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The internet of things (IoT) is rapidly changing how we operate our home appliances, and the gas fireplace is no exception!

We provide three different approaches to upgrading your gas fireplace with smart controls!

Option 1: Voice Control Your Gas Fireplace With Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant
9.3 Durablow SH3002-RH Gas Fireplace WiFi Smart Home Remote Control for Millivolt Valve, Compatible with Alexa, Google Home (On/Off + Timer + Thermostat + Schedule Programmable + Remote Handset)
Top PickWire in a smart module for voice and smart phone control
9.2 BOND | Add Wifi to Ceiling Fan, Fireplace or Somfy shades | Works with Alexa, Google Home | Remote Control with App | Works with iPhone or Android
Runner UpNo installation—works by masquerading as your existing gas fireplace infrared remote control (If you have one!)
9.0 GoControl Z-Wave Battery-Powered Smart Thermostat
Z-Wave PickIdeal for those with an existing Z-Wave smart home network. Battery powered so works with millivolt fireplaces
8.8 TV xStream Voice Fireplace Switch Works with Any Smart Plug. (with Power Adapter and 12" Micro USB Cable)
DIY PickWire up the relay switch with the fireplace control unit and control via a smart plug for voice and remote commands
Option 3: Wall Switches & Thermostats for a Gas Fireplace
9.3 Orbit 83521 Clear Comfort Programmable Thermostat with Large, Easy-to-Read Display
Top Pick7-day programmability with memory retention
9.0 Skytech 9800332 TS/R-2 Wireless Wall Mounted LCD Fireplace Remote Control Thermostat
Runner UpWireless with a transmitter and receiver and can be wall-mounted
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Types of Gas Fireplace Ignition Controllers

Overview

There are basically two major types of gas fireplace ignition controllers, namely millivolt ignition and electronic ignition (IPI).

Millivolt Ignition

The millivolt ignition system operates with the aid of a standing pilot light. This system is independent of an electric source. The pilot light remains on at all times except when the user decides to put it off due to a long period of non-use.

Electronic Ignition (IPI)

On the other hand, the electronic ignition system is dependent on an electric source of about 110 V or 120 V to function properly. The main idea behind the IPI is to produce electric pulses which ignite the pilot light.

Electronic ignition doesn't work during a power outage unless there’s a battery back-up.

Option 1: Voice Control Your Gas Fireplace With Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant

Conveniently control your fireplace from any part of your home using voice assistants. You will need a remote control device and a hub to voice control your gas fireplace via Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. Most remote control devices come with an app that lets you control your fireplace outside your home. Below are the best controllers for your gas fireplace.

9.3
Top Pick
Wire in a smart module for voice and smart phone control

The Durablow Gas Fireplace Smart Controller is the perfect pick for homeowners that want to convert their conventional gas fireplace into an interactive and self-functioning device.

Top Features
  • Control the daily activities of your gas fireplace using the timer feature.
  • The aluminum housing controller box insulates and protects the core elements from heat damage.
  • Prevent your neighbors or children from turning on your gas fireplace using the locked or child lockout mode.

It offers timer features, different operating modes, and the ability to set various scenes. It works perfectly fine with millivolt and electronic ignition systems.

What we liked
  • Does not require a hub to function, as the device can be paired directly with your home Wi-Fi
  • Works with millivolt and electronic ignition systems
  • Compatible with Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung SmartThings
What we didn't like
  • It is difficult to use in the dark since its display has no light.
9.2
Runner Up
No installation—works by masquerading as your existing gas fireplace infrared remote control (If you have one!)

If you are searching for a multipurpose remote control, the Bond RF/IR Remote Controller is your best bet.

Top Features
  • Its one-way radio tech allows it to cover a large area.
  • Compatible with smart speakers
  • Can be accessed outside the home using the app

The installation-free remote control covers an area range of 2,500 square feet. It attains this feat by recording and transmitting radio frequency and infrared signals.

It can be used with fireplaces, fans, and shades. The Bond adopts all the functions of individual remotes like the on/off, dimmer settings, and fan speed.

9.0
Z-Wave Pick
Ideal for those with an existing Z-Wave smart home network. Battery powered so works with millivolt fireplaces

This is the best option for homeowners who prefer Z-Wave products to Wi-Fi gadgets. The GoControl smart thermostat is a Z-Wave powered device that allows you to control your gas fireplace with your voice using Alexa.

Top Features
  • Supports Z-Wave devices and hubs
  • Firmware can be updated using USB
  • Easy to mount

When connected to a smart speaker, this device will perform regular functions such as on and off. 

However, you need a Z-Wave hub to perform advanced functions like scheduling. It is compatible with most HVAC devices.

8.8
DIY Pick
Wire up the relay switch with the fireplace control unit and control via a smart plug for voice and remote commands

The XStream is a pretty simple design that works with a smart speaker to control your gas fireplace at your command.

Top Features
  • Compatible with millivolt and electronic spark ignition systems
  • Supports timer settings
  • Can be used to schedule multiple functions

You wire up the relay to either the fireplace control unit or to the wall switch wire connector. You then need a smart switch for the gas fireplace to voice control it.

To turn on your gas fireplace or reduce the heat, all you need to do is say the keyword plus command, for instance, “Alexa turn up the heat.”

Option 2: Remote Controls for a Gas Fireplace

Do you know that it is possible to control your gas fireplace the same way you control your fan or air conditioner? All you need is a remote control coupled with a smart thermostat. The smart thermostat enables you to set temperature limits, preventing your gas fireplace from reaching extreme temperatures.

This Hearth product comes with a heat shield, transmitter remote control, wires plus connectors, box, receiver, and batteries. The receiver box serves as a volt-free contact switch, which does not give out voltage.

Top Features
  • Helps conserve energy
  • Schedule your gas fireplace to come on/off at the desired time
  • The temperature value can be set to Celsius or Fahrenheit.

The LCD display is visible even in the dark. It displays the current room temperature, temperature limit, and time.

What we liked
  • Set temperature limits using the LCD display
  • Does not require professional skill to install
  • Easy to operate using the buttons on the remote
What we didn't like
  • It is not designed for an electronic ignition system.

Skytech Gas Fireplace Touchscreen Remote Control is a programmable controller that provides a timer feature, thermostatic protection, and a backlit LCD touchscreen.

Top Features
  • It has a large display that is visible at night.
  • It possesses a timer feature.
  • It has a low battery indicator.

The receiver can be mounted on a wall not more than 20’ away from the hearth or under the gas fireplace. It is compatible with the millivolt ignition system.

What we liked
  • You can opt-in for the default thermostat mode or change it to your preferred settings.
  • It has a programmable design that allows you to set the time and temperature limit.
  • Easy to install
What we didn't like
  • Not compatible with the electronic ignition system

The Napoleon F45 hand-held fireplace remote is for homeowners who just want a simple controller with on/off functions. This might not be the best option for people looking for a remote with an advanced timer feature and a programmable interface. The Napoleon F45 hand-held fireplace comes with a transmitter and receiver.

Top Features
  • Compatible with the millivolt ignition system
  • Possesses on and off functions
  • It has a room temperature indicator.
What we liked
  • The screen displays the gas fireplace activity status and room temperature.
  • Its simple user interface is easy to install and operate.
What we didn't like
  • The display has no backlit.
  • It does not work for electronic ignition systems.
  • It has limited functions compared to others in our list.
8.8
Most programmable millivolt ignition remote control
Single control for multiple gas fireplaces

Keep your home temperature within the desired range whether you are at home or not with the Wi-Fi-enabled WiFire Smartphone Remote Control.

Top Features
  • Control multiple gas fireplaces from a single internet location.
  • The remote can be locked to keep out of the reach of children and visitors.
  • It has a temperature sensor that helps the controller keep your home at a desired temperature.

The WiFire Smartphone Remote Control is recommended for millivolt ignition gas fireplaces, although it is not compatible with electronic ignition systems. Asides from hearths, it can also be used for millivolt gas stoves.

You can control multiple fireplaces from a single smartphone, but each fireplace requires a WiFire Smartphone Remote Control.

What we liked
  • The device keeps your home temperature within the desired range.
  • Allows multiple modes for different purposes. Use the “internet mode” while away and “on mode” when you are at home.
  • It is easy to install.
What we didn't like
  • It does not work with an electronic ignition system.

This 0.8-pound remote control changes its screen color depending on the temperature of the room.

Top Features
  • Its backlit display makes it operable even in the dark.
  • The device allows users to set up 16 security codes for maximum protection.
  • It operates perfectly using radio frequency.

In “program mode,” when the thermostat senses hotness, the screen becomes red. It turns green when the room is cold. It is designed to automatically shut off the gas fireplace when a particular temperature is reached. The reverse is true for low temperatures.

Option 3: Wall Switches & Thermostats for a Gas Fireplace

If you’d rather have a wall switch or fixed thermostat to control your gas fireplace, then read on!

9.3
Top Pick
7-day programmability with memory retention

This battery-powered millivolt thermostat can be wired up to control your gas fireplace.

Top Features
  • It has a large backlit display that makes it easy to operate in the dark.
  • It has 7-day programmability.
  • Data is retained even after changing batteries.

The values displayed on screen include the current temperature, the temperature limit, the time, and blower status. You can program the thermostat for 7 days, and each day can have different schedules.

What we liked
  • Its universal design matches most home interiors.
  • Its temperature readings can be displayed in Fahrenheit or Celsius.
  • It has high accuracy.
What we didn't like
  • Does not work with baseboard heaters, 3-wire hydronic systems, and multi-stage HVAC systems.
9.0
Runner Up
Wireless with a transmitter and receiver and can be wall-mounted

The Skytech Gas Fireplace Wireless Thermostat enables you to simply set your temperature limit in Fahrenheit. It, however, lacks several advanced features such as more flexible programmability, backlit display, and the ability to set one or multiple passwords.

Top Features
  • The device is programmable.
  • The interface is user-friendly.
  • It conserves battery and energy.

It is a battery-powered thermostat that comes with or without wire, depending on your order. The package includes the receiver box, transmitter, batteries, wall plate, and manual. The batteries can last for over one year, but it is advisable to change them after a year.

What we liked
  • Allows users to set the temperature limit to their desired value.
  • It is easy to set up and operate.
  • It comes with long-lasting batteries.
What we didn't like
  • The display isn’t backlit.
  • Cannot be programmed separately for each day of the week.

Decision-Making Factors

Millivolt vs Electronic Ignition (IPI)

During a power outage, a millivolt ignition system is more preferable, as it requires zero electricity to heat your home. The ability to start without electricity, however, comes at an energy cost. In a gas fireplace, the pilot light is dependent on gas; hence gas is the price to pay for maintaining the ever-burning little flame.

Installation

Most devices listed above require some level of wiring; however, it is pretty straight forward for a competent person. The Bond is the exception as it is essentially a smart remote control which replaces your existing fireplace remote.

The installation process depends on the manufacturer, as controllers can be mounted, free, or directly connected to the gas fireplace.

Remote vs Voice Control

The major selling point of smart home appliances is convenience. Judging by convenience, the voice control option is the better of the two options.There are times when we are too tired to reach for the remote and at that point, we wish the gas fireplace could read our mind! A simple voice command solves the problem!

Thermostat Needed

A thermostat regulates the temperature and prevents your gas fireplace from giving off too much heat. It is the brain of the controller. The remote control relies on the thermostat to get an accurate reading of the current temperature and to correct its output when low or high temperature is detected.

The Verdict

When people think about upgrading their gas fireplaces, the first thing that comes to mind is the aesthetics; however, it is the integral functions of the hearth that can improve our living standard.

If convenience is your major concern, opt for any of the aforementioned devices that support voice control with Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant.

9.3
Top Pick
Wire in a smart module for voice and smart phone control

The Durablow Gas Fireplace Smart Controller is the perfect pick for homeowners that want to convert their conventional gas fireplace into an interactive and self-functioning device.

Top Features
  • Control the daily activities of your gas fireplace using the timer feature.
  • The aluminum housing controller box insulates and protects the core elements from heat damage.
  • Prevent your neighbors or children from turning on your gas fireplace using the locked or child lockout mode.
Need Help with a Smart Thermostat?
Get a Free Estimate from a Local Expert!
Installation · Setup · Maintenance · Repairs · Replacements

Sources

Bondhome.io

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