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Should Your Fireplace Doors Be Open Or Closed While Burning?

Should you leave your fireplace doors open or closed when you are burning a fire? Fireplace Doors Online has the answers!

 Apr 24, 2017  Fireplace Know How

We've heard this question countless numbers of times, and the fact of the matter is, there's more than one answer! During the operation of your fireplace, the position of your doors - open or closed - can have a direct impact on the safety and efficiency of your feature. They're not just there to make your fireplace look beautiful, contrary to popular belief. There are several factors that can influence what should and should not be done. Fireplace Doors Online has analyzed this conundrum and is here to provide you with the facts!

Fact or Fiction: Closing my fireplace doors will keep the fire burning longer.

We have found that this is FICTION! Closing your fireplace doors doesn’t make your fire burn longer. Allowing your fireplace doors to remain open will promote better airflow. Oxygen is a key element in healthy-burning fires. If your fireplace doors are shut, oxygen cannot reach the flames. This results in a dull blaze with little heat output. Therefore, the more air that reaches the fire, the better the combustion, and the warmer your home will be!  

Fact or Fiction: Tempered glass fireplace doors should remain open when a fire is burning.

This particular statement is a FACT. Masonry manufactured doors are made with tempered glass. This particular product cannot withstand the high-temperatures of a roaring fire, so it is absolutely advised that you leave your doors open when the flames are in full dance-mode! Tempered glass is highly susceptible to breaking when exposed to this extreme heat. Especially if the fire is less than 6 inches from the door, the flames kissing the doors can potentially cause the glass to shatter. 

Do not attempt to close your masonry fireplace doors until only a few embers are left burning in the hearth. At this point, the temperature from within the fireplace is moderate and won’t cause damage to the glass.

Fact or Fiction: Leaving my glass fireplace doors open when I'm not burning a fire is ok.

Ladies and gentlemen, simply put, this is FICTION! If you leave your glass doors open when your fireplace is not in use, within a short period of time, you would notice a dramatic change in your home's temperature. 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. Closing your glass doors when you’re not burning a fire in the hearth will actually prevent this from happening. In retrospect, keeping your fireplace doors closed during the hotter months curtails warm air from entering your living space through the chimney when you’re running the A/C. This will help you save on heating and cooling costs.

We hope this has shed some light on the age old question of whether or not you should burn a fire with open or closed doors on your hearth. In addition, we have some parting thoughts:

  • If you have what's called an open hearth (no doors on your fireplace - see picture, right), you may want to consider adding some beautiful glass doors to prevent heat loss and promote hotter flames. We have an incredible collection of gorgeous replacement door styles - give us a call so that we can help you determine which door is right for your fireplace!
  • When you are burning your fire with open doors, you may want to think about protecting your castle and your loved ones with either a mesh or decorative fireplace screen. This keeps sparks, logs, and ash in the firebox where they belong, and keeps curious pets and little ones at bay!
Last updated on June 22nd 2017.

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