How to Light a Gas Fireplace in 3 Different Ways

<p>NickyLloyd / Getty Images</p>

NickyLloyd / Getty Images

Gas fireplaces are a great option if you want the beauty and ambiance of a fireplace without any of the ash and smoke that comes with a wood-burning fire. But before you can enjoy its warmth, you first need to know how to light a gas fireplace.

It is safe to have a gas fireplace in your home. However, as with all appliances that run on natural gas, it's important to use it properly once it's installed in order to prevent a natural gas leak.

Determining how to light your gas fireplace will depend on the kind you own. Before you light it, make sure you're familiar with your specific unit. Steps can vary, so always refer to your unit's user manual for detailed instructions.


If a gas fireplace is not properly maintained or ventilated, it can create carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless, and can be lethal. For that reason, carbon monoxide detectors are a critical part of gas fireplace safety, even if you don't use the fireplace often. Ensure your home has at least one on each floor.

How to Light a Gas Fireplace With a Control Panel

Most modern gas fireplaces come with a control panel that manages its pilot light, a small flame that serves as an ignition flame for the gas burner. The control panel has an ignition button and a control knob that will enable you to light your fireplace.

  1. Locate your gas fireplace's control panel, which is usually located around the base of the fireplace behind the decorative screen.

  2. Remove the fireplace's front screen in order to gain access to the control panel.

  3. The control knob on a control knob will have three words on it: On, Off, and Pilot. Turn the control knob to the off position for at least five minutes. This will allow any lingering gas to clear out.

  4. When you are ready to light your fireplace, more the control knob to the Pilot position, which manually sends gas into the system.

  5. With the Pilot position in place, use your finger to press the igniter button. Repeat this step until the pilot lights.

  6. After the pilot lights, keep the control knob in the pilot position for 15 to 30 seconds to ensure the flame stays lit.

  7. Release the control knob from the pilot position and rotate it to the On position. This will ensure the pilot light stays on indefinitely so that you can activate the fireplace whenever you wish.

  8. Adjust the flame to the desired intensity—some knobs have a High/Low option while others have a range between one and five.

  9. Reattach the cover or screen over the control panel.

How to Light a Gas Fireplace With a Key Valve

Some gas fireplace units require a special wall key, sometimes called a hex key, to adjust the flow of gas.

  1. To light your fireplace with a key valve, first locate the round, decorative slot where the key is inserted, which is usually located to the left or right of the fireplace. Do not turn it until you are prepared to light the fireplace.

  2. Remove your fireplace's outer cover and carefully store it in a safe area.

  3. Place a long lighter next to the pilot light burner and ignite it.

  4. With the lighter activated, turn the key in the slot to open the gas valve. The pilot should light immediately.

  5. Once your pilot is lit, replace the key slot cover.

  6. Replace the fireplace's outer cover. Using the gas valve key, adjust the height of flame by turning the key to increase or decrease them.

  7. Be sure to store the key close to the fireplace for easy access.

How to Light a Gas Fireplace With a Wall Switch

Many gas fireplaces come equipped with a wall switch control panel through which you can turn it on and off. To light your gas fireplace with a wall switch, simply push the On button to ignite the pilot.


If your gas fireplace has a wall switch, it will not light when the power goes out. That's because the wall switch sends an electrical signal to your fireplace to open a valve and release the gas for the pilot light to light it. Without power, the valve will not be able to open.

How to Turn Off a Gas Fireplace

Knowing how to turn off a gas fireplace is just as important as knowing how to light it. Even without an active fire going, a pilot light requires a small amount of gas to stay lit. Generally, it is recommended you turn off the gas pilot light during the summer months, when you are less likely to use your gas fireplace. This will help prevent unnecessary gas leaks and also reduce your monthly gas bill.

  • If your gas fireplace has a control panel, turn the control knob to the Off position.

  • If your gas fireplace has a key valve, insert the key into the designated slot. Turn the key until the valve closes and cuts off the gas supply, which will put the pilot light out.

  • If your gas fireplace has an emergency gas valve, it should be closed or turned off.

Read Next: 57 Fireplace Decor Ideas That Will Warm Your Hearth

Read the original article on The Spruce.