Frequently Asked Questions
Gas Log Questions and Answers
If you have a question about Gas Logs that you cannot find in these resources give us a call at 1-502-365-3797 or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We offer gas logs manufactured by RH Peterson. You can click on the RH Peterson link to access all available log sets and burners.
Which is better, Vented logs vs Vent free logs?
Vented Gas Logs require a fully functional wood burning fireplace, Vent Free Gas Logs can be installed in either a wood burning fireplace, or a vent free fireplace that is rated for aftermarket vent free logs. Vent Free gas logs will produce more heat, while vented gas logs will look much more realistic.
Vented Gas Logs:
Extremely realistic flame pattern that looks like a wood fire
Flame is much taller than vent free logs
Flame dances and wraps around logs like real wood
Does NOT require a CO2 detector
Since the damper is open, most of the smell will go up the chimney
Less heat than vent free logs (probably will not heat your room)
Uses slightly more gas than vent free logs
Vent Free Gas Logs:
Much better heat output than vented gas logs
Slightly less gas consumption
Since the byproduct of burning gas cleanly is water, vent free logs will introduce excess moisture into your home which can result in mold or mildew.
You have to be careful not to burn your vent free logs for extended periods of time with windows closed, otherwise they will deplete the oxygen in your home.
If you burn vent free logs for more than an hour or so, you must crack a window to allow air into your home to replace the oxygen burned by the logs. This will introduce cold air into a room and offset some of the heating benefits.
Vent free logs tend to produce an odor that many people seem to think smells like kerosene.
Vent free logs can cause eye irritation and coughing spells to those that are sensitive.
Vent free logs are required to have an ODS (oxygen depletion system) as well as a CO2 detector, which might tell you that there are some risks involved in operating these if there is a system failure.
The flame pattern with vent free logs is shy in comparison to vented logs. Because the gas must burn cleanly, the flame height is also lower and most of it is a blue color.
You will also find that the flame does not dance around like a real wood fire.
Installing vent free logs is NOT a DIY project. Installation must be performed by a professional who can do the proper tests on your gas pressure and make sure that the installation meets building codes and follows the specifications required.
Clearances to combustibles is different than that of wood burning units or vented gas logs. If there is a mantel above the fireplace, you may need to install a hood to divert heat away from it.
There are also BTU limitations based on the cubic feet of air available in your room. The maximum BTU’s allowed is calculated using this formula: Room width x Room Length x Ceiling Height x 20.
Vent Free gas logs may not be legal in a bedroom or confined space (differs with local building codes).
BOTTOM LINE: Eastwood Stove and Outdoor Shoppe highly recommend that you purchase vented gas logs. You will be much happier with the flame that they produce and less likely to experience discomfort from odors and/or irritation. We only recommend vent free gas logs when maximizing the heat output outweighs all of the other negative aspects.
VENTED gas logs can ONLY be installed in a fireplace that is fully capable of burning wood. That means that the chimney must be in good condition. So if you want to burn gas logs because you had your chimney inspected and were told it was not safe to burn wood because it leaks or something, then it is not safe to burn gas logs either.
Vent free gas logs can only be installed in wood burning fireplace OR a factory built vent free firebox that is rated for use with after-market vent free logs. Every vent free firebox has LIMITATIONS to how many BTUs are allowed and how large a log set it can accommodate. If you have a factory built vent free firebox, you MUST refer to the installation manual to get this information before you can know what will work.
VENTED gas logs flat-out CANNOT be installed in any Gas only fireplace. Although this sounds strange, gas fireplaces are designed to accommodate ONLY the log and burner combinations designed specifically for the particular appliance. Vented gas logs produce far more exhaust and require more draft than a gas only fireplace is designed to accommodate. They also may produce more heat than the venting system is rated for. Vented gas logs are NOT rated to be used with B-Vent period!
VENTED and vent free gas logs CANNOT be installed in any Direct Vent gas fireplace. Direct vent fireplaces are the ones that have a sealed glass front. These are even more finely tuned to work only with the logs that they come with and it is quite dangerous to install anything in them other than what the manufacturer supplied with the unit.
Neither vented or vent free gas logs can be installed in any Wood Stove! Most wood stoves do NOT have a large enough diameter chimney to create a proper draft for a gas log. Wood stoves operate at a very low draft, which is what makes them desirable and efficient. Also, most wood stoves made in the last 20 years are not designed to be burned with the doors open, so gas logs are not appropriate just for that reason alone. Also, wood stoves are designed to capture more heat inside the burning chamber, so a gas log set would OVERHEAT inside a wood stove. Those who believe that a vent free gas log can work in a wood stove would be incorrect because of this factor alone. It is also rare that you can find a gas log small enough to fit properly into a wood stove. Regardless, you cannot install a gas log in any wood burning stove.
How do I determine what size gas logs I need to purchase?
Complete the measurement guide and let us know your specs and we will do the rest!! It's that easy!
Chimney Height: _________ ft.
Flue Tile Opening Dimensions: _______” x _______”
Masonry Fireplace: YES NO
Pre Fab Fireplace: YES NO
If Pre Fab Fireplace: Brand: ____________ Model #: _______________ Serial #:_____________
Can I buy just logs?
We do in fact sell "Logs Only", but there are cases where changing the logs in a fireplace can cause a hazardous situation, or where the burner system that you have in place simply will not work well with fake logs. So before you purchase a set of logs without a burner, we ask that you read the information below. Then give us a call to discuss your needs.
There are 2 common reasons people wish to purchase logs without a burner that can create potential problems:
Reason 1: They have a "Log Lighter" in their fireplace and wish to put fake logs on top of it.
If you already have a burner in your fireplace, make sure that it is a "Gas Log Burner" and not a "Log Lighter". Log Lighters are designed to burn gas in order to start a real wood fire without using kindling. Although you can in fact use a log lighter to burn your gas logs, we do not recommend it for the following reasons:
Sooting: Because the air to fuel mixture is not controlled properly with a log lighter (unless there is an air mixer), they tend to produce a lot of soot. This will blacken your logs far more than a burner specifically designed for gas logs. In some cases, "Black Soot" will accumulate almost immediately on your gas logs and cover the bark and wood details in a matter of minutes. In some cases, the soot is so bad that it gets into the room...on the walls and on your furniture.
Unrealistic Flame: A log lighter is not designed to emulate the look of a real wood fire. The flames come up looking more like fingers of fire rather than a natural looking flame.
No Glowing Ember Bed: A log lighter will not produce the glowing bed of embers below your gas logs. Gas Log Burners are designed to be buried beneath sand or vermiculite and then covered with the ember material. The gas must come up through the sand, which helps control the air to fuel mixture and reducing sooting. It also causes the ember material to glow red hot. The ember material is typically made of "Rock Wool" which is a high temperature insulation material, so it does not burn, it just gets red hot.
No Safety Pilot or Controls:With a burner designed specifically for gas logs, you can choose from several Remote Control or Manually Operated Safety Pilot Systems that will prevent the logs from leaking gas into your home in the event that a small child (or adult) turns on the gas without lighting the logs. You will not have such options if you use a "Log Lighter".
Reason 2: They have a "Gas Only" fireplace and do not like the way the logs that came with it look, or wish to replace broken logs.
Warning: If you have a Gas Fireplace, you most likely "CANNOT" replace your logs with "DIFFERENT" logs!
These types of fireplaces usually have a burner system that is built-into the bottom of the fireplace and the controls are accessed by pulling down the bottom grill. If you are trying to replace the logs in such a fireplace, you most likely need to locate the logs made by the manufacturer of the fireplace for that "Exact" model...you should not use any other logs unless otherwise stated in the owner's manual for the fireplace. If you cannot locate your owner's manual, Google it online, or contact the manufacturer. If the manufacturer is out of business, then you are most likely stuck with what you have, or you will need to replace the entire fireplace (and possibly the venting as well) if you want new or different logs.
Why? Gas fireplaces are designed to be burned in a very controlled manner, and each model is different depending on how they were designed. Using logs other than those supplied with the fireplace can cause it to overheat or burn uncleanly...resulting in the production of soot and other potentially toxic byproducts such as Carbon Monoxide. This can create a very unsafe condition.
Can wood be burned on a gas log set?
No. Never attempt to introduce any foreign objects to a gas log fire. Even if the gas logs have been removed, a gas log burner is not designed to hold or burn wood. This could damage the fireplace and the gas log burner. In addition, it will also void the warranty.
What type of fireplace is required for me to install my gas logs?
Believe it or not...gas logs, are not safe to install in gas fireplaces (with few exceptions). Sounds odd, but it's quite true. Gas logs are actually made to be installed in wood burning fireplaces as a way of converting them to gas. They are not made to "spruce up" a poorly designed gas fireplace like those you see in many condos and apartments...and yes, maybe even in your home. Bottom line is, if you install a gas log in a gas fireplace that was not designed to accommodate them, you might end up asphyxiating yourself or burning your house down. So before you buy gas logs, you must know what type of fireplace you have...and if it is safe to burn gas logs in it.
VENTED GAS LOGS: Vented gas logs can be installed in most any fireplace that is fully capable of burning wood. Vented gas logs must be burned with the damper open. Vented gas logs can also be installed in outdoor fireplaces and fire pits that meet local building codes. You CANNOT install vented gas logs in any gas fireplace or gas stove including b-vent (natural vent), direct vent or vent free gas fireplaces. They MUST only be installed in an approved fireplace that is fully capable of burning wood.
Vent free GAS LOGS: vent free gas logs can be installed in any fireplace that is fully capable of burning wood and are burned with the damper closed. vent free logs can also be installed in some approved vent free fireboxes, providing the firebox is specifically rated for the use of after-market vent free logs and does not have a specific proprietary vent free log and burner system supplied by the fireplace manufacturer. A vent free fireplace has no chimney, vent or damper. You CANNOT install vent free gas log in any other type of gas fireplace or gas stove including b-vent (natural vent), direct vent or vent free gas fireplaces.
How do I know what type of fireplace I have and is it safe to burn gas logs in it?
You need to know if you have a wood burning or a fireplace that is only designed to burn gas. If it is a wood burning fireplace, then you can probably install gas logs in it. If it is not a wood burning fireplace, then you most likely CANNOT install gas logs in it (except for a few vent free fireboxes as described below). If you do not know if you have a wood burning fireplace or not, the information on this page will help you make that determination, but first, look inside your fireplace to see if there are any metal parts aside from the damper. If there are, then it is probably some type of prefabricated fireplace. If that is the case, there should be a metal label with the brand name and model number located somewhere inside the fireplace. That label might also have some stipulations as to what you can burn in it. The label is usually somewhere near the opening, either on the sides (sometimes hidden by a mesh curtain) or on the upper front area just inside the opening. If you can find the label, try to Google the information on it to learn more about your fireplace. Often times you can find the owners manual online in a downloadable .pdf file. If you are still having difficulty determining what type of fireplace you have, just call us and we will help you figure it out. You can also take pictures of your fireplace and email them directly to us at email@example.com.
Masonry Fireplaces- OK for both vented and vent-free
A typical masonry fireplace will have a hearth (firebox) and chimney that was built from scratch by a mason using some type of masonry. The inside of the fireplace will have special refractory bricks and the chimney outside the house will usually be made from brick as well, although it may be covered with stone or stucco. A "Tilt-up" fireplace that is made completely out of concrete and then tilted up to the house during construction would be considered equivalent to masonry fireplace. A masonry fireplace will usually have a heavy damper assembly with a long metal lever to open and close the damper. Although the chimney outside the house may be covered with stucco, stone, or any other building material, the actual inside if the chimney on a masonry fireplace is often lined with an oval shaped clay flue liner, although some older homes will have only brick. The flue liner or inside of the chimney of a masonry fireplace is usually rectangular or oval in shape and is normally 8" x 14" or larger (sometimes much larger). For larger size chimneys, there may be 2 or more flue liners. It is rare that a masonry fireplace has a flue that is smaller than this, so if your flue is smaller, then you may not have a masonry fireplace. Don't be fooled into thinking you have a masonry fireplace just because there is brick or stone around the opening or covering the chimney outside...often times the brick or stone you see is simply decorative and has been applied over the face of a prefabricated gas or wood burning fireplace to make it look like a masonry fireplace.
Often times a masonry wood burning fireplace will have a gas line already installed with a log lighter attached to it. The log lighter uses gas to start a real wood fire instead of using kindling. A log lighter is not an appropriate burner to be used with gas logs, but you can easily replace it with a gas log burner system.
If your damper is a wide rectangular piece that opens and closes with a lever and your fireplace is capable of burning wood, then you have a masonry wood burning fireplace and it will be capable of burning vented or vent free gas logs. Always have your chimney inspected before burning wood in your fireplace or installing a gas log. If you have been told that there are cracks in your chimney and it is not safe to burn wood, then you cannot safely burn a vented gas logs either because, just as with burning wood, the exhaust may get into the cracks and come into your home. In such cases, it may still be safe to burn a vent free gas log, but you must consult with a professional who is capable of inspecting your firebox and making the final determination.
Prefabricated Wood Burning Fireplaces: Mostly OK for Vented Gas Logs and May be OK for Vent Free
A Prefabricated (or zero clearance) wood burning fireplace is a metal box that is lined with refractory panels and has a round metal chimney anywhere from 8" to 15" in diameter. The metal box and pipe are built-into the home with 2x4 construction and the chimney outside the house is usually covered with stucco, siding, or sometimes brick veneer or stone. If you have a round damper that is 8" in diameter or larger and your fireplace is capable of burning wood, then you have a prefabricated wood burning fireplace.
Often times a prefabricated wood burning fireplace will have a gas line already installed with a log lighter attached to it . The log lighter uses gas to start a real wood fire instead of using kindling. A log lighter is not an appropriate burner to be used with gas logs, but you can easily replace it with a gas log burner system.
If you have a prefabricated fireplace and want to determine what type of gas logs it can accommodate (if any), we suggest you first look at the installation manual. If you do not have a copy of the manual, find the model number of your fireplace and use google to find a .pdf copy...if it exists. The brand and model number should be stamped into a metal plate braided to the fireplace somewhere near the opening on either side or at the top behind the mesh curtain (if you have one).
VENTED GAS LOGS: Prefabricated wood burning fireplaces can normally accommodate a vented gas log, which must be burned with the damper open. If the fireplace was designed to use vented gas logs, a gas line may already have been installed when the house was built. If there is no gas line installed, there will be knockouts for installing a gas line on either or both sides of the refractory liner inside the fireplace as well as in the sheet metal on the outside of the firebox, if in fact the fireplace was designed to be retrofitted with gas. If these knockouts do not exist, that suggests the manufacturer never intended to have a gas line run to the fireplace. If that is the case, you would need to find a copy of the installation manual to find out if any specific provisions are allowed for running a gas line to the fireplace. If you cannot locate a copy of the manual, we suggest that you do NOT install a gas log. FYI: Vented gas logs are usually referred to as a "Decorative Gas Appliance" in the installation manual and are not usually referred to as a gas log.
VENT FREE GAS LOGS: You may also be able to install a vent free gas log into a prefabricated fireplace depending on the manufacturer and model fireplace you have. You must check with the owner's manual to determine if vent free gas logs are allowed in your fireplace model. If vent free gas logs are approved for your fireplace, the manual will say so explicitly and will state any limitations that are required...such as size or maximum BTU. vent free gas logs are often referred to as a vent-free heater or vent free heater in the owner's manual. If the owners manual does not specifically state that you can install vent free gas logs, then you cannot install them.
Vent free Fireplaces and Fireboxes: NOT OK for vented gas logs. May be OK for Vent Free
Vent Free fireplaces are similar to prefabricated wood burning fireplaces in that they are a metal box that is framed into your house with 2x4s. The big difference is that there is no chimney at all. Most vent free fireplaces come with a factory installed gas log and burner system and you cannot change it without causing serious safety issues. However, there are some vent free fireboxes that are specifically designed to accommodate an after-market vent free gas log of any brand. If you have the latter type, then you can use any of the vent free logs on our site, but you must be sure to consult the owner's manual of the fireplace to find out what the size and BTU limitations are because there usually are such stipulations set by the factory and exceeding them can create a potential fire hazard.
You cannot install vented gas logs in a vent free fireplace under any circumstances.
Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces: NOT for Vented Gas Logs /NOT for vent free Gas Logs
B-Vent Gas Fireplaces: NOT for Vented Gas Logs /NOT for vent free Gas Logs
Wood and Gas Stoves: NOT for Vented Gas Logs /NOT for vent free Gas Logs
What are the different control options?
Match Light: Match light systems do not have any type of safety pilot. You start the fire by lighting a long lighter or match and holding it inside the fireplace just above the burner while you turn on the gas. The gas valve should be located either in the wall or floor. If your gas valve is inside the fireplace, be sure that it is legally installed. Most cities require that you at least have a cut off valve outside the fireplace that is in reach. Match light burners are substantially less expensive than other options, but are not legal in many cities.
Manual Safety Pilots: Manually controlled gas logs have a safety pilot that stays lit all of the time (it can be turned off during the off-season). The safety pilot attached to the burner will have a knob that you turn to light the fire. This knob works as long as the safety pilot is lit. You cannot use a remote control with a manual safety pilot. Manual safety pilots are less expensive than remote control pilots because they use a less sophisticated system. This is also the least expensive way to operate gas logs with Liquid Propane.
Remote Safety Pilots: A remote capable safety pilot operates like a manual safety pilot with a knob or switch to turn on the fire. However, you can also purchase a separate remote control or wall control to turn the logs on as well. In most cases the remote control is sold separately. Some remote capable controls only turn the fire on and off while others can adjust the flame height as well. The variable flame remote controls are more expensive.
Electronic Ignition Remote Systems: Electronic ignition systems are the latest technology. These types of systems turn the gas on and off electronically and do not have a standing safety pilot. There is no wasted gas or noise from a gas pilot when the logs are not burning. This is the most expensive type of system, but the most desired.
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