Decorative Gas fireplaces...see pic

What verbiage should we use ? I dont even know how to open one
up !!! I can tell theres a gas line. What should a Nachi home Inspector
say about these type of fireplaces ?

They usually operate by a wall switch to the right or left of the fireplace. Most of the time I find a double switch. One for the fireplace to light, one for a possible fan.

If it lights, “Gas fireplace unit responded to wall switch. No defects were noted at time of inspection”

If it doesn’t light, report it. I always look to see if the gas is on behind the lower front panel and if there is a fan present or not. If there is no fan, I still check the plug to see if it is operated by the 2nd switch.

If it is a new unit, I always warn them that during the first year of use they will most likely get a white film on the inside glass from the out-gassing of the silicone resin in the “logs” and directions on how to clean. It shouldn’t come back after the first year. I also tell them that if any black soot appears on the glass to stop using the unit and have it serviced.

The panel under the glass is where the controls and locks are located. They can be spring / magnet or simply hung on a piece of framing. Push first, if it does not open, lift it. The upper panel is usually where the hinges are for the glass.

This may help.

They are also often controlled by a remote control and as David said the bottom panel hinges up to expose the gas valve and manual controls as well as the pilot light.


  1. Vented unit or Non vented unit? You NEED to know to insure it is vented properly.
  2. Gas shut off? 3) Gas line protected through the appliance housing? 4) Does it operate as intended using normal operating controls. I also check for gas leaks.