585-502-0139

Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is intended to provide general guidelines only, and is not to be considered as installation or modification instructions. Always consult your local building codes and manufacturers' installation instructions before installing, repairing or modifying any heat source appliance or venting device.

Venting Questions

B Vent or Natural Vent
Vent-Free
Direct Vent
What is a chase?
How energy efficient is direct vent compared to b-vent?
Can I use vented gas logs in a stove? ...a fireplace? ...a coal-burning fireplace?

Remote Control Questions

Can I use my wired wall switch or thermostat with variable high-lo logs or fireplace?
What is a high-low valve?
Should I buy a remote-ready with vent-free gas logs?

Conversion Questions

Can I convert my vent-free natural gas product to another fuel?
Can I convert my vented propane gas logs to natural, or vice versa?

Piping, Dampers & Flue Questions

How far can I close my damper with vented gas logs when in use?
How can I seal my damper with vent-free gas logs?
With a direct vent insert, do I need to re-line the chimney?
How high above the roof should a chimney extend?
With direct vent or wood burning, what kind of piping do I use?
Can different piping be used if I can’t find the original manufacturer’s?

Terms

What is the difference between an insert and gas logs?
What is an insert?
What is the difference between an insert and a fireplace?
What is zero clearance?
What is the difference between natural and propane gas?
What are the two kinds of gas logs?

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B Vent or Natural Vent

This type of fireplace venting uses economical B-vent pipe for a chimney.

  • Uses room air for combustion and venting terminates above the roofline (like a furnace).
  • More decorative, lower efficiencies.
  • Zero clearance to combustibles.
  • Relatively easy to install, space-saving depth, but requires finishing such as a mantel and surround.
  • Large traditional fireplaces in clean-face or circulating models.
  • Ideal for locating anywhere in the home where B-vent can be installed.
  • Less Cost than Direct Vent.
  • The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association recommends the installation of a carbon monoxide detector with all gas hearth products.
  • Pro - Economical
  • Con - Low Efficiency

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Vent-Free

A vent-free gas fireplace operates without a chimney, flue or vent, so you can install one just about anywhere. They burn natural or propane gas, and most models require no electricity. Choose from vent-free gas fireplaces, stoves, fireplace inserts and gas logs. Modern vent-free gas fireplaces:

  • are inexpensive and have low operating costs
  • are 99 percent energy efficient and provide warmth during power outages
  • are Design-Certified to the latest national safety standards (ANSI Z21.11.2)
  • do not exceed 40,000 Btu/hr of heat output
  • and are a source of pleasure for years to come.
  • Pro - Flexible Installations
  • Con - NYS recommends 4hrs per day

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Direct Vent

Direct vent fireplace venting uses a coaxial pipe system (small pipe within a large pipe) and draws combustion air from the outside through the outer pipe.

  • An inner pipe vents the exhaust.
  • Can either vent out the top or out the back, for installation versatility.
  • Can vent horizontally through an outside wall, or vertically through the roof - no chimney required!
  • Ideal for adding warmth & efficient heating to a cold room.
  • Most are certified as gas wall furnace for highest efficiency.
  • Zero clearance to combustibles.
  • Convenient to install, space-saving depth, but requires finishing such as a mantel and surround.
  • Suitable for well-insulated homes or homes with no existing chimney.
  • Always have an enclosed front.
  • Best choice for newer, more air tight homes.
  • Efficiency

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association recommends the installation of a carbon monoxide detector with all gas hearth products.

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What is a chase?

A wooden structure built around the fireplace or vent pipe to protect it from the weather and to keep the flue gases venting properly.

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How energy efficient is direct vent compared to b-vent?

A b-vent fireplace is the least efficient venting option. Direct venting is the most efficient; some are even “heater rated” and can be vented horizontally or vertically.

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Can I use vented gas logs in a stove? ...In a fireplace? ...In a coal burning fireplace?

Vented gas logs can only be used in a wood-burning fireplace. A coal-burning fireplace is too shallow. Vented gas logs are not recommended for a stove due to safety concerns.

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Can I use my wired wall switch or thermostat with variable high-low logs or fireplace?

No. You have to use the remote that is designed for the high-low variable logs or fireplaces.

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What is a high-low valve?

You will be able to raise and lower the height of the flame via the remote or valve control. The remotes are adjustable as either on/off, or thermostatically controlled.

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Should I buy remote-ready logs?

Yes. We suggest that you get a remote for ease of operation. Units that vary the height of the flame also tend to last longer than those that don't.

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Can I convert my vent-free natural gas product to another fuel?

No. By national code, you cannot convert any vent-free product.

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Can I convert my vented propane gas logs to natural, or vice versa?

Yes. You can convert natural to propane and propane to natural, but in most cases, you need to buy a new valve. Your manufacturer can provide conversion instructions.

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How much can I close my damper with vented gas logs when in use?

You cannot close your damper at all with vented gas logs while they are burning.

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How can I seal my damper with vent-free gas logs?

We would recommend that you close the damper as tight as you can and get a Lock-Top damper that seals at the top of the chimney.

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With a direct vent insert, do I need to re-line the chimney?

No, you do not have to re-line to wood burning specifications, but you must use the piping that is recommended by the manufacturer, which vents through the existing chimney.

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How high above the roof should a chimney extend?

The minimum clearance for wood is 3 feet above anything within 10 feet. For direct vent it is 18 inches above anything within 10 feet.

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With direct vent or wood burning, what kind of piping do I use?

You must use the manufacturer-approved piping and the recommended vent system.

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Can different piping be used if I can’t find the original manufacturer’s?

No. If you use another manufacturer's piping and it creates a problem in your home; i.e., a fire or smoke damage, no insurance company will cover you. You will also void the warranty and inspectors will not approve it.

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What is the difference between an insert and gas logs?

An insert is usually a large metal box that fits into the opening of a wood-burning fireplace to increase its efficiency and enhance its look. Gas log sets are made to be hooked up to a gas line to simulate the look of wood logs within an existing fireplace.

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What is an insert?

Inserts are designed to enhance the operation and appearance of an existing wood burning fireplace, whether masonry or factory-built. Categorized primarily by the fuel burned for operation (natural gas, propane, EPA certified wood, pellet and coal), a fireplace insert is installed into an existing wood burning fireplace. Fireplace inserts are made from cast iron or steel and have self-cleaning glass doors that allow the dancing flames of the fire to be viewed while the insulated doors remain closed, making the fire more efficient. Many manufacturers also augment the operation of fireplace inserts by offering state-of-the-art features such as fans and thermostatic controls (depending on the fuel).

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What is the difference between an insert and a fireplace?

An insert is designed to be placed into an existing masonry or factory built fireplace. A fireplace is either masonry (not zero clearance) or factory built (zero clearance) unit built for burning wood or gas.

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What is zero clearance?

A zero-clearance fireplace is a factory-built fireplace that is constructed so that it can be safely placed near combustible materials.

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What is the difference between natural and propane gas?

Natural gas is a lighter gas and it takes twice as much of it to get the same BTU rating as propane gas. Liquid propane gas contains 2,500 BTU's per cubic foot, natural gas contains 1000 BTU's per cubic foot. In addition, natural gas comes into your home through a pipeline from a local supplier. Propane is stored in a tank.

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What are the two kinds of gas logs?

The two kinds of logs are vented and vent-free. Within these two types, there are three kinds of materials used to create the logs: molded refractory cement, extruded ceramic clay and molded ceramic fibers. In addition to the logs, each log set generally includes a grate and a burner system. Cement logs are best on vented units. Extruded logs are cheaper but look like spaghetti. Molded ceramic are more realistic and are best for vent-free.

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