18 Questions &
from Atlanta, GA asked:
November 19, 2012
Can you tell me about BTU's in direct-vent fireplaces?
BTU is an acronym for "British thermal unit", and it is a measurement of heat produced by burning fuel. The general rule of thumb is 35 BTUs heats one square foot; therefore 35,000 BTUs = 1,000 square feet of heating area for a 100% efficient appliance. Because direct vent appliances vary in efficiency, the heat output will vary as well. For example, if you have a direct vent appliance with a BTU input rating of 28,000 and an efficiency of 78%, you will need to divide that input rating by .78 to determine the actual BTU output. The output for this appliance is then 21,840 BTUs in total, which then leaves us with the ability to heat approximately 620 square feet.
Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist
on November 19, 2012
from Kensington MD asked:
January 5, 2018
How do I know which size insert I need?
You would measure the brick opening of the fireplace (Width, Height, and Depth of the opening).
from South Plainfield, NJ asked:
December 23, 2017
do you carry a direct vent 2 sided insert? I have a 35" x 40" masonry firebox.
Unfortunately, there are no direct vent inserts configured for a see-through fireplace.
on December 26, 2017
from CA asked:
April 16, 2017
I have an older Superior Dr-500. The entire insert is 36" tall and 40" wide, top vent up through roof. The system has a very meager flame which cannot be increased using the air shutter. Given the age of the unit, I wonder if I should repair or replace it. What is best? I suspect the Honeywell gas valve requires replacing. The Honeywell electric pilot seems to work fine. Ideally, I want a gas insert with an electric pilot that puts out heat as well as flame.
I would normally advise that a service call may be the best route in order to extend the life of your fireplace, but this model has a Honeywell valve that is no longer available. If a local technician decided that the best course of action will be to replace the valve as it sounds as though it may indeed require replacement, the only option will be to replace the entire system anyway, so you could spare the expense of a service call and just look into replacing the entire fireplace as replacing the valve would likely not rectify the issue with low flame height. However, I will recommend paying close attention to the product literature for any replacement fireplace you are considering as hearth manufacturers are more concerned with the fullness of the flame and flame appearance than they are with flame height. Proper combustion via the proper inlet gas pressure, air shutter adjustment and vent design will result in the most realistic flame aesthetic and max Btus for any direct vent hearth system out there. Too high of a flame can be an issue as it will create a dirty burn. If the flame shows any black tipping resulting from excessive gas pressure without the proper amount of oxygen provided via the (primary) air shutter or (secondary) venting, the inner combustion chamber (glass and valve components) will develop a buildup of soot, leading to operational issues with the fireplace. Also, the exterior wall of a structure may show this sooting if the air to fuel mixture is not proper for the fireplace.
on April 17, 2017
from Egg Harbor City, NJ asked:
January 30, 2017
I am looking for a gas, vented insert that fits 25 1/4" (W) x 23 1/2" (T) x 12 3/4" (D).
We do not offer any direct vent inserts that could be installed in a fireplace opening with these measurements.
on January 31, 2017
Nancy & Michael Bainter
from Pacific Grove, CA asked:
December 29, 2016
Do we order and then hire someone from the fireplace store to install the insert? We have both an electrical outlet next to the 'key' to our gas fireplace that is tile framed with a tile hearth that we sit on from time to time. So, should we order an electric insert or a natural gas insert with blower? Which is easier to install, and who should install it?
To find an installer in your area go to www.nficertified.org.
on December 30, 2016
from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma asked:
November 16, 2016
I currently have a brick fireplace with gas logs. I would like to convert it to an insert. Would direct vent require me to cut a hole in the brick chimney or is there a way to vent it out the top? What is used as a power supply for the blower. Would I need regular 120V run to the insert?
With direct vent inserts, the pipe will be colinear and will run up to the top of your chimney. You will indeed need 120V to power the blower.
on November 16, 2016
from Oakland, MD asked:
October 8, 2016
What is the AFUE efficiency?
The efficiency will vary depending on the model selected.
on October 10, 2016
from Courtland, VA asked:
September 24, 2016
I am very interested in purchasing a direct vent gas insert. I was just wondering, can I purchase an insert without a blower? I have no electrical outlet in my fireplace.
Direct vent gas fireplaces will have a blower as a standard feature. This is because of the design disadvantage of an insert having most of the chassis in the fireplace and behind the surround. The blower helps to pull heat from the chassis that would otherwise accumulate in the fireplace opening behind the surround. That being said, the blower does not have to operate as part of the design. It could simply be left idle.
on September 26, 2016
from MA asked:
June 12, 2016
I'm building a house and interested in putting in a couple of gas fireplaces. We would like the vented type but can you tell me what kind of venting is required? How big does it need to be? Does it have to be vertical?
You will not find a suitable model in the "fireplace insert" category in question because these models may only be installed into an existing masonry or prefabricated wood burning fireplace. You will need to select a Direct Vent Fireplace
and no, these fireplaces do not have to be vented vertically and may be vented completely horizontally out of the rear or horizontally with a minimum rise off the top.
from MD asked:
January 27, 2016
What is the best/easiest direct vent fireplace insert model to replace a Superior Natural Gas Model DS-36TN in terms of easy installation?
The fireplace and venting components are no longer in production, so I would simply recommend choosing a replacement with framing dimensions equal to, or slightly less than, the current framing dimensions of 36" W x 39" H x 15" D. Unfortunately, the venting will need to be replaced as well. One of the 33" Superior Direct Vent Fireplaces
would be my suggestion.
on January 27, 2016
from Boston, MA asked:
November 18, 2015
I have fireplaces in the basement and on the main floor that go through the same chimney. Am I able to place a fireplace insert into both of my units?
As long as the dimensions of the chimney flues are large enough to accommodate the pair of 3 inch aluminum vent liners that are required by the inserts, you could certainly complete the retrofit for each fireplace.
on November 19, 2015
from Harpers Ferry, WV asked:
May 23, 2015
I have an unusual fireplace opening that currently contains a wood stove. The dimensions of the opening are 28" W x 33" H x 24" H. I have a 9" diameter, round ceramic line chimney pipe without a flu. I would like to covert it to a direct vent stove or insert if I can find something that fits and looks right in this opening. Would you suggest?
from Forestville, CA asked:
December 28, 2014
We are looking into replacing our wood burning fireplace for a propane insert but are wondering what the cost difference would be to use propane (vs wood) to heat our 900 square foot upper area of our house. What are the propane usage rates for the most efficient fireplace inserts?
Of course, fuel costs will vary widely with usage habits but the usage costs of our propane inserts will average around $0.80 to operate per hour.
on December 29, 2014
from Oneonta, NY asked:
November 23, 2014
There is only one measurement listed for size. Is the size the height, width, or depth?
The size filter on the left hand side of this item page indicates the width measurement of our offered inserts. The height and depth will vary depending upon which unit you select.
on November 24, 2014
from Hammond, IN asked:
July 7, 2014
I have an arched see thru woodburning masonry fireplace in my basement that i would like to convert to gas. Can you tell me what my options are? Can I retrofit a direct vent see thru gas fireplace in the existing masonry? Thanks.
While they are not designed with this kind of application in mind, it may be possible to install a direct vent see through unit into the current fireplace, however it will require some modification.
on July 7, 2014
from Chicago, Illinois asked:
February 1, 2014
I have an existing masonry see through woodburning fireplace. I am looking for a see through gas insert. Can you provide any suggestions?
Unfortunately, the only see through gas models we carry are designed for installation into a framed wooden opening. We do not carry an insert that can be slid into a masonry opening.
Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional
on February 3, 2014
from Park Ridge, IL asked:
November 18, 2013
I have a fireplace in the basement of my ranch home and I would like to install an Innsbrook 25-33LN. I want to remove the brick chimney down to the roof line. Can this unit be exhausted out the side of the remaining part of the chimney? If so, what vents are available? Are they like a dryer vent?
The Innsbrook models require at least 10 feet of vertical height before they can terminate per the manufacturer. Unfortunately, there is no horizontal termination kit available for these appliances. The vents to be used with the Innsbrook are dual 3" aluminum liners which are very similar to dryer duct work, however they are heavier material.
on November 19, 2013