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Should Your Fireplace Doors Be Open or Closed While Burning?

 Jan 28, 2022    Fireplace Doors

Should Your Fireplace Doors Be Open or Closed While Burning?

Nothing beats gathering around the fireplace with your family and enjoying a quiet evening together. But the last thing you want is to keep getting up and down while you tend to a weak fire or get stuck replacing costly parts because you weren’t sure what to do with your fireplace doors.   

One of the most sought-after fireplace operation tips centers around what to do with your fireplace doors while burning – open or closed. So to help clarify, we’re going over some of the different factors influencing whether your fireplace doors should be open or closed while burning. 

Understanding the Different Types of Glass in Fireplace Doors

Before we get into whether you should keep your fireplace doors open or closed, it’s important to understand the types of fireplace doors you have. Fireplace doors are designed with certain types of glass, and that's what dictates the best ways to operate your fireplace. There are two main types of glass that your fireplace glass doors are built with – tempered and ceramic. You’ll want to know the type of glass your fireplace doors are built with before deciding if your doors can be open or closed while burning.

Most all modern fireplace doors are built using either tempered or ceramic glass. This is primarily what dictates whether you can keep your fireplace doors open or closed as you and your loved ones enjoy a cozy evening by the fire.  

Tempered Glass Fireplace Doors

Tempered glass doors are required on all prefabricated fireplaces. Prefabricated fireplaces are built during or after the construction of your home, and fire codes dictate they come equipped with specific types of glass doors.

It’s important to know that all prefabricated fireplace doors are built using tempered glass, which is easily broken due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures – like those coming from a fire in a fireplace. That’s why you should always keep your tempered glass fireplace glass doors open while burning.  

Ceramic Glass Fireplace Doors

Ceramic glass fireplace doors are capable of withstanding extremely high temperatures. Ceramic glass is used for masonry fireplace doors and custom glass fireplace doors. It’s a code violation to use ceramic glass on prefabricated fireplace glass doors. If you have ceramic glass for your wood-burning fireplace glass doors, then you have the option of leaving your doors open or closed while burning.

read our fireplace door buying guide

Benefits of Understanding When to Keep Fireplace Doors Open or Closed

Your fireplace glass doors are more than a decorative accessory, and there are many benefits of understanding when to keep them open or closed including:  

  • Saving money heating and cooling your home

  • Enjoying longer burning fires

  • Having safer burning fires

All of these are important when it comes to using your fireplace doors. Let’s take a closer look at each of these and the ways your fireplace glass doors being open or closed affects them. 

should your fireplace doors be open or closed while burning

Saving Money Heating and Cooling Your Home

The decision to keep your fireplace doors open or closed has a direct impact on the costs of heating and cooling your home. For example, if in the winter you have an open fireplace flue and no fire burning, valuable heat is escaping out of your chimney. 

The same goes for cooling your home in the summer. It’s vital to keep both your fireplace doors and chimney flue closed when a fire is not burning and open when a fire is burning. Hot air rises, and when the heat that was generated from the fire finds its way up and out of the chimney, it tends to siphon all of the warm air in the room along with it. 

Enjoying Longer Burning Fires

fireplace doors open vs closedUnderstanding when to keep your fireplace doors open or closed will also help you keep fires burning longer. Keeping your fireplace doors open when starting a fire in a fireplace will fuel the flames. This is because fires need oxygen to help them burn.

Having a steady flow of oxygen not only makes for beautiful dancing flames but also helps fires burn longer and stronger.

However, you’ll want to monitor your open fireplace doors as having them too far open can suffocate your fire. Feeding your fire too much oxygen can suffocate the flames, resulting in a dull burning fire.

Other areas of your fireplace that can impact the health of your wood fires include a dirty chimney or firebox. Remember to always clean your firebox and regularly sweep your chimney to keep your fireplace safe and your fires burning strong.

Having Safer Burning Fires

Fireplace doors and screens help keep the inside of your home safe from any dangers a fire in a fireplace poses. Oftentimes, homeowners feel closing their glass fireplace doors helps prevent any sparks or embers from jumping out of the fireplace and into their homes. This is where having a fire screen for your fireplace comes into play. Quality mesh curtains and screens for fireplaces allow you to keep your fireplace doors open and help ensure your home is safe.

The last thing you want to do is crack and ruin your tempered glass fireplace doors because you closed the doors while burning.

How To Use a Fireplace With Glass Doors

One of the most important things to keep in mind when burning fires in a fireplace with glass doors is the general safety of your home and loved ones. Be aware of the fire in a fireplace and never leave it unattended when the flames are in full dance mode.

If you’re unsure about the type of glass your fireplace glass doors are made of, then it’s smart to keep them open while burning until you’re absolutely certain. The last thing you want is to have to replace expensive pieces of glass for your fireplace doors because you weren't sure if they could be closed. 

It’s not always about the type of glass doors you have on your fireplace, though. There are several other factors at play when considering to keep your fireplace doors open or closed. To help clear things up a bit, let’s take a look at some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions from the Fireplace Doors Online community.   

A tip from the Fireplace Doors Online pros graphic image with quote

Should You Leave Your Fireplace Doors Open When No Fire is Burning?

Knowing when to have your glass doors open and closed means a safer, more efficient fireplace fire, but what about keeping your fireplace doors open when there’s no fire burning? 

If you’re like a lot of people, you might put your fireplace fire out for the night and head off to bed, leaving your fireplace glass doors open. Although this is a common practice for many fireplace owners, it’s not the most energy-efficient move and you’ll want to ensure your fireplace glass doors are closed when there’s no fire in the fireplace.  

Leaving your wood-burning or gas fireplace glass doors open along with an open fireplace flue in the winter will suck the warm air right out of your home. Having open doors with an open fireplace flue siphons the air out of your home, leaving you with higher heating bills and a freezing cold house on those frigid winter mornings.            

Will Closing Your Fireplace Doors Help a Fire Burn Longer? 

Closing your fireplace doors will not help a fire burn longer. If you’re looking for long, healthy burning fires, then you’ll want to keep your wood-burning fireplace glass doors open while burning. Again, healthy fires need a steady flow of oxygen to keep them burning for long periods of time.   

Should Your Wood Burning Fireplace Glass Doors Remain Open When Burning? 

Keeping your wood-burning fireplace glass doors open when burning depends on the type of glass your doors are made of. Ceramic glass fireplace doors can be left open or closed whereas tempered glass fireplace doors need to be open. Again, it all depends on the type of glass your fireplace doors are constructed with. 

Should Your Doors Be Open or Closed When Burning Gas Logs in a Wood Burning Fireplace? 

It’s common to convert your wood-burning fireplace to use gas logs. Gas offers many different benefits and is a great option for many homeowners. When burning gas logs in a wood fireplace, you’ll want to keep your doors open.

Similar to wood, gas logs need oxygen to burn efficiently, so keeping your fireplace doors open will help the flow of oxygen to your gas fires.

Should You Consider Adding a Fireplace Screen and Glass Doors to Your Open Hearth Fireplace?

Open-hearth fireplaces transform your living room into a cozy, rustic and inviting gathering spot for family and friends. Although you may prefer an open-hearth fireplace, you may want to consider adding a fire screen and glass doors. This will keep your home safe, warm and your fires burning strong.

If you have an open-hearth fireplace, then consider adding a fireplace screen, freestanding screen or glass doors to help promote hotter flames and prevent heat loss. Not only will you prevent heat loss but you'll also keep your home and hearth safe while you enjoy your fireplace.

Screens, mesh curtains and fireplace doors are all great ways to keep pets and kids from being able to access the firebox while keeping burning logs inside the fireplace. 

Shop Fireplace Doors Online to Upgrade Your Glass Fireplace Doors or Fireplace Screen

Whether you’re looking for new tempered glass doors or you’d like to upgrade to ceramic glass fireplace doors, Fireplace Doors Online has everything you need to transform your fireplace into the coziest spot in the house.   

Keeping your home warm, safe and cozy in the long winter months starts with quality fireplace screens, freestanding screens and glass doors. With our wide selection of ceramic glass fireplace doors, freestanding screens, sliding mesh and valance kits, you’ll have the freedom to keep your doors open or closed as you see fit! 

shop for custom fireplace accessories at fireplace doors online 

Contact us online or give us a call at 888-986-1535 and a member of our team will be more than happy to help you place your order. 

Not sure about the type of fireplace you have? No problem, simply use our snapshot tool to send us your pictures and a dedicated member from our team of experts will be more than happy to help! 

Last updated on July 17th 2023.


While burning with fireplace doors closed can have advantages, there are several reasons why it might not be advisable in some situations:

Inadequate Ventilation:

If the fireplace doors are not designed with proper vents or airflow mechanisms, burning with the doors closed can lead to inadequate ventilation. This can result in poor combustion, increased smoke production, and the buildup of harmful gases such as carbon monoxide.
Overheating and Damage:

Standard glass doors that are not specifically tempered or designed for high heat can crack or shatter due to the intense heat from the fire. This can be dangerous and cause damage to your fireplace and surroundings.
Incomplete Combustion:

Insufficient airflow can lead to incomplete combustion of the firewood, producing more creosote buildup in the chimney. This increases the risk of chimney fires.
Fireplace Design Compatibility:

Some fireplaces, particularly older models, are not designed to operate with closed doors while burning. This can hinder the performance of the fireplace and reduce its efficiency.
Safety Concerns:

In the event of improper installation or poor maintenance, closed doors can trap gases and heat, posing a safety hazard. Ensuring the doors are correctly installed and well-maintained is crucial for safe operation.
Reduced Heat Output:

In some cases, closed doors can reduce the amount of radiant heat entering the room. If your goal is to maximize heat output, open doors or screens might be more effective.
Manufacturer Guidelines:

Not all glass doors are rated for closed-door burning. Ignoring the manufacturer’s instructions and using the doors in a way they were not designed for can void warranties and create safety risks.
Aesthetic Preference:

Some people prefer the open look and feel of a traditional fireplace. Closed doors can obscure the view of the fire, reducing the visual appeal and ambiance.
Before deciding to burn with the fireplace doors closed, ensure that your doors are specifically designed for such use, follow all manufacturer instructions, and consider the factors mentioned above to ensure safe and efficient operation.
What if I have ceramic glass installed on my fireplace doors (similar to a wood oven). Is it not ok to burn the fire with the doors closed in this case?

If you have a masonry fireplace with a fireplace door installed that has ceramic glass, you can burn with the doors closed as long as you have sufficient airflow to the fire.
Funny, when I close my doors I get a roaring fire but when open I struggle to keep things burning. Opposite of any home I have had in that past. Any idea why this would be?

If the doors are closed you are starving the fire of air and therefore it will be roaring. If the doors are open and the fire isn't going might be to much air, a cold flue or draft issue. Contact a certified chimney sweep he can check your situation out.
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