Fireplace FAQs

Q: How many general types of fireplace are there?
A: Three. Wood burning, gas burning and electric.

Q: What is the difference between wood burning fireplaces, and gas burning fireplaces?
A: Wood burning fireplaces are made to burn either wood, or after-market gas logs. Gas burning fireplaces can only burn gas and come complete with logs, burners and igniters.

Q: How many general types of wood burning fireplaces are there?
A: Two, radiant and circulating.

Q: What is the difference between radiant and circulating fireplaces?
A: Radiant fireplaces have clean faces, with no visible louvers. Non-combustible finishing material can be installed to the very edge of the fireplace opening on radiant fireplaces. Circulating fireplaces are slightly more energy efficient, but have louvers above and below the fireplace opening, which cannot be covered over with finishing material.
Radiant
Circulating

Q: How many general types of gas burning fireplaces are there?
A: Three. B-Vent, Direct Vent and Vent Free.

Q: What are the differences between B-Vent, Direct Vent and Vent Free fireplaces?
A: B-Vent Fireplaces use a small diameter gas vent, which must be vented upward through the roof. Direct Vent fireplaces use a slightly larger vent which can be vented horizontally through a wall or vertically up through the roof. Vent Free fireplaces require no vent at all, but are not approved for use in California.

Not approved for use in California
B-Vent
Direct Vent
Vent Free

Q: Which type of gas fireplace is the most energy efficient?
A: Of those allowed to be installed in California, direct vent fireplaces are typically heater rated, and are much more efficient than B-Vent fireplaces.

Q: If Direct Vent Fireplaces are so much more efficient, why wouldn’t I always choose a direct vent over a B-Vent fireplace?
A: Direct vent fireplaces produce so much heat that they may not be well suited for bedrooms or other small rooms. Direct Vent fireplaces always have fixed glass panels which cannot be opened during operation. Finally, most direct vent fireplaces are circulating, so must have louvers above and below the fireplace opening, which cannot be covered with finishing material.

Q: What is an electric fireplace?
A: An electric fireplace is a fireplace which operates totally by electricity. There is no flame present, only a source of light which simulates flame. See samples of the electric fireplaces that we carry.

If we didn't answer your question here, please email the Fire Guy.