Serving the Houston Metro Area Since 1979

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Frequently Asked Questions

Besides having one of Houston's largest inventory of fireplaces, Perfection Supply has a team of knowledgeable experts who are happy to answer any fireplace questions you may have! Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions from our customers. Use the form on the right to ask additional or more specific questions and one of our experts will contact you shortly.

We are also pleased to offer you additional products besides Fireplaces! Please visit our homepage or visit "ALL PRODUCTS" in the navigation above.

Gas Fireplaces click on a question to view the answer

What is a gas direct vent fireplace?
How often should I have my gas fireplace serviced?
What do I do if my remote control won't light my fireplace?
Can I take the fixed glass panel off my gas fireplace and burn it that way?
Can I clean the glass panel on my fireplace?
Can I operate my fireplace without the mesh screen in place?
My mantel gets very hot while my gas fireplace is burning. Is this normal?
Can I replace the brass trim on my direct-vent fireplace with trim of a different color?

Woodburning Fireplaces

How do I open my fireplace damper?
There is another control lever in my fireplace besides my damper. What is this?
What are some tips for burning real wood in my fireplace?
My real wood fire will not stay lit. What should I do?

Gas Logs and Glass Doors

How do I know which size gas logs will fit in my fireplace?
What is the difference in vented and unvented gas logs?
I want glass doors for my fireplace. What do I need to know?
Can I burn my gas logs with my glass doors closed?
I have gas logs installed in my fireplace, why can't I close my damper?

FAQ for Gas Fireplaces

What is a gas direct vent fireplace?

While a traditional fireplace provides an open burning chamber that vents through a chimney, a direct-vent fireplace does not require a chimney, and it can vent horizontally out a sidewall or vertically through the roof. It can vent either way because it has a completely enclosed burning chamber that is highly efficient, drawing in air for combustion from the outside, while expelling gasses to the outside as well. All direct-vent fireplaces are equipped with a tempered or ceramic glass panel, which allows radiant heat to pass into the room. The direct-vent fireplace heats a room without robbing it of oxygen or of the heated air it is providing, while also keeping it free of fumes and combustible materials, such as embers or ash. Click here to see a diagram of the operation of a direct-vent fireplace.

How often should I have my gas fireplace serviced?

Fireplace manufacturers recommend that all gas fireplaces receive an annual service tune-up. If it has been a year or more since your last service, a tune-up is recommended for safety purposes and proper operation of the fireplace. To request tune-up service for your gas fireplace, call Perfection at 713-937-4575, or email your request by clicking here: Request a Fireplace Tune-Up.

What do I do if my remote control won't light my fireplace?

First, determine if it is a problem with the handheld remote, the remote receiver or with the fireplace itself. To do this, locate the remote receiver underneath the fireplace. If you cannot locate it, you can refer to your fireplace operation manual, or call Perfection.

If you fireplace has a battery-operated receiver for the handheld remote, make sure the batteries have been replaced with fresh ones. If you have a plug-in receiver for the handheld remote, make sure the receiver is plugged in, and that the receptacle is receiving power.

Once you have determined that the remote receiver is in working condition, turn it to the manual mode, and try to turn on the fireplace using the manual on/off switch. If your fireplace turns on this way, your handheld remote may need batteries, or may need to be reprogrammed. Click here for instructions on how to Reprogram Your Remote.

If your fireplace does not come on after trying all of the above, check the following:

Make sure you gas supply is turned on – check both the wall valve (key type or red-handled type), as well as the shutoff valve on the flex line that is attached to the control valve under the fireplace.

If your fireplace is equipped with a standing pilot, make sure the pilot is lit. If the pilot is not lit, follow the instructions on the link here: How to Light Your Pilot Light.

If all points above are in working order and the fireplace still will not light, please contact our customer service department to schedule a service call at 713-937-4575, or Email Us.

Can I take the fixed glass panel off my gas fireplace and burn it that way?

NO! All gas fireplaces that come equipped with a fixed glass panel from the factory are designed for the glass to stay in place during fireplace operation. The glass is an integral part of how the fireplace drafts. The glass also ensures that the combustion gases go to the outside of the house and are not redirected into the living space of the home.

Can I clean the glass panel on my fireplace?

You can clean your fireplace glass panel, as needed. It is recommended that you use only non-ammonia based glass cleaners on the fireplace glass. Your fireplace should never be turned on when removing the glass panel.

Most glass panels can be removed easily. First, remove the safety mesh screen, which should come of easily, similar to a window screen. Then, remove the glass panel, which will likely be attached with glass clips. You should not need any tools to remove the glass. Once you have cleaned the glass, replace it, and the safety mesh screen, before operating your fireplace again. Due to the high temperatures that the fireplace produces, it is recommended that the mesh screen be in place at all times when operating your fireplace.

If you are unsure how to remove the glass, or have questions about cleaning it, refer to your owner's manual, or call Perfection at 713-937-4575.

Can I operate my fireplace without the mesh screen in place?

For safety reasons, Perfection highly recommends that the mesh screen always be in place when burning your gas fireplace. While in operation, the glass panel of the fireplace gets extremely hot. The mesh screen helps to prevent burns if the fireplace is touched. Also, in the rare case that the fireplace glass breaks, the safety mesh screen will contain the glass inside the fireplace.

My mantel gets very hot while my gas fireplace is burning. Is this normal?

It is normal for the fireplace mantel or decorative surround to get very hot to the touch when burning a gas fireplace. If the mantel is installed with the proper clearance from the fireplace, the heat produced from the fireplace should not damage the mantel. Fireplace manufacturers recommend that highly flammable materials, such as draperies or furniture, should not be placed near the gas fireplace.

If you are concerned about your mantel temperature while burning your fireplace, you may have the option to add a fan kit. A fan kit is installed under the fireplace and blows the hot air, produced by the fireplace, out into the room. Not only does a fan kit reduce the temperature of the mantel or decorative surround, it also helps to distribute the heat throughout the room.

If you would like more information on the safety of your fireplace or fan kit options, contact us at 713-937-4575, or Email Us.

Can I replace the brass trim on my direct-vent fireplace with trim of a different color?

Depending on the age of the unit, some manufacturers offer replacement trim fronts and hoods. For some older units, there are no replacement parts available. Contact our sales department with your fireplace model number and serial number, and we can advise you of your options. If you cannot find the model number or serial number of your fireplace, call us at 713-937-4575, or Email Us, and we will help you determine what kind of fireplace you have.

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FAQ for Woodburning Fireplaces

How do I open my fireplace damper?

In order to safely operate your woodburning fireplace, the flue damper must be fully open. If the damper is not fully open, smoke and carbon monoxide from the fire will vent into your home. To open the damper, locate the lever at the top of the inside of your fireplace. Depending on your fireplace model, the lever will either shift from side to side or up and down to open your damper.

There is another control lever in my fireplace besides my damper. What is this?

The second handle you may find in your fireplace (usually located on the left inside panel) is a control lever for the outside air kit. When burning your fireplace, the outside air kit lever should always be in the open (or up) position. The outside air kit is designed to provide additional air for combustion.

What are some tips for burning real wood in my fireplace?

First, make sure your fireplace damper is fully open. If the damper is not fully open, smoke and carbon monoxide from the fire will vent into your home. Also, it is important that you not "over-fire" your fireplace. The first fires in your new woodburning fireplace should be small.

If your fireplace has a gas starter, preheat the flue before arranging the logs on the grate. To do this, light a long match or lighter and set it just above the holes in the gas starter. Next, turn on the gas valve (located on the wall next to your fireplace). The gas should ignite within a few seconds. If your match or lighter goes out before the gas ignites, turn off the gas, wait a few minutes, and start the procedure over. Once the gas ignites in the fireplace, let it burn for about 10 to 15 minutes to preheat your flue. After the flue is preheated, turn off your gas and arrange your logs on the fireplace grate – leaving sufficient space between them for combustion air to flow properly. Once your logs are arranged, relight your gas starter, as described above, to start your wood fire. Once the wood is lit and the fire is burning to your satisfaction, turn off the gas at the gas valve.

If you fireplace does not have a gas starter, arrange kindling (small diameter sticks) in a crisscross pattern on top of crumpled newspaper under the grate. Next, arrange split logs on the grate, leaving sufficient space between them for combustion air to flow properly. Using a match or a lighter, ignite the crumpled newspaper. Enjoy your fire.

While your fire is burning, always keep the wire-mesh screen closed. If your fireplace is equipped with glass doors, leave them fully open when starting your fire. After the wood fire is burning well, the doors may be closed. NOTE: When burning wood in fireplaces equipped with glass doors, the doors should be either fully opened or fully closed. If the doors are left partially open, gas and flame may be drawn out of the fireplace opening, creating a safety hazard.

My real wood fire will not stay lit. What should I do?

First, make sure the fireplace flue damper is fully open. If the damper is not fully open, smoke and carbon monoxide from the fire will vent into your home. To open the damper, locate the lever at the top of the inside of your fireplace. Depending on your fireplace model, the lever will either shift from side to side or up and down to open your damper.

If your wood fire does not stay lit after the gas is turned off, your wood may be too green to burn or may need to be split into smaller pieces. For best results, use oak, maple, hickory, or similar hardwoods. The wood should be dry and aged nine months to a year before use.

If it appears that the wood you are burning is not the problem, make sure all of the air-handling systems (heating, air conditioning, fans, etc.) in your home are turned off when burning your fire. Also, some woodburning fireplaces have a lever to open or close the outside air vent to the fireplace. If your fireplace has this lever (usually located on the left inside panel) make sure the outside air vent is in the open (or up) position. The outside air kit is designed to provide additional air for combustion.

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FAQs for Gas Logs and Glass Doors

How do I know which size gas logs will fit in my fireplace?

First, measure your fireplace, via the following link: How to Measure Your Fireplace for Gas Logs. Then call us at 713-937-4575 or Email Us and we will be glad to help you determine the proper-sized gas logs for your fireplace.

What is the difference in vented and unvented gas logs?

Vented gas logs are designed to be used in a vented, woodburning fireplace, whether prefabricated metal or full masonry, with the damper in the full open position. When using vented gas logs, 100% of the exhaust from the fire is directed up the flue system and out of the house.

Unvented gas logs are designed to be used in a full masonry fireplace with the damper partially open or fully shut, or in a rated unvented, prefabricated fireplace. Unvented gas logs are built to burn clean because, in most cases, 100% of the exhaust from the fire goes into the living area of your home. All unvented gas logs come equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor for safety. Please note, due to city code, unvented gas logs are not permitted to be installed in the City of Houston.

I want glass doors for my fireplace. What do I need to know?

The first thing we need to know is if your fireplace is a prefabricated metal fireplace or a full brick masonry fireplace.

If your fireplace is a prefabricated metal type, we will need the manufacturer name and model number. You can find the model number by looking at your operation manual, or by looking inside the fireplace (usually on the metal front at the top of the unit). If your fireplace was installed by Perfection, we can look up the model number via your home address. Once we have the information on your fireplace, we can tell you what glass door options are available for your fireplace. PLEASE NOTE: The use of any glass door that is not specifically manufactured for your prefabricated fireplace can be a safety hazard and will void the warranty on your fireplace.

If your fireplace is a masonry type, we regret that we do not carry glass doors for that type of fireplace.

Can I burn my gas logs with my glass doors closed?

No. In order for the fire exhaust to draw properly out of your fireplace flue, glass doors should always be fully open when burning gas logs.

I have gas logs installed in my fireplace, why can't I close my damper?

Per manufacturer specifications, a damper clip is required on all fireplaces that have been equipped with gas logs. The damper clip locks the damper in the open position at all times. This is done as a safety precaution, to prevent gases produced by your fire from entering your home. With gas logs, there is no smoke produced, and therefore no indicator that the damper is closed, which causes a potentially hazardous situation.

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Click here for All About Gas Logs (PDF File)
 
Click here for How to Measure Gas Logs (PDF File)
 
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