Gas FAQ - Gas Fireplaces - Gas Stoves - Gas Fireplace Inserts

(563) 582-5156
925 Century Dr., Dubuque, IA 52002

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Expert Answers!

1 - Will my gas stove and fireplace need electricity to work?

No. Rather than requiring electricity, gas stoves and fireplaces generate their own electricity. This is accomplished with a thermopile that is integrated into the pilot light. This thermopile creates millivolts of electricity that are used to open and close the gas valve. If the stove has a fan, electricity will be needed in order for the fan to operate, but for the most part these appliances radiate heat well on their own. If the power goes out in your home, you can still enjoy the radiant heat from your appliance.

2 - Do the glass doors require cleaning or are they self-cleaning?

To keep the glass doors clean, yearly cleanings are recommended. The amount of noticeable build up accumulated on the glass will be determined by the air to fuel mixture. We sell an effective gas appliance glass cleaner.

3 - My system currently uses LP gas, can I switch over to natural gas if it becomes available?

Yes! While there are gas conversion kits available for homeowners to purchase, we do not recommend homeowners do the work themselves. This is best left up to the professionals to ensure a safe and proper conversion from one gas to the other.

4 - Why are blue flames or condensation accumulating inside of the glass on my appliance?

Blue flames and water condensation are both common during the first few minutes of operation of your gas stove. These conditions pose no threat. But if blue flames persist after your equipment is thoroughly warmed up, a minor technical adjustment may be necessary. The condensation on the interior of the glass should disappear within the first few minutes of the stove’s use.

5 - How does “direct vent” work?

Co-axial pipe is used in a direct vent appliance. This is a venting system designed with a pipe inside of another pipe. The pipe on the exterior brings air from the outside into the stove or fireplace for the combustion process. The pipe on the inside serves to exhaust the combustion by-products. This system enables these appliances to be installed in many different places including bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. If you plan to place the appliance on an exterior wall, this co-axial vent pipe can be installed through the sidewall. If you are planning for an interior wall, the co-axial vent pipe would be installed vertically through the roof. Direct vented gas appliances are typically more efficient than a natural vent or B-vent appliance.

6 - How does a vent-free appliance operate?

This technology has been around for a long time, but the installation of these appliances is not legal in some areas. By-products of the combustion process will affect the quality of air if they are allowed to enter your home. These by-products include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, aldehydes and water vapor. If these by-products from combustion are allowed to enter the home, you may notice odors, condensation on the inside of windows and doors and flare-ups of allergy and asthma issues. Most manufacturers have added oxygen depletion sensors and catalytic combustors to vent-free appliances. Strictly limiting the amount of time the vent free appliance operates will help. While preventative measures can be taken, it is always best to err on the side of safety and whenever possible, we recommend installing a direct vented appliance and vent these gases to the outdoors.

7 - How can I turn my gas appliance on and off?

There are a few options for the controls on your gas fireplace or stove. A switch on the wall that works like a light switch will turn the appliance on and off. A thermostat on the wall will allow you to set your preferred temperature to get steady heat. Remote controls can also be used to maintain a steady temperature in the room without leaving your chair.

8 - Can I have my wood stove converted to burn gas instead?

No! This is very dangerous and should never be attempted.

9 - What about a wood-burning fireplace? Can this be converted to gas?

Converting a wood-burning fireplace into a gas appliance is a different process that has a variety of methods of safe implementation. From using gas logs to installing a fireplace insert or gas stove, there are ways to utilize the current space of your fireplace while maximizing its use with an updated gas burning component. Typically we will send an expert to your home to determine the best methods of converting this space. We also encourage you to check out our showroom to see first hand how this equipment looks and how effective they heat!

10 - How can you tell convective and radiant heat apart?

Radiant heat, heats objects such as people, furniture and the furnishings in a room. Convective heat is air that has been warmed by moving through a heat exchanger, typically in a forced air furnace. Think of convective heat as air moving through a heated confined space. Radiant warms objects, like the heat from the sunshine.

11 - I am noticing an odor coming from my new gas stove, what is this from?

During the first two to three hours of operations, your new gas stove may “smell and smoke” a bit. This is a due to solvents from the manufacturing process and paint curing on the appliance. After ½ - ¾ of an hour, this odor should no longer be present. Opening a window during this process can help.

12 - What do I need to do to maintain my new gas appliance?

As with any other appliance, we recommend regular maintenance to ensure safe and consistent operation. Annual inspections and cleanings are recommended before the start of each burn season. Technical adjustments and enhancements may be necessary to ensure the full potential of the operating system and maximize the beauty of the flames. We always recommend a certified hearth professional specialist make these adjustments.

13 - What can I do to adjust the heat coming from my gas stove or fireplace?

The heat controls on individual appliances may vary. The heat is adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amount of gas that is being burned. This can be done manually with a knob on the gas valve or automatically with a multi-function remote control. The more gas that is burned, the higher the flames and the more heat into the room. Variable speed fans in gas appliances turn on and off automatically. To maximize the amount of heat from your gas appliance, keep the gas valve and fan turned on high. Similarly, to get the least amount of heat, turn the gas valve to “low” and the fan off.

14 - How are gas fireplace inserts and zero clearance gas fireplaces different?

Zero clearance fireplaces have an insulated shell surrounding the firebox that allows it to be installed against combustible building materials. These appliances are designed to be built into a frame wall. A gas fireplace insert does not have the insulated shell surrounding the firebox. This type of appliance is made to be inserted, or slid into your existing wood burning fireplace. These inserts rely on the integrity of the existing fireplace to provide that margin of safety to any combustible materials. Venting requirements are another difference. A zero clearance fireplace can be vented horizontally through a side wall or up through the roof. A fireplace insert can only be vented vertically using the existing chimney as a conduit to get the venting components out of the house.

15 - How can I re-light my pilot that has gone out?

If the pilot light needs to be re-lit, locate the “on/off/pilot” knob on your appliance. Twist the knob so that it aligns with the “pilot position” and then push it in and hold it. While this knob is being held pushed in, press the igniter button (typically red or black). You may have to press the igniter button a few times before the pilot ignites. When it does, hold down the knob in the pilot position for about 20 - 30 more seconds to ensure the pilot remains lit. Once you have completed this process and the pilot is lit, turn the knob over to the “on” position.

Some gas appliances are now equipped with a choice of pilot modes. A switch will allow you run the appliance in either the continuous pilot mode or an intermittent pilot (IPI) mode. In the interest of conserving gas, the IPI mode will eliminate the pilot when the appliance is not being operated. Battery back-up systems ensure operation during a power failure.

16 - What is causing my pilot to continually go out?

If you are following the re-lighting directions above, and are continuing to have difficulties, give us a call and we can schedule a service technicians to trouble shoot the appliance.

17 - Is it best to always leave the pilot on all year round?

We still recommend leaving the pilot light on. This will serve to keep insects creating webs and nests in and around the inner workings of the stove. If the appliance is in a damp location, leaving the pilot light on will help prevent any interior rusting as it will keep the inside warmer.

However, some gas appliances are now equipped with a choice of pilot modes. A switch will allow you run the appliance in either the continuous pilot mode or an intermittent pilot (IPI) mode. In the interest of conserving gas, the IPI will eliminate the pilot when the appliance is not being operated. Battery back-up systems ensure operation during a power failure.

18 - How can I ensure my stove is safe for my children?

When the gas stove is in use, the heat being emitted from the stove can be intense. While most children will know to stay away from these high temperatures, we carry a few different styles of screen shields that will work to ensure children cannot get too close to the intense heat.

19 - What can I do if I smell a strong odor of gas in my home?

1. Evacuate the house immediately.
2. Contact the gas company from outside of your home.
3. Do not turn on or light the any gas appliances in the house.
4. Do not use the phone inside of the home.
5. Following the instructions from your gas company.
6. If the gas company cannot be reached, call the fire department right away.
7. Do not store or use gasoline or anything else flammable near the stove or fireplace.

20 - How much should I anticipate paying for my gas hearth appliance?

It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the item you purchased was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It cannot be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better. There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and people who consider the price alone are this man’s lawful prey.

John Rusking (1819-1900)

If you have other questions, please feel free to Contact us!