Gas Fireplace Wall Switch Can I Upgrade To A Thermostat?


Yes you can substitute a thermostat for that switch on the wall by your fireplace. You can add most any kind of digital thermostat or even add a remote with Wi-Fi and adjust the temperature in your room without leaving the comfort of your easy chair or take a trip and adjust it from a nice warm beach.

I get lots of questions regarding gas fireplace controls. Like, does a gas fireplace require a special switch? The answer is no, just an ordinary light switch will work and that’s what you more than likely have.

If you are looking for a gas fireplace wall switch replacement I can offer several suggestions and things to think about before doing something you may end up doing over. We live in a day of remotes. Why would you want to have a thermostat on the wall right next to the heat source when you could have it right at your side and sensing your desired comfort range.

Convert Manual Gas Fireplace To Remote Thermostat

I don’t know about you, but I get lazy at times and I don’t want to be jumping up in the middle of a nap to raise or lower the temperature setting. True, the fan helps send the heat out into the room, but I would think that you would want the temperature point of regulation to be from where you sit or where you locate yourself in that room.

The only way to do that is to have a remote that senses and changes the temperature at the location of the remote. Set the remote on your end table next to your easy chair or place it on a table or computer work station.

Amazon has an endless number of makes and models. I prefer this Skytech version because as I’m getting older the small screens become hard to see. Remotes are a simple answer to a lot of issues with thermostats. My daughter has a bowl near the center of her living room and that’s where the remotes for her ductless mini splits reside.

Its a good way to know where they are when you need them. And the remotes are sensing the temperature in the middle of the room or where you decide to set the bowl, but only if the remote has the sensor. Make an adjustment and then put them back in the bowl. They will never slip into the chair or between the cushions.

Complete instructions come with these remote thermostats. You can choose between options of having a fan control and timers or even schedules. The fan option in the Skytech model only allows you to turn the fan off and on but not to change the speed of the fan. That you will still have to change at the knob under the fireplace.

In my opinion, adding a remote to a gas fireplace is a really a simple DIY project.

Step Up To A Smart Switch For Your Gas Fireplace

When the cats away and the mice are playing in your cupboards, you can check on the status of you gas fireplace. We have two Wi-Fi thermostats and use them to lower the temp in winter if we forget to do so when we leave. Or, turn the temp up before we get home so it cozy when we get there.

This Durablow (#ad) Wi-Fi Smart Home Remote Control works with a variety of apps to give you the conveniences we’ve been talking about here.

Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home & IFTTT Compatible: Supported third-party control devices, such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Spot…etc.; Google Assistant: Google Home & Mini; IFTTT App, varieties of use with your creative applets.

Amazon (#ad)

How Does A Gas Fireplace Switch Work?

It’s no different than any other wall switch for lights in your house. It opens and closes a circuit. On and off is it’s only function.

Before accessing any electrical circuit turn off any power source. Be sure you know the voltage and don’t assume.

If you were to pull your switch out of the electrical box on the wall it should look like this image with smaller wires than normal household wiring. The wires could be different colors than red and white. Also there could be more than two wires. Don’t worry, we just use any two.

wall switch for fireplace
Wall switch for a gas fireplace

Most gas fireplaces are not household current, Meaning they are not 120 volts. Check under your fireplace in the control box where the gas valve and fan are located. You should be able to see the other end of the wires from the switch.

If you want to convert your gas fireplace to a wall switch, this is what you’d use.

Millivolts and 24 volt circuits are rated as a safe voltage to work with but turn off all sources of power to the fireplace before working with the wires.

If your switch is connected to millivolts then I wouldn’t worry about turning off the power because the only way to do that is to turn off the pilot light. The pilot light flame burns onto a powerpile and that creates the millivolts.

Thermostat wires are colored differently that household current wires. House wiring is black and white. Black being the hot and white the neutral.

The wire to the switch sticking out of the electrical box in the image is 18 gauge wire. Normally it would be red and white and much smaller than 14 gauge wire tied to house lights.

Wrap It Up

When I wrote “Wrap It Up” I meant conclude this topic, but then I thought what an excellent gift that some product along this line would make that you could wrap up for a friend or family member that was half way capable of making this upgrade on their own.

Even if you included your time with the gift to install the remote. My kids love it when I do things for them. I love it when they do stuff for me, but that’s our nature I guess. The product line is rather extensive for fireplace remotes. Take a quick look here on Amazon and browse the full line (#ad). Look for good ratings.

I hope this article answered enough of your questions.

Chad Peterson

Chad Peterson is near 40 year veteran of the HVAC industry. "I like to explain heating and air conditioning problems in a way the average home owner can understand. "

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