Guide to Understanding Fireplace Terminology
July 15th, 2015
Ever find yourself scratching your head and thinking, “What the?” when it comes to understanding all the lingo and terms around fireplaces? You’re not alone.
Unless you’ve been working within the fireplace industry there are a lot of words, phrases, and terminology associated that can make any outsider stumped. To help you better understand just what we are talking about throughout our website, manuals and catalogues we’ve created this page.
B VENT – Listed, factory-built, double wall metal pipe for venting gas appliances with draft hoods and other appliances listed for use with Type B Gas Vent.
BLOWER – An electric, motor driven fan used to circulate air at an increased pace and velocity through the fireplace convection air chamber.
BTU OR BRITISH THERMAL UNIT – A unit for measuring energy, equal to the amount of energy needed to increase the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
CLEARANCES – Minimum distance, composed only of an air space, which must be maintained between a heat source such as a fireplace or vent and combustible surfaces. Distance required by building and fire codes between stove, fireplace, or chimney and combustible materials such as wood furniture or carpets. Clearances must be obeyed even if the combustible materials covered by noncombustible plaster or other masonry materials.
CO-AXIAL DIRECT VENT – A Direct Vent system consisting of a length of sealed, exhaust pipe inside a same length of a larger diameter combustion air pipe. Basically a pipe within another pipe – center is exhaust and outer donut area is fresh air.
CO-LINEAR DIRECT VENT – A Direct Vent system consisting of two separate pipes of the same diameter. One pipe for exhaust and the other for combustion air.
COMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL – Material made of, or surfaced with, wood, compressed paper, plant fibers, or other material that will ignite and burn, as applied to materials adjacent to or in contact with heat-producing appliances, chimney connectors, steam and hot water pipes and warm air ducts. Such material shall be considered as combustible even though flame proofed, fire retardant treated, or plastered.
DIRECT VENT – Method of venting appliance whereby all air for combustion is derived directly from the outside atmosphere and all flue gases are discharged directly to the outside atmosphere. Exhaust system for gas fireplaces that is gravity induced. No chimney is required.
EFFICIENCY – The percentage of heat that goes into the room instead of up the chimney.
FIREBOX – The inner-most compartment of a fireplace designed to support the combustion of fuel.
FLUE – The passageway in a chimney for conveying flue gases to the outside atmosphere.
GAS FIREPLACE INSERT – A gas appliance designed to be installed within an existing masonry fireplace opening or a metal factory-built firebox. It offers superior efficiency.
GAS VENT – A factory made, listed venting system designed to remove flue gases to the outside atmosphere. Please also see Direct Vent, Type B vent or Flexible Chimney Liner.
MANTEL – Shelf over and above the fireplace opening. Stone, brick or wood may be used.
MODULATING CONTROL – The ability to control the fuel input to the gas fire automatically – similar to the cruise control on an automobile. Available with Valor’s standard ValorStat Control System.
NATURAL GAS – Clean-burning fossil fuel available in vast quantities throughout North America and delivered to homes via an extensive pipeline network. Colorless, highly flammable gas found in porous geologic formations beneath the earth’s surface. Consists mainly of methane.
PILOT – A small flame used to ignite the gas at the main burner.
RADIANT HEAT – Heat that moves out in waves from a central point and heats objects in its path. The invisible and harmless radiation emitted by a hot object. This radiation is converted into heat when it is absorbed.
THERMOSTAT – An automatic device for regulating the temperature in a building by controlling the heating or cooling source. Acts strictly as an on/off switch – does not modulate the heating or cooling source.
VALORSTAT – A wireless handheld remote control system which allows the user complete control of the fire from anywhere in the room. Standard equipment on most Valor models – controls the comfort, convenience and aesthetics you want from your Valor gas fireplace. See Modulating Control.
ZERO CLEARANCE FIREPLACE – A factory-built metal fireplace with multi-layer construction providing enough insulation and/or air cooling so that the base, back, and in some cases sides, can safely be placed in direct contact (zero clearance) with combustible floors and walls.