Frequently Asked Questions
When trying to decide what type of gas fire is right for you, ask yourself
these 2 questions:
Following are some of the most common questions and answers.
If you still have any concerns please feel free to contact us
anytime at 1-800-749-4049.
- Do we need a gas fireplace as a primary source of heat
for our house, or do we want a gas fire that will be aesthetically
pleasing? In this age of central heating, the fireplace
serves as more of a focal point and symbol of family warmth
than a primary heat source. If you are looking for a supplemental
heat provider then you will be better served by a vented
gas fireplace heater or a sealed combustion design. Our
products are designed more for looks than for heat. They
do provide a radiant heat, similar to vented gas logs, but
their primary purpose is to be beautiful.
- Is the fire's appearance pleasing, both when lit and when
not in use? This is where our products are unmatched. When
in use, you have a fantastic yellow flame radiating heat
out into your room from a glowing bed of coals. When not
in use, you retain the beauty and charm of the firegrate
which continues to add character and style to your home.
Will a Homefires decorative gas coal fire work in my
Our gas units are only to be installed in a fully vented fireplace or a pre-fabricated firebox with a completely functional vertically vented flue. Our
gas units will not work in a direct vent or vent-less fireplace.
However, we do have other options for customers who do not
have venting. If you have a standard traditional fireplace that you can burn a wood fire in then most likely your fireplace can be adapted to accept a decorative gas fire.
What size fireplace do I need?
One of the many benefits of our fires is that they come in a
variety of styles and sizes. Unlike American gas logs that are
generally 18", 24" or 36", our units come in 16 different sizes.
They require a minimum height of 20" and a minimum depth of
12". For aesthetic purposes we suggest you allow several inches
on each side of the grate to help keep everything in proportion.
Simply measure your fireplace opening, compare it with the firegrate
dimensions on our products page, then pick the style that best
suits your needs. If you would like help finding a proportional
choice please call a Homefires representative and we will be
happy to assist you. See
What size flue do I need ?
Our fires require a chimney flue of at least 8" in diameter to clear its fumes. The flue size and height must be related to the size of the fireplace opening for any fire to draw and burn properly. The proper ratio is crucial or many different problems could result. As a general rule, if a flue's cross-sectional area (flue width X flue depth for rectangular flues) is less than 1/10th the fireplace opening's area (width X height), that fireplace may spill. Or if the fireplace opening's height is more than 2/3 its width, the fireplace may spill. If you have any doubts or concerns regarding the integrity of your flue or if you have ever had a problem with sooting, then to avoid a potentially dangerous situation, Homefires recommends contacting a local chimney professional before installing any gas appliance.
Why do these units only work in a vented fireplace?
Simply put, a flue is necessary to remove all of the byproducts of combustion. When gas combustion occurs, several things are produced including: carbon dioxide, water vapor, and even small amounts of carbon monoxide. This is a fact for both vented and non-vented gas fires. In order to have a successful gas fire you must have adequate air flow for combustion and a means to remove fumes and moisture. In our opinion, the only option to meet these guidelines is the chimney. These harmful by-products are either going up and out of your house through the chimney as is the case with vented products, or they are being recycled back into your living room with an unvented appliance. There is a roaring debate over the safety of vent free fireplaces and many states still prohibit their use. If you are considering a vent-free unit please search the web for unvented vs. vented gas logs to see what all the fuss is about.
Will these models work with a remote or wall-switch?
Yes. Flame and height can now be adjusted with the push of a
button. Our natural gas burners now have the option of being
controlled with either a handheld remote control or a wall-switch
control. These burners do not depend on external wiring/electricity
and operate with common household batteries.
For more information you can print out the remote control owners
manual from our downloads page.
Will these units work with LPG / Propane gas?
These units are currently approved and listed in the United
States for use with natural gas only. We do have propane burners
available and endeavor to keep them in stock, however, since
they are not listed with a US agency getting them installed
may be difficult. This does not mean they are not perfectly
safe in a properly vented fireplace, only that they will not
come with CSA/AGA certification. They
have not been added to our listing at this time because of the
low percentage of our customers that use this type of gas and
the excessive cost of the certification process. All propane
burners come equipped with an automatic pilot and flame failure
valve. For more information you can print out the propane owners
manual from our downloads page.
What are the firegrates made of?
The grates are made of solid brass, cast iron, polished iron, or polished steel. The parts are all hand polished before being assembled into the finished firegrate. The burner trays are made of heavy gauge steel. All of our firegrates are shipped pre-assembled.
Will my decorative grate look shiny and new forever?
Due to the nature of the product, some changes in the appearance
of your grate will develop over time. Every fire burns differently
so it is impossible to say exactly how your firegrate will look
in ten years. We believe that our fires only get better with
age and look more realistic the more they are used. The impingement
of the flames at about 600°C on the black surface of the
back plates may eventually take the black coloring off and leave
the natural gray color of the iron or steel. This is perfectly
normal and cannot be prevented. The front steel bars, again
after flame impingement, may discolor over time due to the intense
heat. If you prefer to keep the shiny and new look you may paint
the back plate with black stove paint or polish the bars with
steel polish every year or so. In Europe, no one ever polishes
their grate. In fact, people regularly want to buy used or display
grates that look more like antiques. The brass does have a heat
resistant lacquer on it and should not be cleaned with any type
of cleaning agent. There really is no maintenance in keeping
up your firegrate, they will last for hundreds of years without
Will this unit heat up a room?
Our fires are tested and inspected as decorative appliances, and
are not designed as a primary heat source. Each unit takes 41,000
BTU per hour, which depends on the type of burner being
these decorative fires are mainly designed for aesthetic purposes,
they should offer enough radiant heat to take the chill off
most average size rooms.
Can the amount of heat be controlled by reducing the
No, this is not recommended and is very dangerous. The damper must be completely open when the fire is on.
Is the flame height adjustable?
Yes. The flames are adjustable with all burner trays we provide. The units are most beautiful and produce the most heat when they are on the highest setting. Since the coals are all loose pieces they can be rearranged to provide different flame patterns.
What is the difference between a manual and remote burner?
A manual burner is a simple tray and tube that distributes
the gas; this type of burner must be lit with a match or
other open flame. A remote burner has a standing pilot
flame, and the main flames are controlled via handheld
remote or wall switch.
Safety pilots are optional for Natural gas and required for
Liquid Propane. Some cities or municipalities may require a
safety pilot regardless of the type of gas you are burning.
Homefires is not responsible for knowing the specifics of your
local building and safety codes. All burners are test-fired
before shipment to insure that they are working properly.
Is a carbon monoxide detector required?
CO alarms are only required for vent-free fireplaces; however,
the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that
a CO detector be installed in all homes that use fossil-burning
appliances or have an attached garage.
How long does it take to receive my new Gas Coal Fire?
Usually only 3-5 days. We do our best to keep everything in stock at all times and can usually ship your unit out the next business day. If for some reason we cannot fill your order immediately we receive at least one shipment per month from England.
How are they shipped?
Most of the smaller grates are shipped via UPS or Fed Ex, while the larger units must go by common carrier. All of the carriers we use will deliver to your door and all freight is prepaid and insured.
Are they easy to install?
Yes. These units simply sit inside of your firebox and are connected to the gas line.
If you do not have gas in your fireplace already, then you will need to contact a heating contractor or plumber
about having the line run to your fireplace. This same person can also install your unit for you.
A ½" iron pipe should be brought to your fireplace with a nominal inlet gas pressure of 7 inches w.c.
(this is standard for any gas log set). The connection to the burner tray is made with either 3/8"
copper tubing or flex-pipe. If you are installing a gas coal fire in a pre-fab firebox make sure
that the pre-fab model you are using has a punch-out for the gas line and is rated for vertically vented gas logs or wood-burning.
You can print out installation instructions for any of our fires from our downloads page.
Who can install my new fireplace?
Any certified technician/plumber/heating contractor capable
of installing a gas log set can install one of our units. Although
they are manufactured in England we have converted everything
to American specs and our burners use the exact same type of
fittings a normal gas log set would use. If any questions arise
during installation your technician can call 1-800-749-4049
for technical support.
What comes with my purchase?
Every firegrate is equipped with:
Does Homefires stand behind its products?
- One (1) bag of 2" X 2" ceramic coal chunks. (Each bag
contains 45-50 pieces which is more than enough to overfill
all of our grates)
- One (1) gas burner tray (either manual or automatic)
- One (1) bag of silica sand for use in the burner tray (vermiculite supplied with Propane burners)
- Two (2) different sets of embers for use in the burner to provide additional effect
- All necessary fittings needed for installation (for manual installations the installer will provide the floor key valve)
- A damper clamp (to lock open the chimney damper if it is not removed)
- Clips to fasten the burner securely in place inside the
firegrate (if needed)
- Owners manual and installation instructions
Yes - Guarantee / Warranty
These logs and coals are guaranteed against breakage under normal
use for their replacement for a period of two years from the
date of invoice. All other components are guaranteed against
defects in material and workmanship for a period of one year
from the date of invoice. This excludes variations in color
which occur naturally from heat impingement. Claims under this
warranty should be accompanied by the original purchase invoice.
This warranty does not apply in the case of improper installation,
neglect, accident, misuse or as a result of modifications of
the original product. All costs for removal and reinstallation
are the expressed responsibility of the purchaser. Failure to
follow all instructions in the Owner's Manual will also void
this warranty. If this item fails due to defect in material
or craftsmanship, we will replace or repair, at our option,
free of charge. Real Flame, Dowding Metalcraft, and AQR. Incorporated will not
be liable for incidental or consequential damages.
What firebox should I use with your firegrates?
For new construction we frequently refer people to install an
unit. Please call us to determine which firebox would look and work
best with the firegrate you prefer.