If you just bought a house and are not familiar with your fireplace, you may be at pains to use it, repair or replace it? How do you go about establishing the nature of your fireplace?
Inspect the fireplace
The difference between a gas and wood burning fireplace can be derived from their design. Gas fireplaces generally are fitted with a gas supply, have smaller vents, chimneys, and dampers as opposed to their wooden counterparts. On a closer inspection if you notice a gas supply or any of the feature listed above, then your fireplace is gas.
Wood fireplaces tend to be bigger, have a metal grate to allow the ash to fall through and have a bigger elaborate chimney to vent the smoke efficiently. You won’t see any gas assembly pipes whatsoever unless it is a gas started wood fireplace. This is why you can’t burn wood in a gas fireplace.
Check the manual
Normally, new homeowners are furnished with a manual of how to use their fireplace especially gas (considering the likelihood of catastrophe if wrongly used).A quick glance at your manual will give you an idea of the type of fireplace.
Consult the Fireplace Identification plate
Most fireplaces have a number plate indicating its type. Go to the fireplace louver. Check above the lower louver (You can do this by lowering it).If you can’t see a plate that indicates the fireplace rating, check behind it. Alternatively, check the floor of the fireplace for any tag. If you still can’t see it, chances are your fireplace is the gas type (Gas fireplaces have a stamp on the gas supply).
Contact a fire expert/Brand call center
You can ask a fireplace expert to pay your home a visit and confirm the type you have. Given their level of expertise, they should be able to inspect and give you a conclusive answer to your question.
However, classification of fireplaces is much broader than this; some allow for use of pellets, gas, and wood. In such a case, you need to have a keen eye. Direct vent fireplace, for instance, are classified based on their ability to bring cold air through the chimney.