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How To Install A Gas Fireplace In An Existing Chimney

By Lawrence Macmillan October 25, 2021

When most of us think about what our dream house looks like, it includes a roaring fire in our living room. Sadly, for most of us, that isn't practical. Open fireplaces are not cost-effective, in fact, buying coal and wood for fireplaces can be incredibly expensive.

They can also leave your furniture covered in soot and smoke residue. Removing the smell of a woodfire from a room can also be really difficult.

Some people are prepared to put up with all of the negatives to be able to enjoy the warm glow of the fireplace. 

What if we told you that you could have all the benefits of an open fireplace, no one of the disadvantages, and save money in the process? 

It sounds too good to be true, but a gas fireplace can offer you all of this. 

The question we get asked most frequently about gas fireplaces is "where should I install mine?" The good news is that you can install them pretty much anywhere in your home with very minimal effort. 

And, if you have a pre-existing chimney, then that's even better - all the hard work has already been done for you. 

Choose Your Gas Fireplace 

This is probably the most fun step in the process. To begin this process, you need to decide on the exact type of gas fireplace you want. 

You need to think about size, colors, gas usage, energy efficiency, and overall price. If you are struggling to find the perfect fireplace, you should talk to an expert. 

Create A Mockup To Check That Everything Fits 

Once you have decided on the fireplace, it's time to check that it fits in your chimney. Using some tape and cardboard, you can make a replica of your new fireplace. 

This replica will let you know how well the fireplace works in the space and if it will be possible to install it. Remember to check that it is possible to fit the replica through your front door. 

If you get the results you want then you can go ahead and purchase the fireplace. 

Decide If You Are Going To Do It Yourself Or Hire Someone To Do It For You 

The next step is to decide if you want to install the fireplace yourself or whether you want someone else to install it. 

If you want to save money then you might want to consider installing the fireplace yourself. 

We recommend that you at least bring a professional to connect the gas with the fireplace. If this step goes wrong it can be really dangerous. 

Get Your Gas And Electricity Supplies Ready 

This is the first practical thing you will need to do. You need to check that it is possible to get a gas and electricity supply to your fireplace. 

You will then need to set these connections up if they do not already exist. 

Again, when it comes to setting up and moving around gas supplies, it is important that you hire someone who knows what they are doing to do this for you. 

You will find that getting an electricity supply set up will be much simpler. You do not want to run your gas fireplace from an extension cable. 

Make Sure The Ventilation Is Ready To Use 

The other key element you will need to prepare before you start installing your gas fireplace is the ventilation. 

This is the major difference in the process between having a chimney and not. If you want to install a gas fireplace and you do not have a chimney then you will need to drill a large hole in the wall to feed your ventilation pipe through. 

However, if you have a working chimney then you can just feed this pipe into the chimney, and its structure will take care of the rest. You will need to make sure that your chimney is clear and fully functional before you install anything. 

Build The Fire Stand And Line Up The Fireplace 

This step will look different for everyone and will depend on the type of gas fireplace you have bought. 

If you have a self-standing fireplace then you can skip over step 6 and move on to step 7. However, if you have brought a fireplace that needs to sit on a stand then keep reading. 

You will need to measure how wide your fireplace is, and then use plywood, pine, or oak to create a stand. You do not want to use a wood that is weak or one that will warp when it is exposed to heat. 

Install The Ventilation

Your next step will be to install the ventilation. As you are someone with a working chimney then this will be a relatively easy task. 

Your fireplace may come with a ventilation tube that is solid and free standing. This type of ventilation tube can be fed straight up the chimney. 

If the tube is more flexible than you may need to install brackets on the inside of your chimney. This will stop the tubes from collapsing in on themselves, and stop any of the gas from finding its way back into your living room. 

Link Up The Gas And Electricity Systems 

Once you are happy that you have safely set up your ventilation system, it is time to hook up the fireplace to both the gas and electricity. 

We will mention once more that it is good to bring a professional in when working with gas pipes as it can be dangerous work. 

Once everything is set up, you should do three short test runs. One for 30 seconds, one for 2 minutes, and one for 5 minutes. This will allow you to check the fireplace is working properly and for you to check the gas is attached correctly before you leave the fireplace on for a longer amount of time. 


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