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How to Add a Zero-Clearance Fireplace

Flex Firebox - Single Sided with Decorative Sides (Shown in 158, Two Sides) by EcoSmart Fire

How to Add a Zero-Clearance Fireplace

If a traditional fireplace is out of reach because of their high installation costs, or not allowed for
regulatory reasons, we’ll show you how you can still warm up your look with a fireplace designed for your space.

Nothing adds cozy, welcoming warmth like a fireplace. But whether you’re remodeling your home or having a new one built, installing a traditional fireplace may not be an option for you because of various building constraints and local regulations. And even if it is an option, it may require a long list of contractors to build it to code. The good news is, we have a solution: You can incorporate a zero-clearance fireplace into your home, like the ones from EcoSmart Fire. Let’s start by taking a look at some of the differences between traditional and zero-clearance fireplaces.

Traditional vs. Zero-Clearance Fireplaces

Traditional fireplaces, including those that burn wood or gas, produce toxic emissions, smoke, soot and ash. As a result, they require a way to exhaust those gases and particles to the outside. A conventional wood-burning fireplace requires a flue or chimney which can allow much of the heat from the fire to escape through the chimney when you are using it; when you are not, it can allow cold outside air to enter.

Gas fireplaces, like wood fireplaces, also require venting to the outside of the house. Venting requirements can impact where you can put the fireplace in your home, and the venting runs can be costly. Penetration of interior and exterior walls is required when installing the vent pipe for both gas and wood fireplaces, and both require a bulky termination cap on the roof or side of the house.

On the other hand, zero-clearance fireplaces like EcoSmart’s are clean burning and run on renewable bioethanol fuel—you won't need a gas line, electricity, venting, a flue or a chimney. There is no hole in the roof or side of your house and no termination cap sticking out. All the fuel is housed within a self-contained burner, so there’s no need to run pipes or cables through your walls. They work great indoors and outdoors, and all 150+ EcoSmart models have the same easy installation instructions and clearance requirements.

Which Zero-Clearance Fireplace is Right for You?

It’s easier than you might think to choose the right zero-clearance fireplace for your home or project. Ecosmart’s Flex Series makes it simple to select the best model for your application in three simple steps:

Select a Fireplace Style

Based on your location, indoors or out, room type, and the area within the room where you’ll be installing it, you can choose from: single sided, peninsula, left corner, double sided, right corner or bay. Each one has it’s own practical and stylistic benefits. For example, you might want to choose a double-sided fireplace so that two rooms, separated by a wall, can get the benefit from one fireplace.

Select Opening Size

How big do you want the viewing area of the fireplace to be? The Flex Series offers everything between 18” and 158” opening sizes. So for example, if your wall length is around 98”, you could reasonably accommodate a fireplace with a 50”, 68” or 86”opening.

Select Your Configuration

This is where you get to choose if you want a flame only, or decorative boxes on one or both sides of your fireplace. Having just the flame is great for an ultra-clean, minimalist look. However, the boxes give you that extra space to store or display items.

Simple Installation

One of the many great things about EcoSmart’s Flex fireplaces is that they’re self-contained, providing unlimited installation freedom and Flexibility for builders, architects, interior designers, landscapers and homeowners and with no electrical, plumbing or venting the units just work and work, even during power outages. In fact, Flex Series fireplaces require virtually no assembly. They’re designed to be placed into the desired location, secured into position and operated almost immediately. Without the need for a flue or pipe connection, they’re extremely Flexible and can be incorporated at any stage of a renovation or new build project. A contractor can install a Flex Series fireplace in under an hour by creating the frame opening, inserting the fireplace into the opening and securing the fireplace to the framing with screws.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bioethanol fuel?

Bioethanol - or simply 'ethanol' is a renewable liquid fuel source produced by the fermentation of plant by-products. Bioethanol fuel is clean burning, meaning it does not produce any smoke, soot, or ash, and is essentially odorless.

Will my Flex Series fireplace heat the room?

Yes, the heat stays in the room rather than escaping up a flue. Increased heat retention means increased fuel efficiency and a better chance of staying warm. Note that while providing warmth, Flex Series fireplaces are not designed to be used as a room’s primary heat source.

How do I clean my Flex Series burner?

Before starting, make sure the burner is off, empty of ethanol, and at room temperature. Spray a multi-purpose cleaner on the surface of the burner and wipe with a cloth, making sure to wipe in the direction of the grain. If material has fallen into the burner use a vacuum cleaner to remove debris through the burner opening.

Now that you know about the many great benefits of zero-clearance fireplaces, you’re ready to start looking for the one that’s just right for your needs.