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Custom gas fireplace – Yah or nah?

ModernHaus | Posted in General Questions on

The great fireplace debate….with a twist?

Yes, I have read the many [like, a lot] Q&A’s and articles regarding the heated [sorry, I had to] fireplace discussion. Looks like the consensus is that it does not belong on a green building forum. But, bear with me 🙂

I came across Acucraft and they offer two series: Blaze (Commercial Use, typically) & Signature (Residential Use, typically). They are both offered in one-sided, see-through and peninsula styles. Both series have sealed, double-pane glass with a 3″ air cavity. The difference is, Signature Series has the ability to remove the glass if wanted but the Blaze Series is fixed (As well as width restrictions, but that’s not a big deal in terms of energy efficiency).

Upon asking them about their “custom” option, I was told they could install a triple-pane glass. However, that doesn’t address a thermal break with a see-through option (Interior/Exterior). So, I’d think it’s smart to stay away from that and stick with a dedicated indoor unit. A sealed unit with glass that matches my windows (Triple-pane; the glazing would have to be checked due to the heat, I would assume) doesn’t seem like a bad idea, right? Or maybe it is?

The next challenge is, air infiltration. The Blaze series requires four vents. However, they’re all contained within the fireplace, except for the vents themselves, which run up to the roof and out. There is one heat exhaust pipe that can have an electronic damper on it to dump the heat outside or redirect it inside. The cavity surrounding the fireplace could be insulated.

What are your thoughts on a sealed gas fireplace with triple-pane glass separating the liner and the living space? Is it something to look into, or should it be killed off like every other fireplace discussion? It’ll be used mainly for aesthetics.


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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    I've never heard of anyone doing what you propose -- this is all new to me.

    I'll summarize: You want to install a gas-burning appliance, "mainly for aesthetics," that has the option of dumping the heat outdoors.

    Briefly, I must say (as the editor of a green building web site) that this sounds like a crime against the planet.

    1. ModernHaus | | #2

      Ahh, sorry! I meant that the heat can be blown inside but at a certain temperature, the damper would switch to outside and then turn off, to reduce overheating the interior! "Mainly for aesthetics"; I should have said not a primary heat source.

      I know there has been a lot of talk about the poor choice of fireplaces, so I wasn't sure if it was something I was missing or if, in fact, it was just due to the fact that fireplaces have an open design.

      Apparently, the fireplaces put out more heat with the glass installed than without. Interesting, and probably plays to the point stressed here.

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