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Gas Fireplace Logs

If you have chosen a gas-burning fireplace, you will need to install a log set in your gas fireplace to get the full effect of a wood burning fire. Newer models of these log sets produce a surprisingly realistic fire. Not only have the logs themselves detailed with wood graining and partial charring, but there are also decorative embers, cinders, and glowing coals that make these logs difficult to detect from the real thing.

If you are thinking of buying gas fireplace logs, consider the following:

  • Gas logs don't simply sit on top of the gas flame -- instead, they are connected to the gas source and function as the gas burner.
  • Gas log sets come either vented or vent-free. Vented logs must be used in a regular fireplace with a flue that is connected to the outside. Vent-free sets can be used in regular fireplaces or in prefabricated vent-free fireboxes that do not have a chimney.
  • Most vented sets do not give off much heat, as the heat escapes up the flue. They are a good choice for those who are basically interested in a dramatic flame, as they usually burn more BTU’s of gas. Vented sets have a lower purchase price than vent-free sets.
  • Vent-free and some special vented log sets will provide heat. Vent-free logs are less expensive to operate because they consume about half the fuel of vented sets and can be operated with the damper closed so the heat stays in the room. Vent-free logs have smaller flames and do not look as realistic as vented logs. Many vent-free sets can be wired to a room thermostat or remote controlled thermostat to provide supplemental heat.
  • Log sets can be made with either ceramic fiber logs or concrete refractory logs. Concrete refractory logs do not glow, but the logs themselves have more detail and are more durable than ceramic fiber logs. Ceramic logs will glow after they have been turned on for about 15 minutes, resulting in a more realistic looking fire. Better quality ceramic sets will be reinforced with steel rods to help them resist the damage from the thermal shock of rapid heating and cooling.
  • Gas fire log sets come in several different sizes. It is important that you measure your fireplace box and follow the manufacturers specifications before purchasing a set of logs.

Most regular gas fire log sets have a definite front and back, so if you have a see-through fireplace designed to be seen from two sides, you will need a set of logs that is finished on both sides.

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