Contact Us

Gas Fireplaces, Inserts & Stoves FAQs

No. Gas stoves and fireplaces have a thermopile built into the pilot light. The thermopile generates millivolts of electricity that opens and closes the gas valve when the switch is turned on. If equipped with a fan, the appliance needs electricity. Most gas stoves and fireplaces are very effective radiant heaters. So if there is a power outage, your appliance will still provide heat to your home.

The glass on a gas appliance should be cleaned once a year. The air to fuel mixture will determine how frequently the glass needs to be cleaned.

There are gas conversion kits available for almost all gas appliances. The procedure to convert from one gas to another is straight-forward but is best left to a professional.

Direct vent stoves and fireplaces are sealed combustion systems that use a co-axial piping system, that is, a pipe within a pipe. The outer pipe brings outside air for combustion purposes into the appliance. The inner pipe exhausts the by-products of combustion. This allows for several flexible installation possibilities in any room, including bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens. This type of venting system is usually more efficient than the traditional natural vent or B-vent appliance. B-vented appliances use inside room air for combustion purposes.

This is one of the most controversial subjects in the hearth industry. Vent-free appliances have been around for years, but are not legal to install in some areas.

Whenever fuel is burned, there are by-products from the combustion process. These by-products include carbon dioxide, water vapor, carbon monoxide, aldehydes and nitrous oxides. If not vented outside, these by-products from combustion remain inside the house and can affect the quality of the indoor air.

Technologies like oxygen depletion sensors and catalytic combustors can make vent-free appliances more tolerable, but many people still have concerns with vent free appliances. If there is any way to get a vent pipe to the outside, we always recommend venting a gas stove or fireplace.

No! Don’t do it. It is extremely dangerous.

This is a different story. There are several products available to convert a wood fireplace to gas, such as gas logs, a gas fireplace insert and even a gas stove. We normally need to evaluate the fireplace to determine what options will be best suited for your application. We also suggest you come to the showroom so you can see first hand how this equipment looks and performs.

Both of these conditions are not uncommon during the first few minutes of operation. If, after the first ½ hour the blue flames persist, a technical adjustment may be necessary. The condensation on the inside of the glass should fade and disappear within the first five minutes of operation.

It is common for a new gas unit to give off an odor and even “smoke” during the first few hours of operation. This is because the paint is curing and the manufacturing oils are burning off. A continuous burn of 2 or 3 hours may be necessary to fully cure the new equipment. It may be a good idea to open a nearby window during this process.

Like any appliance, your new gas stove or fireplace will need occasional attention. We always recommend an annual inspection and cleaning. There are several technical adjustments that can be made to enhance the flames so you can enjoy the full beauty and performance of the equipment. These adjustments should be done by a qualified gas technician.

Most appliances have an adjustable gas valve. By simply turning a knob, you can actually adjust the amount of gas you are burning. More gas means higher flame height and more heat. Less gas means lower flame height and less heat. Most fans on stoves and fireplaces use a variable speed control to adjust the amount of air moving through a special convection air chamber designed into the equipment. These fans are activated on a temperature sensitive switch so they will come on and go off, automatically. You can adjust the volume of air by simply turning the switch up or down. So, for the most heat from a stove or fireplace: gas valve on high and the fan on high. The least amount of heat: gas valve on low and the fan control, off.

Radiant heat, heats objects such as people, furniture and the furnishings in a room. Convective heat is air that has been warmed by moving through a heat exchange area. Think of convective heat as air moving through a heated confined space. Radiant warms objects, like the heat from the sunshine.

A zero clearance fireplace is one that is designed with an insulated cabinet or shell around it. These are designed to be built into a frame wall during a remodeling or construction project. Framing members can actually be in contact with the “stand-offs” on its insulated cabinet shell.

A gas fireplace insert is a fireplace designed to be “inserted” or slid into an existing wood burning fireplace. A fireplace insert does not have an insulated cabinet shell around it. Rather, it relies on the integrity of the existing wood burning fireplace to provide the margin of protection the insulated cabinet shell provides on a zero clearance fireplace.

A zero clearance, direct vented fireplace can either be vented through a sidewall or vertically through the roof. A fireplace insert must be vented vertically, using the existing chimney as a conduit to get the vent pipes out of the house.

You have several possibilities. A wall switch looks like a light switch and turns the equipment on and off. A wall thermostat allows the gas equipment to maintain a consistent temperature in the room. There are also remote controls that will allow you to control the appliance from the comfort of your favorite chair.

Open the lower grill and locate the on/off/pilot knob on the gas valve. Turn this knob to the “pilot position”. Push it in, about ¼” – 3/8? and hold it in. Then press the red or black igniter button that is similar to the igniter button on your gas grill; the pilot will light after you push this button a few times. Continue to hold the on/off/pilot knob in for at least 30 seconds after the pilot has lit. Release the knob and the pilot should remain lit. Turn the knob all the way counter-clockwise to the “on” position.

You may not be depressing the on/off/pilot knob long enough after lighting it. If this does not enable the pilot to stay lit, contact us to arrange a service call.

The heat energy coming from a gas appliance can be quite intense and most little ones will feel this heat as they approach a stove or fireplace and will stay away from it. However, if you are concerned, we have several screen shields to protect your children from the equipment.

  1. Leave your home immediately.
  2. Call your gas service supplier from a neighbor’s phone.
  3. Do not try to light any appliance.
  4. Do not touch any electrical switch.
  5. Do not use any phone in your building.
  6. Follow the gas supplier’s instructions.
  7. If you cannot reach your gas supplier, contact the fire department.
  8. Never store or use gasoline or other flammable vapors and liquids in the vicinity of your stove or fireplace.

We suggest you do. Leaving the pilot light on, discourages small insects from nesting in burn tubes and help prevents corrosion and extends the life of the equipment. One service call far exceeds any savings you would realize from the turning pilot light off. Our service technicians find themselves very busy every fall assisting people that do not follow this advice.

It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the item you purchased was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It cannot be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better. There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and people who consider the price alone are this man’s lawful prey.

John Rusking (1819-1900)

If you have other questions, please feel free to give us a call at (608) 929-4887 or fill out our online contact form and an expert team member will promptly reach out to you!

Chimney Specialists Inc. proudly serves the tri-state area of northeast Iowa, northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin, including communities such as Boscobel WI, Dodgeville WI / Mineral Point, WI, Fennimore WI, Madison WI, Middleton WI, Platteville WI, Prairie Du Chien WI, Richland Center WI, Spring Green WI, Mt Horeb WI and Dubuque IA.

Build Your Own Fireplace