Masonry FP doors?

tmajorOctober 29, 2009


I've got a masonry fireplace with an outside combustion air vent into the firebox.

I thought, I'd like to add a "glass door fire screen" to save some of the inside air from going up the chimney. I have looked at one at Home Depot, which looks to be decent quality, but ... it says "the doors must be open, while burning the fireplace". Since the unit has a slide damper at the bottom and tempered glass, it doesn't make sense, to me, that the doors must remain open. If that is the case, there would be no reason for the slide damper .... ?? All of the pictures, I see of glass doors, show them burning with the doors closed.

Anybody have any thoughts on this?

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Glass doors should be opened when burning wood. If you read all instructions on doors, they will caution you that leaving doors closed will create too much heat and the glass can crack. Does everyone close them anyways, yes. Do doors crack, not really. But they will get blackened and uncleanable over time. The only doors you can leave fully closed are CERAMIC "glass" doors, but they are too expensive, on average a $700 upgrade, which is why you will never really see them in real life. Bottom line, all the gimicks such as damper doors are just gimmicks. Burning wood in a traditional masonary fireplace is an energy matter what way you look at it. So use it for what its purpose is...nice to look at with some warmth when you get some radiant heat sitting right in front of it. I purchase expensive Stoll made doors, and leave them opened when burning wood. The only time they get closed is when the open flames die out and I just have embers burning. The manufacturer is very clear on telling you to leave the open.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 11:01AM
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Google Wilkening Fireplace and look at their doors. Pricey, but excellent quality.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 6:04PM
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I boxed the doors up the next morning and returned them.

I had made a convection heat exchanger to fit the entire periphery of the FP, which made a huge difference in heat output. I suppose, I could add a fan to the heat exchanger ... someday, maybe. Plus, it has an outside air source, which I suppose helps by not using so much conditioned air from the house.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 4:52PM
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