Is a New Zero-Clearance Fireplace the Perfect Heating Option for Your Home?
A zero-clearance gas or wood fireplace is a great way to solve the problem of an underperforming masonry fireplace. ZC fireplaces also are ideal for homes that have no fireplace. These sturdy appliances offer lots of heat, lots of beauty and built-in safety. Let’s look at why a new ZC fireplace may be perfect for your home.
What is a zero-clearance fireplace?
ZC fireplaces are designed and built in a factory and shipped to you or your local hearth services professional, ready to be installed. They’re called “zero-clearance” because their heavy-duty insulation allows them to be placed into virtually any wall in the home in close proximity to wall boards, insulation, baseboards, etc., without worry of fire damage to the home.
ZC fireplace fuels
You can choose wood-burning models or models that run on gas. Folks who enjoy a more traditional-looking fire usually go with wood; for the ultimate in convenience and low maintenance, gas units are the popular choice.
One of the issues homeowners report with standard, open masonry fireplaces is the lack of heat they send to the room. Because zero-clearance fireplaces operate on what’s called a “closed-combustion system,” they retain and deliver far more heat than any masonry fireplace.
Heat-efficiency ratings are one way to judge a fireplace’s heating ability. Most masonry fireplaces rate between 10% and 20%. Zero-clearance fireplaces regularly receive ratings of 70% and higher. This rating tells you the percentage of heat that is retained and can be used to heat the room vs. the percentage that is lost up the chimney or vent pipe.
Designs, styles and sizes
Zero-clearance fireplaces come in a range of attractive designs, making it easy to enhance the décor of any room. From modern to traditional, ZC fireplaces are built to meet your heating needs and aesthetic tastes.
Some models are designed as two-sided units that heat and beautify two rooms on opposite sides of a wall. Others are made to sit higher up in walls for a unique decorative flair. Because ZC fireplaces come in many sizes, you can easily accomplish excellent zone heating in smaller rooms such as kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.
Maintaining your zero-clearance fireplace
When selecting your new fireplace, keep in mind that the fuel it burns will dictate the level of cleaning and maintenance required.
Gas fireplaces: These units burn very clean, so wiping down the firebox occasionally is your main cleaning task. As to performance, it’s a good idea to have a professional chimney and fireplace technician perform an annual inspection. This will involve examining gas line connections, cleaning out any debris that may have gotten into the vent pipe and giving your appliance an overall checkup to make sure it’s running safely and optimally.
Wood fireplaces: As with any wood-burning appliance, ZC fireplaces that use wood need to have creosote and soot professionally cleaned from the vent pipe on an annual basis (similar to chimney sweep services for masonry fireplaces). Your cleaning tasks will involve removing ashes, cleaning residue from the firebox and sweeping up wood debris from the hearth area.
If you’re ready to step up to more heat and comfort, Felgemacher Fireplace Shop serves the entire Buffalo, NY, and Rochester, NY, areas with the very best in wood and gas zero-clearance fireplace sales and expert maintenance services. Visit us at 2727 Broadway Suite 5 in Cheektowaga, NY, or reach us by phone at (716) 482-1820. See our reviews here