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Gas Logs FAQ

Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding gas logs.
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Can gas logs be installed in a coal burning fireplace?

Coal burning fireplaces are built and set up solely to burn coal. The coal fireplace must first be removed and a new firebox installed before a set of gas logs can be put in.

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How are gas logs installed?

Gas logs are meant to be installed by a qualified professional. We strongly recommend you use an HVAC installer or licensed plumber. These professionals have proven knowledge of gas fireplaces, log sets, and stoves as well as their venting systems. In addition, these specialists are fully qualified and have all of the required materials and tools on hand to make the connection safely and ensure it complies with code.

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Where are the replacement parts? offers a wide range of basic replacement parts. Our “Remotes and Parts” section contains these parts. For specific parts, consult an authorized dealer or the manufacturer of the log set.

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How should gas logs be sized?

Gas logs need to be appropriately sized for the fireplace. Bigger is not better in this situation. While actually fitting the set into the fireplace is a primary concern, it must have enough clearance from the fireplace walls to minimize overheating even if the set fits within the fireplace's specifications. Overheating can cause the set to fail. Not only is this a concern for the life of the product, but more importantly a safety concern. To properly size gas logs for a fireplace, use our gas log calculator.

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What are the differences between “vented” and “vent-free” gas logs?

Vent-free gas logs are categorized as an “attended gas heating appliance,” while vented gas logs are categorized as a “attended decorative appliance.” This means that vent-free gas logs are designed to provide supplemental heat to a space, while vented gas logs are designed for decoration. Vented gas logs may produce a nominal amount of heat, but they are not intended to heat a space.

The other important distinction is “flame impingement.” Vented gas logs look more realistic because the flame is allowed to “impinge” on, or touch the logs. Most vented logs can also be repositioned to the users' liking. This makes the vented sets look far more realistic. Vent-free gas logs might little to no flame impingement, but the burners are designed to fit with pre-positioned logs to minimize impingement.

The last major distinction between vented and vent-free gas logs is installation location. Since they produce carbon monoxide, vented gas logs must be installed into a fireplace with a functional chimney. Vent-free gas logs do not require a chimney to be installed in your home. Vent-free can also be installed into an approved pre-fabricated vent-free firebox.

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Are gas logs expensive to operate?

Gas logs are typically inexpensive to operate. Consider the cost and time of ordering, delivering, and stacking firewood. Then consider that this needs to be done on a yearly basis for as long as wood is used. Compare this to the one time cost and set up of a gas log set. If a gas company charges less than a dollar per Therm, ccf or 100,000 BTU, and the BTU rating of the set is under 100,000 BTU, the cost per hour will be less than a dollar.

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What produces more heat - a vented set or a vent-free set?

Vent-free gas logs are designed to produce far more useable heat than vented gas logs. Vent-free gas logs are designated as an “attended gas heating appliance,” whereas vented gas logs are designated as a “attended decorative appliance.” While vented gas logs might produce some incidental heat, most of the heat produced goes up the chimney. If heat production is the primary goal of a gas log purchase, vent-free gas logs fill this need.

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Are the flames on a gas log set adjustable?

While some sets do feature adjustable flame height, it is important to note that not all gas log sets have this feature. Gas log sets using the “match light” ignition system can be regulated using the gas valve installed on the gas line attached to the set.

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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.

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Are vent-free gas logs legal in every state?

No. Currently, vent-free or ventless gas logs are illegal in California, Wisconsin, and Montana. In addition, some local counties and cities, such as New York City, have banned vent-free gas logs, even though the state law permits them. If there is a question of legality or code in an installation, it should be addressed before a purchase is made.

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What control options are available for gas logs?

The simplest form of ignition is the “match light” option. Simply hold a match or log lighter to the burner and open the gas valve. A manual safety pilot is available for most makes and models of gas logs. This method is connected to the gas log set and uses a push button igniter and pilot light. Other options include remotes, wall switches, and even thermostats. Ignition options vary by venting style.

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What is the purpose of a safety pilot on a gas log set?

The safety pilot on a gas log set shuts off the flow of gas to the burner should the pilot light go out or the normal flow of gas get disrupted.

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Should the pilot light on a gas log set be turned off in the summer?

While it is not necessary, in order to save money on fuel costs, we highly recommend it.

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Do embers burn and do they ever need to be replaced?

Glowing embers that complete the look of many gas log sets do not actually burn, they are made from an organic fireproof material. However, embers do fade after time and do need to be replaced. With infrequent usage they can last up to five years. We have found that replacing embers every three years keeps a log set looking brilliant.

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