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.
The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association recommends the installation of a carbon monoxide detector with all gas hearth products.
Gas Appliance Venting Questions
This type of fireplace venting uses economical "B-vent" pipe for a natural drafting (warm air rises) 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
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
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.
A wooden structure built around the fireplace or vent pipe to protect it from the weather and to keep the flue gases venting properly.
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.
Remote Control Questions
No. You have to use the remote that is designed for the high-low variable logs or fireplaces.
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.
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.
No. By national code, you cannot convert any vent-free product.
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.
Piping, Dampers & Flue Questions
You cannot close your damper at all with vented gas logs while they are burning.
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.
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.
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.
You must use the manufacturer-approved piping and the recommended vent system.
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.
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.
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).
An insert is designed to be placed into an existing masonry or factory built fireplace. a fireplace is designed to be installed where no fireplace exists.
A zero-clearance fireplace is a factory-built fireplace that is constructed so that it can be safely placed near combustible materials.
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.
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.