Convert a Wood-Burning Fireplace to a Gas Fireplace

Fireplace ventilation is very important to maintain the integrity of your gas unit. There are simple things that you can do to keep yourself and your family safe from a potentially dangerous fire hazard. They can be broken down into three categories: venting, efficiency, and safety.


Venting is important because combustible gases may collect from your fireplace that need to be released to the outside. This can be done directly with one pipe bringing fresh air from the outside with another pipe leading the combustible gases away. This method is not only safe, but also highly efficient. There is no air transfer in the room itself which keeps it warm inside. In addition to direct ventilation, you can also benefit from natural ventilation. Natural ventilation uses a chimney to draw harmful gases upward to a draft hood. This ventilation system works fine, but it uses some of the heated air from the room and is therefore less efficient than the direct system. Whichever method is best for your home, make sure there is one in place. A non ventilated fireplace will expose the heated room to potentially fatal carbon monoxide. Remember there is no such thing as a safe, non ventilated fireplace. There is also a third but rarely used ventilation system is known as power venting. Power venting takes advantage of an electric fan to handle the ventilation. It is useful where the fireplace is not in a location where a chimney can exist. Therefore no hood is necessary to process the air.  It is generally very efficient by using minimal air from the heated room.


Efficiency of your fireplace is important to a properly functioning system of ventilation. When enjoying a fireplace, reduce other forms of temperature controls by turning the thermostat lower or unplugging a space heater. Keeping the glass in front of the fireplace clean is also important.


Safety precautions are valuable to know and understand to test the ventilation. Start by having your fireplace serviced by a trained professional. Do this once a year. You should also practice good upkeep. Keep the chimney clean, the vents clear, and all debris should be removed from the fireplace. Unknown substances near the heat may have a flammability you are unaware of. Also have a carbon monoxide detector in your home that has been well tested on a regular basis. You should call the gas company if there is any propane or strange odor when the fireplace is activated. 

Points to Remember

A good tip to remember is to clean your fireplace and all its components sometime after the winter seasons so that it is ready for use the following year. You should also make sure that everyone in the household is aware of fireplace hazards and what to do when one is detected. Having a plan is one of the best methods for handling a dangerous situation.