Gas Logs are either made to burn natural gas or liquid propane. There is a difference between the ways these two gases burn, so the burner systems must be made for the type of gas you want to burn. The biggest differences are in the burner orifices and safety pilot options. For example, a burner for liquid propane gas cannot be lit with a match. Liquid propane is heavier than the air so it must be closed tightly with a manual valve or else a gas puddle inside the fireplace may flow into a room and create a fire hazard.
As natural gas is lighter than air, if the manual valve is left slightly open, most of the leaked gas goes up the chimney, without causing a fire risk. However, liquid propane gas must have a safety pilot, which prevents a valve from being left open. Also, to get the correct air-to-fuel mixture and prevent the gas from puddling, the density of the material that covers the burner pan matters. Propane gas logs usually use vermiculite in the burner pan whereas natural gas logs use a special grade of silica sand.
You may be wondering what kind of gas to use in your fireplace. If your home is already equipped with gas, it makes sense to run a line from your gas main to your fireplace and use the same type of gas. If that’s not possible for some reason, you may want to install a propane tank right outside the fireplace. For information about adding or changing out gas inserts in Baltimore, MD, contact Complete Chimneys. We service customers throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C.