How to Operate a Gas Fireplace?

Gas fireplaces offer a great way to bring a sense of warmth and comfort into your home. They’re also an excellent alternative to wood-burning fires, as they vent outside to prevent harmful carbon monoxide emissions from entering your home. To get the most out of your gas fireplace, though, it’s important to learn how to operate it properly. 

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First, you’ll want to determine what type of fireplace yours is. Some units use a knob or key control, while others have an electronic ignition. Once you’ve determined the type, it’s time to light your gas fireplace. 

Step 1 – Locate the Fireplace Key or Knob

Some gas fireplaces have a round, decorative slot somewhere near the fireplace where you can insert a key. Follow the instructions in your fireplace’s owner’s manual to find this place. If you can’t find it, search for a similar spot in the floor or around the fireplace, as these places are usually easier to reach than the slot. 

Step 2 – Turn on the Pilot Light

To start a gas fireplace, you’ll need to ignite its pilot light, which uses a small amount of fuel and is powered by a small flow of gas. Depending on the unit you own, this may be done using a long lighter, or it might be a more sophisticated method that involves a wall switch. 

Step 3 – Light the Pilot Burner

Some units have a separate burner that can be lit by a long lighter or by a match. This flame is used to heat the flue and chimney and to improve airflow in the firebox. 

Step 4 – Set the Pilot Light Mode

Many types of gas fireplaces allow you to change between two different pilot light modes. A standing pilot mode will keep the flame on indefinitely, while an intermittent pilot mode only lights it when needed. 

This is a good choice for winter months when you’re likely to be using your fireplace a lot. The standing pilot mode keeps the chimney vent warm, which helps eliminate moisture condensation and also warms up the colder vented air that gets trapped inside the firebox. 

Step 5 – Press the Igniter Button Once Every Second

Once the pilot light goes on, it’s time to press the igniter button once every second. This is necessary to ensure that the thermocouple has warmed up sufficiently and that the flame will stay lit for a while. This can take a few seconds, so be patient and hold down the button for about 15 to 30 seconds. 

If the pilot lights and stays lit for about 30 seconds, then you can turn on the rest of the controls and adjust the flame height if desired. If it doesn’t light, try again in a few minutes. If it’s still not lighting, contact a service professional for a professional inspection.