Gas fireplaces are more complicated than many people realize. The tricky part isn't understanding the basics of how they work, but understanding the intricate details of all the parts that make them run efficiently.
One of those needed but often misunderstood parts is the air shutter. You might wonder, why do I need an air shutter? Will this actually make a difference in the efficiency of my gas fireplace? Because we want to be a resource you can rely on for all your fireplace related needs, we decided to write this article to answer both of those questions.
- air shutter
An air shutter is a metal collar that regulates how much oxygen is mixed with the gas flowing to your burner. It is a very needed tool because fireplaces rely on air for combustion to operate. The amount of air and fuel that needs to be mixed for operation is determined by the manufacturer before shipping.
With vent free fireplaces, stoves and log sets, the air shutter will come installed in a fixed position to ensure the right ratios of gas and oxygen are achieved. So, it is in the customers' best interest to not adjust the air shutter so the fireplace will work at maximum capacity and safely.
Though, if you have a vented fireplace, you may need to adjust the setting of the air shutter. Direct vent systems can include horizontal runs of various lengths. These venting systems often include elbows to change the direction of the vent pipe. So, the air shutter may need to be adjusted to work with added restrictions.
Once the unit has been installed it is important to read the owner's manual if you need to adjust the air shutters (if your unit allows that) to change the appearance of your flames or reduce soot buildup. Some newer models offer a rod to rotate the position of the shutter.
Though, many older ones force you to remove the burner and adjust the air shutter manually. Typically, you can adjust the shutter in 1/8 inch increments. Making sure your shutter is properly set will enhance your flame patterns and increase the efficiency of your fireplace.
- air shutter rod
Don't forget to include the air shutter as a part of your yearly maintenance check-up. They can accumulate dust and eventually cause the unit to not function properly if they aren't cleaned.
If you have any questions regarding air shutters or venturis please feel free to reach out to our NFI certified techs at 800.203.1642. That is all we have for this Tech Tuesday Topic and we look forward to hearing from you in the future.