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SHOULD WOOD BURNING FIREPLACE GLASS DOORS BE OPENED OR CLOSED?
What are the benefits of fireplace doors?
Wood burning fireplace glass doors are advantageous because they prevent sparks from escaping, they keep heat in and cold air outside, and they can greatly increase the efficiency of your fireplace, not to mention that they provide any fireplace a decoratively finished aspect, in most cases wood burning fireplace doors should be left open while you have a fire.
So, if you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering whether or not a wood burning fireplace glass doors are useful or even required.
Continue reading and you find the solution to these questions and more.
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Prefab Fireplace Door
With the Superior-Lennox prefab fireplace Door kit, you can stop annoying drafts and save energy in your home by installing these easy-to-install wood burning fireplace glass doors.
What kind of glass is in fireplace doors?
Only the two varieties of glass listed below are employed in fireplaces; both are robust and offer thermal protection; the only distinction is that one can resist a higher level of heat than the other, allowing it to be closed while a fire is being burned.
- Tempered glass
- Ceramic glass or polycrystalline
Let’s talk first about both types of glass in the next section.
Tempered glass fireplace doors
So as you can see tempered glass fireplace doors need to be opened while burning other wise they can shatter because of the high temperatures of your fire.
Because the vast majority of fireplace doors are constructed of tempered glass, practically all of them should be opened when burning.
Ceramic glass fireplace doors
Ceramic glass doors are three to four times the price of normal tempered glass, but they are engineered to withstand the extreme heat generated by fireplaces.
Ceramic glass fireplace doors can be closed and are most often used with fireplaces that have air-tight doors and work as an air-tight system similar to a free-standing wood-burning stove
One thing to keep in mind is that while replacing the glass in a pair of custom fireplace doors is permitted, doing so with prefabricated fireplace doors is against the fire code.
How hot do fireplace doors get?
Tempered glass fireplace doors can withstand temperatures of up to 450 degrees, while a normal fireplace can reach temperatures of 500 to 1200 degrees while burning wood.
Ceramic glass fireplace doors are designed to withstand temperatures up to 1400 degrees
So it is safe to say that if a fireplace can reach 1200 degrees when burning wood then the fireplace doors can reach the same temperature when closed.
Pleasant Hearth Glass Doors
The Pleasant Hearth Alpine fireplace glass door with mash inner doors come in black, and in three sizes, small, medium and large, these doors are in amongst the higest and most rated online.
Is it safe to close glass fireplace doors?
It is not safe to close glass fireplace doors that are made with tempered glass, and most aftermarket doors are made with tempered glass.
if you close the doors thinking you can enjoy a fire and close the doors, don’t do it you will have the scare of your life when they overheat and explode into a million pieces, I’m not telling you this to scare you but to help you not make the same mistake as so many people have.
Take a look at the video below to see what this looks like.
When can you close the glass doors on a fireplace?
Wood burning fireplace glass doors can be closed when your fire has burned down to small embers and ashes and there is no longer fire or wood burning, if you close your fireplace doors you will need to leave the damper open so air can continue to flow up and out, not into your home.
Before going to bed always make sure your fire has completely gone out and never leave it unattended, fire safety should never be forgotten or underestimated.
Fireplace doors that can be closed during a fire
Wood burning fireplace glass doors that can be closed must be made of ceramic glass so that they can withstand the heat from a wood fire.
Some masonry fireplaces have ceramic glass doors that can be closed.
If your masonry unit has aftermarket fireplace glass doors they will look slightly amber in color but looks clear if they have ceramic glass in them, if you are building a masonry fireplace or want to replace the doors and would like to burn at times with the doors closed then you will need to have ceramic glass installed.
Other fireplaces that can close their doors can also have the appearance of a wood stove or are called direct vent fireplaces because they will be a sealed airtight unit, they are built with an air-tight wood stove door gasket on the door and door glass, stopping air from entering or escaping, this type of fireplace is designed to maximize heat and heat a home with radiant heat.
See more on Wood Stove Door Gaskets here
What happens when you close the glass doors on a fireplace?
People frequently ask, “Why do I see so many photographs of wood-burning fireplaces with their glass doors closed since they are not supposed to be closed while burning?” The reason for this is that manufacturers of fireplace doors use fake fires behind the doors to make them more visually appealing to buyers.
When you have a fire, always keep the doors open. Although the companies that offer aftermarket fireplace glass doors would have you believe otherwise, doing so is actually not advised with tempered glass, and you will most definitely save yourself cleaning up a mess.
Do fireplace doors help with efficiency?
At best, an open hearth fireplace is just 10% efficient, which means 90% of the heat energy you paid for escapes through your chimney and leaves your home.
Additionally, even with the doors closed and the fireplace off, room air can still draft up the chimney and escape, making the furnace work harder to keep the house warm.
Is a fireplace more efficient with the doors open or closed?
As previously established, tempered glass fireplace doors cannot be closed when a fire is burning, and as will be explained below, closing them when there is no fire also makes no notable difference.
Using glass fireplace doors can improve efficiency, but only by about 20%.
Even with both the doors and the damper closed, most fireplaces still lose some heat, so closing them both will help you increase efficiency somewhat but not totally.
So “Is a fireplace more efficient with the doors open or closed?” as you can see it will make your fireplace a bit more efficient but not enough to write home about.
If you decide to add new doors to your fireplace look at it more as aesthetics than savings.
Do glass doors make fireplaces more efficient?
Tempered glass doors cannot radiate heat into a room, So then do fireplace doors block heat. Yes because they are not made to radiate, instead, you must leave them open so that you can feel the heat radiate from the flames.
Standard bifold fireplace doors really only have two functions.
- They are intended for aesthetic purposes
- To stop cold drafts from entering your room.
Why does the fireplace burn better with the doors closed?
If you feel that your fireplace is burning better with the doors closed it is probably because the air is rushing in the cracks and crevices and making the flames dance quickly but this doesn’t mean it is burning efficiently.
Closing the doors will reduce the amount of oxygen that may reach the fire, it needs oxygen to burn, and this will not prolong its life or burn more efficiently.
Another advantage of leaving the doors open is that there is better airflow, and better airflow improves combustion, so if the doors are being used as intended, your fire should burn hotter and provide more heat into the room.
leaving the doors open will also help reduce creosote in your chimney because flue gasses will be able to move freely and quickly up the chimney not allowing them to accumulate on the sides of the inner lining.
The Verdict, What is better Fireplaces Open or Closed?
So is it better for wood burning fireplace glass doors to be opened or closed? well if they are made of tempered glass which 99% of factory built fireplaces are, and most masonry fireplace doors fall into the category
This means that the answer is they definitely need to open when burning.
Any fireplace with ceramic glass in the doors can be closed when burning, especially if it is an air-tight system or unit.
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