The arrival of winter is signaled by a cooler breeze and longer nights. What could be better than turning on your gas fireplace when you need a little extra heat in your home? You may wonder if you can burn wood in a gas fireplace.
Wood cannot be burned in a gas fireplace. Gas fireplaces do not support the heat provided by burning wood. When you burn wood in it, you risk the following:
- A buildup of soot and heavy smoke that may be hazardous to your home and health.
- Gas line damage causes leaks and house fires.
Many manufacturers and fireplace owners advise against burning firewood in a gas fireplace unless it has a gas starter. Before lighting anything in your fireplace, check to see if you have a gas starter or a gas fireplace!
Stay with us as we investigate gas and gas starter fireplaces. We’ll go over the implications of each for burning wood or other flammable materials inside. Keep in mind that any use of a fireplace comes with safety precautions!
Gas Starter vs. Gas Burning Fireplaces
A gas starter fireplace can burn wood, but a gas fireplace cannot. Gas starters only require gas to start a fire, and once the wood is burning, the starter can be turned off.
A gas fireplace, on the other hand, has a built-in pilot light that starts the fire and continuously burns gas to keep the room warm. It is best to consult an expert to determine which type of fireplace is installed in your home. If you have a gas fireplace, you should never burn wood in it because it is hazardous to your health and safety.
The Health Consequences Of Soot Buildup
When purchasing a gas fireplace, you may have considered the low amount of soot produced, but burning firewood in your gas fireplace defeats that goal. Wood burns with varying degrees of intensity, resulting in thick smoke and a lot of soot.
Experts emphasize the dangers of particle pollution to one’s health. Excessive particle exposure and inhalation of these particles, such as soot, can increase the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and asthma attacks, as well as interfere with lung development and growth.
Soot has corrosive properties and, if left on the surface for an extended period of time, can cause long-term damage to your home and furniture. It has the potential to crack concrete walls and corrode metals, especially metal gas pipes, posing additional safety concerns.
Burning Wood In A Gas fireplace May Result In Gas Leaks
Gas fireplaces are designed to burn fuel instead of wood. A pilot light is installed inside a gas fireplace to help it light up more efficiently. Using wood as a heat source may cause damage to gas lines or pipelines, resulting in a gas leak. Long-term gas leak exposure can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, which can affect both you and your pets.
A house fire is the most lethal and disastrous result of a gas leak. Even a minor gas leak or electrical spark can cause an explosion in your home, resulting in moderate to substantial property damage or, in the worst-case scenario, the loss of your entire home.
Which Is Better: A Gas Fireplace Or A Wood-Burning Fireplace?
You may be considering a fireplace as a home heating system, but you want to explore other options. You might want to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of gas versus wood-burning fireplaces in terms of aesthetics, efficiency, and upkeep.
- If you prefer a traditional rather than a modern fireplace style, a wood-burning fireplace is the best option in terms of aesthetics.
- Their heating capacity also varies. Although gas fireplaces produce less heat than wood fires, the latter produces more consistent heat.
When compared to wood-burning fireplaces, which must be cleaned on a regular basis, a gas fireplace is easier to maintain because it produces very little, if any, soot.
Is It Possible To Convert A Gas Fireplace To A Wood-Burning Fireplace?
This is dependent on whether you built your fireplace with a good and safe venting mechanism from the start. There are gas fireplaces that can only be installed in existing masonry that was originally built as a wood-burning fireplace. In this case, simply remove the insert to restore the fireplace to its original state.
If you are unsure about the structure of your fireplace, consult with a fireplace and venting system expert.
What Can You Use A Gas Fireplace For?
Logs, coals, and stones made of heat-resistant materials such as glass and ceramics are available if you want your fireplace to have a more rustic and traditional feel.
You may believe that heating food in your gas fireplace or roasting marshmallows and hotdogs over a campfire and recreating the experience at home is a good idea.
Food should never be cooked over a gas fireplace because the gas is chemically dangerous and you don’t want to eat those chemicals. Aside from that, grease will accumulate on your fireplace, causing venting problems.
All of your appliances serve a specific purpose and perform a specific function, and your gas fireplaces only burn gas.
What Kind Of Logs Are Necessary For A Gas Fireplace?
Although you cannot burn wood in a gas fireplace, there are other options if you want to maintain the appearance of a traditional fireplace. There are log sets on the market that include a gas burner built into a stack of ceramic logs.
If logs aren’t your thing, you can also consider tempered glass beds, glass stones, and ceramic coal lumps.
Before burning anything inside a gas fireplace, make sure it is a gas starter fireplace. A gas fireplace is not designed to burn wood, and the resulting damage or soot buildup could endanger you and your home. By using the fireplace correctly, you can enjoy its warmth and aesthetic appeal!