Gas Fireplaces: Are They Safe?

While it’s a wonderful feeling to curl up in front of a wood-burning fireplace, sometimes there are easier ways to heat up a room and create the perfect ambience. So instead of buying a truckload of firewood, people are turning to gas fireplaces for their ease of use and cost effectiveness.

However, some people are concerned with the potential dangers and hazards of gas fireplaces. 

General speaking, while operating a gas fireplace improperly can be damaging to your home, taking the proper precautions can prevent any hazards that could arise. Ultimately, gas fireplaces are just as safe as any other hearth when used properly.

Here are some of the most frequently asked safety-related questions regarding gas fireplaces.

How long can you leave a gas fireplace on?

If your gas fireplace is fully vented with a sealed glass front, you can technically leave it running as long as you want. If there are no issues with the fireplace, and if everything is working properly, the only thing you’ll need to worry about is making sure it’s supplied with the right amount of gas. 

However, if you have a vent-free gas fireplace and don’t have a sealed front, you should avoid leaving the fireplace on for more than about three hours at a time. Keep in mind, your gas fireplace will affect your monthly utility bill. So leaving it on for lengthy periods of time isn’t necessarily the most cost-effective way to use the gas fireplace.

How much gas does a gas fireplace use?

Sometimes buying firewood can get expensive, and the heavy lifting can become a pain. Because of this, many people are moving toward a much simpler way of heating up the room — gas. The amount of gas you’ll use completely depends on the brand of gas fireplace you own, the amount of time you leave it on for, and what setting you keep it at. 

How much does it cost to run a gas fireplace?

It typically costs, on average, about $0.50 per hour to run a gas fireplace.

A gas fireplace turned to the highest setting will use around 40,000 BTU/hour. 

Is it safe to leave your gas fireplace on when not at home?

For Ventless Gas Fireplace:
Even if your ventless gas fireplace is maintained and functioning properly, you should avoid leaving it on so that you aren’t risking carbon monoxide poisoning. While it may be technically safe to leave on for extended periods of time, we would never advise anyone to leave it on if the fireplace cannot be monitored.

For Direct Vent Gas Fireplace:
Your direct vent gas fireplace can be left on when you’re not at home, although there isn’t necessarily a reason to do so purposefully. However, you can rest assured that if you accidentally leave it on as you leave your home, no damage will occur. 

Can you burn wood in a gas fireplace?

Do not burn wood in a gas fireplace. There are several things that could happen if you try to do this:

Gas Fireplace Destruction:
Since wood burns at a hotter temperature than gas, trying to burn wood in a gas fireplace can destroy the mechanics within the appliance.

Smoke and Fume Emissions:
Since the gas fireplace can’t burn wood, all the smoke will end up inside your living room. So will the carbon monoxide.

Burning wood in a gas fireplace could potentially cause a house fire. Since the surrounding walls are not built to support a wood fire, any spark can cause serious damage to your home.

You can only burn wood in a gas fireplace if it has been properly converted to do exactly that. 

Are ventless fireplaces reliable?

With proper care, your ventless fireplace will be safe. However, there are risks to using them if they aren’t taken care of.

For example, you’ll need to install carbon monoxide detectors and automatic shut-off valves so that you don’t risk any kind of poisoning, as large doses of carbon monoxide can potentially be fatal. Also, ventless fireplaces produce water vapor at a high level. This can potentially cause, or at least increase the risk, of significant molding on nearby walls if not controlled properly.

How much maintenance is required for gas fireplaces?

Gas fireplaces require significantly less maintenance than a wood-burning fireplace. There’s no ash and debris clean up. There’s also no annual chimney maintenance, because you don’t need a chimney!

However, keep in mind that a ventless fireplace will need to be serviced annually.

Are Gas Fireplaces Affordable?

There are plenty of options and looks to choose from that will fit within your budget, regardless of what it is. With a variety of styles and brands, there’s a perfect gas fireplace for everyone.

Why Choose Bassemier’s for Your Gas Fireplace?

Bassemier’s only offers the best gas fireplaces on the market, and we have the most knowledgeable staff to help you navigate through any further questions you may have about the product. Stop in today to see how Bassemier’s can help you create the hearth of your dreams!