Can You Burn Wood In A Gas Fireplace?

In modern times, there has been a rise in gas fireplaces – with many people looking for added help to heat their homes, albeit with the traditional feel of an open fire in their living room. 

Can You Burn Wood In A Gas Fireplace

However, this rise in popularity sees people confronted with all manner of questions that they do not have answers to – such as whether you can burn wood on gas fireplaces. But what is the answer to this, and what are the potential consequences? 

Can They Be Used To Burn Wood? 

The short answer to this question is ‘no’; gas fireplaces should not be used to burn anything other than the gas that is being piped into them. 

There are, of course, many reasons why this cannot be done – some of which can be seen below. 

Lack Of Ventilation

The reason that traditional fireplaces didn’t fill our houses with smoke and soot was that houses had chimneys that could vent out the unwanted byproducts. With gas fireplaces, this is often not the case. 

Even with existing fireplaces, they are not often kept functional once the gas has been installed, with the flue often being blocked to some degree to keep the warm air in.

This is because the gas fire does not leak gas (when functioning) and does not produce smoke. Instead, the gas that is released from the vents is burned straight away to light the fire. 

If you were to burn wood on top of the fire, then chances are there would not be sufficient ventilation, which could cause smoke and chemicals to flood your home. 

Unable To Withstand Heat

As well as this, gas fires do not reach anywhere near the same temperatures that coal or wood-burning fires do. As such, there is no guarantee that the fire surround, and the supports, can handle the heat of a wood fire. 

These gas fireplaces are also usually filled with fake logs and charcoal briquettes, which might not handle the heat well if the wood were to be burned atop them. This could cause them to melt and all manner of chemicals to potentially be leaked into the room. 

Unsafe For Wood Burning

Gas fireplaces are usually much more shallow than traditional fireplaces, which means that they often cannot support or hold the same amount of items as traditional fires could. 

This means that, along with the ceramic, fake coal or wood that they usually have, the addition of wood could cause them to roll off, potentially causing fires in your home. 

Are There Any Alternatives? 

Can You Burn Wood In A Gas Fireplace

Of course, if you really have your heart set on a wood-burning fireplace or some other more effective method of heating your home, then there are certain things you can do. 

Buy A Wood Burner

Due to the increase in popularity surrounding wood-burning stoves and firepits, there are now numerous affordable options on the market. 

This means that if you have your heart set on that real wood fire, then you can always buy something for your home or property. 

The easiest way would be to have the gas fireplace inside the living room and have the wood-burning stove outside, in your backyard, in outdoor seating space, or somewhere indoors and ventilated, like a conservatory or shed. 

Convert Your Gas Fireplace

Of course, it is also possible for you to convert your gas fireplace into a wood-burning fireplace – however, it is recommended to employ someone who knows what they are doing. 

If you have a built-in bespoke gas fireplace, then this might not be possible – or, at the very least, it would not be easy. However, if you had a portable gas fireplace sitting in your existing fireplace surround, then you could convert it. 

However, this would require you to seal off or remove the gas line piped into the fire, and you would also need to have your chimney unplugged and inspected to see that it is still operational and suitable for a wood-burning fireplace. 

Things To Remember

There are also several things that are worth reiterating and going over again for the sake of safety. 

Do Not Try Yourself

One of the most important things is to not take any risks by converting the fireplace yourself. If you do not know what you are doing, or if you have any doubts regarding the conversion, then do not take the chance. 

Only Burn Gas

Once again, you should not burn ANYTHING on your gas fireplace – except for the gas that has been safely and professionally piped into the system. 

This is not only for the protection of your property but also for the safety of everyone who lives there. 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about gas fireplaces and whether or not you can burn wood on them. 

It is certainly true that gas fireplaces have become more popular in recent years – with the switch from conventional fossil fuels having an effect on the market. However, as this article highlights, there are things that aren’t feasible with your gas replacement. 

So if you have a gas fireplace, then be sure to take note of this article!

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we know a little more about gas fireplaces, and whether or not you can burn wood on them, it is now time for us to answer some frequently asked questions that you might be interested in.

Are Gas Fireplaces Expensive? 

When you take into account all of the different components, as well as a gas supply, then yes, gas fireplaces can indeed be expensive to install. 

Are Gas Fireplaces As Effective? 

Despite being popular and generally effective in the home, the general consensus is that they are not as effective at heating houses as traditional coal fireplaces. 

Neil Thomas
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