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Gas Fireplace FAQ


Choosing the right gas fireplace for your home can be tricky - that's why we're here to help. We've compiled the most common questions from our customers to guide you through the gas fireplace buying process.

What is the difference between a vented and vent free gas fireplace?

Vented gas fireplaces are more like traditional wood burning fireplaces as they require a vent to filter air in and out. Vent Free gas fireplaces do not require any venting – the gas fuel is completely burned so no fumes are released into the home. There are stricter requirements regarding vent free installations.

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What is a direct vent gas fireplace?

Direct Vent gas fireplaces have a completely sealed combustion chamber that only draws in air from the outside, as it is vented directly through the wall or existing chimney. The co-axial vent system features an exhaust pipe within the air intake pipe with a space in between the two pipes. This space brings in fresh air for combustion, while the inside pipe vents all exhaust directly back outside. Direct Vent gas fireplaces are sealed off from the room by a glass door that should never be opened while the unit is in use.

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What is a B vent gas fireplace?

A B Vent gas fireplace uses air from inside your home to expel gas through a dedicated pipe system. These fireplaces do not have a sealed combustion chamber and rely on the buoyancy of hot gases moving up the chimney to vent effectively. B Vent gas fireplaces must be installed in an existing chimney or through the roof of the home with a B vent pipe.

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What is a vent free gas fireplace?

A Vent Free gas fireplace does not require a chimney or vent system to operate. Vent Free gas fireplaces burn clean and hot. Since no heat is lost through a venting system, this type of fireplace is extremely efficient.

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How do gas fireplaces vent?

There are two types of vented gas fireplaces: B Vent and Direct Vent. B Vent gas fireplaces use air from inside your home to expel gas through a dedicated pipe system, while Direct Vent gas fireplaces use a co-axial vent system that draws in air from the outside and directly vents all exhaust back outside.

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Do I need a masonry chimney to have a gas fireplace?

With Vent Free gas fireplaces, a chimney is not required as no air is being vented out of the home. With vented gas fireplaces such as B Vent and Direct Vent, there must be some way to vent the air out of the home. B Vent gas fireplaces can be vented through a chimney or the roof, while Direct Vent gas fireplaces can be vented through a chimney, ceiling, or wall.

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What can I install in my existing chimney?

Direct Vent, B Vent, and Vent Free gas fireplaces - as well as gas log sets - can all be installed with an existing chimney. Vent Free gas fireplaces and gas log sets will be the easiest to install, while B Vent and Direct Vent will require a professional installation.

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What does zero clearance mean?

A gas fireplace with zero clearance can be enclosed using combustible materials with no risk of combustion or heat damage. We recommend having a professional install a gas fireplace to ensure the correct materials are used in accordance with the installation instructions.

As with all other gas fireplaces, combustible objects like furniture or curtains need to be placed at least 48 inches from the front of the fireplace.

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Can I use my gas fireplace if the power is out in my home?

If a gas fireplace runs on a millivolt ignition instead of electricity, it can be used without power in the home. Some gas fireplaces come with a backup battery system in case of power failure – consult the user guide and item specifications.

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Are gas fireplaces expensive to operate?

Operating costs vary by region, gas utility, and gas fuel type. Based on national averages, a natural gas fireplace generating 27,000 BTUs/hour will cost less than 20 cents/hour to enjoy. Propane units run slightly higher.

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Can gas fireplaces use either natural gas or propane?

Gas fireplaces can burn either natural gas or propane, but not both. Make sure that the gas fireplace purchased is set up for the gas fuel type intended to burn.

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Can I convert my gas fireplace from propane to natural gas?

Yes, there are conversion kits available to switch from one gas type to another. We recommend that a professional performs this conversion to ensure that it is done safely.

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Can I burn wood in my gas fireplace?

No, burning anything other than the gas fuel type intended can create a potential fire hazard.

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Can I install an indoor gas fireplace outside?

No, there are specific outdoor gas fireplaces that are fully rated for outdoor use.

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Can I remove the glass panel on my gas fireplace?

The glass panels on Direct Vent gas fireplaces cannot be removed. They are sealed combustion systems and need the glass to function properly. For B Vent and Vent Free gas fireplaces, consult the user guide to determine if the glass panel can be removed.

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