How Do Gas Fireplaces Work: An Introduction for Interested Homeowners

Want the warmth and cheer of a real fire in your home, but don’t want the hassle, cleanup and danger that come from burning a wood fire? There’s good news – a gas fireplace can give you all that you want, and more, and it can do it safely. How do gas fireplaces work, though? They’re actually pretty simple.

Fuel Source

As the name implies, gas fireplaces use, well, gas. Burning gas is what creates the heat and light of the fire. It’s the same principle as your gas grill or gas stove. The same fuel is burned, with the same results.

What about the Logs?

When considering how gas fireplaces work, many people are confused by the purpose and function of the gas log set within the fireplace. The logs are not consumed by the fire. Rather, they act like reflectors and help to distribute the heat generated by the flame more evenly. There’s also the fact that they are beautiful to watch, and help recreate the feel of a wood fire.

What about Exhaust?

Natural gas burns very cleanly, and you’ll find that many gas fireplaces do not vent at all. However, many of the inserts on the market do vent for more peace of mind. Essentially, this just sends the exhaust from the gas up your chimney, where it exits into the atmosphere. The only problem with this setup is that you lose some of the heat generated by the fire, as it will escape out the vent. Note that air for flame combustion is pulled from outside through an inbound vent, which in turn forces particulates like carbon monoxide out of the home.

Unvented Fireplaces

As mentioned previously, when considering how do gas fireplaces work, you’ll come across both vented and unvented systems. Unvented gas fireplaces are very similar to gas ranges. That is, they burn very clean, and there is no need for outside venting to dissipate fumes.

Is a Gas Fireplace Right for My Home?

Your home might be an ideal place to install a gas fireplace, and you have a very wide range of design and style options from which to choose. However, it’s highly recommended that you work with a trusted gas fireplace installer to not only sort through the choices available to you, but to complete the installation safely and ensure there are no leaks in the gas line.

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