Are gas fireplaces safe?
Yes! All of our gas fireplaces must have the ability to shut off the flow of gas if there is no flame to burn it off. This is where the self-generating millivolt system comes in. The millivolts energize a magnetic coil within the gas valve, which holds the valve open. Should the pilot flame extinguish, the millivolts will stop generating, releasing the coil and closing the gas valve. Every Napoleon fireplace we manufacture is tested prior to shipping to ensure a 100% effective system.
Do I need a chimney to vent a fireplace?
All of our wood stoves and fireplaces require a chimney, either masonry or a vent stainless steel chimney and in the case of our oil stoves, L vent is also acceptable. The diameter of the chimney must match the size of the fireplace flue collar to effectively vent the products of combustion. Consequently, an existing chimney may need to be lined with a stainless steel liner to meet venting requirements of a specific fireplace. Gas fireplaces that fall under the category of B vent or natural draft fireplaces also require either a chimney that is lined with a flexible aluminum or stainless steel liner, or they can be vented using B vent if no chimney exists. Direct vented or vent free fireplaces do not require a traditional chimney.
What is a direct vent fireplace?
Direct vent is a term used to describe a specifically designed fireplace that performs differently from the traditionally vented fireplace, which use a chimney. This type of fireplace has a completely sealed combustion chamber, which allows it to vent directly out a sidewall of the home. One of the benefits of this type of design is that it must draw air necessary for combustion from the outside since the sealed combustion chamber does not allow air to be drawn in from around the fireplace. The co-axial vent system has the exhaust pipe within the air intake pipe, which protects any surrounding combustible material from the high temperature of the flue gases as well as preheating the outside air prior to it being introduced to the combustion process.
What is a B Vent or Natural draft gas fireplace?
These types of fireplaces do not have a sealed combustion chamber and relies on the buoyancy of hot gases to vent effectively. They must be installed either with an existing chimney that meets the local building code standards or they can be installed using a B vent which is a vent pipe that must be installed to the same parameters of a masonry chimney but can be enclosed in combustible material. They draw air (oxygen) necessary for combustion from the area surrounding the fireplace. The combustion by-products or flue gases are hot and naturally rise up through the chimney which provides a route for these hot gases to escape from the house. As the fireplace continues to vent these flue gases up the chimney, the walls of the chimney heat up, which allows the flue gases to retain more of their temperature and buoyancy thereby increasing the speed with which they exit the chimney.
What is a Vent-Free Fireplace?
A Vent Free fireplace does not use a chimney or flue pipe. These fireplaces burn extremely clean so the byproducts of combustion can be vented back into the room. This eliminates the need for a chimney resulting in lower installation costs. Because they do not send hot flue gases up the chimney, these fireplaces are extremely heat-efficient. All models feature an Oxygen Depletion Sensor for maximum safety.
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.
What is “Maximum steady state efficiency”?
This figure represents in percentage, the absolute best amount of useable heat the fireplace can produce. Maximum steady state efficiency is determined by specific test conditions that include burning the fireplace until the fireplace and flue gas (exhaust) temperatures reach equilibrium, which means that there is no further change in temperatures. Temperatures, taken from a specific location, reflect the amount of heat being exhausted, which is then subtracted from the predetermined input of the burner. The remaining amount of heat represents the highest amount of heat that the fireplace can transfer into the surrounding area. Example, our natural gas stove, the GDS50 has a BTU input of 44,000 BTU. The maximum efficiency is 84%. 44,000 x 84% = 36,960 BTU output.
How much fuel do fireplaces consume and how much do they cost to operate?
This is easily calculated provided that you have the local price of the fuel to be used. 1 cubic foot of natural gas will produce *1000BTU per hour, 1 liter of propane will produce *29,059 BTU per hour and 1 US Gallon will produce *110,000 BTU per hour. (*Values may vary slightly, depending on location) The BTU of the fireplace is divided by the BTU value of the fuel to determine the amount of fuel consumed per hour. Example: A natural gas fireplace that has an input of 30,000 BTU per hour consumes 30,000 / 1000 = 30 cubic feet/hour. If the price of natural gas is .35 cents ($0.0035) per cubic foot then 30 cubic feet x .35 = 10.5 cents ($0.105). Therefore the cost of operating one of our 30,000 BTU Natural Gas Fireplaces such as the new GDS28 Gas Stove for one hour is 10.5 cents.
What is radiant heat?
Radiant heat is transmitted from a heat source via rays just like rays of sunlight. These rays pass through the air without heating it since only solid objects can absorb the heat they transmit. Dark colors absorb more radiant heat than lighter colors which reflect more of it. This is why light colored clothing is cooler than dark colored clothing. All our Napoleon Fireplaces are designed to generate radiant heat into your living room.
What does Convection Heating mean?
This describes the transfer of heat by heating, then moving a substance. Simply put, the heat from our fireplaces is distributed via convection. This is when the air in front of the fireplace absorbs heat, becomes buoyant and rises to the ceiling. This draws cooler air behind it, mostly along the floor, which in turn, absorbs the heat and rises up, pushing the already warmed air along the ceiling. As long as there is a source of heat, this cycle will continue, constantly raising the overall temperature of the room.
Will the blower increase the heat output of our fireplaces?
Yes, aside from the fact that all our fireplaces radiate heat from their fronts, there is still heat that can be withdrawn from the parts of the fireplace body that are closed in behind the wall. While there is an air channel that allows airflow around the firebox, allowing it to absorb the heat via conduction, this channel is somewhat restrictive by its size. Using a blower increases the airflow through this channel, thereby maximizing the heat being conducted from the back and sides of the fireplace.
What does zero clearance mean?
Zero clearance is a term used to describe a certain fireplace’s ability to be enclosed completely by combustible building material that can be positioned right up against the body of the fireplace. That is the back, top, bottom and sides. The front area is designed to radiate heat and therefore must be given adequate clearance to combustibles. In this case, objects such as furniture should be kept a minimum of 48″ away. With the exception of our stoves and inserts, all our other models are designed, tested and approved to be installed with zero clearance to combustible framing.
Can I turn off my pilot in the summer when it is not being used?
Yes, or you can safely leave it burning year-round. It helps to minimize the moisture from accumulating inside the firebox.
There is white film on the glass, log set, and brick or inside the firebox. What is it?
This is a normal bi-product of combustion in gas fireplaces, and will continue to deposit over time. You will have to regularly clean the glass, log set, firebox, and gas control compartment. Follow the cleaning instructions in the manual.
My pilot flame does not stay lit and extinguishes prematurely. How can I correct this?
The most common cause of pilot outage in gas fireplaces is actually a weak pilot flame. This usually indicates debris and deposits have built up causing weak fuel flow. A servicing and cleaning by a professional can usually resolve this.