Gas fireplaces are becoming a trend because they can provide heat on a cold winter night while showing a real burning fire. You might not be aware that some gas fireplaces can be operated using a remote control. If you're wondering how to navigate a gas fireplace remote control, we've gathered the information to guide you.
The remote for a gas fireplace should be connected to the main valve of your fireplace for you to operate your fireplace from a distance. Once the master switch is set in an "On" setting, the remote will work.
The type of remote you can use to operate your fireplace will depend on the gas valve you have. You must determine the valve type first to choose the correct remote that will suit your preference. We will dive into the details of how to use your gas fireplace remote control, so keep reading to learn more.
Different Gas Valves And Remote Controls For A Gas Fireplace
Remote controls offer a lot of benefits to homeowners. Unlike a traditional fireplace, some gas fireplaces can be operated using a remote.
However, the type of valve you are using on your fireplace will determine whether you can use a remote or not, so make sure to read your product manual to find out.
Here are some details about the different types of valves that allow homeowners to operate their fireplace using a remote, and how to operate each type using a remote control.
Millivolt Gas Valve And Remote Controls
Most remote controls work with a millivolt gas valve, since it is one of the most common types of gas valve used in gas fireplaces.
It uses a standing pilot that lights up to heat a thermocouple or a thermopile, then produces a single volt of electricity. The single-volt current then controls the electromagnet which opens the valve.
Remote Control Options For Millivolt Gas Valves
Once you're done determining if your gas fireplace is using a millivolt gas valve, you may proceed to choosing the best millivolt gas valve-compatible remote. Here are the standard types of remote you can choose from.
- On/Off Remote Control: The most basic type of millivolt remote control is the on/off remote control. It allows you to shut the fireplace off or switch it on by pressing the buttons.
- Timer Remote Control: Unlike the on/off remote control, the timer remote can turn the fireplace on/off and set the countdown timer for your fireplace.
- Thermostat Remote Control: Similar to the timer remote control, the thermostat remote allows users to switch the fireplace on/off. But, instead of a countdown timer button, it has a thermostat button which lets the user control the fireplace's temperature.
- Programmable Remote Control: The alpha of the millivolt remote controls, a programmable remote has all the features the other three remotes have. You can program the remote to turn the fireplace on/off and set the timer and thermostat functions according to the time of the day and temperature level.
- Wall Mount Remote Control: This remote is fixed on a wall and operates with an on/off switch, timer, or thermostat function.
- Smart Home Remote Control: Unlike the other types of millivolt remote controls, a smart home remote is a virtual remote control which makes your smartphone act like the actual remote. This is the latest type of remote and can provide a more high-tech vibe.
Latching Solenoid Gas Valve and Remote Control
A latching solenoid gas valve is another common type of gas valve used in fireplaces. An electric current via solenoid powers the fireplace and uses latching magnets to secure the solenoid in place. It needs a continuous flow of current to remain open or closed.
Unlike the millivolt gas valves, latching solenoid valve remote controls are limited and commonly have two buttons: the on/off functions.
Maxitrol Gas Valve And Remote Control
A maxitrol gas valve uses a servomotor to control the plunger's position when opening or closing the valve. Like a latching solenoid, it requires continuous flow of current to hold the plunger in place.
When you are using this single solenoid valve, you can control the height of the flame by dictating the plunger's position. It sends an electric current to the plunger to communicate which level to stay at to keep the flame at the desired height.
Like the latching solenoid valve, a maxitrol valve only has one type of remote, but its remote control has four buttons with multiple functions which work depending on the feature you are trying to access.
- Off button: This allows you to shut the fireplace off.
- Set button: It gives you access to different screen options.
- Large flame button: Pressing this turns the unit on and allows you to increase the height of the flame.
- Small flame button: This allows you to access the set features or lessen the height of the flame.
Why Won't The Gas Fireplace Stay Lit?
If your gas fireplace turns on but the flame stops burning after a few minutes of using it, you should check the pilot light. It is a small part of the fireplace's ignition system which helps ignite the flame of the main burner.
If you think that the pilot light is fine, the problem could be due to improperly set gas pressure, a broken gas valve, or clogged burners and moisture buildup in the gas line.
Before you jump to conclusions and replace your thermopile, you must inspect the other parts of the fireplace. Check everything from the valve to the gas line to find out where the cause is really originating.
If you are not equipped with the right knowledge on how to check the other components of your fireplace, call the professionals instead of making things worse.
Does A Gas Fireplace Cost More Than An Electric Fireplace?
A gas fireplace is an inexpensive type of heating appliance since it does not burn much gas in order to operate. For a 100,000 BTU of heat, it will only cost you an average of $1.10 of propane, or $0.48 of natural gas.
However, electric fireplaces are likely to cost less compared to a gas fireplace, even if you set the electric fireplace at a maximum level. Assuming you're using your electric fireplace for two hours a day, on average, an electric fireplace may only cost around $10-$11 per month.
It is cheaper compared to the $28 total if you are using a gas fireplace that burns natural gas. However, if you are using a gas fireplace with less BTU, the cost may decrease and would be cheaper compared to the cost when operating an electric fireplace.
Can A Gas Fireplace Work Without A Chimney?
Gas fireplaces do not require a chimney to work. This type of contemporary fireplace burns natural gas, so it does not emit smoke the way traditional fireplaces do, but the burning flame causes air pollutants.
Although there are ventless gas fireplaces, this type of gas fireplace only emits the toxins in the living area. Without ventilation, these toxins will stay within the home until you open the doors and windows to allow proper airflow.
When there is poor ventilation while the gas fireplace is operating, an increase in carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxide and nitrogen can cause health problems such as difficulty in breathing and dizziness.
You can have a hose or vent passing through a wall leading outside so the toxins can be emitted to prevent any health hazards. Natural gas is odorless. You should keep toxic air particles from staying inside the home.
Remote controls provde a lot of benefits to users, especially for people who have difficulty bending down to operate their gas fireplace. If you want to use a remote to control your gas fireplace, make sure you know which type of gas valve you are using so you can buy the correct remote.
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