Can you put a gas log set in a bedroom?
This is a frequently asked question by homeowners who want to put a gas log set in a bedroom but have various questions on how safe and durable it is. Installing a gas log set in a bedroom is possible, but there are several things you have to consider so you can get the most out of it.
In this article, we will show you all you need to consider with full details that will make it easier to understand. You too can enjoy the aesthetics and warmth that the gas log provides.
The variety of gas log set to put in a bedroom
There are basically two varieties of gas log sets (vented and ventless.) They both have their advantages. Nevertheless, what you need to consider is if you want to put a gas log set in an existing fireplace (you will have to check out the venting system used), or you want to put the gas log set in a new fireplace (this gives you more choosing options)
A wood-burning fireplace with a wide-open damper is the best place to put vented gas log sets. Ventless gas log sets also work with wood-burning fireplaces but the damper has to be closed, you can also use approved ventless gas firebox closures.
- Vented gas log set
This type of gas log set has a realistic look and a large flame pattern that adds to the aesthetics of a bedroom. The large size of the flame is because it burns more Btu of gas. This large flame is pretty and mesmerizing
However, most of the heat it produces will go up the chimney, so if you want to put a gas log set in a bedroom because you need heat, the vented gas log set is not the choice to opt for. It is only a great choice if you want to use it for aesthetics purposes.
- Ventless gas log set
If you want to put a gas log set in a bedroom because you need heat, then a ventless gas log set is what you should opt for. It sends heat into your bedroom and not up the chimney. This type of gas log set will heat up an average-sized bedroom. Moreover, it requires half the fuel needed for conventional vented gas log sets to burn.
If you’re using a ventless gas log set in your bedroom, make sure there is adequate ventilation. You can also open the damper slightly for a little bit of venting so your room doesn’t overheat.
The only downside is that its flame size is smaller and not as realistic as that of vented gas log sets. However, if you are more concerned with heating up your bedroom, then there is no need to worry much. Moreover, you can connect most ventless gas log sets to a wall thermostat and use it as supplemental heat, especially if your room is large.
Most regions do not permit ventless appliances, so you need to check local codes and ordinances to ascertain if you can use it or not.
Size of the gas log set to use
If you want to put a gas log set in a bedroom, you need to also consider the size of the gas log set that fits your fireplace. Below we offer a very simple measuring process that will help in choosing the appropriate size of a gas log set to use.
- Pick up your measuring tape and measure the front width of the fireplace.
- Now measure the back width of the fireplace.
- The depth of the fireplace is next. Measure it from the front to the back.
- Measure the front height of the fireplace. Start from the top to the bottom.
- Now measure the back height of the fireplace. Start from the top to the bottom.
If your fireplace is in front of your bed and you want to see the embers flickering whenever you are lying down, then you need to raise the platform that the gas log set and the burner will be on. The platform should be about 15 – 20cm higher than your bed.
If it is a professional that is helping you fit the gas log set in the bedroom, then you will have to tell them that you want to see the fire when you are on the bed. They will help you plan it out.
Types of gas logs
The gas log types you will come across are refractory cement, ceramic fibers, and refractory ceramic. They are designed to resemble real wood as much as possible because molds of actual woods are used, and this gives it a realistic look. These gas logs also withstand high heat, and that is why they have a long lifespan which could be around 3 to 5 years or more, depending on usage.
Besides, most of these gas logs are reinforced with steel bars that keep then from bending or cracking. This makes them even more durable.
An excellent way to know when they need to be replaced is to keep an eye on their appearance; if they seem faded and start to show signs of wear and tear or are beginning to crack and crumble, it is time to replace them.
- Refractory ceramic gas logs
Refractory ceramic gas logs are made up of ceramic and cement mixture, and this makes it give off more heat than other gas log types. It also tends to last longer than cement logs due to its high heat rating, so it won’t easily fade or crack with long term use.
- Refractory cement gas logs
Unlike refractory ceramic, this gas log is made up of cement mixture only. It comes in different qualities that you can easily differentiate through the price. The high-quality ones are expensive but they look more realistic; nevertheless, it is preferable to opt for a high-quality one, especially if you want to put a gas log set in your bedroom so as to add to its beauty. They are mostly used as vented gas logs.
The downside of this kind of gas log is that under extremely high heat, they are prone to cracking, so they won’t last as long as ceramic gas logs.
- Ceramic fiber logs
This type of gas log is the most affordable. It is lightweight when compared with the others. However, it usually gives off an odor when it is burning, and most people won’t find it appealing.
Types of fuel to use
The two types of fuel you can use to burn gas logs are natural gas and propane. They burn differently, so there are some differences in their safety pilot choices and burner orifices. You can’t use a natural gas burner for propane and vice versa.
Propane is heavier than air, so if a manual valve isn’t closed tightly, the gas will leak and puddle inside the fireplace, then it will flow into your bedroom, and this is dangerous. Whereas, natural gas is lighter than air, so if the manual valve isn’t closed tightly, the gas will leak into the chimney and not your room, making it less dangerous than propane.
After you have put a gas log set in a bedroom, you need to consider the fuel type to use. If you already have an existing fireplace in your bedroom, there is the possibility that natural gas is already plumbed into the fireplace. If it isn’t yet plumbed in, but your home is equipped with natural gas, you can just run a line from the main gas to the fireplace.
If your home doesn’t have gas, the feasible thing to do is to install a propane tank outside the fireplace. However, this can be a little challenging because of the architectural design of your home.
Before any installation is done, make sure you consult your local gas company for guidance and advice. Also, when running a gas line from the gas main, you must consider the distance and calculate the diameter of the pipe that is going to be used so you can supply the right amount of gas pressure. Make sure you also refer to the manual of your gas log set before running the gas line.
How to start and control the gas log set fire
There are three options you can consider –
- Match Light
This option won’t work for propane; it can be used for natural gas only. To set it up, you will light a match or lighter, place it near the burner, then turn the gas on with the key valve. The key valve is also what you will use in controlling the burning level of the flame.
- Manual Safety Pilot
This option has a safety pilot that also has to be manually lighted and it stays lit all the time. There is a control knob inside the fireplace for turning the burner on and off. It is much easier to upgrade this later to a remote-controlled gas log set.
- Remote Control
This option allows you to control certain features of the gas log set through remote control. You can on/off the burner and also control the burning level of the fire using the remote.
Some safety tips
Vented gas log sets are more secure than ventless gas log sets because their heat leaves through the chimney. Since the heat of the ventless gas log set goes into the room, when there is inadequate oxygen, it will give off carbon monoxide which is a poisonous gas.
Nevertheless, you can still prevent yourself from inhaling carbon monoxide because fireplaces designed for ventless log sets usually have oxygen depletion sensors. If the oxygen reaching your fireplace is little, it will automatically shut the fireplace before carbon monoxide is produced.
Since ventless gas log sets are the ones with the most risk, it’s necessary that your bedroom has ample square footage before putting installing a gas log set. Moreover, don’t use it for more than two hours (you can use a vented log set for more than two hours)
If you want to still opt for a ventless gas log set, then make sure you follow the safety measures provided in the manual. Also, purchase a low-level CO detector because it will measure down the carbon monoxide to a single part per million, so you can know if the heat you are enjoying isn’t already harming you. Make sure you hang the CO detector near the fireplace.
Some other safety measures —
- For ventless gas log sets, make sure you open the glass door when in use because if it is closed the burner will create lots of soot and carbon monoxide. It can also affect the valve by melting it, and this will lead to an explosion.
- Inspect your chimney because the soot of the gas log might settle inside the chimney. Also, check the chimney for leaks and cracks so that gas won’t leak into your home. You can check this every six months or annually.
- If you are going to put a ventless gas log set in a bedroom, make sure you open the window a bit after about an hour so that fresh oxygen will enter your bedroom.
- Never use gas logs in a wood stove because it has a closed system and smaller vents which won’t be enough to vent the fumes of gas logs. Less air is required when using wood stoves. Besides, they are meant to burn woods, and gas logs aren’t completely made of woods. Using gas logs on a wood stove will cause an explosion.
Putting a gas log set in a bedroom is much better than making use of a traditional wood-burning fireplace because it is eco-friendly, saves energy, and you have various options to choose from, such as type of fuel, gas logs, on/off mode, and so on. Moreover, if your bedroom doesn’t have a fireplace, then you can just make use of ventless gas firebox closures.
It’s preferable to hire professionals to set it up for you. Setting up the burner might be a challenge for some, so hiring a professional will make things easier.
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