Benefits of Fireplace Glass Doors

Jun 3rd 2020

Benefits of Fireplace Glass Doors

This Article has been approved by our on staff NFI Certified Specialists & Master Hearth Professionals

fireplace glass doors

Wood Burning Fireplace Glass Door Insert or Enclosure Benefits

Throughout the centuries fireplaces in homes have provided families with comfort, warmth and a steady wood burning flame to prepare the day's meals over. In more modern settings, fireplaces in the home are used as a focal point because of their visual appeal and are often decked out with decorative fireplace accessories.

While some fireplace accessories are purely designed for visual stimulation, fireplace doors are accessories that not only add beauty to the fireplace but serve a very functional purpose and can be very beneficial to the efficiency and safety of your fireplace.

Did you know....

Without fireplace doors installed homeowners can lose hundreds of dollars up that brick chimney. Compare it to having a wide-open window. With an open window your appliances would be constantly running, fighting to keep your indoor climate controlled. Even having a damper that shuts off your flue or chimney doesn't prevent air exchange or heat loss. Fireplace doors can solve this problem by acting as a barrier, sealing off the opening and keeping your heat in and the cold out. Not to mention they hide away the mess of the firebox when not burning, out of sight out of mind right? So besides saving you energy and money, there are more benefits to installing fireplace doors. Let's get into that…

How do fireplace doors work?

Fireplace doors are a great way to keep your fireplace clean and your home safe. But how do they work? Fireplace doors work by sealing off the fireplace opening with a glass or metal door. Once you are ready to bring your fire to an end, closing the doors (once flames have died way down) can prevent sparks and embers from escaping and floating into your home and elevating the risk of damage. Being closed at this time will also aid in putting the fire out just a little quicker, by cutting off the main flow of oxygen. As you probably already know, if you have a damper, you can't close it until your fire is completely out (coals cold to the touch), fireplace doors help here too allowing you to close off the opening even when the damper has to remain open.

Glass fireplace doors
Fireplace Glass Doors

Fireplace glass doors have been proven to decrease the potential for injury to those you care about and also reduce the risk of damage to your home.

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How can glass fireplace doors increase energy efficiency?

When the fireplace is not in use, the closed doors act like a barrier to prevent air exchange. A wide-open fireplace/chimney is like an open window, allowing heat loss in the colder months and likewise cooled air loss in the hot months, both creating more work for your home appliances and increasing your energy bills. Fireplace doors are a simple way to stop this air exchange and increase energy efficiency.

Fireplace glass doors open or closed?

In most cases, while burning, doors should remain open. First of all, burning with the doors closed can be dangerous. A typical fireplace can get upwards of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and most tempered glass doors can only withstand up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This excess of heat buildup can result in the hot glass cracking, shattering or in some cases, even exploding. Leaving the doors open while burning allows this excess heat to escape and keeps the doors from reaching temperatures they can't handle.

That excess heat previously discussed, would also create more work for you, when maintaining your doors. All the soot, ash and smoke that settles on the hot glass surface would get baked on, making it next to impossible to remove. (Check out our fireplace and glass cleaning products that can help!) Leaving your doors open during burning will minimize the amount of baked on grime.

Not only would closed doors (during burning) require more cleaning, more importantly they restrict the airflow to your fire creating more smoke, increasing creosote production, and ultimately snuffing out your fire completely. Even when using with a damper, the doors should remain open until the fire has died down (leaving the damper open until coals have completely cooled to the touch). Once the flames have died down, closing the doors is a great way to put your fire out for the evening and prevent sparks or embers from coming into your home.

Alternatively, when not in use, doors can remain closed. Since leaving your fireplace or damper open is just like an open window, when left open in the winter, the fireplace will allow warm air to escape up and out the chimney and, in the summer, cool air-conditioned air is able to escape from the chimney. In both cases, closing your fireplace glass doors can increase efficiency by minimizing the amount of air lost out of your home and up the chimney. They greatly reduce cold drafts and save you money!

There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, wood burning stoves that are made to burn with the door closed, or special (usually much more expensive) ceramic glass doors, which are made to withstand much higher temperatures than the typical tempered glass doors.

If you are concerned about flying embers or sparks while burning, consider the use of a spark guard or mesh screen in conjunction with your doors to minimize risk of damage.

To cover and conceal a fireplace that is only used seasonally or for special occasions consider a draft guard for and alternate option to fireplace doors.

Fireplace glass doors reduce fireplace clean up

By containing ash, cinders, wood chips and protecting fireplace surroundings, fireplace glass doors can decrease or eliminate the need for sweeping up fallen debris, bark, cinders as well as those nasty ash smudges left behind by floating ash. For added protection during burning add a mesh fireplace screen.

How to clean fireplace glass doors?

Fireplace doors get grimy and cloudy fast with soot, and then that soot gets baked on over and over with each fire. More often than not regular household glass cleaners are not only ineffective, but they can be abrasive or corrosive to the tempered glass. We offer a variety of glass and fireplace cleaners that will not only make the job easier but get the job done without being damaging. Click now to find the fireplace cleaning product right for you and your needs.

Fireplace glass doors increase fire heat

Fire needs oxygen to burn and to continue to burn. Keeping your fireplace doors wide open while lighting your fire will help ensure a constant stream of oxygen to get it lit. Once lit you can maintain your fire by adjusting how wide your door(s) are open. The wider the opening the more airflow, which can be a problem if you already have a pretty good fire going, causing it to burn very dull, small, or even go out altogether. Closing the doors just slightly to lessen the airflow will help you get a bigger prettier flame, with more heat output.

Fireplace doors or screen?

So, we've talked about fireplace doors a bit and how they can not only help you maintain a comfortable climate in your home, but they can save you money in the process. They can also act as a safety barrier for children and pets when the fire is going out and may not be attended continuously. But there is another option to consider…

A fireplace screen is a great option if you aren't concerned about air loss through the chimney. Fireplace screens will prevent floating sparks and embers even during full blaze, (doors would have to be open). They will also act as a barrier separating the fireplace and the rest of the room and any curious hands or paws that might otherwise get too close. Like doors, fireplace screens come in a wide variety of styles including custom screens, single panel screens and spark guards. Learn more and shop our Fireplace Doors options here.

Which fireplace glass doors are right for me?

Before you choose a fireplace glass door type for your hearth area there are a few things to consider and base your decision on. Follow these 4 steps to help you choose the right fireplace glass doors for you.

  1. Figure out if you have a masonry fireplace (brick chimney) or a factory-built fireplace - Factory built fireplaces also called zero-clearance fireplaces are made of metal and may use a combination of insulated walls, glass doors, air-cooled pipe and blowers to circulate the heat produced by the fire. Masonry fireplaces are structures that are created with the use of materials such as brick, cement, or natural stones and are held together with some kind of bonding agent. The stones may be smooth and uniform, or they can be an eclectic mixture of shapes and sizes. Masonry fireplaces require the use of a stone or brick chimney.
  2. Measure your fireplace - When fitting your fireplace with a fireplace glass door, fitting the doors properly is of the utmost importance. Not only is it vital to the function of the fireplace but it will help you decide if you will require a stock fireplace glass door or a custom fireplace glass door. if you are unsure of exactly how to measure your fireplace for fireplace glass doors follow this link to see our measuring for fireplace glass doors guide.
  3. Determine if you need a Stock Door or a Custom Door - Once you've got your measurements you can determine if it is a pretty standard size or not. The stock doors cover a wide range of sizes, but they are limited. So, what if we don't have a stock door that suits your needs? Not all fireplaces are the same size or shape, some masonry fireplaces, especially older ones, aren't even perfectly square. This is where custom fireplace doors come to the rescue. Get a door made to order, so you are assured you get a set of doors perfect for your fireplace. It's important to be exact with your measurements when ordering custom doors; due to their uniqueness custom doors cannot be returned.
  4. Determine the style that will reflect your home décor - Which door type fits your style? Fireplace glass doors are available in a variety of styles that will accent any home décor. When choosing a fireplace glass door, you will often get to choose a glass color along with your desired finish. Certain fireplace glass doors are offered with options like glass channel handles, frame finishes, riser bars, mesh screens, and tracked or trackless doors. Some door types give you the option of how many glass panes you prefer. Some offer just one in a cabinet style door while others, the bifold doors consist of 4 glass panes that fold to open in an outward direction. Whether your fireplace has a true masonry look and feel or more of an elegant and sophisticated tone, there are many fireplace glass door options available to fit your needs and create a beautiful focal point in your home.

Top-Selling Fireplace Doors:

Hi Temp Velvet Black Fireview Stock Masonry Fireplace Door - Stock door, comes in a variety of standard sizes. It has a traditional look, simplistic with the absence of vertical glass trim. Comes in a velvet black finish, outside/overlap fit and comes with a mesh hanging screen. Made by Custom Firescreen.

Reserve Stock Masonry Fireplace Door - Stock door, made of quality extruded aluminum for strength. Comes in a outside/overlap fit and the option of baked on lacquer finish in copper, pewter, bronze iron, grey iron, moss iron, natural iron, and old iron. Made by ThermoRite.

Top-Selling Custom Fireplace Doors:

Thin Line Custom Fireplace Enclosure - Comes in a fine textured black finish, custom door made to order with a inside fit only. Available in track and trackless styles and 3 different glass tints. Made by ThermoRite.

Normandy Custom Masonry Fireplace Door - 1/8" welded aluminum channel frame made custom for a masonry fireplace only and can either an inside or an overlap fit. Designed to your specifications and available in 15 different color finishes and features a trackless cabinet door design. Made by ThermoRite.

Since custom doors are not returnable, after ordering a custom fireplace door, you will be contacted by one of our customer service representatives to verify the measurements provided and ensure the door ordered will in fact fit properly and as expected.

NorthlineExpress is proud to offer some of the best of the best when it comes to manufacturing fireplace glass doors.

ThermoRite - This company was founded in 1942 and has since been a leader in the production of fireplace doors. They were the originators of tempered glass fire enclosures and are proudly manufactured in the USA. ThermoRite offers our biggest selection and variety of fireplace doors, with a large range of sizes, finishes and styles.

Custom Firescreen has been manufacturing glass doors and other fireplace products since 1977. Made and shipped from within the USA. They offer a variety of classic stock, bi-fold doors in black, brass or chrome.

HearthCraft fireplace doors are also made in the USA, they come fully assembled and ready to install. HearthCraft has been in production since 1956 and boast only the finest craftmanship and materials for both masonry and zero clearance doors.

Several finishes available!! (Options vary by brand and model)

How to replace fireplace glass doors?

Getting the actual door is half the battle, so once you have that in hand you are almost there. Masonry fireplace doors are typically held in place by 2 to 4 screw/bolt and nut combinations. Simply undoing these fasteners allows you to slide the old door out of place. Then set your new door assembly in place to find out if new holes are needed to secure them. Act accordingly and fasten as per model instructions.

Any prefab doors should have installation instructions provided by the manufacturer as these can vary from model to model and typically require more specific installation methods. We provide installation instructions for most of the models we sell, just search the product and look for the downloadable pdf. under the "Add to Cart" button. Not there? Send us an email or chat message and let us know, we can try to get it for you!

Any more questions about fireplace door replacements, feel free to contact our specialists by email, or phone at 1-866-667-8454.

Where to buy fireplace doors? Masonry, Prefab, Large, Small, Replacements, Stock & Custom

Shopping fireplace doors online is easy right here with us at NorthlineExpress, whether you are looking for masonry fireplace doors, prefab fireplace doors, large fireplace doors or small fireplace doors, stock or custom, simply click here to shop our website! Pick the style you like, select your size (need help check out this how to measure fireplace doors page), and choose other available options like door style finish and glass color (options vary by brand and model).

Nervous about ordering a custom door? No problem, call one of our specialists and get a one-on-one shopping experience with us at 1-866-667-8454.

Since custom doors are not returnable, after ordering a custom fireplace door, you will be contacted by one of our customer service representatives to verify the measurements provided and ensure the door ordered will in fact fit properly and as expected.