What is a Zero Clearance Fireplace?

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If you have plans to add a new fireplace to your home this year, or plan to make changes to your existing fireplace, you may have come across the term “zero clearance fireplace.”

What is a zero clearance fireplace, anyway? Zero clearance fireplaces are built in a factory. By definition, the pre-manufactured unit or firebox can be placed up against combustible materials like wood, wall, or paneling. This construction eliminates the need for a buffer of any type, allowing the firebox to fit into a much smaller opening than traditional masonry fireplaces.

The outside of the box itself doesn’t get hot enough to burn other materials. Zero clearance fireplaces are also less expensive, and much more efficient than masonry-style fireplaces, and can be designed to fit into small areas without the addition of a costly foundation. These fireplaces can also easily be installed on second stories of a home or building.

Zero clearance fireplaces can be used in any home, and certain models have even been installed in mobile homes.
Because you don’t have to be concerned with masonry or chimney repairs, zero clearance fireplaces are much lower maintenance. Zero clearance fireplaces also cost less to install than a masonry fireplace.

In addition to costing less to install, they’re also more cost-efficient, and are able to achieve 70% efficiency in comparison to masonry fireplaces, that can sometimes have an efficiency rating as low as 10%.  Zero clearance fireplaces also allow you to choose whether you want to burn gas or wood.

So if you’re looking for options when it comes to adding another fireplace to your home, consider adding a zero clearance fireplace. It’s a cost-effective, flexible, and energy efficient choice for your home.

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2 thoughts on “What is a Zero Clearance Fireplace?

  1. Roscoe Thornbury says:

    Can this be placed in an existing masonry fire place? The stove pipe would run inside the old chimney.

    1. Serethiel Freeman says:

      Hello Roscoe. You will want to get a local professional to review your fireplace and make a recommendation. In most cases, you would get a fireplace insert in the pre-existing masonry fireplace. A zero clearance fireplace is made to stand on it’s own while an insert is made to be put in a framing system or, sometimes, a pre-existing masonry fireplace.

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