Gas fireplaces might seem a bit odd, especially whenever you’ve grown up on the idea of two people banging some sticks together to create fire. However, a gas fireplace has a wide variety of advantages over traditional wood-burning and electric fireplaces. If only you knew how to turn the thing on.
If you are having trouble figuring out how to use a gas fireplace, then you are not alone. Thankfully, there are a few answers to getting the gas on and then getting yourself nice and warm by a crackling fire.
What You Will Need
- A gas-operated fireplace
- The manual
- A fireplace key
- A lighter
- The control panel
Some of the tools needed will be different depending on the make and model of your fireplace, and the instructions included in the user’s manual. There are several ways to light a gas fireplace, and rather than being a step by step guide, we are going to walk you through the possible ways to light your fireplace.
With luck, you will only need to use one of these steps to get your fireplace crackling and producing heat, but if you are still having trouble, look in the manual included with your fireplace.
If you do not have access to the manual that came with your fireplace, then try to see if you can look the manual up online. If that fails, then typically some carefully applied common sense will do the trick. Most gas-powered fireplaces have some sort of panel or way that they can be controlled. All you need to do is find it, and then you are in business.
How to Turn on Gas Fireplace with Key – Instructions for Lighting Your Fireplace
1. Remove or open the fireplace screen
The outer cover typically keeps the fire chamber away from the rest of the room. Not only does this prevent anyone from touching the fire, but it also keeps the fire away from your home. It’s a great thing to have except whenever you need to light the fire.
Remove or open the screen before you do anything with lighting the fire so that the pilot light can ignite.
2. Option 1: The Control Panel
Another reason you would remove the fireplace screen is to get inside to see the fireplace’s control panel. Typically the panel will have a large red button and a dial that will need to be turned. First, turn the dial to the pilot position and start pushing the igniter button.
Then once the fire lights, hold down the button for 15 to 30 seconds, and then let go of the knob. The fire should remain on, and you can adjust the flames. Then reattach the screen.
3. Option 2: The Key Valve
Some fireplaces can be controlled with a key valve, so you will need the key to turn the valve. After you remove the screen, use a match or lighter to light the burner and be careful to not burn yourself. Once the burner is lit, insert the key and turn it. The gas should enter the chamber and the pilot light should light up.
Then you can use the key to control the intensity of the flames. Once you have it where you want it, then place the key back and close the screen.
4. Option 4: Use a Wall Switch
By far the easiest and least complicated option, you can simply flick the wall switch and the fire will turn on. The wall switch panel will also have a section where you can change the flame intensity.
This is the easiest way to turn on a gas fireplace, and if you can have this method installed, then do it.
Should my chimney be open with a gas fireplace?
Yes, whenever the gas fireplace is on and the gas logs are burning, then they produce both carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. These two chemicals can be very dangerous if not given an exit, so you should always have your chimney open.
Will a wall switch lit fireplace work if the power goes out?
Sadly, a wall switch lit fireplace uses electricity to send signals to the gas fireplace, and if the power goes out, those signals will not be sent and the valves will not open. If you live in an area with frequent power outages, then a wall switch lit fireplace might not be a good option for you.
Do I need a chimney with a gas fireplace?
Unless you are using a vent free gas fireplace, then yes. Vent-free fireplaces do not vent any air out of the home as there is no need. But for a regular fireplace, regardless of what is powering it, you need a vent to get the air out of the home. For most people, that vent is a chimney.
Are gas fireplaces expensive to operate?
No, whether you use natural gas or propane fuel, natural gas fireplaces do not cost that much to operate. That being said, you should still only run them when you need them, and never run a fireplace for more than five hours at a time.
What Are Gas Logs? Can I replace them?
A gas log is where the gas goes when it is turned on, and this produces the flame you see. A gas log is unique to gas fireplaces, and you should never try to replace them with wooden logs.
Gas fireplaces can be a bit tricky to turn on and use, but once you figure out how to use a gas fireplace, you certainly won’t be forgetting it again! Then you can have a warm fire at the flick of a switch or the press of a button, without having to run outside for wood or fiddle around with matches.
Always make sure to have the instructions near you, and remember to close or replace the glass screen once you are finished with turning the fire on. After that, you and your family can enjoy a warm fire all year round!