Why Install a Fireplace Gas Blower? 24

Dear Askthechimneysweep,

I am considering purchasing a gas log set and am overwhelmed by all of the choices available to me. Should I opt for a fireplace gas blower with my gas log set? Are there benefits to having one versus not having one? Any guidance would be appreciated.

Jim
Cleveland,OH

Jim,

I’m so glad to hear that  you are considering gas logs because I don’t think enough people realize the benefits that gas logs have to offer. You are absolutely right, in the last couple of years there have been so many advances made to gas log sets. Gas log sets now have remote controls, blowers, can burn to look like a real fire, and come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. If you have read any of my work before you will know that I only recommend burning vented gas logs due to the controversy over whether ventless gas logs pose health hazards.

Before we discuss whether a gas blower will be beneficial to you, you need to understand the way that gas logs produce heat. Most gas log manufacturers claim that their gas logs produce radiant and convection heat. Although a gas blower won’t increase the radiant heat, it will blow the convection heat further into the room than it would have reached normally. Also it is helpful for you to know how a gas blower works when you are deciding whether or not you should purchase a blower for your gas logs. The blower actually takes in air from the room which is not heated, heats it, and blows it back into the room.

One concern that many customers have when it comes to the question of whether or not to purchase a gas log blower is whether or not it is going to be loud or noisy and disrupt the activity going on in the room where the gas logs are located. While the gas log blower will only blow the air a certain distance, more powerful blowers blow the warm air further than less powerful blowers.  The more powerful models are, obviously, more noisy than the less powerful ones. However, in the past, all gas log blowers were very noisy and newer models have reduced the noise of a blower to nearly none at all.

You want to be sure that if you have decided on purchasing a gas log blower that it has a thermostat. This way you can manually adjust the temperature in the room and save money on your electric bill when the weather is slightly warmer out and crank up the heat when the weather is extremely cold. All in all a gas log blower helps to warm the room more using a relatively low amount of electricity to operate the blower. At the end of the day, everyone is looking to save money on home heating, and with the price of natural gas projected to stay fairly constant over the next few years, gas home heating is definitely something to consider.

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

24 Comments

  1. I have gas logs, not sure if they are vented or ventless, turned on the gas but logs wont light, do not want to have an explosion. What could be the problem? Whom should I call to repair problem?

  2. Please don’t mess with it!
    I would recommend getting a Chimney sweep/gas fireplace service contractor into service it.
    Now here is a POSSIBLE problem …spider webbing in the gas nossle opening.
    Yes spider web nesting is very common problem
    It looks just like white cotton about an inch long:(
    Regards
    Clay

  3. I have been looking for a vented gas log set with a blower for a, but have not been able to find a company that makes one. Can you let me know what companies make them?

    Adelen Theibert
  4. askthechimneysweep

    If I understand this question, your looking to close the glass doors while burning a set of gas logs?
    I don’t think this critter is out there.
    Your best move would be investing in a “direct vend gas insert”
    …..they are well worth the money that you will be investing!

    askthechimneysweep
  5. I want to know if I need to open the damper while burning my gas logs that have a blower? I would think with the damper open and the blower running, I’m just pumping all the hot air up the chimney?? at the same time I’m worried about exhaust fumes if I leave it closed. My carbon monoxide monitor beside the fireplace has never alarmed, with the damper closed, but I’m worried it’s not safe? Help please. Thanks

  6. askthechimneysweep

    Yes, Yes, Yes & Yes The damper must be left open while operating the gas-log! You are correct, Carbon Monoxide poisoning is the the main concern and not that of suppling of heat to a living space. Gas-log sets are listed or tested as being “decorative” and are not a heating appliance or devise.
    Every gas-logs manufacture that I”m aware of, supplies a (C-clamp) that MUST be installed at the time the log-set is installed into the fireplace.
    Sorry don’t shoot the messenger. I think my video may help. https://youtu.be/6o7WD_TGRz0
    Clay Lamb

    askthechimneysweep
  7. askthechimneysweep

    Yes Yes Yes…there should have been a “C” clamp installed on the damper blade WHEN your gas log set were installed. These “C” clamp are an standard on every gas log manufacture installation that I’m aware of.
    As you mentioned the purpose is to prevent Carbon Monoxide problem. Remember CO detectors, are to be installed according to Mfg direction, that most often imply being lower to the floor level are Co is a heavier gas… but with that being said the damper is to be closed on vent free logs “that I do not promote” for two reason,
    Most vent free log require that the window be open , use for shorter period of time, not to used around senior , children or individuals with respiratory problem. Vent free log have also associated with both room moisture problems and over heating the surrounding areas of these log set if not installed properly.

    askthechimneysweep
  8. Have vented gas fireplace and my wife never runs the blower. I noticed this week that the vinyl siding around the outside vent was melted and blackened as a fire happened. Unknown if not using the blower led to this or I have more serious issues going on? What is your opinion?

    Michael Thompson
  9. Thanks

  10. askthechimneysweep

    *(Were there is smoke there is fire) .
    The melting of the vinyl siding is very alarming and may be a serious matter. Clearance to wood framing combustable “may be” just one of the problems. Some one needs to evaluate and confirm that this equipment was installed properly “According” the the equipment manufacture’s UL listing installation manuals. There possibly is a metal tag riveted to the frame some where in the firebox area that will provide you with the Manufacture name. I would search on line then call the manufacture if need be. You can find a reputable Chimney Sweep that may do Gas service work in your area by using this link to the National Chimney Sweep Guild locator: http://www.ncsg.org/search. Also be sure and go online and read their customer reviews from Google, BBB and AngiesList.
    Burn Safe & Warm
    Clay

    askthechimneysweep
  11. We have a wood burning brick fireplace. We want to have a fireplace with a blower. We are not sure if it would be best to get a gas log set or an insert with remote and blower.

    Suggestions?

  12. Clay Lamb

    Hands down, I would invest my money into a gas fired direct-vent fireplace!!!!!!
    I would get the biggest viewing glass front that I could afford, that fits in my existing firebox area.
    Be sure to include a remote control that offers flame height, as well as blower fan speed adjustment.
    Gas logs are only listed as decorative, where as a Direct Vent Fireplace for me is a beautiful heater.
    Phil, I have sold and installed lots of *Regency Direct Vent fireplaces and everyone really seams to enjoy them,
    that includes my lovely wife of 43 years.

    * Be sure to check out these two “Ask The Chimney Sweep” videos, as they may help you in your decision making!
    Also, please come back and tell us what you invested in and why!

    Burn Safe & Warm
    Clay Lamb

    Direct Vent Gas Fireplace
    https://youtu.be/68LUsoy2foM

    Direct Vent Inserts
    https://youtu.be/3r3fsWynzr4

  13. I have a double sided fireplace with a gas log insert that is about 20 years old. I would love to have an updated gas log with a blower so that we can actually feel some warmth from the fireplace. Right now it is mostly just decorative because it doesn’t actually warm a room. So my question is, is there a product out there that would work for that? Would it have to fit the exact dimensions of my current fireplace?

  14. Clay Lamb

    Lyn, I honestly don’t believe that I have ever seen a blower for a double sided masonry “gas log” fireplace. With that being said I have seen these as a “direct vent” fireplace insert” systems.
    Gas logs and blowers don’t seem to mix well. I feel you’re in a dilemma that only you will be able to resolve.
    You must ask yourself, do I want the unusual glamor of seeing a double sided fireplace or have the benefit of the heat source and the beauty of my one-sided “masonry fireplace. Please doesn’t forget the see-through direct vent gas fireplace insert option that I mention above.
    Historically I have found that masonry see-through fireplaces, with or without gas logs or a blower, are thought of only being a decorative appliance. The real problem is they just don’t heat a room. This is primarily because they don’t incorporate a “back wall ” that was designed, and to function to direct and to curl the smoke up the chimney, while at the same time reflect the heat from the fire back into your living space.
    It is my own personal feeling that a see-through fireplace design, should incorporate LP or a natural gas supply to work properly and consistently, but the only heat that you will have is from the “open” glass doors
    Lyn, my wife and I once had this same issue with our masonry see-through fireplace, and we chose to install a “one-sided” direct-vent gas fireplace insert. And I will say that we enjoy the beauty of the dancing yellow flame, while at the same time of have the ability to adjust the flame height and to control the blower fan speed, all from our remote control.
    To benefit you, as well as our other readers I have provided, our step by step construction of a See Through Fireplace

    1)- See Through Fireplace 1 of 7 Deconstruction
    https://youtu.be/m84EL4GrcfA

    2)- See Through Fireplace 2 of 7 Gas Line
    https://youtu.be/0TaQF0Ldkj4

    3)-See Through Fireplace 3 of 7 Smoke Chamber
    https://youtu.be/I5dVp8rKLl4

    4)-See Through Fireplace 4 of 7 Rebuild
    https://youtu.be/zznjz_x-ZBI

    5)-See-Through Fireplace 5 of 7 Hearth
    Shttps://youtu.be/4H8eWfWXqWI

    6)-See Through Fireplace 6 of 7 Granite
    https://youtu.be/YPpwAiY7idc

    7)–See Through Fireplace 7 of 7 Final
    https://youtu.be/5PS-N3m0pF8
    Clay Lamb author of:
    http://www.AsktheChimneySweep.com – Youtube Educational Videos
    http://www.FireplaceandChimneySupply.com – Professional grade Chimney products
    http://www.HomeContractorsHQ.com – Contractor Coaching Podcast
    http://www.AmChimney.com – GM @ American Chimney Sweep Cincinnati, OH

  15. I have a gas log fireplace unit & I want to buy a horizontal fan that can be mounted directly above fireplace opening to blow hot air out into living room. Can you help find me a fan that will work & cost of it? Thanks, Tom

    Tom Griffie
  16. Clay Lamb

    Hello Tom,
    You have a very serious legal, as well as safety issue here.
    – I would first contact the manufacture of the gas logs, to see if this is allowable in conjunction to using their product?
    I’m personally thinking that it is not!
    – Second contact someone in your area using this sweep locator at CSIA.org
    Burn Safe, Not Sorry

    Signed the Chimney Sweep,that believes in using higher-end Pelonies space heaters,”in certain situations”
    Very Respectfully;
    Clay

  17. Hey clay
    I have a 100 yr old house. Existing wood burning fireplace is in decent shape and previous owner has instled a set of vented natural gas logs. Local shop has a standalone plug in blower to help us retain some heat but said we cant use unless logs are ventless due to black soot build up. Any advice or solutions would be very helpful since you are a trust worthy source not a salesman!!
    Thanks
    Jeff V.
    Smithfield NC

  18. Clay Lamb

    Jeff, I WOULD NOT DO THIS !
    Sorry my friend without seeing your situation this all sounds like a very dangerous situation, and I would not risk this in anyway.
    For your family safety please think about this very carefully, your having a one hundred year old home, an old Wood Stove, retrofitted vented gas logs, and considering a blower fans for any gas logs, just doesn’t sound like it mixes safely.
    Please reconsider any idea of mixing any of these items, that is unless a Manufacture states in writing” that it has been tested and approved by some type of UL body of testing authority. Personally I don’t think that you will find anyone who would so called “bless” this mixture of items.
    There are just to many things that could go wrong.
    Personally I would consider investing in electric space heaters, that is until you can afford to buy a direct vent gas fireplace or insert appliance .
    My wife and I enjoy the beauty of the yellow flame, while at the same time, having the ability to adjust the flame height and to control the blower fan speed,
    all from our remote control.
    Sorry to rain on your parade, Please don’t shoot the messenger
    Very Respectfully
    Clay

    PS. Seriously, please don’t do this until a professional looks at this!
    You can find a reputable Chimney and venting contractor in your area by using this link to the;
    National Chimney Sweep Guild locator
    http://www.ncsg.org/search.
    Also be sure and go online and read their customer reviews from Google, BBB, and AngiesList.
    I hope that this information helps!
    Clay Lamb author of:
    http://www.AsktheChimneySweep.com – Youtube Educational Videos
    http://www.FireplaceandChimneySupply.com – Professional grade Chimney products
    http://www.HomeContractorsHQ.com – Contractor Coaching Podcast
    http://www.AmChimney.com – American Chimney Sweep Cincinnati,OH

  19. Hello,
    Our house is 25 years old . Our current nonfunctional wood fireplace lets in very cold air. I say nonfunctional because the previous owner stuffed some insulation up the through the damper opening. The room it is in is extremely cold. The Chimney guy who came is suspecting that the Chimney is not insulated. He is suggesting to remove the siding and sheets and install insulation and air barrier. He also said that we can’t have a direct vent gas insert but must remove the current fireplace and install a new direct vent fireplace if we want one. To do this he has to open the chimney from outside and install the direct vent fire place this way . My question to you are
    1. Should we just have him install some gas logs with remote and blower? This is our cheapest option. We could try this and if it doesn’t warm up the room , we could go ahead with the insulation?

    2. Should we go ahead with installing a new direct vent fireplace ? With demolition , insulation ,removal of old unit and installation and price of the new unit it’s almost $5k. Is it worth it?

    3. Why can’t we install a gas insert? Yes the decorative stones around the opening makes it harder for a big viewing area and we have to shop for a smaller viewing area, but isn’t this better than demo during the winter?

    Your insight on this is greatly appreciated

    Thank you

  20. Clay Lamb

    Maha, I hope that you don’t mind but I will try and answer you line by line

    * Our current nonfunctional wood fireplace lets in very cold air.
    – I will assume this a prefab fireplace and not masonry?

    * I say nonfunctional because the previous owner stuffed some insulation up the through the damper opening.
    – I would think this insulation can be totally removed !

    * The Chimney guy who came is suspecting that the Chimney is not insulated. He is suggesting to remove the siding and sheets and install insulation and air barrier.
    – To me this does make lot of sense, as many manufactures require insulation within the chimney chase cavaty and could be verified by looking online at that manufactures installation instructions

    * He also said that we (can’t -or can ) have a direct vent gas insert but must remove the current fireplace and install a new direct vent fireplace if we want one. To do this he has to open the chimney from outside and install the direct vent fire place this way .
    – I think he is on target in his assessment

    * My question to you are
    * 1. Should we just have him install some gas logs with remote and blower?
    – I don’t think that you will be happy with logs and a blower of any type that Im aware of, Gas logs are only to be used for short periods of time and are viewed as being a decretive appliance, and not that of a room heater, a Direct vent unit would be a heater!

    * 2. . . . price of the new unit it’s almost $5k. Is it worth it? (yes)
    – Without being there and knowing the appliance that is being offered and the details of the installation, I think this sounds like reasonable pricing. For me personally I think that this is well worth it, and believe that you will enjoy the investment in this appliance.

    * 3. Why can’t we install a gas insert? a smaller viewing area, but isn’t this better than demo during the
    – I would go for the biggest viewing window on the unit as I can afford. Again our contractor is there and can see the detail about the sizing and your installation
    I think that your contractor is really being straight with you. This is a major investment, so I wouldn’t hesitate to ask for references from his other customers

    Stay Warms and Safe
    Clay

    You can find a reputable Chimney and venting contractor in your area by using this link to the;
    National Chimney Sweep Guild locator
    http://www.ncsg.org/searchAlso be sure and go online and read their customer reviews from Google, BBB, and AngiesList.
    I hope that this information helps!

  21. Thank you very much. So just to clarify, we can’t install a gas insert inside a prefab fireplace right?

    Thanks again

    Maha

    @Clay Lamb

  22. Clay Lamb

    I’m sure that there are “gas insert manufactures” that do allow you to install their equipment, into “someone else’s” prefab-fireplace.
    Please ask yourself, have these two piece of equipment every been tested and approved somewhere together?
    For me the problem is this, does your “prefab manufacture: allow you to install someone else’s gas insert product into their prefab fireplace.
    I feel they would think of it like this, who carries the liability if there was faulty construction installation of your prefab 25 years ago.
    Who carries the liability, if your new gas insert is installed improperly or somehow were to malfunction in some manner, who product liability gets the claim.
    I personally feel this is why many manufactures might not won’t allow this type of mixture of equipment installation.
    The prefab fireplace manufacture doesn’t stand make any money on your new installation, but they know well that into days world “that they probably” would be listed” if bad things were to happen” even many years down the road.
    I will say this, you could always contact the manufacture of your prefab fireplace, and ask if they do have a gas insert vendor that they have approved?
    If so, for me I would need to get in in writing.
    Hope this bouncing of ideas is of some help, and please don’t shoot the messenger
    Install and burn safe!
    Clay Lamb author of:
    http://www.AsktheChimneySweep.com – Youtube Educational Videos
    http://www.FireplaceandChimneySupply.com – Professional grade Chimney products
    http://www.HomeContractorsHQ.com – Contractor Coaching Podcast
    http://www.AmChimney.com – American Chimney Sweep Cincinnati,OH

  23. Hi Clay
    I have an empire vent free gas fireplace. I was wondering if there was a way to lift the log set up and but ametal box underneath so I could install a blower to move the heat into the room.
    Thanks

  24. Clay Lamb

    Tom, I’m currently not a fan of “vent free” products, years ago I actually installed these products but I will no longer do so. “Vent-free” products are tremendous for providing lots of heat, but as you expand your investigation I think your gong to be surprised about problems that may or not be true. Lots of folks like these units, but many others seem to have concerns about respiratory problems, clearances to combustibles, as well as moisture and ongoing odor issues.
    You may want to read your manufacture’s installation instructions, to confirm if keeping the window is required or not. This would seem rather contradictory while trying to find a supplementary heating source for your home.

    May I suggest before making “ANY” modification, that you contact the manufacturer about your adding a fan idea? Personally, I don’t believe that they will endorse this idea of adding a fan to this product.
    Please don’t shoot the messenger.
    Stay Safe and Warm!
    Clay L

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