Gas Logs Buying Guide

Many fireplace enthusiasts have made the switch from traditional, wood-burning units to a more modern, hassle-free, environmentally friendly option: gas log sets! And it’s easy to see why – gas log sets are affordable, convenient, and require significantly less maintenance than their wood burning counterparts.

There are a multitude of gas log options and configurations available, which can make the buying process a bit confusing for novice fireplace owners. That’s why our team at Fireplaces Plus put together a helpful guide to assist prospective shoppers in finding the perfect gas log set for their home. Take a look. And remember that Fireplaces Plus is offering complimentary installation with the purchase of any gas log set from either of our stores – free of charge!

Vented or Vent-Free?
When selecting a gas log set, the first and most significant consideration is the type of firebox you’re planning to put your logs in. Fireboxes typically fall under one of two categories: vented or vent-free.

Vented gas log sets are ideal for pre-existing wood-burning fireboxes with a fully functional chimney – they were originally created to mimic the flames of an authentic wood fire. If your home already has an existing traditional vented fireplace, your best option will be a vented gas log set.

The vented option is perfect for those who are seeking to recreate the ambiance and appearance of a traditional wood-burning fireplace, such as natural, realistic flame patterns, large flame height, and the ability to rearrange the logs to achieve intended aesthetic desires.

Vent-free gas log sets do not require a chimney (or any sort of ventilation) and are therefore a fantastic option for supplemental sources of heat. Since vent-free sets produce minimal amounts of combustion by-products, ventilation isn’t needed, and the heat created stays inside your home.

Vent-free sets are great for homeowners who do not already have a pre-existing wood-burning firebox, but still want to enjoy the benefits of a cozy hearth to snuggle up to. Vent-free gas logs are incredibly efficient as well and typically have a 99% fuel efficiency rating.

Styles and Layouts
There are several gas log styles and designs in both vented and vent-free format. Some sets have a stacked layout, while others are designed with fewer logs. Some sets incorporate a charred look for a more realistic appearance, while other sets use a freshly lit look. There is also a variety of wood types including oak, birch, and sassafras. Take a look at some of our most popular log sets to see the various style options you have to choose from.

The Woodland Timbers Vented Gas Log by Hargrove
This set features a stacked layout with a charred exterior, and an open center to view the glow of the char and embers.

The Birch Vent-Free Gas Log by Empire
This set features an un-charred exterior, giving off the ambiance of a freshly made fire with gorgeous dancing flames.

The Aspen Vented Gas Log by Hargrove
This set features a simple, yet clean, modern look highlighted by the soft white tones of true-to-life aspen wood.

The Sassafras Vent-Free Gas Log by Empire
This set features a natural, realistic tone modeled after live sassafras trees.

Ignition Options
In addition to the many style options available for your gas log set, there is also an array of ignition methods, all with varying degrees of complexity. Here are some of the most common ignition methods:

Match-Lit – The easiest and most affordable option, match-lit ignitions are self-explanatory – simply light a match, hold it near the burner, and use your gas valve to control the flame height.

Safety Pilot Kits – A step above match-lit, safety pilot kits utilize a standing pilot. This method requires you to simply turn the dial to the ‘On’ position, allowing you to enjoy a hassle-free ignition. You can also turn the dial incrementally to adjust the flame. SPK’s are very common and come with flame-sensing thermocouples that shuts off the gas supply if the flame goes out.

Millivolt Ignition – Similar to an SPK system, Millivolt ignition systems use a standing pilot, but also allow you to connect a remote control, wall switch, or timer to the log set.

Electronic Ignition – The most convenient option, electronic ignitions do not require that the pilot stays lit. Instead, you can turn the pilot on and off with a remote control or wall switch.

Gas log sets are a fantastic modern option for homeowners to enjoy all the benefits of a fireplace, in an efficient, affordable, and environmentally sustainable manner. And that’s not all – Fireplaces Plus offers free installation with the purchase of any vented or vent-free gas log set from either of our locations. Have a question about any of our gas log products? Feel free to call Fireplaces Plus today at 847-549-6700 or reach our Chicago office at 312-587-7587.

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