FAQ’s about Fireplace Efficiencies

FAQ’s about Fireplace Efficiencies

Here are five questions we frequently get asked about gas fireplaces and how to make them more efficient:

Q – Will a fan add efficiency to a gas fireplace?

A fan will modestly increase the efficiency of a fireplace by accelerating the rate at which room air is heated and circulated. In our experience, the more a unit relies on a fan for efficiency, the less effective the unit. Take a look at our high efficiency inserts.

Q – How is a direct vent insert efficient?

A direct vent insert is an efficient gas insert made to go into an open wood-burning masonry or prefabricated fireplace. It is a sealed unit with a glass front. A direct vent insert has two flexible liners, each generally three inches thick, that is installed into the chimney flue, one for exhaust and one for air intake, making it a closed system. This insert primarily provides radiant heat through glass, although convective heat is pulled around the firebox from the room, often passing through some form of heat exchanger and returned to the room.

Q – Can I set my fireplace on a timer?

Most fireplaces can have a wired or remote control unit installed with a timer feature.

Q – Will putting doors on an open fireplace increase its efficiency?

Most gas or wood fireplaces that have been designed to operate “open” will not work properly with the doors closed, and in doing so, you may run the risk of melting the valve. The real benefit of having doors is to keep the warm room air from going up the chimney when the fireplace is off.

Q – I am getting confused between the efficiency of direct vent and sealed B-vent fireplaces. I have been told that the sealed B-vent does not create the draft and waste heat like the standard B-vent gas fireplace and is not noticeably different from the direct vent. Is this true?

All direct vent fireplaces are not efficient, but most are, it depends on whether they have heat exchangers etc. or not. Definitely open B vented units are inefficient and can cause drafts. Some sealed B-vented units are as efficient as the better direct vent units as long as they have been installed properly with fresh air make up. Quiet often in older homes there is adequate fresh air make-up; fresh air kits are usually required for newer, ‘tighter’ homes.

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