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Gas Log Questions and Answers
Everything you need to know about Gas Logs!

Introduction to Gas Logs

The first thing that you need to know about Gas Logs is that there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before you can even begin searching for the right logs. Questions such as;
  1. Do you want vented or ventless logs?
  2. Are you burning natural gas or propane?
  3. Do you want a remote control?
  4. Do you want your remote control to turn the logs on and off or to adjust the flame...or to have a thermostat?
  5. What type of fireplace do you have...masonry, prefabricated, ventless?
  6. What are the measurements of your fireplace (Front Width, Back Width and Depth)?
  7. Are there any building codes you need to be aware of?
  8. Are the gas logs you've seen online even legal in your city?
  9. Do you care?
  10. Are you having a nice day?
The point is, when most consumers begin shopping around for gas logs, they do not know what questions to ask and many people end up buying a gas log set that may not be right for their fireplace and may even be unsafe. To avoid making any mistakes, we urge you to call and talk to one of our gas log experts who will help you choose the right type of gas logs for your fireplace that will not only look the best in your fireplace, but be safe for your home and perform beyond your expectations.

Talk To a Gas Log Expert: 1-800-201-1193

We have put together some answers to common questions regarding gas logs on this page to help you do some initial research. A lot of this information may or may not pertain to your specific needs, so we strongly encourage you to call and talk to our gas log experts who will put it all into perspective and make choosing your gas logs quick and easy!

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How does burning gas logs compare to burning real wood?

With all the talk about skyrocketing fuel costs, it still makes sense to burn R. H. Peterson Gas Logs.

Here are the results from a recent survey performed in October 2005. The comparison uses a range of 55,000 to 85,000 btu's per hour consumption of natural gas burning a Peterson Gas burner system. The wood cost was calculated using seasoned firewood at the rate of 18-23 lbs per hour. Figures were supplied by local Gas Utility Companies using October 2005 heating rates and local firewood distributors.

Summary: R. H. Peterson gas log burner systems provide instant on/off heat and cost less to use per hour than firewood. With normal fireplace usage this amounts to hundreds of dollars in savings over the winter.

National Survey of Fireplace Fuel Costs
R. H. Peterson Real Fyre and Hallmark Gas Logs vs. Seasoned Firewood

City Ave. Cost of Natural Gas per Therm (100,000 BTUs) Ave. Hourly Cost of Burning Gas Logs Average Cost of Wood per Hour Average Savings when Burning Peterson Gas Logs
Birmingham, AL $1.84 $1.29 $1.94 34%
Chicago, Il $1.2 $0.84 $2.64 68%
Dallas, TX $1.40 $0.95 $1.54 36%
Denver, CO $0.98 $0.69 $1.17 41%
Houston, TX $1.33 $0.93 $1.28 27%
Kansas City, MO $0.92 $0.64 $1.29 51%
Los Angeles, CA $1.39 $0.97 $1.34 28%
Las Vegas, NV $0.75 $0.53 $1.24 57%
Minneapolis, MN $1.22 $0.85 $1.29 34%
Nashville, TN $1.47 $1.03 $1.37 25%
Philadelphia, PA $1.40 $0.98 $1.29 24%
Phoenix, AZ $1.09 $0.76 $1.63 53%
San Francisco, CA $1.79 $1.25 $2.28 45%
Salt Lake City, UT $1.28 $0.90 $1.45 38%
Seattle, WA $1.12 $0.78 $1.48 47%

Other reasons to choose R. H. Peterson Gas Logs:

  1. The convenience of having instant and efficient, cozy heat with the ability to safely turn off your fire when you go to bed or leave the house. No sparks, smoldering embers or creosote build-up eliminates dangerous chimney fires.
  2. Gas logs end the buying, storing and hauling of firewood, and best of all, no messy clean up of ashes. No chimney cleaning, bugs or termites, either.
  3. Burning Peterson Gas Logs is a healthful option. They produce 35-40% fewer emissions than firewood and emit no particulate matter that harms the environment. Gas logs have proven to be environmentally friendly, keeping our air cleaner, while protecting our forests. An added bonus, cleaner air can mean allergies and asthmatic conditions aggravated by wood fires are eliminated when burning gas logs.

These are just a handful of reasons why it makes more sense - and costs fewer cents - to burn Real-Fyre Gas Logs from RH Peterson Company!

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What type of fireplace is required for me to install my gas logs?

Believe it or not...gas logs, are not safe to install in gas fireplaces (with few exceptions). Sounds odd, but it's quite true. Gas logs are actually made to be installed in wood burning fireplaces as a way of converting them to gas. They are not made to "spruce up" a poorly designed gas fireplace like those you see in many condos and apartments...and yes, maybe even in your home. Bottom line is, if you install a gas log in a gas fireplace that was not designed to accommodate them, you might end up asphyxiating yourself or burning your house down. So before you buy gas logs, you must know what type of fireplace you have...and if it is safe to burn gas logs in it. The information on this page will help you do just that.

VENTED GAS LOGS: Vented gas logs can be installed in most any fireplace that is fully capable of burning wood. Vented gas logs must be burned with the damper open. Vented gas logs can also be installed in outdoor fireplaces and fire pits that meet local building codes. You CANNOT install vented gas logs in any gas fireplace or gas stove including b-vent (natural vent), direct vent or ventless gas fireplaces. They MUST only be installed in an aproved fireplace that is fully capable of burning wood.

VENTLESS GAS LOGS: Ventless gas logs can be installed in any fireplace that is fully capable of burning wood and are burned with the damper closed. Ventless logs can also be installed in some approved ventless fireboxes, providing the firebox is specifically rated for the use of after-market ventless logs and does not have a specific proprietary ventless log and burner system supplied by the fireplace manufacturer. A ventless fireplace has no chimney, vent or damper. You CANNOT install ventless gas log in any other type of gas fireplace or gas stove including b-vent (natural vent), direct vent or ventless gas fireplaces. Important Note: Ventless gas logs are NOT legal in California and some other states, cities or municipalities. You must check with your local building department to see if they are legal in your area.

How do I know what type of fireplace I have and is it safe to burn gas logs in it?

You need to know if you have a wood burning or a fireplace that is only designed to burn gas. If it is a wood burning fireplace, then you can probably install gas logs in it. If it is not a wood burning fireplace, then you most likely CANNOT install gas logs in it (except for a few Ventless fireboxes as described below). If you do not know if you have a wood burning fireplace or not, the information on this page will help you make that determination, but first, look inside your fireplace to see if there are any metal parts aside from the damper. If there are, then it is probably some type of prefabricated fireplace. If that is the case, there should be a metal label with the brand name and model number located somewhere inside the fireplace. That label might also have some stipulations as to what you can burn in it. The label is usually somewhere near the opening, either on the sides (sometimes hidden by a mesh curtain) or on the upper front area just inside the opening. If you can find the label, try to Google the information on it to learn more about your fireplace. Often times you can find the owners manual online in a downloadable .pdf file. If you are still having difficulty determining what type of fireplace you have, just call us and we will help you figure it out. You can also take pictures of your fireplace and email them directly to me (the webmaster) at:

Masonry Fireplaces:

Typical masonry firelace with a log lighter

Masonry fireplace with slate facing and gas log already installed

Masonry fireplace with brick chimney outside of house

Masonry chimney on roof top with 2 clay flue liners

Damper inside a masonry fireplace

OK for Vented Gas Logs
OK for Ventless Gas Logs

A typical masonry fireplace will have a hearth (firebox) and chimney that was built from scratch by a mason using some type of masonry. The inside of the fireplace will have special refractory bricks and the chimney outside the house will usually be made from brick as well, although it may be covered with stone or stucco. A "Tilt-up" fireplace that is made completely out of concrete and then tilted up to the house during construction would be considered equivalent to masonry fireplace. A masonry fireplace will usually have a heavy damper assembly with a long metal lever to open and close the damper (see picture). Although the chimney outside the house may be covered with stucco, stone, or any other building material, the actual inside if the chimney on a masonry fireplace is often lined with an oval shaped clay flue liner, although some older homes will have only brick. The flue liner or inside of the chimney of a masonry fireplace is usually rectangular or oval in shape and is normally 8" x 14" or larger (sometimes much larger). For larger size chimneys, there may be 2 or more flue liners (see picture left). It is rare that a masonry fireplace has a flue that is smaller than this, so if your flue is smaller, then you may not have a masonry fireplace. Don't be fooled into thinking you have a masonry fireplace just because there is brick or stone around the opening or covering the chimney outside...often times the brick or stone you see is simply decorative and has been applied over the face of a prefabricated gas or wood burning fireplace to make it look like a masonry fireplace.

Often times a masonry wood burning fireplace will have a gas line already installed with a log lighter attached to it (see picture left). The log lighter uses gas to start a real wood fire instead of using kindling. A log lighter is not an appropriate burner to be used with gas logs, but you can easily replace it with a gas log burner system.

If your damper is a wide rectangular piece that opens and closes with a lever and your fireplace is capable of burning wood, then you have a masonry wood burning fireplace and it will be capable of burning vented or ventless gas logs. Always have your chimney inspected before burning wood in your fireplace or installing a gas log. If you have been told that there are cracks in your chimney and it is not safe to burn wood, then you cannot safely burn a vented gas logs either because, just as with burning wood, the exhaust may get into the cracks and come into your home. In such cases, it may still be safe to burn a ventless gas log, but you must consult with a professional who is capable of inspecting your firebox and making the final determination.

Although ventless gas logs are ok to install in a masonry fireplace, they may not be legal to install in your municipality, so be sure to check with your local building department to make sure ventless gas logs are allowed.

Prefabricated Wood Burning Fireplaces:

Prefab fireplace with visible metal facing and refractory lining with a log lighter already installed.

Prefab fireplace with stone facing designed to make it look like a masonry firelace

Label Example inside a prefab wood burning fireplace

Typical prefab fireplace with 8" diameter round chimney and damper

Mosly OK for Vented Gas Logs
*May be OK for Ventless Gas Logs

A Prefabricated (or zero clearance) wood burning fireplace is a metal box that is lined with refractory panels and has a round metal chimney anywhere from 8" to 15" in diameter. The metal box and pipe are built-in to the home with 2x4 construction and the chimney outside the house is usually covered with stucco, siding, or sometimes brick veneer or stone. If you have a round damper that is 8" in diameter or larger and your fireplace is capable of burning wood, then you have a prefabricated wood burning fireplace.

Often times a prefabricated wood burning fireplace will have a gas line already installed with a log lighter attached to it (see picture left). The log lighter uses gas to start a real wood fire instead of using kindling. A log lighter is not an appropriate burner to be used with gas logs, but you can easily replace it with a gas log burner system.

If you have a prefabricated fireplace and want to determine what type of gas logs it can accomodate (if any), we suggest you first look at the installation manual. If you do not have a copy of the manual, find the model number of your fireplace and use google to find a .pdf copy...if it exists. The brand and model number should be stamped into a metal plate bradded to the fireplace somewhere near the opening on either side or at the top behind the mesh curtain (if you have one).

VENTED GAS LOGS: Prefabricated wood burning fireplaces can normally accommodate a vented gas log, which must be burned with the damper open. If the fireplace was designed to use vented gas logs, a gas line may already have been installed when the house was built. If there is no gas line installed, there will be knockouts for installing a gas line on either or both sides of the refractory liner inside the fireplace as well as in the sheet metal on the outside of the firebox, if in fact the fireplace was designed to be retrofitted with gas. If these knockouts do not exist, that suggests the manufacturer never intended to have a gas line run to the fireplace. If that is the case, you would need to find a copy of the installation manual to find out if any specific provisions are allowed for running a gas line to the fireplace. If you cannot locate a copy of the manual, we suggest that you do NOT install a gas log. FYI: Vented gas logs are usually referred to as a "Decorative Gas Appliance" in the installation manual and are not usually referred to as a gas log.

VENTLESS GAS LOGS: You may also be able to install a ventless gas log into a prefabricated fireplace depending on the manufacturer and model fireplace you have. You must check with the owners manual to determine if ventless gas logs are allowed in your fireplace model. If ventless gas logs are approved for your fireplace, the manual will say so explicitly and will state any limitations that are required...such as size or maximimum BTU. Ventless gas logs are often referred to as a vent-free heater or ventless heater in the owners manual. If the owners manual does not specifically state that you can install ventless gas logs, then you cannot install them.

If you are still having difficulty determining what type of fireplace you have, just call us and we will help you figure it out. You can also take pictures of your fireplace and email them directly to me (the webmaster) at:

Ventless Fireplaces and Fireboxes:

NOT for Vented Gas Logs
*Maybe OK for Ventless Gas Logs

Ventless (or Vent Free) fireplaces are similar to prefabricated wood burning fireplaces in that they are a metal box that is framed into your house with 2x4s. The big difference is that there is no chimney at all. Most ventless fireplaces come with a factory installed gas log and burner system and you cannot change it without causing serious safety issues. However, there are some ventless fireboxes that are specifically designed to accommodate an after-market ventless gas log of any brand. If you have the latter type, then you can use any of the ventless logs on our site, but you must be sure to consult the owners manual of the fireplace to find out what the size and BTU limitations are because there usually are such stipulations set by the factory and exceeding them can create a potential fire hazard.

You cannot install vented gas logs in a ventless fireplace under any circumstances.

If you are still having difficulty determining what type of fireplace you have, just call us and we will help you figure it out. You can also take pictures of your fireplace and email them directly to me (the webmaster) at:

B-Vent Gas Fireplaces:

Built-in burner system for a b-vent gas fireplace

NOT for Vented Gas Logs
NOT for Ventless Gas Logs

B-Vent (or Natural Vent) Gas Fireplaces are built-in to your home just like a prefabricated wood burning fireplace. Many people mistake a vented gas fireplace for a wood burning fireplace, so it is very important that you double check to make sure you know what type of fireplace you have. The first clue that a fireplace is a B-Vent fireplace is the diameter of the flue. If the flue exits from the top of the fireplace and is less than 8" in diameter, then it is either a B-Vent or Direct Vent gas fireplace. In either case, they are dealt with the same way (see direct vent fireplaces below). A few gas fireplaces will in fact have an 8" diameter flue, which happens to be the same diameter as the smallest flue used in some wood burning prefab fireplaces. So you if this is the case be sure to check the owners manual if you are not sure if it is a wood or gas only fireplace.

B-Vent cannot handle the heat produced by burning real wood or gas logs nor is it capable of exhausting all the fumes. B-Vent gas fireplaces will come with factory installed gas logs that cannot be modified or changed in any way. If you do not like the way your gas fireplace burns, you will need to replace the entire fireplace. Important Note: You cannot install any of the gas logs on our web site in this type of gas fireplace. Doing so creates an extreme safety hazard and can burn your house down!

If you are still having difficulty determining what type of fireplace you have, just call us and we will help you figure it out. You can also take pictures of your fireplace and email them directly to me (the webmaster) at:

Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces:

Vent outside on the side of a house from a direct vent gas fireplace

Another direct vent termination outside a house

Direct vent fireplace where someone removed the glass front and burned the wrong type of gas logs.

NOT for Vented Gas Logs
NOT for Ventless Gas Logs

Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces are somewhat similar to B-Vent gas fireplaces except that the flue may be vented directly out the back and they have a sealed combustion chamber with a glass front that does not open. All direct vent gas fireplaces will come with factory installed gas logs that cannot be modified or changed in any way. If you do not like the way your direct vent gas fireplace burns, you will either need to replace the entire fireplace or contact the manufacturer to see if they have any available options for the logs. Important Note: You cannot install any of the gas logs on our web site in this type of vented gas fireplace. Doing so creates an extreme safety hazard.

If you are still having difficulty determining what type of fireplace you have, just call us and we will help you figure it out. You can also take pictures of your fireplace and email them directly to me (the webmaster) at:

Wood and Gas Stoves:

NOT for Vented Gas Logs
NOT for Ventless Gas Logs

as logs cannot be installed in wood burning stoves or gas burning stoves. Wood stoves are designed to use far less air than wood burning fireplaces, so in most cases they have a 6" diameter vent that is not enough to properly exhaust the fumes given off by gas logs. Wood stoves generally tend to get hotter inside (because that is what they are designed to do) so the heat build-up can destroy the safety pilot assembly of a gas log. Wood stoves are also not tested and UL listed for use with gas logs, so not only will adding a gas log void the warranty of your stove (and gas log), if by chance the gas logs cause a fire and your home is damaged, it is possible that you will not be awarded any adjustment from your insurance company. Gas stoves are just like gas fireplaces in that they are designed only to accommodate the gas log and burner system that they come with from the factory. The venting systems are not designed to handle the heat of a gas log and cannot exhaust the fumes properly. Using any other gas log in a gas stove than the ones that came with it can create a fire hazard or potential explosion. Important Note: Bottom line for wood and gas stoves cannot install gas logs in them unless the manufacturer offers such an option, in which case you can only use those made specifically for your particular stove.

More details

This information was copied over from another location on our website, so although it repeats much of what is said above, there are some other tidbits here that may help you if you are still unclear about anything above.

VENTED gas logs can ONLY be installed in a fireplace that is fully capable of burning wood. That means that the chimney must be in good condition. So if you want to burn gas logs because you had you chimney inspected and were told it was not safe to burn wood because it leaks or something, then it is not safe to burn gas logs either.

Ventless gas logs can only be installed in wood burning fireplace OR a factory built ventless firebox that is rated for use with after-market ventless logs. Every ventless firebox has LIMITATIONS to how many BTUs are allowed and how large a log set it can accommodate. If you have a factory built ventless firebox, you MUST refer to the installation manual to get this information before you can know what will work.

VENTED gas logs flat-out CANNOT be installed in any Gas only fireplace. Although this sounds strange, gas fireplaces are designed to accommodate ONLY the log and burner combinations designed specifically for the particular appliance. Vented gas logs produce far more exhaust and require more draft than a gas only fireplace is designed to accommodate. They also may produce more heat than the venting system is rated for. Vented gas logs are NOT rated to be used with B-Vent period!

VENTED and VENTLESS gas logs CANNOT be installed in any Direct Vent gas fireplace. Direct vent fireplaces are the ones that have a sealed glass front. These are even more finely tuned to work only with the logs that they come with and it is quite dangerous to install anything in them other than what the manufacturer supplied with the unit.

Neither vented or ventless gas logs can be installed in any Wood Stove! Most wood stoves do NOT have a large enough diameter chimney to create a proper draft for a gas log. Wood stoves operate at a very low draft, which is what makes them desirable and efficient. Also, most wood stoves made in the last 20 years are not designed to be burned with the doors open, so gas logs are not appropriate just for that reason alone. Also, wood stoves are designed to capture more heat inside the burning chamber, so a gas log set would OVERHEAT inside a wood stove. Those who believe that a ventless gas log can work in a wood stove would be incorrect because of this factor alone. It is also rare that you can find a gas log small enough to fit properly into a wood stove. Regardless, you cannot install a gas log in any wood burning stove.

Free standing wood burning fireplaces, most commonly manufactured by Malm, are treated just like a regular wood burning fireplace, so it is OK to install either vented or ventless gas logs in them if the fireplace and chimney is still in a condition that it is capable of burning wood.

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Vented - VS Ventless...which one is better?

Basic Overview

Vented Gas Logs Require a Fully Functional Wood Burning Fireplace, Ventless (or Vent Free) Gas Logs can be installed in either a wood burning fireplace, or a ventless fireplace that is rated for aftermarket ventless logs. Ventless gas logs will produce more heat, while vented gas logs will look much more realistic. Read the Pros and Cons of each below:

Vented Gas Logs:

"Fully Vented" gas logs and must be burned in a fireplace that is capable of burning real wood and must be burned with the damper open. The reason for this is that they do not burn the gas cleanly and create exhaust that is very similar to burning a real wood fire. This exhaust needs to be able to go up the chimney. The real beauty of vented gas logs is that they produce substantially more yellow flame than ventless logs which makes them look far more realistic. The downside is that most of the heat goes right up the chimney.

However, In most cases, you can offset this heat loss by slightly closing the damper...but you must be careful that the exhaust from your logs is not coming into the room because, just like burning real wood, it contains Carbon Monoxide. A good way to test this is to turn on your gas logs with the damper slightly closed. Hold a lighter or candle in front of the fireplace opening near the top. If the flame from the lighter (candle) is being drawn in toward the fireplace, then you are OK. If the flame is standing still or pushed out toward the room, then your fireplace is not drafting enough and you must open the damper more.

Positive Features of Vented Gas Logs:

  1. Extremely realistic flame pattern that looks like a wood fire.
  2. Flame is much taller than ventless logs
  3. Flame dances and wraps around logs like real wood.
  4. Does not require a CO2 detector
  5. Since the damper is open, most of the smell will go up the chimney

Negative Features of Vented Gas Logs:

Do's and Dont's for Vented Gas Logs
(Additional information you should read before buying Ventless Gas Logs)

  1. Less heat than ventless logs (probably won't heat your room)
  2. Uses slightly more gas than ventless logs

Check out some Vented Gas Log Installation Manuals Here before you purchase.

Ventless Gas Logs:

Ventless gas logs (often referred to as "Vent Free" gas logs) have specially designed burners that burn the gas cleanly and produce almost no exhaust...somewhat like the way a gas range in a kitchen works. Since there is little or no exhaust, they can be burned with the damper closed.

The beauty of this type of system is that 99.9% of the heat produced by the gas logs goes into the room, so they produce substantially more heat than their vented counter-parts. However, there are many negative features commonly associated with ventless logs that you must be aware of before you decide to purchase them:

Positive Features of Ventless Gas Logs:

  1. Much better heat output than vented gas logs
  2. Less pollution
  3. Slightly less gas consumption

Negative Features of Ventless Gas Logs:

Do's and Dont's for Ventless Gas Logs
(Additional information you should read before buying Ventless Gas Logs)

  1. Since the byproduct of burning gas cleanly is water, ventless logs will introduce excess moisture into your home which can result in mold or mildew.
  2. You must be careful not to burn your ventless logs for extended periods of time with windows closed, otherwise they will deplete the oxygen in your home.
  3. If you burn your ventless logs for more than an hour or so, you must crack open a window to allow air into your home to replace the oxygen burned by the ventless logs. This will introduce cold air into the room and offset some of the heating benefits that ventless logs claim to have.
  4. Ventless logs produce an odor that many people equate to the smell of burning kerosene. So if you have a sensitive nose, you may not be able to handle the smell and will be greatly dissatisfied with ventless logs. On the other hand, we've heard some people who like the smell because it reminds them of their childhood days at Grandma's house. (Read Why Ventless Gas Logs Smell)
  5. Ventless logs can cause eye irritation and coughing spells to those who are sensitive.
  6. Ventless logs are not legal in California as well as some cities and municipalities. However, you can still purchase ventless logs from us if you live in will just have to burn them with the damper open (which really defeats the purpose).
  7. Ventless logs are required to have an ODS (oxygen depletion system) as well as a CO2 detector...which might tell you that there are some risks involved in operating them if these systems fail.
  8. The flame pattern with ventless logs pails in comparison to vented logs. Because the gas must burn cleanly, the flame height is very low and most of it is blue.
  9. Also, you will find that the flame does not dance around like a real wood fire and very little of the flame actually touches the logs. The reason for this is that when the flame touches the logs, it gets cooled off and does not burn cleanly and starts to produce soot and exhaust gases.
  10. Installing vent-free gas logs is not a DIY job. Installation must be performed by a professional who can do the proper tests on your gas pressure and make sure that the installation meets building codes and follows the specifications required.
  11. Clearances to combustables is different than that of wood buring fires or vented gas logs. If there is a mantel above the fireplace, you may need to install a hood to divert heat away from it. You should check the Installation Manual for the Ventless Logs for clearance requirements before you order them.
  12. There are also BTU limitations based on the cubic feet of air available to your room. The maximum BTUs allowed is calculated using this formula: Room Width x Room Length x Ceiling Height x 20.
  13. Ventless gas logs may not be legal in a bedroom or confined space (differs with local building codes).
  14. Other restrictions apply with each of the various burner systems available, so again, you should read the installation manual pertaining to the ventless logs you are considering "Before You Purchase".

Bottom Line: We highly recommend that you purchase vented gas logs. You will be much happier with flame that they produce and less likely to experience discomfort from odors or irritation. We only recommend ventless logs when maximizing the heat output outweighs all of the other negative aspects.

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How do I determine what size gas logs to purchase?

Clearance Requirements: Each gas log burner system has a minimum clearance from the side walls of your fireplace. Burners with safety pilots require more clearance than those without. For gas logs with a safety pilot, the required clearance is due to air space that is necessary in order to prevent your control valve from overheating and melting. The most common mistake made by people who purchase gas logs without performing the correct size calculations is to install the largest logs they can fit in their fireplace ignoring any warnings or recommendations about leaving this critical air space for the burner.

We Find The Correct Size For You: We have designed this web site in a way that ensures you end up with the correct size gas logs based on the dimensions of your fireplace and the type of burner system that you select. We do this by performing complex calculations which compare your dimensions to over 4700 possible gas log configurations and finding those that fit properly. No other web site can currently perform these they take a chance that you will order the wrong size. Read about How To Measure further below.

Calculation Examples: For a Fireplace that measures 42" x 28" x 20". Figure 1A uses a gas log with an adjustable flame remote control valve, while Figure 1B uses a gas log with No Safety Pilot.


Figure 1A
Gas Logs with Variable Flame Remote Pilot
Recommended Size = 16"

How the calculation is performed for Figure 1A:
Our site first calculates the width of your fireplace measured 7" back from the front of the opening. This is the approximate location that the burner system shown in the picture will be installed for the largest size gas logs that will fit. We then find the required clearance for the pilot system that you select, which is 2.5" in the example below. Next, we find the additional width added on by the safety pilot. We then calculate D by adding A and B. Now if you take the required clearance plus the pilot size and then doubling it, you can subtract that number from the Center Width to determine the maximum size burner that will fit in the remaining space. In this case, the largest burner that will fit could be only 16" wide. And since we have logs and burners that are available 16" wide, this would be the largest recommended size. Although these logs may appear small in this fireplace, this is the largest size that will offer you the added safety and convenience of this burner system.


Figure 1B
Gas Logs with No Safety Pilot
Recommended Size = 30"


How the calculation is performed for Figure 1B:
Figure 1B below shows the same fireplace with a standard burner that has No Safety Pilot. Since there is no pilot that requires air space, we just need to find the largest size logs that will fit the space comfortably. In this case the Recommended size will end up being much larger than the first example and will ultimately look better, but won't have the added benefits of the remote control safety pilot. When we do this calculation, we allow only 1" on each side of the logs then find the remaining available space. By deducting 2" from the Calculated Center Width, we would have 35" left for the logs and burner. We then find the closest available size that is less than or equal to 35"...which in this case is 30". So we arrive at a recommended size of 30" for this type of application...Although 36" logs are in fact available and could possibly be installed, they would over-crowd the fireplace and would not look as good as the 30" Model.

Conclusion: We have illustrated the above examples so that you can see there is no simple way to determine just what size gas logs you need. You must perform these calculations to take the risk out of your purchase. We do not recommend purchasing gas logs from any dealer who does not take the above parameters into consideration. You will find that most manufacturers do not cover problems under warranty if their products are not installed per the parameters laid out in their installation manual.

For a more graphical explaination of the required clearances, please click on the image below which is provided by the manufacturer.

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How to measure your fireplace for gas logs!

Measuring is very simple...basically we just need the Front Width, Back Width, and Depth of the fireplace floor. Measure only the useable space. We say this because some Prefabricated or Metal Fireplaces have an area where the mesh curtain hangs that is several inches wider than the actual useable floor space inside (See Figure 2B). Also, if you have a mesh curtain or glass doors, be sure to measure the depth from behind either of these, since this is the useable space for the logs. Otherwise, you may end up with logs that hamper the opening and closing of your screen.

Figure 2A and Figure 2B show examples of how to measure for gas logs.

How to Measure a Masonry Fireplace

You're even better off if you measure
just the floor of the firelace!
Figure 2A

How to Measure a Prefab or Metal Fireplace

A lot of fireplaces are like this,
so make sure you notice if yours is too.
Figure 2B

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What are the differences between Certifications?

Our Gas logs fall under 3 different classes: Non-Certified (No Approval Rating), RADCO approved, and ANSI Certified. Some states require a certification for gas logs and others don't. Be sure to check with your local building department if you are unsure about the requirements for your municipality. If you receive your gas logs and subsequently find that they are not legal in your city, you may not be able to ship them back once they have been installed.

Non-Certified: Non-Certified logs are generally very large and use too many BTU's to pass any type of certification. However, they are still considered safe and legal in many cities and states. If you have a large fireplace (say over 45" wide), you will have a hard time finding "Certified" gas logs big enough to fit nicely, so we have a great selection of Uncertified gas logs for you to consider. Our Non-Certified logs are available in sizes up to 60"!

RADCO: RADCO is a commonly accepted certification that imposes some restrictions yet is widely accepted in many states including California. Most of the gas logs on our site that are under 90,000 BTUs will be available in RADCO approved versions. RADCO approved logs are available in sizes up to 30".

ANSI: ANSI (American National Standards Institute) is the most widely accepted certification for gas logs. ANSI certification has very strict qualifications and in most cases requires that the gas logs have a safety pilot that has been factory installed and tested. There are also limitations to the BTU input as well as the actual placement of the logs on the grate. Many states require ANSI approval, so you will be happy to find that we have over 1,000 ANSI approved log and burner combinations for you to choose from in sizes up to 36".

California: California accepts both RADCO and ANSI approved logs but does not allow ventless gas logs of any type.

New York and Massachusetts: Most cities in New York and Massachusetts require all gas logs to be ANSI approved.

Other States: Almost all other states accept the ANSI approved logs...and many states will accept RADCO approval while others do not require any certification. Again, be sure to consult with your local building department before purchasing gas logs from any dealer.

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What should I know about Natural Gas and Liquid Propane?

Most importantly...Liquid Propane always requires a safety pilot, whereas Natural Gas does not. The reasons are explained in more detail below.

Natural Gas: Since Natural Gas is lighter than air, it can be used without a safety pilot in many cities, providing the damper is permanently propped open. Propping the damper open will prevent allow the gas to escape up the flue in the event that someone turns on the gas without lighting the logs. Natural gas is typically used in homes where Natural Gas is already plumbed throughout the home. If you have Natural Gas in your home, but do not have it plumbed to your fireplace, be sure to have this done by a certified plumber. The plumber needs to know the BTU input of the gas logs that you purchase so that the correct diameter line can be run from the gas main or other connection. Also, if you already have natural gas plumbed to the fireplace, the amount of BTU's that the line can handle may be less than the logs consume...which may result in lower than expected performance.

Liquid Propane: Since Liquid Propane gas is heavier than air, all gas log systems that use Liquid Propane are required to have a safety pilot. This prevents the gas from puddling in the home in the event that someone turns on the gas line without igniting the fire. Liquid Propane is commonly used in areas where Natural Gas is not available to the home. If you do not already have gas plumbed to your fireplace, then you will want to have a certified plumber or Liquid Propane expert install the gas line. Make sure that this is done to code for your area.

Be sure to consult with your local building department if you are not sure of any requirements before purchasing gas logs from any dealer.

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What's the difference between Standard and See Thru!

Standard Fireplaces:

Fireplaces where the logs cannot be seen from the back side. This includes your typical fireplace as well as an "L-Shaped" fireplaces that are open on the front as well as the left or right side....and...3 sided bay style fireplaces that have 2 short sides and 1 long side. Standard gas logs have a single burner that causes the flame to come up only in the front and middle. The rear bottom log is smaller than the front bottom log and the grate is also narrower in the back. They are made this way because most standard fireplaces get narrower toward the back.

Single Sided


3 Sided Bay


See Thru Fireplaces:

Fireplaces where the logs can be seen from both front and back. A true see thru fireplace is open between 2 rooms. However, any fireplace where the logs can be seen from both front and back would use a see thru gas logs. A 3 sided peninsula style fireplace that has 2 long sides and 1 short side would use a see thru gas log. See thru gas logs will have a special burner that causes the flame to come from the front, back, and middle of the logs. The logs and grate are also the same width in both front and back.

See Thru

3 Sided Peninsula

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What makes outdoor gas logs different than indoor gas logs?

In the past, there was no difference between outdoor gas logs and those used indoors. However, things have changed now with the introduction of the Stainless Steel Outdoor Gas Log burner systems that R. H. Peterson developed specifically for use in outdoor fireplaces. Until now, gas logs would last a couple years exposed to the elements before the burner system would begin to rust and stop working. Now, with the new Peterson Stainless Steel outdoor burners, you can enjoy your logs for a lifetime, which makes Peterson the best gas log on the market for your outdoor fireplace.

See Outdoor Gas Logs Here!

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What are the different control options?

Important Note: Liquid Propane always requires a safety pilot, whereas Natural Gas does not. The reasons are explained in more detail below.

Match Light: Match light systems do not have any type of safety pilot. You start the fire by lighting a long lighter or match and holding it inside the fireplace just above the burner while you turn on the gas. The gas valve should be located either in the wall or floor. If your gas valve is inside the fireplace, be sure that it is legally installed. Most cities require that you at least have a cut off valve outside the fireplace that is in reach. Match light burners are substantially less expensive than other options, but are not legal in many cities.

Manual Safety Pilots: Manually controlled gas logs have a safety pilot that stays lit all of the time (it can be turned off during the off-season). The safety pilot attached to the burner will have a knob that you turn to light the fire. This knob works as long as the safety pilot is lit. You cannot use a remote control with a manual safety pilot. Manual safety pilots are less expensive than remote control pilots because they use a less sophisticated system. This is also the least expensive way to operate gas logs with Liquid Propane.

Remote Safety Pilots: A remote capable safety pilot operates like a manual safety pilot with a knob or switch to turn on the fire. However, you can also purchase a separate remote control or wall control to turn the logs on as well. In most cases the remote control is sold separately. Some remote capable controls only turn the fire on and off while others can adjust the flame height as well. The variable flame remote controls are more expensive.

Electronic Ignition Remote Systems: Electronic ignition systems are the latest technology. These types of systems turn the gas on and off electronically and do not have a standing safety pilot. There is no wasted gas or noise from a gas pilot when the logs are not burning. This is the most expensive type of system, but the most desired.

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What's the difference between Refractory Ceramic Logs and Refractory Cement Logs?

The material that your logs are made of can make a tremendous difference in the amount of heat that they produce, how much they glow, and how long they last. In our opinion, refractory ceramic logs are the best. Read more below to compare the differences and decide what's best for you.

Refractory Ceramic: Refractory ceramic has a greater heat radiating capability and will last for many years. Refractory ceramic is a mixture of powdered ceramic and cement. This mixture is poured into a rubber mold and then left to dry for a day or so. Once the logs are dry, they are colored with a special heat resistant paint. Some logs have more hand painted details than other...and will look more realistic and cost more. On our web site, these are generally referred to as "Designer" logs.

The key manufacture of high grade Refractory Ceramic logs is R. H. Peterson. Their molds produce the most realistic bark and wood details...and with their hand painted details, you will find a much larger variety of woods with very realistic appearances.

Refractory Cement: Refractory Cement logs are generally the least expensive logs and are sold at mass merchants, discount stores, home centers, discount websites and the like. They are made using a heat resistant grade of cement...similar to what a mason would use for the mortar when building the inside of a fireplace. This material does not radiate very much heat.  Logs like this may look realistic when they are new and painted, but they tend to crack and crumble after a short period of time...sometimes after the first use. We do not recommend or sell any logs that are made this material.

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Answers to Recent Gas Logs Questions Posted To This Page
  1. Question #9479 - Posted: 4/8/2014 1:36:59 AM

    Gas Logs Question

    QUESTION: I am looking for Peterson Model # SDPG46-18-17, but I do not see it on your web site. Do you carry it?

    ANSWER: Yes, we do carry it. Here is a link: Peterson SDPG46-18-17 Split Oak Designer Plus

  2. Question #9475 - Posted: 4/8/2014 1:29:42 AM

    Gas Logs Question

    QUESTION: On a RH Peterson burner, what is the difference, or pros and cons from a G45A Burner and a G45 Triple T Burner? Is it just the certification or is there a performance difference as well?

    ANSWER: The G45A has a manual safety pilot that is factory installed and tested to meet ANSI approval. The G45 is a match-light burner with no safety pilot. If you purchase a G45 and add a safety pilot it will not be installed and tested at the factory. Otherwise, both burners are identical and both are Triple T. Many cities and states require ANSI approval, so if in doubt, it is best to purchase an ANSI approved burner.

  3. Question #9474 - Posted: 4/7/2014 1:30:01 AM

    Gas Logs Question

    QUESTION: I have a zero clearance fire place that had the chimney removed when the house was re-roofed. I never intend to burn wood in it again. It never worked very well burning wood. Ventless is an option, but what are my options for a vented log? I would not want to take the vent through the roof. Can it be vented to a side wall? What are the limitations for running vent horizontally (how long)? I live in St. Louis, MO. Firebox can handle a G10 18

    ANSWER: There are no options to vent a previous wood burning fireplace out a side wall, it must be vented through the roof as it was before in order to burn any gas logs, vented or ventless. Please do not burn anything in your fireplace without having he chimney installed as it was will not be safe.

  4. Question #9467 - Posted: 4/3/2014 7:53:00 AM

    Gas Logs Question

    QUESTION: I am looking at model HRG45-24-P-SS. the gas line comes into the fireplace from the left side (looking forward at the fireplace). Will this burner-log set work? When I looked at the instruction manual, the diagram shows the gas line on the right.

    ANSWER: You can easily reroute the gas line to the left side using a longer flex tube or black pipe. Often times, depending on the location of your gas line, the flex tube that comes with the burner will reach the other side. If it does not, then you can purchase a longer flex tube from us or from a hardware store or home center.

  5. Question #9455 - Posted: 2/17/2014 9:10:47 AM

    Gas Logs Question

    QUESTION: Cn I just order the burner since I already have a 24 " split oak log set? My existing burner is leaking. Am looking at the G46-24 SPK.

    ANSWER: Yes, if you already have Peterson logs, we can supply you with the correct burner that is matched to them. The G46-24-SPK is one of the burners that is compatible with your logs. Give us a call and we will process your order over the phone. Call: 1-800-201-1193.

  6. Question #9454 - Posted: 2/17/2014 9:09:00 AM

    Gas Logs Question

    QUESTION: Hello, Thank you for taking my question. We have install installed a ventless fire place Patterson.. The unit was complete but had no logs supplied. Bought new logs. Can any ventless log be used with the burner. Or are the logs and burner sold only in sets?

    ANSWER: Warning: Do not use any logs other than those designed for the particular burner you own. The logs are in fact specific to the burner. It is critical that you get the right logs because if the flame hits the logs differently than the original design it can cause the gas to burn incompletely. Incomplete combustion of gas results in the additional byproducts of soot and carbon monoxide (lethal and odorless), which will be introduced directly into your home.

  7. Question #9449 - Posted: 2/1/2014 3:26:13 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    QUESTION: I have a Peterson 18" gas log set I'm installing myself. The installation manual shows a right hand gas supply. My fireplace has a left gas supply. Can I just disassemble the burner pan and convert it to a left gas input and put the cap on the right? Or do I need to run a lot more pipe all the way from the left side to the right side? Thanks

    ANSWER: If you have a matchlight system (one without a safety pilot) then you can switch the plug and orifice from one side to the other to convert it to left gas input. If you have a safety pilot, it depends on the pilot system you have: some of them can and other cannot be will be obvious because the pilot mechanism would be upside down when reversed. If such is the case, then either get a longer flex tube from a home center, or reroute the gas line using black pipe and elbows.

  8. Question #9448 - Posted: 1/30/2014 9:12:57 AM

    Gas Logs Question

    QUESTION: We have a "Fire-Gear" vent-less propane fireplace. It gives off a noxious odor. We had it service but to no avail. We are thinking of replacing it w Peterson brand. Will this take care of our problem?

    ANSWER: Fire Gear is not a top quality brand like Peterson, so it is quite likely that replacing them with a better quality vent free gas log from Peterson will help reduce the odor. But it is important to be aware that ALL ventless appliances produce some odor because all of the byproducts of burning the fire are introduced into the room. Propane can be particularly worse than natural gas because the quality of the propane varies from supplier to supplier. The more impurities there are in the propane, the more potential there is for smell coming from burning a ventless gas log. Although we would love to sell you a new gas log set, we cannot guarantee that it would eliminate or reduce the odor. The only way to find out would be to install them. At least in that manner, you would know for sure whether it is the log set causing the problem, or the gas you are being supplied. Read more about what causes vent-free gas logs to produce a smell:

  9. Question #9447 - Posted: 1/30/2014 8:46:17 AM

    Gas Logs Question

    QUESTION: My daughter has vented gas logs in her bedroom which is about 24x36. It is her primary heat system. Recently we noticed that the ceiling and top part of her walls were becoming covered in black soot. Why would the logs start this and is it dangerous to them. They have a 1 month old that sleeps in that room as well. I have noticed that some of the baby toys that are plastic have the black on them also. I am very nervous about this. Would it be better for them to get ventless with a heatalator?

    ANSWER: Please stop using the gas logs immediately, it is dangerous to use them if they are producing soot. Where there is soot, there is also carbon monoxide, which as you know is a lethal odorless gas. You need to have your gas logs serviced or replaced because they are no longer burning cleanly as vent free gas logs should. Some Heating and AC companies are qualified to service ventless appliances, so use your local yellow pages to call around. Or, you can use the resource on this page to locate a professional who is qualified to service your gas logs: Locate a Gas Log Service Professional.

  10. Question #9446 - Posted: 1/26/2014 3:14:39 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    QUESTION: I have a Peterson real fire vented gas log system 18inch in my fireplace for several years and am very satisfied. I would like to change just the burner to make a vent free system for more heat. Is this possible. Thanks

    ANSWER: Unfortunately you cannot change just the burner in order to create a ventless gas log set. The burner and logs must be designed to work together, so you will need to buy a complete setup. The reason is that ventless gas logs must burn in a very controlled manner in order to burn cleanly. Any disruption to the way the flame burns, such as touching the logs in the wrong place, will cause the gas to burn incompletely and produce exhaust...including carbon monoxide and soot. So the flames cannot touch the logs in any manner in which the system was not designed...which means you must have the correct logs and they must be stacked exactly as described in the owners manual.


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