Posted on: 27 December 2019
If you grew up with a gas fireplace in the 1970s or 1980s, you may remember opening up a metal mesh curtain and being able to see inside the fireplace log compartment with nothing separating it from you. Gas fireplace styles have changed since then, and now brands like Napoleon Fireplaces use sealed glass fronts on their gas fireplaces. The glass is there for a few reasons, and while it means you can no longer roast a marshmallow over the gas flames, you do get some benefits in return.
It's Part of the Venting System
First, the seal between the glass and the fireplace frame is part of the venting system. If your fireplace uses direct venting, where all air and gas exchange is done between the fireplace itself and the outside (meaning nothing gets vented into the rest of the home and all fresh air is pulled into the fireplace from outside), then you need that seal. Think of the glass panel as another chimney wall; just one that you can see through. There is another type of gas fireplace vent called a B-vent that would not require the sealed glass.
Do keep in mind that the seal does not mean that carbon monoxide will no longer be an issue. If you have gas lines in your home, you still need carbon monoxide detectors.
It Stops the Spread of Flames
That glass panel keeps the flames of the fireplace nicely contained. While non-glass-fronted fireplaces also had curtains to stop flying sparks, the glass is, of course, a more complete barrier. With the glass front, nothing can fly into the fireplace by accident.
That being said, do keep gates or some other barrier in front of the glass. The glass can become extremely hot when the fireplace is on, and you don't want anyone getting burned or have things set on fire through contact with the glass.
It Protects the Fireplace Area and Your Pets When the Flames Are Off
When the flames are off, the pilot light is still on -- and that dark, somewhat warm cavity of the fireplace looks mighty inviting to cats and other small pets that roam your house freely. A glass front to the fireplace means those pets aren't going to try to investigate the gas logs, which could damage the logs and possibly hurt the pets.
Each type of vent for gas fireplaces requires specific venting setups in the home, and once those are installed, you have your choice of insert styles and safety barriers. A gas fireplace means never having to worry about stockpiling wood, and you can keep your home feeling just as cozy with gas. Contact Blazing Design to learn more.Share