Fireplace Warehouse Buying Guide Introduction

Fireplace Warehouse is pleased to offer you this complimentary guide to help you choose the perfect fireplace.

We are dedicated to offering products that bring people together, create lasting memories and add value to every home. We hope that if you have additional questions you will call or email and allow us to extend our help beyond this guide.

Our team is staffed with professional, courteous and knowledgeable experts who are trained to help you choose the perfect fireplace, stove or insert for your needs.

Adding a Fireplace

Adding a Fireplace as an Alternate or Additional Heating Source


With the rising cost of energy resources, many people are using what is referred to as “Zone Heating”. In a nutshell, Zone Heating is an efficient method of reducing the waste associated with heating an entire home through a central heating system when you realistically only require heat to a single room or “zone” in order to remain comfortable.

Unlike a fireplace, stove or insert, a forced air central heating system distributes heat through ducts to multiple zones in a home from a central furnace. Since very few homes have a automated duct control systems where air flow can be controlled through valves or actuators, the heated air is sent to every area of the home—even areas where the heat is not immediately required.

Adding a Fireplace for Beauty and Ambiance


It is not uncommon for a home owner to add a fireplace simply to create a more relaxing, romantic or appealing living space. From the shimmering reflections of the flames to the crackling sound of wood burning—people have been adding fireplaces and stoves to their homes for years with nothing more than the desire to add environmental ambiance.

When choosing a fireplace for the cosmetic or ambient advantages, you will need to consider the size and type of space you have available and the cosmetic options available for each particular unit.

Furnaces & Zone Heating Efficiency


The average furnace cycles its burners on and off about three times per hour. Since the “on cycle” time is relatively short, the furnace often shuts down before its peak efficiency is ever reached.

This cycling loss at the furnace results in reduced efficiency and varying temperatures in the air distribution through the flimsy tin ventilation ducts. In contrast, a fireplace, stove or fireplace insert are all crafted with a special lightweight steel and use high density ceramic which aid in reaching comfortable temperatures quickly and operating at the highest efficiency in just minutes.

Adding a fireplace, stove or insert as an optional heating source is a great way to reduce heating costs (sometimes cutting energy bills by 30%) and eliminate needless waste of precious natural resources.

Fire as a Design Element

Wood burning units have a long established history and continue the timeless tradition of bringing warmth and light to any home. Families still enjoy the nostalgic feel provided by the crackling sound, the dim scent of burning wood and the unique look of the flames.

Today’s wood fireplaces are built using the latest design technologies and are an efficient and and environmentally friendly heating option for any home.
These units, like the Napoleon® High Country, exceed the standards set by strict air-quality regulations set by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and use state-of-the-art technology to ensure lasting efficiency.

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Gas burning units are one of the most flexible options available for home owners today. From zero-clearance design which simplifies installation to the direct venting technology that expels 100% of unwelcome moisture and combustion odors through the nearest outside wall or roof—these units have become some of the most efficient and cost effective solutions offered by today’s fireplace dealers.

Direct vent gas technology eliminates the need for an expensive chimney by venting directly through a wall or roof.

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Electric units offer the ambiance of a real fireplace without the cost of gas or wood products. Most units simply plug into a 120V electrical outlet and are operational in just minutes. With a 99% maintenance-free design, an electric fireplace is a perfect solution if you live in a residential building, like an apartment or condominium, and do not have the ability to vent to the outside wall.

Another advantage of electric fireplaces is their portability. If you decide you want it in your bedroom rather then the family room—it is generally as easy as unplugging it from the outlet and moving it to the new location.

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Wood Pellet inserts can convert your existing, drafty, masonry fireplace into an efficient, reliable heating source. Pellet freestanding stoves provide zone heating furnace performance in practically any location in your home.

Made from of recycled sawdust and fiber byproducts, wood pellets are a renewable energy source that is environmentally friendly, economical and convenient to use.

The stoves can be easily vented through the nearest wall or roof. In 2008, over 800,000 American homeowners use wood pellets as an efficient heating source.

There are also other fuel options available in the market, such as Corn, Coal, Ethanol, and Gel Fuel Depending on where you live and the availability of these fuels, they may be more cost effective heating options for your home. Fireplace Warehouse can usually special order alternative fuel burning appliances.

Unfortunately, we do not usually have these units on display. If you have some questions about alternative fuels please send us an email and we may be able to help you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of product do I need?


There are many options available to you when searching for the perfect heating source. One of the first questions you should ask yourself is “What is the purpose of this fireplace?”

The general responses are “to heat a room without using the furnace (which heats the entire home),” or “to add beauty and ambiance to our home.” Most of the time it’s a combination of the two. The good news is that regardless of why you want to add a fireplace or stove to your home—there are options for every situation.

Fireplace, Insert, or Stove?

If you’re building a new home or apartment and want the fireplace built into a wall ( with new stonework or tile) this is the way to go. Installing a new fireplace usually requires minor demolition, new framing and finishing to surround the unit and venting.

Sometimes a home will have an old fireplace, like a masonry fireplace, built many years ago which is now non-operational, unsafe or inefficient. The Fireplace Insert was created especially to address this condition. An Insert allows you to utilize an existing fireplace space without having to incur the expense of rebuilding an original structure. Installation usually requires adding an additional outlet for power and extending a gas line (if needed). Vent liners fit into the existing chimney. You can print this page of common dimensions to help decide what size insert is needed.

Fireplaces and inserts are designed to force most of the heat into the room through the front of the unit and somtimes can have additional blowers to move warm air into other rooms. Homes without existing fireplaces benefit by taking advantage of zero-clearance direct vent technology. Prefabricated from metal, they are designed to be installed in a simple wood frame construction without the need of a foundation or chimney—significantly reducing construction costs. Though designed to burn only gas or propane, direct vent units are a safe, efficient and cost effective heating option for any home.

Stoves are freestanding hearth units that can be installed in a corner or near a wall in most rooms. Because heat is radiated from all sides of the unit, they need to be installed with more space (clearances) between the floor and walls and sometimes require a hearth pad underneath the unit. They can be used in finished and unfinished spaces and provide a more rustic look to any room.

What size of fireplace do I need?

The amount and type of space you have available for a fireplace or stove will determine what style options are available for your needs.

There are corner units that fit snugly in a room at a 45 degree angle, wall units that are limited only by the width of space you have and there are even elevated units, like the Napoleon Torch, that are placed high on a wall similar to a painting.

It is most important to keep in mind that each unit has varying degrees of heat output. You will want to take this in consideration. For example, if you have a smaller room but want a large fireplace. In this case, you want a unit that allowed you to limit the amount of heat coming into the room at any given moment. It is also important to consider the amount of space (or ‘clearances’) you will have between the fireplace or stove and your room furnishings.

Measure for an Insert


Planning Stages? Bring these measurements

Designing the Perfect Fireplace with Accessories

Follow Fireplace Warehouse ETC’s board Accessories on Pinterest.There are many accessories for fireplaces and stoves. There are some that attach to the fireplace and others that are placed nearby, all designed to allow you to add your own style and taste.

Choosing the accessories that are right for you can be difficult without a visual sample of what an accessory might look like installed on your unit. Many fireplace retailers, like Fireplace Warehouse , display units with the most popular features to give you an idea of what the fireplace or stove looks like when complete.

It is always a good idea to visit a showroom or search images when considering which accessories to purchase.

Some of the cosmetic accessories available are:

  • Fireplace Screens
  • Decorative Refractory Panels
  • Louvers
  • Andirons
  • Decorative Trim Sets
  • Doors and Faceplates
  • Surrounds
  • Ornamental Insets
  • Mantels

You can even get remote controls for fireplace with both on/off features and thermostatic control.

Whatever your tastes or visual preferences, it is easy to design a fireplace, stove or insert that is perfectly tailored to you – from the variety of color finishes to the various style designs; traditional, transitional, rustic, casual, contemporary.

With a little planning, and some guidance from the experts at Fireplace Warehouse, we will ensure you choose the perfect fireplace for your home.

Remodeling Guidlines

Often when our customers want to install a fireplace, stove, or insert, additional work needs to be done. This might include demolition, framing, electrical work, gas lines, tile, masonry, roofing, etc.If you decide to use or are already working with another contarctor, Fireplace Warehouse cannot vouch for or guarantee the work of trades people who are not employed by us. The phone book and any number of other sites on the internet may be a source of possible people to hire. Friends and neighbors might be better sources for referrals. Organizations such as Service Magic or might also be a good local source in Colorado.

Common steps in home remodel project :

  1. Generate Ideas – Research and explore design ideas, materials, and layout of the project.
  2. Create a Budget – Develop a ballpark goal for the project.
  3. Planning/Layout – Prepare drawings and sketches of the project
  4. Hire a Contractor – Check reference and talk to previous customers. Interview several to find one you like.
  5. Price out materials, equipment, labor – Use your preliminary budget and prioritize items to get a final cost.
  6. Time Line – Discuss estimated times with your contractor. Double it. When multiple tradespeople need to be coordinated, time lines can quickly get extended.
  7. Be Involved: Communicate – Be in constant communication with your contractor and help to coordinate various steps in the project. Good contractors and subcontractors often are working multiple projects. Certain unique aspects of your project may be new to your contractor. Make sure they read the fireplace manual. You and the contractor are responsible for framing to dimensions specified in the manual and planning the vent routing and maintaining the manufacturer’s clearance specification to non-combustible materials.
  8. Be Aware of “Scope Creep” – Avoid the common tendency homeowners have to ask the construction crew to do additional work “while you’re here.” Contractors build their schedules and fees based on a mutually agreed scope of work. Don’t try to add tasks on while the job is under way.
  9. Problem Solving – Construction problems can arise. Be prepared to work together with your project manager/contractor to find solutions that will address any such problems. You both have the same end objective in mind: a top quality, professionally completed job.

Installation Guidelines

We are currently updating information throughout our site. This section is under construction.

Congratulations on your decision to buy a hearth product as part of your home remodel project! We hope this guideline will help you plan and manage your project. Remember to select and choose a qualified general contractor and/or fireplace installer.

There may be additional charges if:

  1. The scope of work greatly exceeds a standard install.
  2. Custom flashings or other modifications are required.
  3. More than one return trip is required because of the contractor not being ready for us.
  4. Our service techs need to clean drywall mud, paint, or other construction debris from the fireplace.
  5. A change in the planned chase or vent routing occurs or is not framed to specifications.
  6. A change in fireplace appliance is requested after delivery. A 20% restocking fee may apply.
  7. Unforeseen complications occur, but the charge will be discussed prior to the work being perfo