Gas Operation

Can I burn wood or other materials in my gas fireplace? 
No! Burning anything other than natural or LP gas in a gas fireplace or stove will create a potential fire hazard and present a danger to your home and its occupants. Only burn the gas fuel for which the unit was originally designed. 

Can gas hearth products burn either natural gas or LP gas? 
They can burn one or the other, but not both. You need to be sure the gas hearth appliance you have is set up for the type of gas fuel you intend to burn. Conversion kits are available which will allow a unit to be changed to match the proper fuel type. 

Doesn't the solid glass panel keep me from getting heat out of my direct vent gas fireplace? 
On the contrary, the glass panel keeps warm room air which your furnace has already heated from going up your fireplace flue. Direct vent fireplaces are excellent sources of zone heating by bringing room air in the bottom grill, heating and returning it to the room through the top grill. 

Can I remove the glass panel on my gas fireplace? 
Not if your fireplace was shipped with a glass panel on the front. Direct vent fireplaces are sealed combustion systems and need the glass on to function properly. We sell optional screen mesh panels that go on the front of the glass that takes away any reflection, and adds an additional safety barrier against accidental contact with the hot glass panel. The other type of gas fireplaces we sell, called B-vent fireplaces, come with fixed, not sealed, glass fronts. Contact us to determine if the glass panel can be removed from this type of unit. Because removal of the glass is totally dependent on the specific unit installed, we cannot recommend that the glass be removed unless the specific model of unit denotes that it can be removed and the fireplace will still operate safely. 

The glass on my fireplace is unusually hot. 
The glass on a gas fireplace WILL reach very high temperatures. USE CAUTION: Carefully SUPERVISE children in the same room as your appliance; alert everyone to the hazards of high temperatures; do NOT operate with protective barriers removed; keep clothing, furniture, draperies and other combustibles away. Barriers such as screens over our direct vent glass help reduce the risk of burn from touching the glass. Contact us for more information on or to purchase a screen. 

The mantel on my fireplace is unusually hot. 
While direct vent gas fireplaces are designed principally for their aesthetic value, we try to get as much heat output as possible to provide added value to the homeowner. It should be noted that while we are getting a lot of heat, we are passing the ANSI and UL standards for combustible temperatures. The allowable is 117°F above room temperature for combustibles. Average room temperature is 70-75°F; therefore a 187-192°F surface temperature can be expected. On a solid surface, 150°F is very hot to the touch (to put this in perspective, water boils at 212°F and the average bath water temperature is 110°F). 

Will my gas hearth product still burn if I lose electricity to my home? 
If your model has a standing pilot light or our patented IPI System, which works on a battery back up of 2 D cell batteries, it will work in event of a power outage. You will need to install batteries for operation. If you have a fan or a remote control option, they will not work without power, but the appliance itself will burn and provide heat. (If you have a remote control, you may need to operate the appliance with the ON/Off switch in the control area of the appliance). 

Are gas hearth products expensive to operate? 
Operating cost will vary by region, by gas utility, and by fuel type. Based on national averages, a natural gas fireplace consuming 27,000 BTUs/hr will cost less than 20 cents/hr to enjoy. LP units run slightly higher. Your monthly gas bill should include your exact cost per therm (100,000 BTUs). Based on this rate, and the BTU input listed on the rating plate on your appliance, you can calculate the cost for your area. 

What is the recommended burn-in procedure on a new gas fireplace? 
On a new gas fireplace there is a curing time or burn-in time. When initially burning your new gas fireplace, the oils, etc. from manufacturing will be burning off the fireplace. We recommend burning the fireplace 3 hours; completely cooling down the fireplace, removing the glass and cleaning it with household glass cleaner or Glass Bright; replacing the glass & continuing to burn the fireplace an additional 9-21 hours. (Make sure you re-latch the glass so it is securely fastened on your fireplace.) If necessary, open a window to release any odor during this process. This should eliminate the manufacturing smell on a new fireplace. 

I have an odor in my gas fireplace. 
On gas fireplaces that are not brand new and are emitting some odor, try cleaning behind the upper and lower louvers. Dust can cause odor. Another source of odor can be the items you have on your mantel. Remove all objects from your mantel and then replace the objects one at a time. A third source of odor can be from the adhesives used in surround materials. This will need to be investigated by your installer. If these suggested sources don't correctly identify the odor, and you purchased the fireplace through us, contact us to have your fireplace inspected. If not, contact your dealer where the fireplace was purchased. 

Why am I feeling a cold draft from my fireplace? 
There are several possible causes of feeling cold air from a gas fireplace. 1) Check around the area where the gas line enters your home. That is the primary cause of cold air infiltration. You can stuff fiberglass or foil tape insulation in the hole to prevent the cold air from coming in there. 2) Check to make sure that your glass is clamped on tight by all clamps or screws. You would need to remove the front on the fireplace and look top & bottom, at all corners of the fireplace. (Make sure you hold the glass in with one hand while examining and checking the clamps with the other.) 3) If the fireplace is mounted on cement versus plywood, that can also transfer cold into your home. 4) If the chase area or "doghouse" is not insulated adequately, that is another possibility. Please check out the insulation of the chase with your builder or installer. 

Can I adjust the flame height on my fireplace? 
Flame height adjustments are available on many gas units. Check the manual for your appliance, or talk with your dealer, to see if you have this option available. If you purchased the unit from Black Swan, click here to see our contact information.