Do Gas Fireplaces Need Electricity? [Yes & No]

  • Gas fireplaces that use continuous standing pilot lights might not need electricity. These are generally older models
  • Modern gas fireplaces with intermittent pilot ignition systems generally require electricity, but also might have a backup power system
  • In the event of a power outage, the gas will probably work for a while after the power goes so long as the pressure in the lines stays above the regulator inlet threshold
  • However, since the compressor stations and pipeline metering units all require electricity, if the power is out for a while, the supply will taper out and the line pressure will no longer be strong enough to deliver gas to your house (Source)
  • Some gas fireplaces will come with battery backups or ignition packs that will ignite the fireplace in case of power loss (Source)

Gas fireplaces come in a wide range of styles and designs. They might be long and slender, wide and tall, traditional or even multi-room affairs. Gas fireplaces can be installed in almost any room of your home (check out our gas fireplace installation cost guide).

In the event of a power outage, they can provide both heat and light. A gas fireplace can be either a Direct Vent Device, a Vent Free Unit, or a Gas Fireplace Insert, which is a unit that replaces an existing brick fireplace opening.

gas fire in brick fireplace

The beauty and feel of a real wood fire may be achieved with a gas fireplace without the hassle or trash.

Incorporating rocks and gems into a bed’s design can also create an eye-catching focal point. If you are looking for a Gas Fireplace, there are numerous alternatives to choose from.

Do gas fireplaces need electricity?

A gas fireplace’s pilot light must be ignited first before the flames may begin to burn. There are several gas fireplaces that use a spark ignition method to aid the pilot light catch alight; but, do these fireplaces require electricity in order to operate?

Older gas fireplaces that use a continuous standing pilot light may not require power to run at all nowadays.

An electrical source is usually required for newer versions of gas fireplaces that employ an intermittent pilot ignition mechanism, but there may be a backup system in case of a power loss.

It is possible to install a gas fireplace in an existing masonry fireplace without the requirement for a power connection, however, this may not be the case with newer and more sophisticated models of gas fireplaces.

The pilot light and flames of a gas fireplace require an electrical spark to ignite, although gas fireplaces have traditionally had their own stand-alone igniting system, requiring no external power source.

A thermopile (also known as a thermocouple) is commonly used to deliver the spark needed to start a gas fireplace’s pilot light. As long as the thermopile/thermocouple has enough power to start the pilot light, it can do so.

Is it possible to use a gas fireplace if the power goes out?

When the power goes out, gas fireplaces that are not connected to an electrical supply can still be utilized. When the power goes off, many of the newer electric gas fireplace models feature backup battery compartments.

Most gas fireplaces employ a vertical pilot light with an incorporated thermocouple to start the flames, which is common in natural vent models.

Because it is not connected to the mains electrics, this sort of gas fireplace will continue to operate normally even if the electricity goes out.

This is typical of many gas fireplaces that use natural venting. A gas fireplace’s ‘standing’ pilot light, which can be left on all the time even in the event of a power outage, often generates the spark without the need for external electricity.

This means that a natural gas fireplace may be started and used even if the power is down, because it doesn’t require mains energy to start and expel waste fumes through a chimney.

When a new gas fireplace is installed, it may be necessary to connect it to the home’s electrical system. In other words, these newer models of gas fireplaces use an electrical supply to create the spark every time the fireplace is lit.

Using a standing pilot light prevents gas from being wasted while the fireplace is not in use, but it also means that the mains electricity cannot be used to initiate a gas fireplace if the power goes off.

In the event of a power loss, many modern electric gas fireplaces will include a backup gas source. When the power goes off, a battery compartment can be used to produce a spark for the pilot light by inserting a few batteries of the same size.

In most cases, it is advised that the batteries in a gas fireplace be removed until they are needed again in the event of an outage.

How to Light a Gas Fireplace Without Electricity

A gas fireplace comes in handy when the electricity goes out and you need to keep warm. Even if your gas fireplace isn’t getting any power, a fire might still start inside.

If you know how the unit works and how to get the spark started, you’ll be able to light up your room and feel the warmth. If you have a gas fireplace, you won’t be without heat even if your power goes out.

Know Your Place

Gas fireplace with Electricity

To start the flames, a gas fireplace has traditionally been equipped with a standing pilot light that does not require electricity.

The most contemporary gas fireplaces use an electronic ignition mechanism that requires a spark of electricity to bring the appliance to life and produce a crackling fire.

It is possible to get a battery-powered igniter for your fireplace if you have a more recent model.

Pilots and Igniters

Pilot and Ignitors of Gas Fireplace

An intermittent pilot ignition mechanism is most likely to be found in modern gas fireplaces. Every time you want to use the fireplace, you’ll need to light the pilot with electricity.

Many recent types, such as the Heatilator lines, feature battery backup systems. To keep your gas fireplace running during a power outage, IntelliFire and IntelliFire Plus use batteries.

Gas fireplaces that feature a standing pilot light themselves without the use of electricity. However, manually lighting the pilot may be necessary from time to time. For safety reasons, the manual will provide thorough instructions for the standing pilot.

Make a Spark of Flame

Make sure the gas valve is turned on before turning up the heat. Make sure you find the pilot light, which may be hidden behind a panel or buried under the unit’s frame. With a flashlight, it is easy to locate this small but crucial dial.

Press down on the knob until you hear a clicking sound while it is in the ignite position. The fireplace may need some time to warm up, especially if it hasn’t been used in a while. This is how the system for lighting the pilot with a spark works.

It’s best to keep the ignition knob pressed in until you see flames forming along the gas line beneath the logs or tempered glass beads. Wait at least 10 seconds before attempting again if the fireplace doesn’t light after that time.

For the fireplace to start, it may take several attempts. It is possible to leave the fireplace pilot running while using a switch, remote, or other application to turn the fireplace on and off. It is possible to keep the pilot light on for an extended period of time without causing any harm to the appliance.


Depending on the model, you may or may not be able to use your gas fireplace if the power goes off. Checking with the manufacturer to see if a gas fireplace may be used as a backup in the event that the power goes out is always recommended.

It’s likely that a gas fireplace with a blower may be rendered inoperable in the event of a power outage. Gas fireplaces, on the other hand, radiate heat both directly and through convection, which means that even in the event of a power outage, heat may be provided by a gas fireplace.

Many people struggle to decide between electric vs gas fireplace inserts– but in this case since gas fireplaces with a battery backup can work when the power goes out, they are clearly superior, at least in that area.

Eugene Duke Pic

Hi, my name’s Eugene Duke and I love sitting by my fireplace reading a book and sipping on an adult beverage. Do you have a fireplace in your house? I’ll help you figure out the best type and style of fireplace for your home.


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