Asked on Jan 4, 2013

Switching a good stone woodburning heatilator fireplace to a gas log

Shelby @ The Weathered Barn StudioGwen CampbellKMS Woodworks


Our woodburning heatilator fireplace with glass doors & blowers truly heats the better part of our 2000 square feet main floor. I am considering putting in a gas set but the local firplace dealer says I'd need to keep the doors open because it won't get enough air. If my wood burning fireplace gets plenty of air with the doors shut, wouldn't that also be enough to safely run a gas log set? And if my present firplace also puts out plenty of heat, wouldn't the gas log set also. The difference in the cost of doing just the gas log set venting thru the damper in the chimney compared to putting in an insert and reventing etc is a matter of thousands. Any help, ideas, suggestions would be appreciated
4 answers
  • Follow the advice of the dealer. He or she is correct. The amount of air required to burn gas is much higher the the amount to keep a wood burning stove lit. If you have a fireplace it really does not put as much heat out as you think. All it is putting out is radiant heat. That type of heat heats objects not the air. Once you put in the gas log system the heat output goes down. Also the BTU energy put out by a gas log system is far less then the heat output that burning wood produces. Sure the gas will heat the system, but the cost and danger of using gas in a device that is not designed for that outweighs its benefits. If your really looking to save money I would suggest that your remove the current system you have and put in a pellet stove.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 5, 2013

    pellet stoves require electricity, while a free standing wood stove does not. When I did our big remodel I installed a free standing soapstone wood stove in the master suite. At that time (about 10 years ago) we would get extended power outages two or more a month for hours at a time we wanted to provide a place where we could be warm with or with out power. a side benefit to both wood stoves and pellet stove is they do not use fossil you are on the "green" side of the home heating curve.

    • @KMS Woodworks .. I do not like pellet stoves, had friends that had those...and ' no thank you'. Barely heated the room !lol. I adore wood burning fireplaces, and I would have one in every room if possible !

  • Gwen Campbell
    on Jan 6, 2013

    I just switched my fireplace from gas back to wood. If you have a wood burning stove that heats that much space, you might want to re think switching. Gas logs don't seem to heat as much area.

  • ...I agree with the comments about switching to gas. It is EXPENSIVE to heat with a gas fireplace, I have had both.....and wood burning is the way to go. I have had wood stoves , as well, and it heated three rooms ! I did not have central heating , nor gas heating. I had two fireplaces and a HUGE wood burning stove, that could actually be cooked on as well !

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