Wood Frequently Asked Questions

How do I convert my wood burning fireplace that has a gas log set installed back to wood?

For vented gas log sets, you need to remove the log set and grate, have the gas line capped, and install a grate rated for natural wood. Also check the damper to make sure it has not been removed and is functioning properly. If needed, a damper repair kit may be available (and installed) to make the unit fully functioning as a wood burning fireplace.


I have steel wood stove, brick lined and doors come off for open front. I want to put gas 18" logs in it. It is vented through a chimney.

You can install the log set if you leave the doors off.


The existing fireplace in the living room is a Traditional wood burning masonry fireplace built flush to the wall. The previous home owner installed a gas log set and a set of folding glass doors attached to the ceramic tile surround. The opening is about W39" by H29". We will want to get a new more realistic log set. Would you recommend staying with some sort of glass on the front? And do you know if it is possible to increase the height of the opening in a masonry fireplace?

Doors will cut down on your heat loss when the fireplace is not in operation, as the damper in wood burning fireplaces is either disabled or removed entirely when a log set is installed. To increase the opening height you would have to have the chimney capacity calculated for the new opening.


What is seasoned cordwood? To heat an area of 1500 to 2000 sq. ft . would you need a fan system? How many hours does a single load of wood burn? Can you connect to forced air system even through an existing wood burning fireplace chimney?

Seasoned cordwood is hardwood that has been dried out for at least a year or more. To heat that space you would need a fan. Burn times vary as to the unit and the type of wood used - anywhere from 8 to 18 hours. With a free standing unit there is no real way to hook up to a duct system, the more sophisticated built in air tights have duct take offs.


Are wood fireplaces allowed to be put into new homes?

Presently, there are no restrictions to installing and using a wood-burning fireplace inside a home in the Greater Toronto area, as long as the fireplace is built or installed to code.


I have a wood burning fireplace on one side and on the backside of the fireplace, which is in my den; I have a wood burning stove that I would like to replace with a gas fireplace. The wood burning stove is vented out the back of the fireplace.

If there are two flues you can use one for your gas stove and one for the existing fireplace, but if the stove shares a flue with the wood fireplace, you cannot use it for a gas fireplace and you would have to run a separate vent either up through the roof or out through the wall.


I have a wood-burning brick and masonry fireplace that faces one direction. We would like to open it up so that is see-through and put in a gas insert.

Your chimney has been designed to vent your existing size of fireplace opening, so opening it up on the other side will essentially double the space needed to be vented. This is unlikely to work. What you can do is install glass on one side or use a vent top power draft inducer.


I have a wood-burning fireplace that does not vent very well. I'd like to put in a gas insert to solve the problem, preferably an open gas log set.

If your fireplace does not vent very well with wood, it will not vent well with an open gas log set, since all you are doing is exchanging fuels. You do have several options: One is to install a chimney top powered draft inducer. Another is to install a set of doors that remain partially closed while the fireplace is in use. You can test for this door option by restricting the opening and seeing what happens. The best option in terms of heat is to install an efficient wood or gas insert. Both of these require liners in the chimney and operate with closed glass.


Is there a fireplace that can switch from wood burning to gas burning?

There is no fireplace that can perform this dual function. The best you can do is to install a gas log lighter, which is a steel pipe with holes drilled in that is hooked up to the gas and paced beneath your log grate. There will be a key mechanism outside of the fireplace for you to turn on the gas, which you would then ignite with a match. This setup is strictly for getting wood fires going.


I have a fan kit on my wood burning fireplace but it doesn't seem to blow much air.

Our fans are purposely designed at lower CFMs (cubic feet per minute). There are two reasons for this. First of all, fan noise is minimized. Second, a high velocity would tend to cool the air temperature coming out of the top louvre of the fireplace. The fan is designed to move warm air into the room, not to move air clear across the room.


Why am I feeling a cold draft from my fireplace?

There are several possible causes of feeling cold air from a wood fireplace. You will want to make sure the damper is closed. Also check the installation manual for any other potential openings that may need to be shut. If the fireplace is mounted on cement versus plywood, that can also transfer cold into your home. If the chase area or doghouse is not insulated adequately, that is another possibility. Please check with your builder or installer on the insulation of the chase.


Can I add a fan to my wood burning fireplace?

You can if you have a heat circulating model, which means there are louvres in the top and bottom facing of the fireplace, and if there is electrical power to the junction box behind the lower louvre, then you can easily install a fan kit.


Can I burn unvented logs in my woodburning fireplace?

No. Doing so will void the warranty on your fireplace and possibly void your homeowners insurance. An unvented gas log set that complies with the ANSI Z21.60 standard as a vented gas log set can be used as long as the damper is removed from the unit, but any other type of unvented log set will cause hazardous conditions.


Can I partially close the damper on my woodburning fireplace so less air goes up the chimney?

No. The damper must be in the fully open position when using a woodburning fireplace. Partially closing the flue (chimney) damper can cause smoke to spill into the room when burning wood, or cause carbon monoxide (CO) to come into the room when using gas logs.


How can I eliminate the odour in my woodburning fireplace?

On new woodburning fireplaces, first determine what you are burning. You should only be using seasoned wood, newspaper, or kindling. Firestarters can cause a smell. Seasoned fireplaces: what have you burned in the past? Have you cleaned the fireplace prior to burning? If you have used firestarters and/or prefabricated logs, these products are bound together with a wax-type substance, which does not dissipate. This wax can pool and has been found under the hearth refractory and can cause a very foul odor. Also check what is on top of the fireplace. Remove all objects from mantel to see if this eliminates the smell.


How efficient is a woodburning fireplace?

While they produce some radiant heat, most woodburning fireplaces are primarily decorative. Even heat circulating models still pull a tremendous amount of air from the home. There are several woodburning models that are efficient and clean burning. We also have several woodburning stoves and inserts that are very efficient.


How should I use the glass doors on my woodburning fireplace?

The doors should always be fully open or fully closed. Glass doors should be fully open when starting a fire and when the fire is burning strongly. The glass doors should be closed as the fire dies down to minimize the amount of room air going up the fireplace chimney. When burning gas logs in a woodburning fireplace, the glass doors should always be fully open when the gas logs are burning. ALWAYS keep the screen mesh on your fireplace closed when using the fireplace to guard against sparks popping out of the firebox area. If you have a see-through woodburning fireplace, the doors should be either closed or open on both sides when burning.


What's the best way to start a fire in my fireplace?

If your fireplace does not have a gas starter, arrange kindling (small diameter sticks) in a crisscross pattern on top of crumpled newspaper under the grate before arranging the logs. Arrange logs in a safe way to ensure that logs don’t roll out during burning. Note that the first few fires you build in your woodburning fireplace should be small to help avoid excess cracking or spidering in the refractory. NOTE: Do not over fill your fireplace, as this will cause unsafe operation.


Why am I feeling a cold draft from my fireplace?

There are several possible causes of feeling cold air from a wood fireplace. You will want to make sure the damper is closed. Also check the installation manual for any other potential openings that may need to be shut. If the fireplace is mounted on cement versus plywood, that can also transfer cold into your home. If the chase area or doghouse is not insulated adequately, that is another possibility. Please check with us on the insulation of the chase.