Gas fireplaces in houses come with or without a flue. A flue funnels heat and toxic gases out of the building through a chimney or pipe system. With or without a flue, the fireplaces work in much the same way. They burn propane, a natural gas that is piped in from below. A pilot light, ignited by a spark, generally runs continuously. When the gas is turned up, it is piped underneath ceramic logs and burns in a simulation of a log fire.
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To ignite the pilot light, the gas is turned on at a valve, and a button is pressed to create a spark. The spark ignites the gas and creates the small pilot light flame. This flame will stay low and almost undetectable until the fire system is turned on.
A flueless stove can burn in a closed in environment without causing a build up of deadly carbon monoxide. A catalytic converter system converts the toxic fumes into carbon dioxide and water vapour. Carbon dioxide is the same gas that humans exhale.
The catalytic converter system is located above the fire so that it catches the gas as it rises. It works by using a catalyst to break the carbon monoxide apart. The normal catalyst used in the system is platinum or palladium. It pulls the carbon monoxide structure CO apart and reforms it as CO2, which is carbon dioxide. There is no real downside to buying a flueless fireplace. It keeps heat from escaping and is more efficient.
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