Fireplace Glass Doors - A More Effective Fireplace
Why are glass doors so popular?
Fireplace glass doors are an effective way to make a fireplace more efficient and can also be an attractive accessory. By sealing the firebox they prevent loss of heat from the house and keep cold downdraughts out. Innovative designs have been developed to create beautiful effects in the glass and with so much choice there are doors to suite every fireplace. Glass doors can be installed into pre-fabricated, ventless and masonry fireplaces
A well fitted glass door will ensure that the firebox is well sealed meaning heat cannot escape up the chimney or the flue as it would if the doors were left open. The 'chimney effect' is a phenomenon that occurs when warm air rises up through the chimney creating a suction and pulling more warm air from inside the house up with it.
This effect also causes cold air to be 'sucked' in through tiny gaps in windows and doors meaning that while the heat is escaping, the cold is coming in to replace it. This happens even while the fire is burning so investing in a blower , which can be used with the glass doors shut, may be worth considering. Using draught excluders may also be a good way to prevent a cold draught coming in.
Manufacturer instructions on fireplace glass door sets usually state clearly that the doors should be open when the fire is in use. In some cases it may be safe to use a gas fireplace with the doors shut to reduce the amount of cold air coming in through the chimney but this should always be checked with the manufacturer or a professional because there are situations where leaving the glass doors closed, while the fireplace is in use, could be dangerous. Most concerns are for consumer safety. If fireplace glass doors are used incorrectly or with the wrong type of fireplace, accidents could happen. Such situations include concerns over the use of incompatible products, for example, using air-tight glass doors with gas logs. Warnings on glass door products are there to protect both the manufacturer and the consumer so it is usually best to follow the instructions. Blowers can be installed to provide air circulation both inside the firebox and the room which enables glass doors be closed while using the fireplace.
Fireplace glass doors tend to absorb heat and so if the fire is burning with the doors closed, approximately two thirds of the radiation heat created will be absorbed by the glass instead of radiating out into the room. This means that fireplaces will still be more efficient with these doors open rather than closed, despite the potential heat loss caused by the afore-mentioned 'chimney effect'. When the fire begins to die down the doors can be closed to keep smoke out and heat in. Most glass door sets will come with a screen made from mesh to prevent embers or sparks from falling out onto carpet or flooring.
Glass doors for pre-fabricated fireplaces are usually fairly easy to measure and install as they tend to have standard fittings and measurements. Glass doors for masonry fireplaces, however, will be slightly different due to the irregularity of the stone fittings at the opening of the firebox. These will have to be carefully measured and glass doors are normally made to fit. It is best to get a professional contractor in for this. Fireplace glass doors also come in a variety of shapes with a wide range of style choices. The glass can be etched with designs, and even colored, to match the décor of the room.