the room and use slightly less energy than vented logs.

 

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Burn vented gas logs with the damper open. Vented gas logs produce exhaust that goes up the chimney. One nice thing about ventless logs is that they are so efficient that they can be used with the damper closed.

 

Ventless gas logs need some ventilation. You can burn ventless logs with the damper closed, but that means the water vapor and carbon dioxide (CO2) that are byproducts can get into your home. You should make sure a room with ventless gas logs is properly ventilated to prevent mold or mildew caused by excess moisture. Some people are also irritated by the smell of CO2 which makes ventilation even more important.

 

Vented logs are great if you want a realistic looking fireplace, and ventless are better if your main concern is energy efficiency. We have both at Aspen Fireplace and would be happy to assist in the decision-making process. Visit our showroom to check out our selection and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Ventless Gas Logs Basics

If you decide to buy a gas fireplace, the next decision you will need to make is what kind of gas logs to buy: vented or ventless gas logs. Ventless gas logs are great because they are cheap to run and a very efficient choice for fireplace heating. They are also easy to control, and are an eco-friendly way to heat a room in your home. If these aspects appeal to you and you decide on ventless gas logs, there are some important things you should keep in mind.

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The first thing to note is that ventless gas logs are not meant to be your primary heat source. Ventless gas logs are a great secondary heat source, but you should not run them for more than 4-5 hours per day. They are perfect for making a room cozier, but not effective for heating an entire home.

 

Your ventless gas logs should be cleaned once per year. Before you light the pilot for the burning season, contact an expert, like Aspen Fireplace, to clean your gas logs to make sure they are safe to use. When you first use your ventles gas logs, make sure you burn them for 6 straight hours to remove the oils used during manufacturing. Keep the damper closed to make sure they get hot enough, but be sure to ventilate your room so that the smoke detector doesn’t go off.

 

The first time you burn your ventless gas logs you will probably smell something funny. This is normal and will go away after a while so as long as you ventilate well, you don’t need to worry about it.

 

Now you are ready to enjoy your ventless gas logs! If you need help deciding on a fireplace, gas logs, fireplace inserts, or need maintenance, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help. Aspen Fireplace is your home for all your fireplace needs.

Gas Logs: Propane vs. Natural – Aspen Fireplace

When it comes to gas fireplaces, you have to choices on which gas logs to use: vented or ventless. Each has their own unique set of benefits. There are also two choices of fuel for gas logs, natural gas and propane gas. As you might have guessed, each has unique advantages and disadvantages. We’ll cover both types so that when you choose your gas logs, you can make an informed decision on which to buy.

Propane

The primary benefit of propane is that it burns 3X hotter than natural gas. The main disadvantage of propane versus natural gas is that you have to periodically have your propane tank filled while natural gas directly hooks up to your home so you don’t have to worry about supplying it. Also, propane is heavier than air, unlike natural gas, so it may pool on the ground if valves are left open while it is not in use.

Natural Gas

When comparing natural gas vs. propane it is important to note that natural gas logs are typically cheaper than propane gas logs. It’s also worth noting that if you already have natural gas lines hooked up to your home, getting natural gas to your fireplace should be pretty easy. The only disadvantages is that if you don’t have a natural gas line, you would have to have a line hard-piped to your home, assuming there is even a natural gas line in your area.

Typically, you’ll go with natural gas unless it’s not available where you live. Figuring this out will help you pick out which gas logs you will need, and get you one step closer to getting your gas fireplace up and running! Aspen Fireplace is here to help you with any of your fireplace or gas log needs. Contact us if you live in the Columbus, Ohio area and are in need of fireplace or gas log help!

Choosing the Right Fire Logs

Choosing the Right Fire Logs for Your Fireplace

Fireplace needs are particular to the home and person – so when choosing the fireplace for you, it is important to know all of your options. In our blog, we’ve already discussed wood inserts versus gas inserts and you’ve probably decided which option suits you better. If you opted for gas, you have a few more options to go through before you find the cozy fireplace you’ll curl up to in the winter.

 

Now we need to discuss the different gas logs you can choose. When looking at gas fireplaces you will want to consider which is best for you and your heating needs: gas logs – vented or unvented.  There are many options, depending upon your preference, which is why it is a good idea to know the different options that can be used inside the fireplace to give you the comfort you desire. The three options for a gas fireplace are vented gas logs, unvented gas logs, and fireplace inserts.

 

Vented Gas Logs

The vented gas log option is the most versatile of the three. Vented gas logs can be placed in traditional wood-burning fireplaces as long as the smoke and fumes can escape out of the damper, the area just above the fire box inside the chimney. The exhaust that is expelled from the vented gas logs is similar to that of a wood burning fire, so the damper must be opened to prevent carbon monoxide from spreading throughout the house. Vented gas logs are preferred for their realistic golden flames and odorless burning, mainly used as part of the room decor. The downside is that much of the heat is lost through the damper. There is an option to close the damper slightly to reduce heat escape, but it’s best to check with a trained professional at Aspen Fireplace before doing so to make sure the air is safe and free of CO2.

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Vented gas logs are usually the most expensive to run, about $0.80 to $0.90 per hour.

 

Ventless Gas Logs

The ventless gas logs produce almost no exhaust, and are comparable to a gas kitchen range. The damper can remain closed while the logs are burning due to this, which results in greater heat expulsion than vented gas logs. Since there are no fumes or carbon monoxide exhaust to worry about, ventless gas logs provide an eco-friendly substitute to traditional fireplace logs. However, ventless gas logs do have their downfalls. The main side effect of ventless gas logs is the depletion of oxygen levels which can cause excess moisture in the home due to water vapor, the byproduct of burning clean gas.  These logs often have a strong odor, similar to the smell of gas, when in use. They shouldn’t be relied on as a primary heat source and should not be run for extended periods of time. Like the ventless gas logs, we recommend consulting a professional at Aspen Fireplace for additional restrictions and installation details.

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Typically, ventless gas logs are the cheapest to run, about $0.30 per hour.

 

Gas Insert

The third option is the gas insert. They have heating capacities in excess of 1,500 square feet and are a great additional heating element during the winter. They are reliable during power outages in which electric heat may be shut off. Gas fireplace inserts are very energy efficient and heat effective. The insert comes as one unit and does not need fireplace glass doors.

 

Whatever your fireplace needs may be, stop by our showroom on Sinclair Road to see these different options in action. Let the Columbus fireplace experts at Aspen Fireplace help you evaluate your wants and choose the best fireplace for you.