Well the answer to this question would not be a direct yes or no. While the name suggests exclusivity, the answer may be both yes or no depending on many factors such as the chimney design.
If you are bothered by this question chances are you are considering using your gas fireplace with wood. Here is a guide on how to establish if burning a wood stove in a gas fireplace is feasible.
But first, here is how to tell if your fireplace is gas or wood operated.
Gas fireplaces aren’t designed with wood in mind
Gas fireplaces generally produce less amount of heat and are designed with smaller ventilation. Wood fireplaces, on the other hand, are considerate of the high heat generated and need to rid the house of poisonous gases. By design, they are heavily built and have huge vents, dampers, and chimney.
Burning wood in a gas fireplace is risky. It could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, too much smoke in the house or an explosion if the gas valve and line are compromised in the process
Before taking your wooden pieces to the fireplace, carry out an inspection of your fireplace. You can do this with the aid of an expert. The expert will aid in examining your chimney, gas connection and materials used on your fireplace.
Convert the fireplace to avoid smoke and CO poisoning
There are gas fireplaces that are designed as wooden fireplaces complete with the right dimensions and materials. In such cases, you can simply use firewood in the fireplace.
Ensure that when burning wood, the poisonous gases do not find their way to your living space. There is also the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning associated with incomplete combustion of wood. Your chimney and vents should conform to standard wooden fireplace guidelines.
Granted the amount of heat wood produces, the need to have stronger material that can withstand the heat can’t be stressed any further. Gas fireplaces are designed with the low heat they emit in mind. If you have such a fireplace, using it with high heat emitting wood would be counterproductive. Unless you are considering making necessary modifications with the aid of a fireplace expert, using a gas fireplace for wood burning is a risky affair.
Get rid of the gas connection avoid gas explosions
Converting your gas fireplace has the foreseeable risk of causing explosions especially when there are traces of gas or connection to active gas supply. The volatility of gas coupled by the ease of melting of gas components from wood heat can be a cause of concern.
That fact that the fireplace is aptly named “gas fireplace” speaks volumes. Bearing in mind the hazards associated with fires, it is advisable to first engage a fireplace expert to review your fireplace if indeed its fit for burning wood in a gas fireplace. It is always better safe than sorry.