Frequently Asked Questions About Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces

With new technology comes a host of questions. Here are some of the most common questions about direct vent gas fireplaces.

How Does a Direct Vent Gas Fireplace Work?
These units operate a little bit differently than traditional open face fireplaces. They operate behind a sealed glass panel, which allows all exhaust gases to be expelled outside of the home. This also means that outside air is used for combustion.

Why Can’t I Open the Glass Doors?
Many people that purchase homes with direct vent gas fireplaces wonder why they can’t open the doors on their fireplaces like they could with the more traditional open face models. It makes perfect sense that homeowners may wonder if the heat will be able to enter their homes if it’s sealed behind the glass.

Although it seems counterintuitive, the front glass panel is the key to efficient home heating! The sealed glass panels keep the combustion air and exhaust gas (while includes carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide) from entering your home while preventing the warm room air from escaping through the chimney. This leads to very efficient heating but does mean that you cannot remove the front glass panel.

Why Does the Area Around My Fireplace Feel Hot?
You may notice that the area surrounding your actual fireplace, such as the mantle, may feel hot. There is no need to worry that something is wrong; in fact, this heat is merely a testament to how efficient direct vent gas fireplaces are. They simply put out a lot of heat. If the fireplace is installed correctly, the area directly above the flame could get up to between 180 and 190 degrees. While this may feel hot, it’s still well within the safety range. On the other hand, if you live in a cold climate, you may notice that the glass is cool to the touch. This is also completely normal and does not mean that your fireplace is not working.

Can I Change the Look of My Fireplace?
As times change, you may want to update the facing and trim options of your fireplace. Just because it’s a direct gas vent model doesn’t mean it can’t be updated! Most fireplaces can be given a face lift by changing the stone facing, surrounds, and wood mantel options. Talk with the company you worked with originally to see how your unit can be updated.

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