Gas fireplaces are becoming more and more popular. They’re clean and efficient and they look amazing. But since they burn on gas, and you don’t actually need to feed logs into a fire, you may wonder if gas fireplaces turn themselves off automatically.
In general, many gas fireplaces have the ability to automatically turn off by themselves with a timer or with separate controllable settings. However, it is highly recommended to manually turn off your gas fireplace when you are leaving the building.
There are a few types of gas fireplaces that are in homes today, and not all of them have the ability to shut off by themselves! In this article, I cover the three main gas fireplace types, explain which ones can be shut off automatically, and whether they should run for long periods of time!
Do Gas Fireplaces Turn Off Automatically?
Depending on the gas fireplace model you have in your home, it may have a feature that allows it to turn off automatically. This might be a timer that you set or a controlled option that is programmed into your fireplace.
If you are unsure of whether your fireplace has this ability, copy down the make and model of your fireplace and contact the manufacturer for guidance!
Not all gas fireplaces have the ability to turn off automatically by themselves and for good reason! There are several types of gas fireplaces and not all are safe to be left running for long periods of time without being watched!
Gas Fireplace Insert
A gas fireplace insert is a very common and economical choice of fireplace that we see in homes today. The reason is that it can be installed within an existing fireplace; installing the vent piping straight up the chimney directs the combustion gases safely out of the home.
Many of these inserts can be controlled by a remote thermostat that allows you to pick a temperature and how long you want the fireplace to burn for.
Several of them give a few timer options like this timer here.
The timer can be used in conjunction with a remote so that it can be controlled from anywhere in the room.
Once the timer goes off your gas fireplace will turn off automatically.
This example timer and remote are compatible with all three styles of gas fireplaces, but not necessarily all makes and models. Before deciding to purchase any kind of timer, etc., check the manual for your fireplace or consult the manufacturer about your fireplace’s capabilities and the options they recommend!
A gas fireplace is not a home’s main source of heating, and should not be used for very long extended periods of time, especially not overnight.
A gas fireplace insert could be used for an extended period of time because all the gases are vented directly out of the house through the vent pipe. This prevents carbon monoxide from building up in your home. However, it is a good practice to check your piping regularly to ensure there are no leaks.
The risks of running a gas fireplace through the night are:
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning if there was a gas leak
- Fire Hazard
With this in mind, we can look at another style of fireplace that is safe to use for an extended period of time
Direct Vent Gas Fireplace
The direct vent gas fireplace vents the combustion gases directly out the side or some part of the home through a vent pipe. They do not need a pre-existing fireplace in order to be installed which is what makes them quite popular!
Like the Inserts, these fireplaces can be connected to a timer that may shut off the fireplace at a designated time.
The direct vent fireplaces also send their combustion gases directly out of the home, which makes this style of fireplace safe to run for a long period of time!
Vent-Free Gas Fireplace
This is the last style of gas fireplace that you could choose and it is also capable of turning off automatically! Depending on the model you purchase, these fireplaces can connect to a timer or remote system that will turn off the fireplace at the designated time.
The vent-free gas fireplaces have a different design from the other two. They have been tested for combustion by-products and burn at approximately 99.9% efficiency which is quite incredible. They draw the oxygen from within the room it is installed in to continue burning, while also releasing carbon monoxide (very small amounts) into your home.
This amount is okay when you are using the fireplace for short periods of time, 1-3 hours, but can start to be dangerous if left on for longer periods of time! That’s why it’s recommended to have a vent-free gas fireplace hooked up to an automatic shut-off system and a carbon-monoxide detector.
A setup like that will ensure the fireplace shuts off automatically when the carbon monoxide levels get too high.
Of the three gas fireplace types, this one is not recommended for long-duration use.
How Long Will My Gas Fireplace Stay On For?
In general, a gas fireplace will burn indefinitely until turned off. Most are turned on with a switch, and unless otherwise installed with a timer will continue to burn until you shut it off again.
All gas fireplaces have a switch that will turn the gas fireplace on or off, but not all have a timer and thermostat to control how long it will be turned on for. Fireplaces that do not have such timers will not shut off automatically, so you’ll need to be present to turn the fireplace off again.
Regardless of the type of gas fireplace that is installed, it is possible to add on a timer to control how long your fireplace will be on for!