With thousands of gas log sets and countless variations of those products, choosing the correct set for your needs can seem like an overwhelming task. The following information, albeit general is intended to help you, the gas log buyer, narrow down the type and style of fireplace product best suited to meet your needs.
1. What kind of venting system do you have?
-Masonry or manufactured wood burning fireplace
Vented gas logs are the most popular type of gas logs and can be installed in a fully functioning wood burning fireplace. Vented gas logs resemble a realistic wood fire more than vent-free logs. The chimney must remain completely open during operation, which limits the heating efficiency. Vented sets are for the most part a decorative appliance.
-Vent-Free means "unvented" or "ventless”.
Vent-Free gas logs do not require outside venting and can be installed in either a vent free fireplace or an approved vented fireplace. You should check the owners manual of their manufactured box to ensure you purchase approved logs for their fireplace. You should also compare your fireplace with the parameters of the logs you intend to purchase to ensure the appropriate distance to combustible materials is present. They are very efficient in providing supplemental heat because the heat produced from vent-free logs stays in the room they are located in.
All of our Vent-Free gas logs are equipped with an ODS (Oxygen Depletion Sensitive) Safety Pilot System. This feature will stop the flow of gas to the unit in the event that the oxygen level at the pilot is diminished.
2. What fuel type do you have in your fireplace?
If you already have natural gas in your home, but do not have it plumbed to your fireplace, a certified plumber should be able to run the lines for a gas log set. Your plumber will use the BTU output to determine the proper line diameter that your gas log requires. Feeding a gas log set too little gas can lead to operational issues.
Typically, LP is stored in a reinforced tank positioned outside the home. A certified plumber or propane professional can install the line that runs from this tank to your fireplace and thus into your gas log set.
Unlike natural gas, propane is heavier than air and has a tendency to pool along the floor vs rise like Natural Gas. All gas logs that use propane require a safety pilot. The safety pilot on propane gas logs prevents propane gas from accumulating inside the home.
3. How do you want to light your log set?
-Match Light or Manual Ignition
You light this gas log set by hand with a match or long lighter. It has no pilot or valve assembly at all. You place a match or lighter near the log burner and turn on the gas with your existing gas key valve. Flame height is controlled by adjusting your key valve to let more or less gas flow to the log set. This ignition method is the least expensive and least problematic with no mechanical parts to go wrong.
-Manual Safety Pilot
The Manual Safety Pilot lighting method features an included safety pilot valve assembly. You have a pilot light that you can keep lit during the cooler times of the year. This gives you the ability to turn the log set on and off as many times as you want using the control knob without ever holding a match to the burner. The pilot valve has a safety mechanism built in which shuts off the gas supply in the event that the pilot light goes out.
The Remote Control lighting method allows you to operate the log set from a "remote” location away from the fireplace. Remote controlled options include various hand held remotes (basic on/off control, variable flame height control, electronic "pilotless” control, ect.) along with various wall mounted options. These sets feature an included remote pilot valve assembly. Please keep in mind that depending on the remote option you select, you will only have the ability to control certain functions of the log set from the control.
4. What size logs do you need?
Putting too large of a gas log set into the fireplace is the biggest mistake a consumer makes. The simple fact of being able to fit the set in the fireplace is not the only objective. One will need a certain amount of breathing room to center the set after taking into consideration the space needed to make your gas connections. A gas log set with a control valve of any kind requires air space around the valve to prevent the overheating and possible ruining of the valve.
Not providing enough space for the gas log set can create a difficult install, an off center log set, operational issues, and even ruining a control valve. The important dimensions will be the opening width, back wall width, depth and opening height. You can compare these with the minimum hearth requirements listed on each product page.