Do you enjoy the warmth and beauty of a fire but are not that interested in the maintenance and mess that comes along with an authentic wood fire? If so, you are probably considering adding a set of gas logs as an alternative. I am Melissa from NorthlineExpress and in this video I will discuss what you should consider when choosing a gas log set.
How to Choose Gas Logs
The first decision that you will need to make is whether you want vented or vent free gas logs. A vented gas log must be used in a regular fireplace, designed to burn a wood fire. Vent-free gas logs can be used in a regular fireplace or can be used in a prefabricated vent-free firebox that has no chimney.
Next is your gas log set mostly going to be used for aesthetic purposes or are you looking to get heat from them as well? Some vented gas logs will give up to 25,000 BTUs of heat but most do not give hardly any heat. If you are primarily interested in a large flame and do not care much about receiving heat from the log set then a good choice is a vented gas log. On the other hand if you are expecting to get heat from your new log set then you will want to consider either a vent-free model or a vented gas log that is rated to give heat (most are not) or you can go with a vented gas log set and a Gas Log Heater. The Gas Log Heater will provide up to 25,000 BTUs of heat into the room and can be used with or without glass doors.
Once you have decided between a vented or vent free gas log set there are still a couple other things to consider. Believe it or not, price should not be your first consideration. Remember a cheap price usually means something is missing or the quality is low. You should also consider how realistic the logs appear. Are the logs detailed including a charred look and grain of the wood, or do they look fake?
Another factor to consider is the size of the flame. While flame size can vary depending on each homes gas pressure, many gas log sets have a small flame due to the poor burner design. Pay attention to the burner and consider upgrading burners if the flame size matters to you. Otherwise you could be disappointed and left with a small or fake looking flame.
Choosing a gas valve can be the most tricky of the considerations but is not one to be overlooked. Gas valves come in three varieties, manual on/off, manual safety pilot, millivolt safety pilot. The manual on/off gas valve requires you to light the match, open the gas valve and adjust the flame as desired. A manual valve is not allowed on propane gas log sets, they will require a manual safety pilot.
Manual safety pilot valves are similar to a gas valve seen on a furnace or water heater. Initially you turn on the valve to the pilot position, push it in and hold a match to the pilot opening. They have a standing pilot flame that burns as long as you have the valve in pilot or on position. Turning the valve to the On position lights the gas logs and has some flame adjustment. The pilot can be turned off completely in the summer months to save fuel.
The millivolt safety pilot valve is similar in operation to the manual safety pilot valve except that the valve can be connected to optional devices to turn on/off the gas. They can be connected to an on/off switch, a wall thermostat, or can be operated with a hand held remote control. Remotes vary with the less expensive version having only on/off functions where the more expensive remotes also can control the flame height and/or have a built in thermostat control which will lower or turn off the gas log set when the set temperature is reached.
I hope that you have found this information helpful.