Glass doors should always be left open when the fire has just been lit or is burning strongly. It is recommended to close your glass doors when the fire is burning down. This will reduce the amount of oxygen from your room going up the chimney and prevent heat loss.
You should always keep your glass doors closed if you are using gas logs in a wood-burning fireplace.
Does a Gas Fireplace Need Glass Doors?
Not necessarily. Both gas and wood-burning fireplaces can benefit from having glass doors, but they are not essential for keeping your fire burning.
However, they are essential for keeping your fire from burning out quickly and beneficial for safety reasons. Some states in the US require that all fireplaces have glass doors installed.
Suppose your fireplace came installed with a glass door. In that case, it is recommended that you do not try to remove it. Glass installation on fireplaces is usually for ventilation purposes, whereby the glass acts as part of a sealed combustion system. Therefore, removing the glass may prevent your fireplace from working properly.
If you wish to have a fireplace without glass doors. It is suggested that you speak to your local fireplace vendor and ask for a specific unit that works without glass.
What Is the Difference Between Open and Glass-Fronted Fireplaces?
There are several differences between open and glass-fronted fireplaces. Which one you should choose depends on your needs and your aesthetic preferences.
Glass-fronted fireplaces give more heat output than open fireplaces. This is because the glass contains more heat within the unit.
A glass-fronted gas fireplace puts out around 6.97Kw, while an open gas fireplace only puts out 2.3Kw.
Glass fireplaces are pretty flexible when it comes to where you want to place them within your home. Glass fireplaces are usually installed with a powered vent system that allows the fire to be installed almost anywhere.
Whereas open fireplaces almost always require a flue that needs to be completely vertical, the diameter and length requirements will vary according to the size of the fireplace.
Because of this, you may be restricted on where you can install an open fireplace within your home.
The kind of look you want to achieve or the ambiance you wish to create may influence whether you opt for a glass-fronted or open fireplace.
Glass-fronted fireplaces can sometimes obscure the view of the fire. They also need regular cleaning and upkeep.
An open gas fire looks more realistic and pleasing to the eye. You also have no glass to maintain.
Should Gas Fireplace Glass Doors Be Open or Closed?
Whether or not you should keep your gas fire doors open or closed depends on the type of glass you have.
The glass doors of gas-burning fireplaces usually come in two types, ceramic and tempered.
Tempered glass cannot contain as much heat as ceramic, and therefore the doors should be open when the fire is burning at its hottest. But it is recommended to close them once the fire has died down to prevent your fire from burning out early.
Ceramic doors can withstand high heat temperatures, so it is okay to close ceramic glass doors while burning.
Safety is perhaps the most apparent reason to close your glass doors.
Other than the immediate risk of burns, open fireplaces can also release toxic exhaust fumes. Closing your glass-fronted fireplace will protect you from the heat source that contains the combustion system and protect your environment.
Closing your glass doors is far more efficient than leaving them open.
Closed doors prevent the fireplaces from losing too much heat and keeps your fire burning for longer.
Closing the glass door also helps your fire keep heat from going up your chimney by containing the makeup air within the combustion system. So, you will have enough heat to last the night if you keep your fireplace glass door closed.
Can I Use My Gas Fireplace Without the Glass?
Most glass fireplaces come installed with a direct vent, and therefore cannot be used without the glass.
If the glass door is removed from the glass-fronted fireplace, likely, the fireplace will not burn correctly, and you can put yourself at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
There are a few gas fireplaces that do not require glass fronts, but they are rare. Removing the glass front of your gas fireplace makes little difference to the amount of heat it will generate.
If you wish to remove the glass doors of your gas fireplace for purely aesthetic purposes, you will need to purchase a new gas fireplace that is designed to run without gas doors.
Can I Put a Glass Door on My Fireplace?
Yes, you can add a glass door to your fireplace or replace an existing door with a new one.
Gas fireplaces come in standard sizes, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a glass door that is the right size for your particular unit. However, if you have a fire-front made of rough material like fieldstone, you will have to get a custom-sized door to prevent the edges from overlapping.
Installing the door is as simple as fitting the hinges onto the existing masonry and securing it in place.
When installing your new glass front, be sure to do the following:
- Attach lintel clamps to the door
- Adjust the clamps accordingly
- Use the proper measurements to mark for screws
- Insert lead anchors for the screws
- Use a proper drill to drill the holes for lead anchors
- Ensure the door is fully insulated.
If in doubt, call an expert. Although installing a new glass door yourself is pretty simple, any mistakes can make your fireplace stop working properly and put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
How Do You Use a Gas Fireplace Glass Door?
Glass doors are best left closed unless the fire is fully active. It is recommended to close them once the fire has died down to conserve heat energy.
Be careful when opening or closing your glass door. While many fireplace glass doors contain some heat resistance on the handle, the handle can still be quite hot. Therefore, it is advised to use a heat-proof glove when opening and closing the glass fireplace door for additional safety.
It is also safe to tint the glass of your glass doors if you wish to reduce the amount of light emitted from your fire. It will also disguise soot and ash build-up.
How to Clean the Fireplace Glass Door?
Cleaning your gas fireplace glass door is essential for its upkeep. Regular cleaning will ensure that your glass doors are working to full efficiency.
How often you should clean your glass doors depends on how much use your fireplace.
If your gas fire is used minimally, then you can get away with a thorough cleaning of the glass doors once a month. However, if you burn fires regularly, then your glass will need to be cleaned weekly.
Doors with shiny polished surfaces will need to be cleaned more often to prevent discoloration. Cleaning methods can vary depending on the materials used to frame your glass doors. Some chemicals may be unsuitable for cleaning.
Most fireplace doors respond well to being cleaned with a simple vinegar and water solution. Vinegar is an excellent natural remedy that cuts through grease, soot, and ash.
For heavily soiled glass windows, you may need to use a heavier industrial cleaner. However, you must be careful to select the right brand; some industrial solvents may be too strong for the frame of your glass door and can cause damage. Always refer to the manufacturer if you are unsure.
Regardless of the chemicals used, it is always recommended to leave the cleaner on the surface of the glass for around 30 minutes before wiping it off. This allows the cleaner to absorb into the glass and remove the tough stains.
Keeping gas fireplace glass doors closed at the right time is essential if you wish to maximize your fire’s heat and energy output.
Gas fire doors should remain open when the fire is initially lit and when the fire reaches its apex. However, once the flames have died down, it is best to close your glass doors to preserve heat energy and keep your room warmer for longer.
If you wish to install or replace glass doors, make sure it is a unit that supports glass doors, and never remove glass doors entirely unless it is from a unit designed to work without them.
If you wish to conduct this installation yourself, finding a standard door for most units is easy. However, if you are at all unsure, hire a professional.
Cleaning your glass fireplace door is essential for its maintenance. Regular cleaning with the right chemicals will keep your fireplace burning brighter for longer.