Here are some of our most Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What should I consider when choosing a fireplace to heat my home?
Direct Vented Fireplaces can be installed almost anywhere in your home as they don’t require a pre-existing chimney to vent them. They can be built into a combustible surrounding.
The size of the fireplace and the amount of space it will take up in your room
On the main floor, the overall appearance may be more important than high output.
Basements are normally colder and therefore heat output and appearance are both important.
The size of the room. High heat output models will heat a small room quickly but may, as a result be turned off more often than a lower heat output unit.
2. Should we leave our pilot light on?
It is advisable in colder weather to keep the pilot on so that some heat is maintained in the vent system. This facilitates the start-up of your fireplace in colder months. In warmer months, if you are not using the fireplace, you can turn the pilot light off.
3. Can we change our fireplace from a standing pilot system to electronic ignition?
Most gas fireplaces operate with a standing pilot system, much like many furnaces and hot water heaters. Retrofitting existing units with electronic ignitions would require replacement of the valve and pilot system. With most fireplaces, this is not possible due to design restrictions.
4. Can I replace my direct vent fireplace with another manufacturer’s and hook up to the existing vent system?
Many direct vent fireplace manufacturers make their own vent systems. Their units are only approved with these systems. You have to ensure that the new unit matches up with the existing vent system and approvals are possible.
5. Can I replace the trim or log set from one manufacturer for another’s?
Fireplace components are generally not universal or interchangeable – especially finishing items such as trims and log sets, which distinguish one manufacturer from another.
6. Can I set my fireplace on a timer?
Most fireplaces can have a wired or remote control unit installed with a timer feature.
7. Can we install drywall up to the fireplace?
Check the specifications of the fireplace you are installing for clearance to combustibles. Drywall is considered a combustible. Note that drywall finishes will often crack in high heat situations.
8. Can we turn down the heat from the fireplace and still have the flames?
The general rule is: more gas, more flames, more heat. A few direct vent zero clearance fireplaces have heat dumps (or heat take offs). Otherwise, you cannot have the flame without heat. This will vary depending upon the efficiency of the fireplace.
9. If we install a fire pit or a built-in exterior fireplace, how much heat can we expect on our deck or patio?
Do not expect to heat your exterior space with a fire pit or exterior fireplace. The radiant heat will, however, take the chill off in the immediate surroundings and add a pleasant aesthetic experience to your exterior space.
10. Can I change the log set in my zero clearance fireplace or fireplace insert?
The logs installed in gas fireplaces cannot be altered. The set-up of the logs is specific to the way the burner has been tested and operates. Also, if you alter the logs, the warranty will likely be void.
11. My wood burning fireplace smokes. Will a gas log set solve this issue?
By installing an open gas log set into a wood-burning fireplace, you are essentially changing fuels. If your wood-burning fireplace smokes under certain conditions, it is likely that a log set will spill some of its combustion by-products into the room under the same conditions. You have several options:
Install an efficient gas insert with a single or double liner vent system
Install a chimney top powered draft inducer
Install a set of doors that remain partially closed while the fireplace is in use. (You can test for the door option by restricting the opening and seeing what happens.)
The best option, however, is to install an efficient wood or gas insert. Both of these require liners in the chimney and operate with closed glass.
12. Can I put a TV above a fireplace?
The short answer is yes. However, depending on the fireplace, care must be taken to provide adequate clearance. Each fireplace has tested clearance specifications for combustibles in the area above the unit. We also recommend insulating the framing in the wall above the fireplace to prevent heat from traveling up through the wall, as well as installing deflection to direct heat away from the face of the TV. Another consideration is whether or not you want to watch a television that is half way up the wall.
13. Will putting doors on an open fireplace increase its efficiency?
No. The real benefit of having doors is to keep the warm room air from going up the chimney when the fireplace is off.
14. What are the regulations for installing a gas fireplace in a bathroom?
If the bathroom has a door, the fireplace must have a direct vent-balanced flue system (no open B vents). The fireplace must operate on a timer or thermostat and must be 18″ from the tub or shower. The glass on the fireplace should be ceramic.
15. What are the regulations for installing a gas fireplaces in a bedroom?
Any type of gas fireplace can be installed in a bedroom, as long as it can be controlled by a thermostat and there is adequate fresh air.
16. I am looking to replace my existing open gas or wood burning fireplace with a more efficient sealed gas unit. How can I do this without affecting my finishes?
Most times, you will not be able to remove your existing fireplace without affecting your surrounding finishes. There are, however, small efficient inserts available that are specifically designed to fit into existing fireplaces. There is also the option of partially cutting out your existing fireplace and installing an efficient insert with a zero clearance kit.
17. There is a white film on the inside of the glass. Why is it there and how do I remove it?
The film is generally caused by the mineral residue left over from burning off the gas. There are specific cleaners made for cleaning fireplace glass. Do not use ammonia based products as they might cause damage or etching to the glass. To remove and clean your glass check your owner’s manual, call a service technician or visit our Tips page.
18. If the power goes out, will my fireplace still work?
Yes – most fireplaces installed today have a standing pilot system which generates millivolts of electricity to operate the fireplace, meaning no external power is required. Electronic ignitions are seldom installed. Of course if you have a fan, it will not work in a power outage.
19. Are a fan and thermostat included in the cost of a gas fireplace installation? Can they be installed after the fireplace has been installed?
It is not standard on most fireplaces to have a fan. Fans are generally added options ranging in price, depending upon the model, from $150 to $300. Some units come with built-in modulating flame/heat controls.
Wall mounted calibrated thermostats are extra and cost $40 and up, depending on the features and the installation required. It is possible to add fans and thermostats after the initial installation of the fireplace.
20. Are wood fireplaces allowed to be put into new homes?
Yes, as long as the fireplace is built or installed to code.