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Are glass fireplace doors necessary? Are they easy to install by yourself?

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by sberg81, Jan 3, 2010.

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  1. sberg81

    sberg81 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
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    Loc:
    Fairfax, VA
    If I convert my wood-burning fireplace natural gas, will I need to get glass doors put on? One dealer told me I need to because when I'm not using the fireplace, the pilot light will still be on and I need to keep the vent open all the time. Is this right? I couldn't find any information like this one the web. I think she was just trying to get me to buy some doors.

    I saw some doors at Lowes and Home Depot for around $300, but the ones she was pushing on me were $400-$600 and there was an additional $150 installation charge. Is it really that hard to put the doors on?

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
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    5,680
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    If you're installing a vented gas log set, you MAY be required to install fire place doors,
    depending on your state's energy code.
    Here in NY, doors are required because of the damper clamp.
    If you can get a DECENT door for the price you quote, go for it.
    We sell Stoll Fire Place doors & their least expensive models are around $400,
    with their custom-built bi-fold door units starting near $800.
    Installation is not EXTREMELY difficult...
    Most have some sort of lintel clamp system at the top
    & some sort of masonry fasteners at the lower corners...
    I've found the most important tool is a torpedo level to ensure
    your door installation is plumb, as many masonry fire places have
    settled a bit over the years...
  3. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    VA
    I don't think it's hard to get the doors on. I was investigating this to figure out how to get ours OFF because we are putting in an insert. There are some how-to things out there such as this
    http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,1154375,00.html
    Basically you put them in place with long brackets/clamps that anchor it onto the inside of the lintel, and then you are supposed to put additional brackets into the fireplace floor - but the folks who put ours in skipped the floor ones and it worked just fine. There are also fiberglass strips that seal it to the front of the brick.
  4. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Madison, WI
    Did your dealer tell you the gas logs are decorative only, and will not help you heat your house at all? The damper will be locked fully open 100% of the time, causing air in your house that was heated by the furnace to go right up the chimney and out when you are not using the log set. Then when you turn it on, it will suck even more air out of the house.
  5. sberg81

    sberg81 New Member

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    Dec 23, 2009
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    Loc:
    Fairfax, VA
    We were told the one we were interested it would provide both ambience and heat, but now that you mention it, I think you are right. They had non-vented logs also. Are those safe to have in a basement fireplace? I'm concerned about CO.
  6. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    No gas logs are safe in a basement, IMO. Open basement fireplaces typically do not draft very well to begin with. With a wood fireplace it is much more apparent if exhaust is spilling into the room. Definitely get a good CO monitor to go with any gas log set.

    There are a few gas log sets I have seen that claim to provide heat. Most gas logs will make the area around them warmer, just as a outdoor campfire will warm you up. Overall though you are probably experience a heat loss in the house. Ask to see the ANSI listings for the log set, most will be rated as a "decorative" appliance. Direct Vent gas inserts will be ANSI listed as heating appliances.
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