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Help! I'm a Gas Fireplace Noob…
(What to do if you've never owned a gas fireplace)

The Wood Stove & Fireplace Center of Monmouth County shares this gas fireplace guide for first time buyers

Congratulations on your new home. It has everything you ever hoped for, including a gas fireplace. If you’ve never owned one before, you must be wondering about it. Just remember these tips after you move in.

Manual Operations

Try to find the manual. That is the first step to getting to know your newest, and favorite appliance. It will help you identify what model you have, the manufacturer, and how to operate your new fireplace. If the previous owner is really fastidious, the model and serial number will be on the front of the manual along with the number for their dealer and service technicians that have dealt with that fireplace previously.

Sometimes the information you need isn’t written on the manual, or you don’t have a manual at all. Don’t panic. Important information is available on the rating plate of your unit, which is generally located under the louvers, or behind a removable panel. Once you know your model and serial number, an online search will provide manuals, dealers, and service technicians in the area.

Let Me Light Your Fire

Before you light the fire in your fireplace for the first time it’s important to be comfortable with what you’re doing. Read the manual. If you’re still feeling squeamish, that’s alright, a gas fireplace/insert/stove is a pretty big deal. A call to a local dealer, or serviceman will get you the support you need. You can even book an appointment for someone to come out and show you how everything works.

Change Is Good

Before you light the flames of passion, because let’s admit it, you are passionate about your new fireplace, it is a good idea to change the batteries out. Remember to check for batteries in any remotes, receivers, and battery backups that the fireplace may have. Your manual will tell you where and how to replace these. It is unlikely that you will be aware of when the batteries were last changed, so a fresh start is best.

The Pilot Says You’re Ready For Ignition

There are two ways that a gas fireplace/insert/stove will light. It will either have an electronic ignition, or a standing pilot.

  • Electronic ignition is when the pilot light on a gas fireplace/insert/stove is only running when the fireplace is on, this means that the unit is likely to have a battery backup as well.
  • A standing pilot is always on, always using a small amount of gas to run constantly unless the gas is physically turned off.

If your unit has an electronic ignition, it is simply a matter of turning on the switch, remote, or thermostat. Make sure that the gas is on before turning on your new fireplace. If nothing happens and the gas is on, turn the gas off again, and call a technician for an inspection and service.

Units with standing pilots are a little different. First, make sure that the pilot is lit. Then turn the valve control located under the fireplace to “on”. Finally, turn up the thermostat, hit the switch, or use the remote and you should be warm and cozy in no time at all.

If you don’t have a pilot running already, follow the directions outlined on the rating plate or in the manual for your particular fireplace/insert/stove. Each model is different, so even if you have had a fireplace in the past, the lighting process may not be the same.

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