fireplace doors at aspen fireplace in columbus ohio

Why Fireplace Doors are better than Screens

When it comes to fireplace accessories, there are none more important than fireplace doors or screens. They are both important aspects of maintaining a safe and healthy fireplace, but they don’t serve the exact same purpose. Oftentimes, people are confused about the differences between fireplace doors and a fireplace screen. This article will help you understand the difference between fireplace doors and fireplace screens, and also explain why fireplace doors are a better investment in most cases.


The Difference between Doors and Screens

A fireplace screen is a piece of mesh that serves as a barrier between the fireplace and the room. The frame is usually made of a metal (iron and bronze are common) while the mesh panel is made of woven wire or perforated metal.


Fireplace Screen

Fireplace Screen

StollFireplace-26 cabinet doors

Fireplace Doors

Fireplace doors are made with thick glass and much sturdier. Sometimes they are called glass fireplace doors in order to differentiate them from screens and prevent confusion. Similar to screens, doors serve as barriers for the fireplace, but the glass is much more solid than mesh.


The Benefits of Fireplace Screens and Doors

Fireplace screens and doors both serve a very important function: keeping your home and family safe from the heat of a fireplace. A fireplace can produce a lot of heat and can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Both screens and doors provide an extra layer of protection from either the hot glass of a gas fireplace or the burning logs of a wood-burning fireplace. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, a fireplace screen will also block burning embers from getting in your room and potentially starting a fire.

Fireplace screens are also great decorative pieces. They can be centerpieces of a room especially in traditional style homes. If you have fire logs and accessories around your fireplace, a fireplace screen is a great way to create space for those items and define the area of the fireplace. Subtle fireplace screens are also available that add a nice touch to your fireplace.


Why Fireplace Doors are Better

Doors have all the same safety benefits as fireplace screens. They add an extra layer of protection for gas fireplaces and they create a barrier between the flames and your room for wood-burning fireplaces. They also add to the décor of the fireplace. The main advantage of fireplace doors, though, is that they have energy efficiency benefits.

When your fire is out or dwindling, closing the doors on your fireplace will prevent the warm air from escaping out the chimney. By keeping the heat in the room longer, your fireplace becomes a more efficient source of heat. In addition, fireplace doors prevent cool air from escaping out of your fireplace during the summer.


Traditional fireplaces are beautiful elements of any home that has one, but they can be frustratingly inefficient at supplying heat. Fireplace doors are the easiest way to improve the efficiency of a traditional fireplace and they also have added safety and decorative benefits. While screens are nice additions to a fireplace, the better long-term investment is in fireplace doors.


To find our more on fireplace doors and screens, check out the articles below.

avalon fireplace columbus ohio aspen fireplace zone heating example

Fireplaces Maximize the Comfort of Your Home and Wallet with Zone Heating

Most homeowners today would agree that a roaring fireplace on a chilly fall night is a nice thought. Other homeowners would say it’s a necessity. Fireplaces have come a long way from tromping out into the woods, pulling cut logs from the pile stashed under tarps covered in feet of snow. You have the many options of typical fireplaces set as a firebox, freestanding stoves, fireplace inserts, manufactured log sets, etc. But why the necessity?


While homeowners can mostly agree that a fireplace is nice, nearly all would nod their heads in saying that heating a house can be expensive, especially for us northerners. So how can we reduce the bills while staying warm? Turns out, you can have you cake and eat it too through a method called zone heating. Zone heating is putting heat where you need it, when you need it, allowing you to turn down the thermostat on your central heating system. Research states that we spend more than 80% of our time in 20% of the home. According to the US Department of Energy, by inserting a fireplace, stove, or logset insert, you are able to turn down the thermostat and decrease your bill by anywhere from 20-40%. Because seldom-used rooms don’t require constant heating, zone heating allows you to save money by running more concentrated amounts of heat when necessary.


In addition to the billing efficiency, zone heating can offer greater benefits like increasing the value of your home. The National Association of Realtors estimate that adding one fireplace can increase the value by almost 12%. And that’s per fireplace. They also state that adding a fireplace is among the top three things that interest homebuyers. If a fireplace is something that is not yet installed in your space, purchasing and placing the system won’t break your bank. Many factory-built systems use a safe and lightweight chimney (sometimes no chimney at all) and do not require additional structural support; making the installation easy and less expensive.


Zone heating is an option that should be thought through carefully and involve a professional installer who can advise appropriately. Here at Aspen Fireplace, we would be more than happy to help inspect and provide the best and most reliable products for your next home renovation. Feel free to contact us for more information on how you can improve the quality and function of your home space.

5 Fun Facts About Electric Fireplaces (Infographic)

5 Fun Facts About Electric Fireplaces aspen fireplace infographic columbus ohio




Electric fireplaces offer great versatility and energy efficiency compared to gas or wood fireplaces. The main downfall of an electric fireplace is that they don’t offer that authentic fireplace feel of a wood-burning, or even a gas, fireplace. However, if you’re not concerned with authenticity, an electric fireplace is a great option for you. Here are some interesting facts about the benefits of electric fireplaces.

1. An electric fireplace can heat a room that’s up to 500 square feet. Electric fireplaces do not heat as well as a gas fireplace, but they are great for making small rooms or areas more comfortable.

2. Electric fireplaces are 100% efficient. No energy goes to waste when used by an electric fireplace. They use about the same amount of energy as a coffee maker.

3. Electric fireplaces do not release any pollutants when used. Unlike gas or wood fireplaces, electric fireplaces don’t emit vapors as part of the burning process. They are clean and energy efficient.

4. Most electric fireplaces only need a 120 volt outlet to operate. Electric fireplaces are extremely versatile. Once you get it set up initially set up, you can move it around your house when your heating needs change.

5. Electric fireplaces only cost about $0.09 per hour to run. Electric fireplaces are extremely energy efficient. You will most likely only spend about $25 per year on its operational costs.

Benefits of Fireplace Doors

In the dead of winter, is there anything cozier than a warm, crackling fire? We don’t think so, but we’re a little biased! While fires are a great way to warm a chilly house and provide a beautiful backdrop in the fireplace, there are some dangers. The most common danger is embers that come outside of the hearth and ignite on nearby carpet, rugs or anything else that is easily flammable. One simple solution, and a design addition to the fireplace, is to install fireplace doors for safety, among many other benefits. Here are some benefits of adding glass doors to your fireplace:



As we stated before, adding doors to the fireplace adds to the safety of a live burning fire. It catches embers or sparks that may exit the fireplace and keeps the fire more contained. If you’re using real logs, as the fire progresses the logs are burned down and tend to shift throughout the burning process. The doors will also keep the logs in place and greater assurance that a log will not leave the area in which it is burning. Glass doors also offer a protective barrier for pets and children while the fire is burning.


Energy Efficiency


Glass doors provide a great seal that does not let cold or hot air enter into the home through the chimney. Even if the damper is closed, the draft from the outside still comes in through the fireplace, which can make utility bills jump each month. Glass doors provide the insulation needed to ensure you are not paying any more than necessary for the HVAC bill each month.


Reduces Smoke

Whether a fire is burning or not, often times after a rainy or windy day, a draft of smoke will come through the chimney and penetrate to the surrounding area. Soot particles can also escape even after the fire has been extinguished, which can stain carpet, furniture and window treatments in close proximity to the fireplace.


Aesthetic Appeal

The fire is beautiful while it’s burning, but after, it leaves a mess of ashes and burnt logs. The glass fireplace doors hide the imperfections and provide a nice aesthetic addition to any room.

To see a selection of our fireplace doors, visit our showroom or give us a call to speak to a professional about a variety of fireplace options for your home.

The Difference Between Vented and Ventless Gas Logs

If you decide to install a gas fireplace, one of the first questions you’ll be asked is what kind of gas logs are you interested in: vented or ventless? Most people aren’t prepared for this question. This blog will break down the differences between vented and ventless gas logs so that you are prepared to make a choice.


Vented gas logs look more realistic. The first major difference is that vented gas logs look more like a real flame than ventless gas logs. Vented gas logs dance around the logs and the flame is much taller. The flame is also more realistic in color than ventless logs.


rugged oak vented gas logs



Ventless gas logs are more efficient. Vented gas logs are more realistic, but ventless are the way to go if you’re looking for efficiency. Ventless logs disperse almost all of the heat into the room and use slightly less energy than vented logs.


shadowdance ventless gas logs


Burn vented gas logs with the damper open. Vented gas logs produce exhaust that goes up the chimney. One nice thing about ventless logs is that they are so efficient that they can be used with the damper closed.


Ventless gas logs need some ventilation. You can burn ventless logs with the damper closed, but that means the water vapor and carbon dioxide (CO2) that are byproducts can get into your home. You should make sure a room with ventless gas logs is properly ventilated to prevent mold or mildew caused by excess moisture. Some people are also irritated by the smell of CO2 which makes ventilation even more important.


Vented logs are great if you want a realistic looking fireplace, and ventless are better if your main concern is energy efficiency. We have both at Aspen Fireplace and would be happy to assist in the decision-making process. Visit our showroom to check out our selection and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Installing a Gas Insert Fireplace

A gas insert fireplace is a great way to safely and efficiently supplement the heating in your home while capturing the charm of a traditional fireplace. A gas insert fireplace is also a great addition to your home’s décor. If you decide to upgrade your wood-burning fireplace to an energy efficient gas insert, you have the option of installing it yourself. A gas insert is difficult to install by yourself, but if you have a strong DIY spirit it’s a good way to challenge your skills. If you’re not intimidated by the challenge, here’s what you should know.


It will take about 1-2 days to install a gas fireplace insert. Installing a gas insert is a significant time investment. There are a number of steps and some will take a while to complete depending on how handy you are. For some people, one step will be to run gas and electricity lines to the fireplace. This should only be done by a professional so be sure to include that time in your estimate before you can have the insert working properly.


You probably need to do some shopping. Once you have your gas insert picked out, there are some other items that you will need to install it. You will need high-temperature silicone sealant, fiberglass insulation, screws and nails, a drill, and a caulking gun.


You can save time by having a professional do it. The experts at Aspen Fireplace have installed a lot of fireplaces and we would be happy to help you install yours. If you want to make sure your fireplace gets installed correctly, contact us and we’ll make sure it gets done properly. You can also pick out a gas insert fireplace and gas logs at our showroom.


For a video on how to install a gas insert, check out this article from,,20832677,00.html. They provide some helpful instructions that should get you started.

How to Chimney Sweep: Weight Method

So far, we’ve talked about two similar chimney sweep methods: the Top Down method and the Bottom Up method. The Weight method is most similar to the Top Down method, but you will need some different materials. Instead of the flexible metal rods, you need rope and a weight (minimum of 20 lbs.). Like the Top Down method, the Weight method requires you to sweep your chimney from on top of your roof. As always, the most important thing is to be careful. If you are not comfortable on top of your roof, Aspen Fireplace provides professional chimney sweep service and can do it for you.


For the Weight chimney sweep method, you will first assemble the rope, pull rings, weight, and brush. Then, drop the weight and brush inside your chimney and raise and lower the brush so that it scrubs the inside of the chimney walls. Work your way down to the bottom.


One benefit of the Weight chimney sweep method is that you can close your fireplace doors to contain the mess. Before you get started just close your doors and then when you are done, open the doors and scoop out all the soot and debris. Make sure to dispose of the soot and creosote in accordance with your local laws.


The weight method is a popular type of chimney sweep because it usually cleans thoroughly and it’s easy to assemble the parts together. If you are not as much of a do-it-yourself person, don’t feel like you have to do a chimney sweep on your own. Aspen Fireplace will come out and perform a chimney sweep for you. We recommend you get a chimney sweep at least once every year, and even more if you use your fireplace often. To schedule your chimney sweep, contact us and we will respond quickly to find a time that works for you.

Taking Care of Wood Inserts: Ash Disposal

Wood inserts are great for those who have always felt attached to classic wood burning fireplaces, but want a heating source that is more energy efficient. Energy efficiency is one of the main benefits of wood inserts while still allowing you to enjoy the comfort of a traditional wood burning fireplace. To keep wood inserts healthy, there are some ways to take care of it that you should know about. One of these fireplace care concerns is ash disposal.

Fireplacex-Gallery-541 wood insert

If you use your wood insert regularly, ashes should be removed every few days. There are several ways that you can safely dispose of ash including using a pot of water and using sand. On some models of wood inserts there are ash drawers that allow you to easily remove ash. Be careful to only remove ash when the fire has died down, and even then you should expect there to be some hot embers.


Don’t let ash buildup in your wood insert. Especially don’t allow ash to build up to the loading door or around the start-up air housing located near the pilot. Make sure you don’t start a fire in your wood insert unless the ash plug and ash door are in place.


It’s a good idea to keep about 1-2 inches of ash at the bottom of your firebox to make it easier to start a fire the next time you use your wood burning insert. Fireplace ash is also a good source of fertilizer so disposing it by sprinkling along your lawn is a good idea.


Aspen Fireplace is here to help with any of your fireplace maintenance needs. To purchase a wood burning insert or to schedule maintenance for a wood insert fireplace, contact us and we’ll be happy to help yo0u any way we can.

Top Down Chimney Sweep Method

In our Chimney Sweep DIY Guide, we talked about how to clean your chimney using the Bottom Up method. Now we’re going to explain the other rod-based chimney sweep method, the Top Down chimney sweep method. A benefit of the Top Down method is that you can close your fireplace doors to manage the mess. For the Top Down chimney sweep method, you will be getting on top of the roof and cleaning the chimney starting from the top. Be very careful if proceeding with this method! Make sure your roof is steady and you can balance near the chimney safely.

CSIACertifiedChimneySweep_Rooftop top down

As with the Bottom Up method, the Top Down method requires some preparation. You will need to get the proper supplies and clothing including: a chimney brush, chimney brush extension pipes, a stiff wire brush, a ladder, a drop clothe or tarp, broom and dustpan, a mask and goggles, and old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.


First, remove the damper from the chimney flue to open the vent and use a small brush to clean the damper handle and then set it aside. Then, climb up your ladder onto your roof with your supplies (having a backpack to carry the supplies makes this easier).


Once you are up on the roof and ready to go, assemble one section of the pipe and brush and begin to scrape the sides of the chimney clean, moving from top to bottom. Continue to add pipes to lengthen the brush as you move down the flue until the whole thing is cleaned.


Finally, clean up the mess at the bottom of the chimney and use a small brush to clean any areas at the bottom of the flue you might have missed. Be sure to properly dispose of the trash, as there will be flammable creosote inside.


It is recommended that you get your chimney swept at least once every year, and even more if you use your fireplace regularly. The best way to insure your chimney sweep is performed properly is to contact a professional. If you are in need of a chimney sweep in Columbus Ohio, then Aspen Fireplace has you covered!

Ventless Gas Logs Basics

If you decide to buy a gas fireplace, the next decision you will need to make is what kind of gas logs to buy: vented or ventless gas logs. Ventless gas logs are great because they are cheap to run and a very efficient choice for fireplace heating. They are also easy to control, and are an eco-friendly way to heat a room in your home. If these aspects appeal to you and you decide on ventless gas logs, there are some important things you should keep in mind.



The first thing to note is that ventless gas logs are not meant to be your primary heat source. Ventless gas logs are a great secondary heat source, but you should not run them for more than 4-5 hours per day. They are perfect for making a room cozier, but not effective for heating an entire home.


Your ventless gas logs should be cleaned once per year. Before you light the pilot for the burning season, contact an expert, like Aspen Fireplace, to clean your gas logs to make sure they are safe to use. When you first use your ventles gas logs, make sure you burn them for 6 straight hours to remove the oils used during manufacturing. Keep the damper closed to make sure they get hot enough, but be sure to ventilate your room so that the smoke detector doesn’t go off.


The first time you burn your ventless gas logs you will probably smell something funny. This is normal and will go away after a while so as long as you ventilate well, you don’t need to worry about it.


Now you are ready to enjoy your ventless gas logs! If you need help deciding on a fireplace, gas logs, fireplace inserts, or need maintenance, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help. Aspen Fireplace is your home for all your fireplace needs.