FAQs for Hearth Products

Q: What is the difference between a fireplace insert and a zero clearance fireplace?

A: An fireplace insert installs into an existing fireplace, masonry or factory built, and uses the existing chimney, though a flue liner or other modification may be necessary.  A zero clearance fireplace is a factory built fireplace that is constructed to be placed, safely, with close clearances to combustible materials.  Zero clearance fireplaces are versatile and can be easily installed in almost any room.


Q: What is zone heating?

A: Zone heating is putting heat where you need it when you need it and allows you to turn the thermostat down on your central heating system which can save you money on your energy bill.  Zone heating is a great solution for warming a cold room or a new room addition.


Q: How often should I have my chimney swept?

A: The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 states, “Chimneys, fireplaces and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances.  Cleaning, maintenance and repairs shall be done if necessary.”


Q: How long does it take to properly season wood?

A:  To properly season wood, split the logs as soon as possible and stack them in a dry spot for 6-18 months.  Pile the wood loosely, allowing air to circulate through the split logs.  Hardwoods take longer to dry than softwoods and humidity and temperature levels also impact drying time.


Q: What does NFI (National Fireplace Institute) Certification mean?

A:  NFI Certification identifies these individuals who have passed an exam based on the knowledge needed to properly plan and install products and their venting systems.  Certification is regarded as an excellent indication of professional training.


Q:  How many NFI Certifications are there?

A:  Three categories are available for certification.  NFI Gas, NFI Wood and NFI Pellet.  NFI also recognizes individuals who have successfully gained all three certifications as Master Hearth Professionals.  These individuals have reached the highest level of certification in the hearth industry.