How to Buy a Gas Log Set
Why should you use a gas log set?
The modern appeal of affordability and convenience has drawn more people to convert their old wood fireplaces into a clean and efficient gas log set. The benefits a gas log set can offer are numerous. With the unique advantages they all offer, and different types and options, it is hard to know what log set is right for you. Lets consider these key differences..
The first thing to consider when choosing a gas log set is the enclosure or space you're planning to put your logs - is your fireplace vented or unvented? How big is the enclosure? What type of gas is available to your home? Lets take a look at vented and vent free options..
Advantages of a Vent Free Log Set
- They must be installed in an approved ventless enclosure
- Potentially more heat output since no heat is lost due to venting
- Oxygen depletion sensors monitor oxygen levels in the room to ensure safety
Advantages of a Vented Log Set
- The must be installed in an approved vented location
- Most wood burning fireplaces already have venting installed
- Similar heat output to wood burning fireplaces (some heat will be lost)
Fireplace Enclosure Size
Choosing the right log set is also about ensuring the right fit within your firebox. You must consider the depth, height, and rear width.
- Measure the front and back widths, the depth, and the height of your enclosure
- Choose a log size based on the available enclosure space
- A wide range of gas logs are available from 16" up to 70" for some sets
- Be sure to account for clearance of the gas valve or added remote receiver box
The two available gas types for logs are natural gas and propane. Most often, homes in town will be equipped with natural gas while homes located in more rural areas will have their appliances running on propane.
- Both propane and Natural Gas are available
- Consider what gas type is available to you and choose the corresponding log set
- Work with a local gas plumber to ensure gas line size and BTU requirements are met
- Natural Gas tends to be more affordable than propane
Manual Match Light
- The simplest and most straight forward ignition type, match light systems don't feature any sort of safety gas valve or pilot light - simply open the gas valve manually, and light the burner with a lighter. This type of system is basic, but without any moving parts it is always going to work, so long as there is gas running through the line - and you can raise and lower the flame height for various flame levels.
Manual Safety Pilot Assembly
- A step up from match light systems, gas log sets with a manual safety pilot assembly help simplify the ignition process. the pilot assembly gets mounted on/near the burner and you'll manually light the pilot - leaving the pilot to continuously run as a "standing" pilot. Then all that's left is manually opening the gas valve using the control knob and the pilot light ignites the flames - simple enough.
Remote Control Pilot Assembly
- The most convenient ignition option for gas logs are units that feature a remote control assembly to automate the ignition process. The more basic units simply feature an on/off remote control to control the ignition while the more advanced units can raise and lower flame heights or even electronically spark the pilot light so you can avoid running the pilot light continuously.
Other Key Considerations
These central configurations are key to the performance of your gas log set, beyond them several variations are available to ensure there's a viable option to fit your specific needs. Other factors to consider would be : ANSI certification, 2-sided "See-Thru" logs, reversible logs and contemporary fire glass sets.
- Certain local codes or state zoning laws require higher safety certifications than other areas. Most manufacturers create their logs sets directly for this purpose and usually carry the ANSI certification to ensure the high standards set for log sets and safety.
See-Thru Log Sets
- Contemporary log sets are growing in popularity, especially 2-sided sets. "See-thru" units, that divide two rooms can provide a unique accent to any space and are great spots to put these see-thru sets because they accommodate both rooms.
Reversible Gas Log Sets
- If you're like many of us who are extremely indecisive or like to play with custom designs and appearances, reversible log sets may be just the item for you. These log sets feature a customized 2-sided appearance that can be flipped around for unique combinations for different looks.
Contemporary Fire Glass Sets
- For the more modern approach, contemporary fire glass sets are available to lend a distinct appearance. These unique burner systems feature the same high quality flame presence but have a special design to accommodate the use of contemporary fire glass of any color.