Here at Gas Fireplace Headquarters we get a lot of email with questions people have about their gas fireplaces. We thought we’d answer some of the more common questions in one post. Here are our answers to three common questions about gas fireplace ownership:
- Why is my Gas Fireplace cutting off?
- How many BTUs does a gas fireplace produce?
- Can I burn wood in my gas log fireplace?
Why is my Gas Fireplace cutting off?
A common problem among gas fireplace owners is that the fireplace will turn itself off in the middle of use. When this happens the pilot light will also go out. This is understandably frustrating for many because one must first light the pilot light before they can turn on the fireplace.The fact that the pilot light goes out is a good thing. This means that your gas fireplace’s safety mechanism is working, which is designed to turn off the gas flow if your fireplace stops burning while the gas is still flowing.
Normally your gas fireplace will turn off like this because of an obstruction along the burners. An obstruction can be anything from dust to cobwebs. You can safely clear any obstructions by getting a can of compressed air and spraying around the burners. You may need to remove the safety glass and ceramic logs to gain access to the burners, so be sure to refer to your fireplace manual on the proper procedure. You may need to do this every year before you start using your fireplace.
If the gas fireplace continues to shut off, consult a certified expert to come inspect your gas line and set up.
How many Btu does a gas fireplace produce?
Btu stands for British Thermal Unit. It is a system of measuring heat, or energy, output. When used to measure heat output, it is calculated as Btu per hour in order to give an estimation as to the amount of heat that is output in that time frame.
Depending on the size and type of your natural gas fireplace, they can use anywhere from 8,500 Btu per hour to 100,000 Btu per hour. By comparison, the average conventional stove burner uses 9500 Btu of heat on its highest setting. This is why you normally only want to run your gas fireplace while you’re in the room, otherwise you’re wasting a lot of energy.
Can I burn wood in my gas log fireplace?
This is a surprisingly common question. If it’s not surprising to you, then you’ve come to the right place.
The answer to this is without a doubt no!
First of all, the purpose of a gas fireplace is to avoid burning wood in the first place. If you absolutely need to burn wood, then don’t use a gas fireplace. The reasons are too numerous to go into here, but the most important reasons are:
- You don’t want an uncontrolled open flame near a gas line.
- Wood ash will clog your gas burners, rendering your gas fireplace inoperable.
The bottom line is gas fireplaces are made to replace wood burning fireplaces and are specially designed not to need wood. Burning wood in your gas fireplace will not only break it, but it is a major safety hazard.
If a natural wood burning look is what you’re after, we’ve got you covered. Gas fireplace technology has reached the point where ceramic log inserts capture the realism of burning wood better than ever before. From a distance you can’t tell the difference.
Here are some of our favorite gas fireplace ceramic logs: