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Glass Doors on Prefabricated or Zero Clearance Fireplaces

A fireplace without glass doors.

A fireplace without glass doors.

While Glass doors for your fireplace are a nice luxury, if you have a prefabricated or zero clearance fireplace, there are some things you should know before spending your hard-earned dollar on a new set of glass doors!

This factory built fireplace's air circulation louvers are located above and below the fireplace opening and are not covered or restricted by the original!

This factory-built fireplace’s air circulation louvers are located above and below the fireplace opening and are not covered or restricted by the original!

Prefabricated fireplaces are a UL listed product, and the companies who manufacture these fireplaces are VERY specific about altering them in ANY way…including installing a set of aftermarket glass doors that are not original factory parts!

What’s the big deal you ask? The answer is simple: It could be a matter of life and death!

These aftermarket glass doors completely cover this pre-fabricated fireplace's air ventilation louvers! An installation like this stands a good chance of overheating the firebox and causing a structural fire.

These aftermarket glass doors completely cover this prefabricated fireplace’s air ventilation louvers! An installation like this stands a good chance of overheating the firebox and causing a structural fire.

Prefabricated fireplaces are usually constructed of two different sized sheet metal boxes with the smaller box built inside the larger outer box. In most prefabricated fireplaces, there is an air space located between the inner and outer boxes that is designed to allow cool air to circulate as fires are burned, thus keeping the outer sheet metal box as cool as possible. To allow the free passage of circulating air, louvers are usually located either above and below the firebox, or on either side of the firebox.

When closed, these illegally installed aftermarket glass doors will severely restrict side air louvers' ability to circulate cooling air.

When closed, these illegally-installed aftermarket glass doors will severely restrict side air louvers’ ability to circulate cooling air.

Installing a set of glass fireplace doors that were designed for a masonry fireplace is a big no-no due to the fact that these types of glass doors often cover up or restrict airflow in and out of these air circulating louvers. Cutting off or restricting this vital airflow may result in overheating your prefabricated fireplace to dangerously high temperatures!

Combustible wood 2x4's are often in close proximity to the outer surface of your fireplace...sometimes as close as 1/4 inch.

Combustible wood 2x4’s are often in close proximity to the outer surface of your fireplace…sometimes as close as 1/4 inch.

Fire resulting from outer sheet metal box overheating.

Fire resulting from outer sheet metal box overheating.

As you can imagine, keeping the outer sheet metal box as cool as possible is VERY important because of all the combustible 2X4 studs that make up the structure of your home in close proximity to your firebox! Should the outer sheet metal box overheat, a fire with catastrophic consequences could result…and because you altered the original factory design by adding an aftermarket set of glass doors, your insurance company may even deny your claim!

Call AtoZ Chimney sweep if your factory built fireplace doors are broken!

Call AtoZ Chimney sweep if your factory built fireplace doors are broken!

If your prefabricated or zero clearance fireplace does not have a set of glass doors, or if your existing glass doors are broken or missing, give A to Z a call! We’ll help you determine if factory original glass doors or properly-fitted aftermarket doors are available for your fireplace, and give you prices accordingly.

Please keep in mind, however, that some prefabricated fireplaces were never designed with glass doors, or the manufacturer is out of business. In either case, a set of factory original glass doors will not be available.

 

It’s important that the decorative facing around the firebox opening be properly sealed.  At A to Z we can make this repair to restore your unit to safe operating standards.


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Dear A to Z Chimney

I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the great service you have done for me. I am an avid wood burner and love to burn my fires just about every evening. There’s nothing like the simple pleasure of curling up next to a warm and cozy fire during those cold winter nights.

Unfortunately, I had a chimney fire which did extensive damage to my chimney and it had to be re-lined with a new Stainless Steel Liner.

Last year, I hired a different company to come out and sweep my chimney. The sweep from that company tried to use high pressure sales tactics to get me to do the repairs. His poor attitude and high pressure turned me off so badly that I decided not to have them do the work.

This year, I hired your company and Chris Donovan was such a gentleman! He gave me the same bad news, but this time I could see it with my own eyes on the screen as he video scanned my flue. He was also much more knowledgeable and informative and really took the time to help me understand. He did not talk condescendingly, and there was no pressure whatsoever.

Consequently, I did hire your company to come back and complete the needed repairs, and was absolutely delighted!! Not only did Chris come back, but Aaron, the owner came, as well. I was delighted to know that the owner was personally seeing to the work. In the process of repairing my chimney, some other minor problems were detected, and they fixed them at no additional charge!

In addition, when everything was done, they did a spectacular job cleaning up every bit of their mess, and I couldn’t even tell they had been here.

Thanks again for the great service you provide! I will use you again and again, and refer you to my friends.

Sincerely,

~ Beverly Bland, Carmichael, CA
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