Natural Gas Fireplaces - Frequently Asked Questions
Can I control how much heat a fireplace distributes in my room?
Many natural gas fireplaces feature an adjustable heat setting.
Where available, this feature can be found as a dial, directly on
the fireplace. The dial allows you to turn the flame up or down,
adjusting the temperature. Another option is a thermostat which is
available for many models. Similar to the way a furnace functions,
it keeps the space around the fireplace at the temperature you
choose. The fireplace will turn on and off as required to maintain
the desired room warmth.
Do I need a
chimney to install a fireplace?
A chimney is not required, but an appropriate form of venting is.
Natural gas fireplaces can be direct vented through the wall or
roof. If an existing masonry
chimney exists and will be used, then it will need to be lined with
a stainless steel liner to meet venting requirements. These are all
easy installations. Contact your local fireplace retailer for
How do I know
what fireplace is right for me?
To begin you will need to determine where the fireplace will be
placed, what your expectations of it are and of course, your budget.
From there, a fireplace retailer will be able to assist you in
finding the right fireplace for your needs.
different types of fireplaces?
There are three different types of fireplaces: insert,
zero-clearance, and free-standing.
INSERT –- A natural gas fireplace
insert is designed to be installed in an existing fireplace opening,
which creates an economical, cleaner burning and more efficient heat
source. Inserts have a metal housing with a glass front and
realistic looking ceramic logs. The masonry chimney is used as a
passage for the new chimney liner and vent. Inserts are most often
gravity vented, but some direct-vent inserts are available.
ZERO-CLEARANCE – These fireplaces
are self contained metal housings with realistic-looking logs. They
are built-in with 'zero-clearance to combustibles', meaning no space
is needed between the unit and the combustible materials such as
wood or wallboards. These units are for installation where there is
no masonry fireplace. They are often direct vented through the wall
or roof, rather than through an expensive masonry chimney.
FREE-STANDING – These self
contained units come in a variety of styles, including hearth or
wall-mounted units and fireplace stoves. Free-standing fireplaces
can be vented through an existing chimney, B-vent metal chimney or
direct vented horizontally through the wall or vertically through
What is the difference between a Direct Vent and B-vent?
These terms refer to how a gas appliance takes in the air it needs
to burn gas. Direct vent models refer to how a fireplace draws
combustion air from the outdoors and returns the combustion exhaust
back to the outside of the house eliminating the need for a standard
chimney system. A glass panel in direct vent models is critical for
keeping the combustion system sealed from the home, maintaining high
efficiency and indoor air quality. A B-Vent modeled fireplace draws
the combustion air from inside the home and vents combustion exhaust
to the outdoors.
natural gas fireplaces safe?
All natural gas fireplaces sold in Canada are certified to an
approved CSA safety standard which includes requirements for safety
shutting-down if loss of flame occurs.
What are BTU's?
BTU's (British Thermal Units) are a standard of measurement which
represent the heat value of any type of energy used to create heat.
The amount of fuel that a fireplace will consume per hour is
calculated with the BTU value of the fuel it uses to determine the
input of that fireplace. BTU values of any type of energy are
determined by the actual amount of heat required to increase the
temperature of one pound of water, by one degree Fahrenheit. Top
What is AFUE?
This figure represents a more realistic measurement of useable heat
as it applies real-life influences to the efficiency of the
fireplace. Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is also determined by
the results of some specific test conditions but these results are
further calculated with other influences such as average daytime and
night time temperatures, heat loss due to the standing pilot and
from cold start up. All sorts of data is calculated to provide the
overall average efficiency of the fireplace throughout the year.