Many modern gas heaters are inserts or in-builts, fitted into a hearth or mounted flush against the wall. Their fumes can be guided up the ceiling or passed through flues hidden inside the wall, so ventilation isn’t an issue. They can be operated by remote, which is a handy feature, except these remotes can sometimes be puzzling. They’re minimalist, futuristic things with a screen and a few buttons, so you may feel a little lost.
Fortunately, with a little practice, your remote can be as easy to use as your own mobile phone. With a few quick tips, you’ll have your Greensmart 2 remote working in your sleep, getting the most from your gas furnace. The remote is mounted on the wall, but you can move it to a different location or keep it portable. Mounting it on the wall prevents the drama of spending ages hunting for the remote when you can’t remember where you put it down.
The side of the remote has stickers indicating the functions of each button, just like a mini instruction booklet. The remote has three function buttons on the right and a digital screen on the left. The buttons are power, thermostat, mode, and up/down arrows. As you touch the buttons, watch the screen to see what feature you’ve activated at that particular point.
Controlling the remote
The function currently in use is darkened or filled in, while the others are hollow or unshaded. Sometimes, the function is indicated by text, such as a number, or the words ‘on’ and ‘off’. It might also be a series of bar graphs for fan and light levels. Since the buttons are limited, you have to touch them in sequence to call up the heater’s features.
Your first move is to synchronise your remote control to your fireplace. Beneath the fireplace itself, there’s a control box that has a three-button toggle for on, off, and remote. Next to the toggle, there’s a programming button labelled PRG. Select remote, then press programme. Now go to the remote control and press the power button. Your unit is ready to go.
The power button turns on the heater and lights up the screen in reddish pink hue, showing several icons and some text. At the top left corner, there’s a thermostat icon marked on, off, or smart mode. By touching the thermostat button – the one that matches the icon on the screen – you can set the thermostat function. Each tap activates one of these functions, so it’s one tap for ‘on’, two for ‘off’, and three taps for ‘auto’ or ‘smart mode’.
Manual vs auto
The digital screen has some imagery in the middle. This ranges between a ‘Hi’ to indicate a maximum setting, numbers marking a temperature setting, or visuals that show which function you’re using at the moment. At the top left, there’s a figure in degrees that indicates the current temperature. It remains visible even when the heater and backlight are off. The bottom of the screen has four icons – a flame at each extreme end, an asterisk, and a bulb.
The first flame that says ‘MAX’ on it represents the main burner. The asterisk is for the fan, the bulb represents the lighting in the gas heater, and the flame on the right is for the back burner. The bottom button on the control panel is the mode button. It has a circle on it, and it allows you to toggle between the mentioned functions (burners, light, and fan).
If your thermostat is in manual mode, you can use the ‘up’ and ‘down’ arrows to control the flames, and the figure in the middle of the screen will rise or fall to match your selected temperature setting. On the other hand, if you leave the thermostat in smart mode, it will adjust the flames on its own, lowering or raising the flames until the heater reaches your preferred temperature. The main burner, light, and fan all have six adjustable settings controlled using the mode and arrow buttons. The back burner can be switched on or off.
For example, use mode to toggle to the asterisk, which gives you control over the fan. Then you can use the arrows to adjust the level of the fan. As far as flames go, the higher the temperature setting, the more gas gets used up. Use your thermostat in Smart Mode to regulate fuel usage throughout the day without having to make constant manual corrections.
There are two ignition functions you can use before powering on your gas heater. They’re called IPI (Intermittent Pilot) and CPI (Continuous Pilot). They determine how the air within the flue interacts with the gas fireplace. When temperatures go below 45°F (that’s 7°C), you should switch to CPI as a power saving move. It warms up the air in the flue and keeps it circulating better so that your gas heater works more efficiently.
To switch between IPI and CPI, press the mode button while the heater is off, before you even touch the ‘power on’ button. The mode button will light up the screen, then you can use the arrows to choose IPI or CPI. It rarely goes below 10°C in Australia, so it’s unlikely you’ll need CPI, even during winter.
Set the mood with lighting
When the gas fireplace is off, all you can see on the remote control screen is a greyed out screen and a room temperature reading. You can switch this reading from Celsius to Fahrenheit (and back) while the unit is off. Just press the mode button and the thermostat button at the same time, before you power on the unit.
You might also choose to use the lights without flames, to create ambience. It’s easy. While the gas fireplace is on, use the mode button to select the main burner, then use the arrows to dim it down to the ‘OFF’ position. Next, use mode to toggle to the bulb icon, and use the arrow buttons to adjust the light dimmer from to any of the its adjustable lighting positions.
To child-lock your remote, press ‘mode + up arrow’. The same sequence will undo your child-lock when you want to use the remote. Your fireplace remote uses power, but in case of outages, it works with four AA batteries for up to three weeks – but only if they’re new. The batteries don’t sit in the remote control itself. They sit in the control box under the fireplace.
Because the gas fireplace mostly runs on mains power, you may forget to replace the batteries. If you haven’t put new ones in a year or more, the batteries will only run for a day or two before you need a new set. Remember to switch the unit off when it’s not in use to conserve energy. The on/off toggle is under the control box, above the battery slots.