Should A Gas Fireplace Have A Smell [If So, What Should It Smell Like]?

A gas fireplace offers warmth on a cold winter night without the hassle of lighting up woods like a traditional fireplace. If you've been contemplating whether to switch to a gas fireplace and one of the questions you have in mind is about its smell, we've researched this topic, and here is the answer.

Reasons why your gas fireplace will have a smell:

  • The gas fireplace needs proper ventilation.
  • It is still new.
  • Your fireplace needs some cleaning.
  • The gas line is leaking.

It is normal to worry about the safety of your home when you're using your fireplace. We will get into more details about this topic so read this post until the end to learn more.

Contemporary gas fireplace in a classic room - Should A Gas Fireplace Have A Smell [If So, What Should It Smell Like]

Should A Gas Fireplace Smell?

You're probably jittery because of the smell your gas fireplace is producing. Before jumping to conclusions, it is best to understand first why your gas fireplace has a smell.

Here are the possible reasons you smell an odor in the air when using your gas fireplace.

Your Gas Fireplace Requires Proper Ventilation

Interior design of a luxury living room with a gas fireplace.

It is natural to smell gas within 10 minutes of using your gas fireplace. Unlike a regular fireplace, a gas fireplace does not require a chimney or a vent since it only uses a small amount of gas to make a fire.

It provides the same amount of heat as a regular fireplace by using oxygen in the air and burning gas or propane.

If the room is well-ventilated, the odor should go away after 10 minutes or less. If the smell persists after 10 minutes, you can check the air quality within the home before concluding that you're experiencing a gas leak.

When there is no proper airflow, the odor will only circulate within the space, thus, making the air smell weird. A poorly ventilated home can also cause health problems due to low oxygen and increased carbon dioxide.

Your Gas Fireplace Is Still New

contemporary living room with open concept view through to dining room kitchen and a marble fireplace with gas fire

A gas fireplace has a break-in period, thus, causing a strong smell when it is turned on. Gas fireplaces use natural gas. This type of gas is odorless, but it is normal to smell a strange odor in the air in the first 3-4 hours of using it after installation.

The smell in the air does not necessarily mean a gas leak. Chemicals or paints getting burned are produced which also causes the strange smell.

You can turn the fireplace on for a few hours so it can burn the factory debris. After that, let your fireplace completely cool down before using it again.

The odor should go away after doing so, though if the odor persists, check nearby items like plants and other furniture to ensure the fire does not reach them.

Your Fireplace Needs Some Cleaning

Chic covered back patio with built in gas fireplace, stone pillars, plank vaulted ceiling over cozy teak wood sofa set topped with white cushions and green pillows.

When not properly maintained, dust and dirt can build up in your fireplace. Since a gas fireplace uses oxygen to produce fire, air particles also get burned.

When these particles are burned, they can produce a strange smell in the air. Other things such as pet hair and similar things are likely to produce a weird odor when the fireplace is on.

That's why regular cleaning and keeping things away from the fireplace are important to prevent this from happening. Even when you don't regularly use your gas fireplace, it is important to clean it monthly to prevent dust and dirt buildup.

When debris accumulates in the fireplace, it can produce an unpleasant smell once it is lit. A thorough yearly cleanup done by professionals is also essential to maintain your gas fireplace.

Your Gas Line Is Leaking

Contemporary gas fireplace in a classic room - rendering

Natural gas does not have an odor when burning. However, additional chemicals are added to the gas so it would be easier for us to spot a gas leak.

If you smell rotten eggs in the air while the fireplace is on, evacuate your home as soon as possible and call the professionals since a rotten egg odor in the air indicates a gas leak.

Natural gas is highly flammable that's why ignoring it can cause fire or explosion at home. Do not hesitate to seek your gas company's help if you think that you're experiencing this problem.

Other signs of a possible gas leak are:

  • You hear a hissing sound coming from the gas line.
  • There's a dust cloud building up near your fireplace or gas line.
  • Increase in your gas bills.
  • Indoor plants are dying.
  • You're having difficulty breathing inside the house.
  • You experience dizziness, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, headaches, nausea, or chest pain.
  • Low appetite and lightheadedness.
  • Eyes and throat irritation.
  • You find air bubbles outside the house.
  • Your nose bleeds more often.
  • You smell sulfur instead of rotten eggs.

Is A Gas Fireplace The Same With Gas Inserts and Gas Logs?

It can be confusing at first since a gas fireplace, gas insert, and gas log are all heating products. Although these three have a lot of similarities, they are entirely different from one another. 

Gas Logs

Gas logs are a bunch of ceramic logs that you can place in your existing fireplace. It operates using a gas burner and does not produce as much heat as a gas fireplace can emit.

It is safe to say that gas logs are commonly used for aesthetic purposes since they mimic a natural wood look. But regarding heat, you might want a second thought about gas logs.

Click here to see this gas log on Amazon.

Gas Inserts

Gas inserts also require an existing fireplace. It is a box-within-a-box heating product that can produce more heat than a gas log. Although it's more expensive, it uses less gas than gas logs.

A gas insert also uses a glass door to prevent cold air from reaching the fire, which makes it look minimalistic as well.

Unlike a gas fireplace, a gas insert requires a chimney or an existing fireplace to be built upon.

Check out this gas insert on Amazon.

Gas Fireplace

If you do not have a chimney or do not like the idea of having one, a gas fireplace would be perfect for you. A gas fireplace does not produce smoke like a regular fireplace. This contemporary fireplace emits its waste through a tube inserted through the wall.

In addition, it produces the same heat as a traditional fireplace without you having to go through all the hassles you experience with a traditional fireplace.

See this gas fireplace on Amazon.

Is A Gas Fireplace Better Than An Electric Fireplace?

contemporary living room with open concept view through to dining room kitchen and a marble fireplace with gas fire - Should A Gas Fireplace Have A Smell [If So, What Should It Smell Like]

Both gas and electric fireplaces are contemporary types of fireplaces. They do not require burning real wood like a traditional fireplace, but which one is the better one will depend on your preference. 

A gas fireplace produces more heat and can warm larger rooms better than an electric fireplace. When it comes to how fast a fireplace can produce warmth, gas fireplaces are known to heat a room faster than an electric fireplace.

In addition, a gas fireplace uses gas to make an actual fire while an electric fireplace just shows an image of a lit-up fireplace. If you want to experience more heat and watch real flames, a gas fireplace would be ideal.

In Closing

Being cautious about the gas smell at home is completely natural since you want to keep your home safe from possible fire and explosions. Remember that it's normal to smell a faint gas odor in the air or a strange scent if it is still new. It may also need proper ventilation or needs some cleaning. Otherwise, the gas line might be leaking.

Before you go, don't forget to check out these posts, too:

Broken Gas Fireplace Log – What To Do?

Gas Fireplace Switch Not Working – What To Do?

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