What is a gas fireplace?
A gas fireplace is a complete fireplace that burns either natural or manufactured gas to create the look and feel of an open fire, without any wood smoke or ashes.
“Gas fireplaces do not emit fumes such as soot, tar, sooty ashes, and other pollutants associated with burning wood. They also do not require splitting and stacking wood.”
How does a gas fireplace work?
A gas fireplace has a burner that is lit with a pilot light. The pilot light heats the natural gas or propane gas, causing it to burn. The fire box contains glass doors that allow you to see the ‘fire.’
Can you burn wood in a gas fireplace?
You can definitely burn wood in a gas fireplace! In fact, many people do this to create a more traditional fireplace feel.
Just be sure you have the right type of wood for your gas fireplace, and that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for doing so.
When you go to buy wood for your fireplace, make sure you ask the seller if it’s suitable for burning in a gas fireplace. Usually, any hardwood will work well in a gas fireplace, but you should avoid softwoods like pine.
There are a few things to keep in mind when burning wood in a gas fireplace. First, make sure the flue is open so that the smoke can escape. You’ll also want to burn seasoned wood to avoid excess creosote and soot.
Once you get the hang of it, burning wood in a gas fireplace is really no different than burning wood in a regular fireplace, except of course you don’t have to worry about ash or soot.
How do you convert a gas fireplace to burn wood?
To convert a gas fireplace to burn wood, you’ll need to have an open-faced chimney. If you have a closed-combustion system, chances are it won’t work with wood.
But since the vast majority of residential fireplaces are not closed-combustion, they can usually be converted to burn either natural or manufactured gas.
There are two ways to convert to an open-face chimney. One is by inserting a stovepipe through the wall of your house and attaching it directly to your chimney. The other way is by attaching a plenum above the top of your fireplace that draws up all the smoke that would normally go into your chimney.
Whichever way you choose to convert, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as there can be serious safety implications if the process is not done correctly.
Hazards of Burning Wood in the Wrong Gas Fireplace
There are a number of hazards that arise from burning wood in a gas fireplace. The first is the increased risk of creosote buildup, which can eventually lead to a chimney fire.
Creosote is a black, tar-like substance that’s created as wood burns and it can easily ignite.
Another issue is the excessive smoke that’s produced from burning wood in a gas fireplace.
The increased level of smoke in your living space can be irritating and cause respiratory problems for you and anyone else who spends time in the room with the fireplace.
If you use a lot of wood or have a really large patio, then there may also be an issue with the size of your chimney.
If you have an unusually large chimney, the wood smoke can cause it to fill up with soot. The extra weight of all that soot may be enough to weaken the chimney and cause it to collapse.
Be sure to take all of these hazards into consideration before deciding whether or not to burn wood in your gas fireplace.