What Is zone heating?

Why is a fireplace more effective than using the furnace alone?When you are active and moving around the house your body doesn’t feel the need for heat as it does when relaxing in the family room. Zone Heating means you are heating the room that you use the most with an alternate heat source, like a Continental® Fireplace. Zone Heating is the obvious solution for those families concerned about rising fuel costs.

What is “maximum steady state efficiency”?

This figure represents in percentage, the absolute best amount of useable heat the fireplace can produce. Maximum steady state efficiency is determined by specific test conditions that include burning the fireplace until the fireplace and flue gas (exhaust) temperatures reach equilibrium, which means that there is no further change in temperatures. Temperatures, taken from a specific location, reflect the amount of heat being exhausted, which is then subtracted from the predetermined input of the burner. The remaining amount of heat represents the highest amount of heat that the fireplace can transfer into the surrounding area. Example, our natural gas stove, the GDS50 has a BTU input of 44,000 BTU. The maximum efficiency is 84%. 44,000 x 84% = 36,960 BTU output.

What are BTU’s?

BTU’s (British Thermal Units) are a standard of measurement which represent the heat value of any type of energy used to create heat. The amount of fuel that a fireplace will consume per hour is calculated with the BTU value of the fuel it uses to determine the input of that fireplace. BTU values of any type of energy are determined by the actual amount of heat required to increase the temperature of one pound of water, by one degree Fahrenheit.

What should I consider when choosing a Continental® fireplace to heat my home?

  • Direct Vented Fireplaces can be installed almost anywhere in your home as they don’t require a pre-existing chimney to vent them.
  • The size of the fireplace and the amount of space it will take up in your room.
  • On the main floor, the overall appearance may be more important than high output.
  • Basements are normally colder and therefore heat output and appearance are both important.
  • The size of the room. High heat output models will heat a small room quickly but may, as a result be turned off more often than a lower heat output unit.

Who services Continental® Fireplaces and how often should they be serviced?

Authorized dealers are identified by banners in their stores as well as listing in the telephone yellow pages. They are most often listed under “fireplaces” but are often listed under hearth shops or heating contractors. They are there to answer all of your questions, ensure that your fireplace is properly installed as well as providing a regular service program to protect your investment. The requirement of annual inspection and/or service is dictated in the National Fuel Codes for both Canada and the United States.

What types of fuel can be used in Continental® fireplaces?

There are two main types of fuels that can be used in Continental® Fireplaces.  They are solids: wood products, and gas: natural gas or propane.  Many of our gas fireplace models are approved to burn either natural gas or propane.  A conversion kit is available for most models to change from natural gas to propane and vice versa, however fireplaces that are designed to consume wood products cannot be converted to consume a gas such as natural gas or propane.

Will a Continental® Gas Fireplace operate during a power failure?

Yes! All of our gas fireplaces incorporate a self generating millivolt system that operates independently from any outside electrical current. Most of our Electronic Ignition units are equipped with battery back up systems.   Only accessories such as blowers and some hand held remotes rely on house current for power and our fireplaces do perform effectively, even without them.

Can I buy a Continental® Fireplace over the internet?

The internet is an outstanding means of gathering information and sourcing a local authorized Continental® dealer from whom the purchase should always be made. Long distance purchasing over the internet is NOT the avenue to obtain a fireplace – any apparent savings may soon be consumed in freight damage, installation charges and service calls which would no longer be covered under warranty.

As the manufacturer we recommend discussing your installation with your installer prior to purchasing the unit to ensure all the required components are ordered to install the right unit for your environment.    Please note installation manuals are available on the website for all units.

Can I buy a Continental® Fireplace direct from the factory?

Unfortunately, no. All of our fireplaces are sold through dealers who are trained to provide you the very best service available. This is the best method that we as a manufacturer can employ, to ensure that your fireplace is best suited to your needs and that it is installed and serviced properly.

What is a vent free gas fireplace?

Vent free fireplaces are fireplaces that do not require any type of vent system. Instead, they are designed to burn clean and the combustion by-products allowed to flow into the room the fireplace is located in. Stringent requirements ensure that these fireplaces not only burn cleanly, but that they are located in rooms of sufficient size to ensure an adequate supply of fresh air is always available for the combustion process. A highly sensitive sensor is employed to turn off the gas to the fireplace should the level of oxygen within the area begin to deplete. The most obvious benefit of this type of system is that no heat is lost through the venting system making the fireplace virtually 100% efficient. Currently, these type of gas fireplaces can only be installed in some areas of the United States. They are not approved for use in Canada.

What is a B Vent or Natural draft gas fireplace?

These type of fireplaces do not have a sealed combustion chamber and relies on the buoyancy of hot gases to vent effectively. They must be installed either with an existing chimney that meets the local building code standards or they can be installed using a B vent which is a vent pipe that must be installed to the same parameters of a masonry chimney but can be enclosed in combustible material. They draw air (oxygen) necessary for combustion from the area surrounding the fireplace. The combustion by-products or flue gases are hot and naturally rise up through the chimney which provides a route for these hot gases to escape from the house. As the fireplace continues to vent these flue gases up the chimney, the walls of the chimney heat up, which allows the flue gases to retain more of their temperature and buoyancy thereby increasing the speed with which they exit the chimney.

What is a direct vent fireplace?

Direct vent is a term used to describe a specifically designed fireplace that performs differently from the traditionally vented fireplace which use a chimney. This type of fireplace has a completely sealed combustion chamber which allows it to vent directly out a side wall of the home. One of the benefits of this type of design is that it must draw air necessary for combustion from the outside since the sealed combustion chamber does not allow air to be drawn in from around the fireplace. The co-axial vent system has the exhaust pipe within the air intake pipe which protects any surrounding combustible material from the high temperature of the flue gases as well as preheating the outside air prior to it being introduced to the combustion process.

What does zero clearance mean?

Zero clearance is a term used to describe a certain fireplace’s ability to be enclosed completely by combustible building material that can be positioned right up against the body of the fireplace. That is the back, top, bottom and sides. The front area is designed to radiate heat and therefore must be given adequate clearance to combustibles. In this case, objects such as furniture, should be kept a minimum of 48″ away.

Will the blower increase the heat output of our fireplaces?

Yes, aside from the fact that all our fireplaces radiate heat from their fronts, there is still heat that can be withdrawn from the parts of the fireplace body that are closed in behind the wall. While there is an air channel that allows air flow around the firebox, allowing it to absorb the heat via conduction, this channel is somewhat restrictive by its size. Using a blower increases the airflow through this channel, thereby maximizing the heat being conducted from the back and sides of the fireplace. It is recommended to operate the blower at the low setting to maximize the air flow.

What does Convection Heating mean?

This describes the transfer of heat by heating, then moving a substance. Simply put, the heat from our fireplaces is distributed via convection. This is when the air in front of the fireplace absorbs heat, becomes buoyant and rises to the ceiling. This draws cooler air behind it, mostly along the floor, which in turn, absorbs the heat and rises up, pushing the already warmed air along the ceiling. As long as there is a source of heat, this cycle will continue, constantly raising the overall temperature of the room.

Are gas fireplaces safe?

Yes! All of our gas fireplaces must have the ability to shut off the flow of gas if there is no flame to burn it off. Every Napoleon fireplace we manufacture is tested prior to shipping to ensure a 100% effective system. In all gas products require safety barriers to be installed on the unit.

What is conduction heat?

This is the transfer of heat through a body or substance. All of our fireplaces conduct heat to the air as it comes into contact with the hot glass and firebox surface.

What is radiant heat?

Radiant heat is transmitted from a heat source via rays just like rays of sunlight. These rays pass through the air without heating it since only solid objects can absorb the heat they transmit. Dark colours absorb more radiant heat than lighter colours which reflect more of it. This is why light coloured clothing is cooler than dark coloured clothing. All our Napoleon Fireplaces are designed to generate radiant heat into your living room.

How much fuel do fireplaces consume and how much do they cost to operate?

This is easily calculated provided that you have the local price of the fuel to be used. 1 cubic foot of natural gas will produce *1000BTU per hour, 1 litre of propane will produce *29,059 BTU per hour and 1 US Gallon will produce *110,000 BTU per hour. (*values may vary slightly, depending on location) The BTU of the fireplace is divided by the BTU value of the fuel to determine the amount of fuel consumed per hour. Example: A natural gas fireplace that has an input of 30,000 BTU per hour consumes 30,000 / 1000 = 30 cubic feet/hour. If the price of natural gas is .35 cents ($0.0035) per cubic foot then 30 cubic feet x .35 = 10.5 cents ($0.105). Therefore the cost of operating one of our 30,000 BTU Natural Gas Fireplaces such as the new GDS28 Gas Stove for one hour is 10.5 cents. Please check with your local fuel supplier for the current fuel price per cubic.

What is AFUE?

This figure represents a more realistic measurement of useable heat as it applies real-life influences to the efficiency of the fireplace. Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is also determined by the results of some specific test conditions but these results are further calculated with other influences such as average daytime and nighttime temperatures, heat loss due to the standing pilot and from cold start up. All sorts of data is calculated to provide the overall average efficiency of the fireplace throughout the year.

Do I need a chimney to vent a fireplace?

All of our wood stoves and fireplaces require a chimney, either a masonry or A vent stainless steel chimney and in the case of our oil stoves, L vent is also acceptable. The diameter of the chimney must match the size of the fireplace flue collar to effectively vent the products of combustion. Consequently, an existing chimney may need to be lined with a stainless steel liner to meet venting requirements of a specific fireplace. Gas fireplaces that fall under the category of B vent or natural draft fireplaces, also require either a chimney that is lined with a flexible aluminum or stainless steel liner, or they can be vented using B vent if no chimney exists. Direct vented or vent free fireplaces do not require a traditional chimney.