Can I convert my wood-burning fireplace to a gas fireplace?
Yes. We have gas inserts designed for both masonry and factory-built wood-burning fireplaces.
How do I know if I need an insert or a fireplace?
If you already have a brick or stone fireplace, or a factory-built fireplace, and you want to convert it to gas, then the most cost effective solution is an insert. If you are remodeling a part of your home that never had any kind of built-in structure, then you need a direct vent fireplace that does not require an existing opening or chimney.
What is the difference between a B Vent and Direct Vent fireplace/insert?
These terms refer to how a gas appliance takes in the air it needs to burn gas. A B Vent unit draws air from inside the home, through ports in the firebox itself. A Direct Vent unit draws air through a pipe from outside the home into a sealed firebox. Direct Vent models are usually more efficient and safer for today’s airtight homes since they do not use inside air to cause a conflict with range hoods and bathroom fans circulating the same air. B Vent units are generally less expensive to install, but are more sensitive to airflow inside the home.
What is a BTU?
A BTU (British Thermal Unit) refers to the heating power of a gas appliance as measured by the amount of energy it produces in one hour. Technically, it is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. On average, a 10,000 BTU component can heat up approximately 500 square feet, depending on floor plan, windows, the room’s ceiling height, etc.
Can I burn wood in my gas fireplace or stove?
No. Gas models are specifically engineered to burn gas and cannot be used to burn wood.
I don’t want to see too much stove pipe inside my home. What options do I have?
First, you could install a rear vent direct vent stove, which vents directly out the back of stove. You will not see vertical pipe at all with this type of installation. If you are unable to vent out the rear of the unit you can minimize the amount of visible pipe with a 2′ or 4′ Snorkel Cap horizontal termination kit for direct vent stoves. These kits use the minimum required height for the stoves, then turn 90° to go out your wall instead of up through the ceiling.
What is the difference between “steady state” efficiency and AFUE?
Steady state efficiency means only the efficiency of the fireplace when its burning is tested. AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) means that both the on cycle and off cycle are calculated in the efficiency rating. By including the off cycle (when the fireplace is turned off), a more accurate yearly operational cost can be estimated.
How often should I have my fireplace serviced?
Your fireplace should be serviced annually by a professional service technician.
Should I leave my pilot light on in the summer when I am not using it?
It’s up to you. However, running the pilot light year-round will extend the lifespan of the generator by not allowing condensation and corrosion to build up inside.
How do I re-light my pilot?
Open the lower grill and locate the black on/off pilot knob. Turn the knob to the pilot position, push in the black knob all the way and hold it in. Then, press the red button that is to the right-hand side; the pilot will light after you push this button on two times. Continue to hold the black knob in for at least 20 seconds after the pilot has been lighted. Release the black knob and the pilot will remain lit. Turn the black knob all the way counter-clockwise to the on position.
Do gas fireplaces or stoves need electricity?
No, the fireplaces and stoves we carry have a standing pilot ignition system—much like a gas water heater. This system operates with a pilot light so there is always a flame to ignite the gas. The pilot light also generates the power needed to operate the valve. If the pilot light gets blown out accidentally, the valve shuts off and the gas flow stops. The pilot light feature makes operation both easy and safe. (Note: Models require AC power for the blower to work, but do not need AC power for the fire.)
Now that you have a fireplace, you have some options on how you would like to use your fireplace. The first, of course, is to burn wood. Your second option, and a very popular one these days, is to install ceramic gas logs.
To help you with these decisions, we at A Cozy Fireplace can help give you some simple explanations on using your fireplace and how to measure your fireplace for glass doors, gas logs or a grate on which to burn your firewood. We can also give you tips on how to burn a good fire and help you purchase the right accessories for your fireplace needs. When you are through reading this simple guide, we think you will have the information you need to be an informed and educated buyer.
Measuring Your Fireplace For a Grate or Gas Logs: For wood burning or gas logs you need to measure the floor inside your fireplace. This will help us to help you purchase the correct size grate for wood burning, or correctly size a gas log set that will look and work best for your fireplace. Start by measuring the width of the back wall of the fireplace form side to side. Then measure the depth of the floor in the middle from the back wall up to the front edge of the floor. Lastly measure the width of the floor in the front from side to side.
Identifying Your Fireplace For Glass Doors: If you would like to have glass doors on your fireplace, you should next determine if the fireplace is one that is fully constructed from masonry, or is a factory engineered and built prefabricated fireplace.
A full masonry fireplace is one that has not only a brick face but also has a brick chimney all the way up. This may include a full brick chimney on the outside of the house. To measure for a glass door, measure the opening from side to side at the top and bottom of the opening for the width. For the height of the opening you need to look at the top. Running under the brick across the top is a flat steel bar called the lintel. This supports the brick on the top. At the bottom of the opening some fireplaces, the floor inside the fireplace is lower than the hearth across the front. If this is the case, measure the height from the underside of the lintel to the hearth in front on the left and right sides. Basically we are looking for the shortest height. If the floor inside is the same as the hearth outside just measure the height on the left and right sides.
A prefab fireplace will be a unit that may have some black mesh curtains hanging in the opening and may also have some black metal showing around the perimeter of the opening. If you have a prefab fireplace, look inside the unit to find the ID tag. This tag is generally found inside the fireplace in various locations depending on the brand of the unit. Some units will have the tag above the brick panels on either the left or right sides. Other brands may have the tag just behind the mesh curtains down the left or right sides. Still others may have the tag located on the top left or right sides of the opening, above or behind the mesh curtains.
After finding your ID tag, joy down the brand name as well as the model number. There will be a lot of numbers and information on your ID tag but these will be all we need. This information is vital for purchasing the correct UL tested doors and other parts for your fireplace. A prefab fireplace needs to use the correct doors so that is will not be over heated by blocking or restricting the air flow it needs to operated properly.
Now, that you have the measurements or the brand name and model number of your fireplace, you have the information you need to purchase the grate, doors or gas logs that will fit properly and work best for you.
Where should I position my pellet stove?
Your family room, great room or living room [wherever your family spends the most time] is an ideal place for your stove. A room which provides heat flow to other areas is also a good place for your stove. Venting requirements may hinder your options. Additionally, outside air for combustion has to be drawn from an approved location. Remember, too, that your stove should be near a properly wired outlet and must meet minimum clearance between stove and combustibles. These things must all be considered in order to locate a place that provides optimal operation and service.
What are my choices for floor protection?
The floor must be protected according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The minimum size of the non-combustible floor protector is clearly specified in installation instructions. The choice of suitable material usually requires professional assistance, unless a suitable hearth is already available in the home. Built-in appliances may require additional layers of protection, such as an air space between appliance and the floor protector.
What are the routine maintenance tasks I need to perform to keep the stove working properly?
Check the burn pot daily and clean it periodically to keep air inlets open. Frequency of cleaning depends on fuel type, grade, and content. Emptying the ash drawer is recommended before starting new fires. Frequency depends on fuel and stove design. Typically once or twice a week is suggested, but monthly may be all that’s needed in some new designs. Cleaning the heat exchanger is simply a matter of moving a rod that scrapes the tubes inside the stove. You may require professional service on other models. Ash traps are easily accessed for the removal of ashes in some designs; on others, professional service is required. Clean the glass with glass cleaner when the glass is completely cool. Some stoves have effective air wash systems which keep the glass clean. Other stoves may require more vigorous cleaning methods. Check the hopper periodically for accumulated sawdust materials (fines). Fuel in the hopper and auger tube should be emptied occasionally to prevent auger blockage by fines.
What professional maintenance and repair services will I need?
We at A Cozy Fireplace regularly perform these annual cleaning and maintenance services:
- Empty ash traps and clean exhaust passages behind the fire chamber.
- Clean and lubricate fans and motors.
- Clean the hopper and fuel feed system.
- Clean the heat exchanger system.
- Clean exhaust pipes and reseal the venting system if needed.
- Verify and adjust the stove settings with proper gauges and meters.
- Repair and replace mechanical and electric components if needed.
What does “EPA certified” mean?
An EPA certified appliance complies with strict emissions and efficiency regulations designed to reduce pollution and control energy costs. In an increasing number of jurisdictions, only EPA certified units are allowed to be installed. The EPA certification is your guarantee that the stove you are buying will burn cleanly and efficiently, reducing your heating costs and protecting the air we breathe. Non-certified units are less efficient and more expensive to operate in the long run.
What is the difference between catalytic converters and secondary combustion?
A catalytic converter is a device through which wood smoke is channeled. It lowers the combustion temperature of the gases, allowing them to be consumed at lower firing. Secondary combustion mixes air with the exhaust gases, causing them to reignite and burn before going up the chimney.
Will the glass door of my fireplace/insert stay clean?
Most models are designed with a unique airwash system that forces air in front of the glass to keep the flames and exhaust away. This keeps the door looking clean a lot longer. Over a period of time, or if you underfire your appliance, you might need to clean the glass. You can use a fireplace cleaner available in our stores.
Do I need a blower?
A blower is a great way to spread the heat throughout your house more quickly. It does not affect the combustion rate of the fire, since they move air around the outside of the firebox. We highly recommend a blower if you are trying to heat a large room or several rooms.
Can I convert my wood stove to gas?
No, wood stoves are set specifically to burn wood.
Your fireplace performance depends on the quality of the firewood you use.
- Seasoned wood contains about 8,000 BTUs per pound
- Hard woods are more dense than soft woods.
- Hard woods contain 60% more BTUs than soft woods.
- Hard woods require more time to season, burn slower and are harder to ignite.
- Soft woods require less time to dry, burn faster and are easier to ignite.
- Start the fire with soft wood to bring the fireplace up to operating temperature and to establish draft.
- Add hard wood for slow, even heat and longer burn time.
WARNING! Risk of Fire!
- DO NOT burn wet or green wood.
- Wet, unseasoned wood can cause accumulation of creosote.
The majority of the problems fireplace owners experience are caused by trying to burn wet, unseasoned wood.
- Wet, unseasoned wood requires energy to evaporate the water instead of heating your home, and
- Evaporating moisture cools your chimney, accelerating formation of creosote.
- Cut logs to size
- Split to 6 in. (152 mm) or less
- Air dry to a moisture content of around 20%
– Soft wood – about nine months
– Hard wood – about eighteen months
NOTICE: Seasoning time may vary depending on drying conditions.
Steps to ensure properly seasoned wood:
- Stack wood to allow air to circulate freely around and through woodpile.
- Elevate wood pile off ground to allow air circulation underneath.
- Smaller pieces of wood dry faster. Any piece over 6 in. (152 mm) in diameter should be split.
- Wood (whole or split) should be stacked so both ends of each piece are exposed to air. More drying occurs through the cut ends than the sides.
- Store wood under cover to prevent water absorbtion from rain or snow. Avoid covering the sides and ends completely.
WARNING! Fire Risk! DO NOT store wood:
- In front of the fireplace.
- In space required for loading or ash removal.
Processed Sold Fuel Firelogs
Manufactured firelogs may be used with this fireplace. Hearth & Home Technologies Inc. recommends the use of UL Classified processed fuel firelogs. Follow the manufacturer’s lighting and safety instructions.
Using firelogs may require more frequent chimney inspection and cleaning.
Do not poke or stir the logs while they are burning. Use only firelogs that have been evaluated for the application in manufactured fireplaces and refer to firelog warnings and caution markings on packaging prior to use.