Having a gas fireplace not only makes your home look more elegant, but it also gives a cozy and inviting feel. There’s nothing better than making a cup of hot cocoa and snuggling up to the fire. If you’ve moved into a new home with a gas fireplace or you’re installing one yourself, it’s a good idea to know how it works.
Did you know you can turn on a gas fireplace by using a wall switch? Simply by flipping the switch to the “on” position, it will trigger the fireplace to ignite. This is certainly a lot easier than gathering kindling and wood to get a fire started.
Learning how to control a new thing like a fireplace can be hard. I want to make it as easy as possible for you with this how-to guide. We’ll talk about lighting the fire, turning it off, and everything else you need to know.
Table of Contents
- Consider This Before Turning On A Gas Fireplace
- Lighting a Gas Fireplace Using the Control Panel
- Lighting a Gas Fire With a Key Valve
- How to Turn Off a Gas Fireplace
- Gas Fireplace Alternatives
- Related Questions
Consider This Before Turning On A Gas Fireplace
Before you do anything, it’s important to make sure you’re well acquainted with the unit. Know where the control panel is, which switch you want to power it on and off with, etc.
Opening Your Gas Valve
Some gas fireplaces will require you to open a gas valve using a fireplace key. If you don’t have a key, the unit might have an ignition switch on the control panel. You can use a long match or lighter as well.
If your unit does have a fireplace key, remove the front cover of the fireplace so you can access the burner. Be sure that the pilot knob is in the “off” position. Wait five to ten minutes to allow any excess gas to clear out of the line.
Before moving onto the first step of any method, it’s crucial that you have the chimney vent open.
Using a Wall Switch to Turn On a Gas Fireplace
Several gas fireplaces come with a wall switch control panel that makes it super easy to turn the unit on and off. It’s quite literally as easy as flipping a switch. Once the switch is flipped, it will send a signal to the pilot to ignite a flame.
All you have to do for this is push the button or turn the switch to the “on” position. If you do this and the flame doesn’t ignite, you might need to do it manually. Depending on the instructions in the manual, you can follow the directions in one of the following methods below.
Lighting a Gas Fireplace Using the Control Panel
You’ll often find a red igniter pilot knob and a control dial on gas fireplaces. There will be two to three different options on the pilot knob. All of them have “off” and “pilot,” while some will also have “on” modes.
Step One: Switching the Mode
The first thing you’ll want to do is turn the knob from the “off” position to “pilot.” After you’ve done this, push in the pilot knob to start sending gas into the unit.
Step Two: Push the Igniter Button
Once the gas is on its way to the fireplace, push the igniter button once a second. Do this until the fire lights. This will take longer if your fireplace hasn’t been used for a long time.
Step Three: Hold Down the Pilot
After the pilot lights, you’ll want to be sure to hold down the pilot button for around 30 seconds. This allows the thermocouple to warm up and ensures the flame stays lit. Depending on which gas fireplace you have, you may have to hold the button down for a longer period of time.
Step Four: Adjusting the Flame
Now, release the pilot knob to the “on” position to keep the flame on. You can use the other knobs to adjust the flame to the desired level. After the fire is going, take the cover and reattach it over the control panel.
Always make sure that the gas valve is open. Your fireplace should have a knob or switch that you can turn on. By turning it so that it’s parallel with the gas line will open the valve.
Lighting a Gas Fire With a Key Valve
If you have a fancy fireplace, you might see a round, decorative slot that’s used to control the gas valve. This works in a similar way than other ways to start the units. You’ll need a fireplace key to control the gas flow, including starting the fireplace.
Step One: Pull the Fuel Trigger
Find a long, barbeque lighter and place it next to the burner. If you don’t have a lighter, you can also use a match. Pull the fuel trigger if you can reach it yourself, but you may need some help if it’s far from the burner.
Step Two: Open the Gas Valve
Turn the key in the slot to open the gas valve. After you do this, you’ll likely hear gas coming into the burner. If you don’t hear anything, you should see the pilot light up in seconds.
Step Three: Finish the Job
After the pilot is lit, you can safely put the key cover back in place. If the flames aren’t the size of your liking, you can use the key to control the height. Put the key in a safe place and enjoy the fire.
How to Turn Off a Gas Fireplace
Now that you know multiple ways to turn on a gas fireplace, it’s time to learn how to turn one-off. If you have a wall switch that activates the pilot, you’ll likely just be able to flip the switch to the “off” position.
If the fireplace has a control panel that you can access, turn the knob to “off.” Make sure that the emergency gas valve is turned to the closed position as well. If you’re working with a fireplace key, place the key into the slot.
You’ll then turn the valve until it’s closed, and the gas supply will be cut off. It’s important that you turn off the fireplace whenever you leave your home or go to sleep. There’s a slight danger for carbon monoxide poisoning if the fireplace is left on.
Gas Fireplace Alternatives
While gas fireplaces are convenient, cozy, and make your home look more expensive, there are several alternatives. If you’re not a fan of using gas, here are fireplace options that may work better for you.
The most common type of fireplace other than gas is electric. There are a variety of different styles and price points. Some give an incredibly realistic view of a fire, but you need to be close to feel the warmth of an electric fireplace.
If you like to customize things, you might want to get an LED fireplace. These are great year-round and can make any home look modern and cool. They emit an impressive amount of heat for not actually having a heat source like a gas fireplace.
Some LED fireplaces allow you to switch the flames to colors like blue, pink, green, or red. This is an energy-efficient option that you simply plug into an outlet. There’s no need to learn how to turn one on or off because it just takes a button or switch.
Alcohol Gel Fireplace
Lastly, you can get real fire in an alcohol gel fireplace without worrying about your footprint. This is one of the most eco-friendly options on the market. There aren’t any fumes or smoke with alcohol gel fireplaces either.
The gels come in odorless and scented varieties. One pack will usually last around three hours and provides a cozy ambiance for your home.
Can I turn on my gas fireplace without power?
It depends on the type of gas fireplace you have in your home. If it has a blower or a fan, you’ll have to have electricity. Most gas fireplaces come with a battery backup that can be used during a power outage.
You should only use this in times of need. Never use the battery pack when you have running power to your home.
Should the pilot light always be on in a gas fireplace?
Unless the gas is physically turned off, the pilot light will be on. It shows that there is the slightest amount of gas running to the unit at all times. If there’s a battery backup, the pilot light could be on without any gas going to the fireplace.
Is it safe to sleep with a gas fireplace on?
Even if you feel like you might fall asleep, you should turn on the gas fireplace. It can be done quickly and can prevent things like carbon monoxide poisoning. No matter what type of fireplace you have, you’ll want to make sure it’s off before heading to bed.