Frequently Asked Questions

fireplace frequently asked questions

Welcome to Acucraft Fireplaces Technical Support Knowledgebase including: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Best Practices from our internal fireplace experts! Want to talk to a Fireplace Advisor? Give us a call at (888) 317-6499.

General Acucraft Fireplaces FAQs

Where are Acucraft Fireplace Systems Manufactured?

Acucraft Fireplace Systems are manufactured in Big Lake, MN, 45-minutes northwest of Minneapolis. Acucraft works directly with end-users, builders and contractors and we ship to any job site worldwide.

How much does it cost to ship an Acucraft Fireplace System?

The cost of shipping depends on the fireplace model and where it is being shipped to. However, when we are shipping out of the state of Minnesota, we do not need to charge sales tax so the cost of shipping is generally lower than the cost of sales tax you would pay at your local fireplace dealer.

Does Acucraft ship outside of the United States?

Yes, Acucraft will ship your fireplace to any job site, worldwide. We recommend checking your local building codes or inspector to see what requirements are needed.

We are building a new house; do you work with builders?

Yes, our Fireplace Advisors will be available to talk with you and your builder to make the choosing, ordering, framing and installation of your fireplace as smooth as possible.

Does Acucraft install fireplaces?

Acucraft does not install fireplaces; however, there are several options for installing your fireplace. Professional fireplace installers, independent contractors, local hearth stores, chimney sweeps, masons, HVAC contractors, and general contractors are all viable options for installing your fireplace and chimney system.

Can I install the fireplace myself?

In most situations, yes. We provide a complete installation manual for the fireplace and chimney system. Please read the entire install manual and familiarize yourself with the install process. If you have the proper tools and equipment and understand the install process, then you should be able to decide if the project is within your scope. The average do-it-your-selfer can install a fireplace. Additionally, Acucraft offers technical support to answer any questions you may have regarding installation.

How will the fireplace be delivered to my jobsite?

Fireplaces can be shipped worldwide, directly to your jobsite. The trucking company may have a lift gate truck that can lower the fireplace to the ground but deliver is curbside only. You will need to have equipment like a forklift you can remove it from the truck. Once it’s off the truck you will need to move the fireplace.

How do I move the fireplace once it’s at my job site?

The fireplace will come on a pallet. The best option, if available, is to move it with a forklift or skid loader/tractor with forks. A pallet jack will move the fireplace on a smooth surface, or you can use small moving carts with wheels. Because of the weight, lifting the fireplace manually can be a challenge. You’ll want to tip it side to side then block it up and raise it in stages. You’ll do more tipping and sliding than lifting, use leverage to pivot and turn. If you need to go up or down stairs, use planks and slide the fireplace. A few sheets of Masonite or scrap plywood cut into smaller sections work great to slide over each other while leap frogging the pieces along. Small pipes or conduit can also be used to roll the fireplace on. Sliding the fireplace on plywood sections side to side works well. Using small moving carts with swivel casters strapped to the fireplace can aid you in rolling up or down a slight incline. Use a rope around the framing to control the movement speed. In some instances, you will need to use a combination of the above options.

How many pallets will ship?

Every Acucraft fireplace is shipped on its own pallet. Your chimney will be delivered on a separate pallet(s).

How much does an Acucraft fireplace weigh?

The weight of your fireplace depends on the type of fireplace selected but can weigh typically between 900lbs – 1,600lbs. Your Fireplace Advisor will provide you with fireplace specifications for the unit you select.

How much does the chimney weigh?

Acucraft offers several styles of chimney including but not limited to Class A and B-Vent flue systems. The weight of your chimney can vary by size; 8-14lbs per foot is typical for a wood burning flue system. Gas fireplaces can vary but are typically 4-8lbs per foot typically.

What forms of payment does Acucraft accept?

We accept major credit cards, wire transfers, ACH, and checks. Our sales representative will walk you through our options.

Gas Fireplace FAQs

Do Acucraft gas fireplace systems use outside air for combustion?

Yes. Both Acucraft Wood and Gas Fireplaces use outside air for combustion. This feature prevents room air from being lost up the chimney.

I am looking for a custom gas fireplace but don’t know where to start; do you have designers?

Yes. Our team of Fireplace Advisors, Fireplace Designers and Project Managers will guide you to the perfect solution for your space. Simply provide us with a sketch or inspiration and we’ll design it for your project.

Why do you recommend insulating the combustion air ducts for a gas fireplace?

Condensation can occur when air is moving through a duct into the fireplace through a heated space and can cause the duct to sweat or have condensation form on the duct which can cause issues such as creating frost on the pipe which will melt and can cause water damage. Its common practice to insulate the duct so there is no chance of issues.

Can I offset my flue system for my gas fireplace?

Yes. Acucraft uses power venting exhaust which allows for additional elbows and longer venting runs.

Can I mount a TV above my gas fireplace?

Yes, but each fireplace will have a different minimum height for a Mantel or TV above the door/face. Please refer to the installation manual for mantel clearances for your specific fireplace. Heat can damage your TV and reduce its lifespan, so Acucraft recommends using a mantel to shield the TV. The heat will then be directed in front of the TV and keep it at a cooler temperature. You can read more about mounting a TV above a fireplace on our blog.

Can I make the flames on my gas fireplace taller?

No. Acucraft’s gas fireplace burners are specifically set to meet and keep UI specifications and operate with prime performance.

How much glass media do I put in my gas fireplace burner tray?

You only want to place around 1/4″ to 3/8″ of glass media to cover the screen. Placing too much media in the tray can cause a weak flame or excess temperatures.

Which manual(s) should I use when installing Acucraft fireplace components?

Every custom and standard gas fireplace Acucraft sells will come with its own fireplace manual. You should defer to the manual that is sent with your fireplace as it was designed with instructions of how to set up your entire fireplace system including all of the components. If you need a new copy of your manual you can request one from our Technical Support Team!

Can we use a different gas valve than the one provided by Acucraft?

No, your Acucraft fireplaces has been certified with the exact components included with your fireplace. Changes to any of the components provided by Acucraft can void your certification and warranty, and potentially cause issues with your fireplace system.

Can I swap my gas valve for an adjustable flame?

No, your fireplace has been certified with the exact components included in your fireplace. Any changes to the components would void both your certification and warranty. If you would like to recertify your fireplace with a different valve you would need to reach out to our Technical Support Team for options.

I received my fireplace and it’s Natural Gas instead of Propane, what do I do?

Contact our Technical Support Team for potential options. Depending on the type of fireplace it may require recertification and/or replacement parts, and additional fees.

Wood Fireplace FAQs

What is the difference between a zero-clearance fireplace and a full masonry wood fireplace?

A zero-clearance fireplace has an insulated metal jacket around the fireplace that allows it to be placed right up against interior or exterior walls with 2″ inches between the fireplace and combustible materials. Heated air is circulated within the fireplace unit and blown out into your home. A Masonry Fireplace uses masonry block around the unit which creates a heat chamber. The heat chamber then has a vented area which allows the heated air to circulate into the room.

Why does Acucraft Fireplace Wood Burning Fireplace System require doors while other fireplaces have screens?

The airtight doors are a crucial part of the overall system. The doors work by sealing the fireplace which eliminates heat loss and allows you to completely control your fire. Acucraft does design a Fireplace Screen which you can add to any order and can be used when you are looking for that open hearth feel.

Do Acucraft wood fireplace systems use outside air for combustion?

Both Acucraft Wood and Gas Fireplaces use outside air for combustion. This feature prevents room air from being lost up the chimney.

Can Acucraft wood burning fireplaces be operated with the doors open?

Yes. Acucraft has designed a Fireplace Screen which you can add to any order and can be used when you are looking for that open hearth feel. However, when operating with the fire screen you will pull heated air from inside your room.

What is the best type of flue to use for a wood burning fireplace: a metal or a clay flue?

Both are perfectly acceptable in full masonry fireplaces; it just depends on your personal preference. However, for Acucraft’s zero clearance wood fireplaces we require Class A insulated chimney pipe.

Is it safe to burn my Acucraft Fireplace System during the night when we are not watching it?

Yes. Our gasketed doors provide an airtight seal. By latching the doors, our wood-burning fireplaces will continue to safely burn throughout the night. Safety is a major concern, which is why our Hearthroom wood fireplaces are tested and listed to exceed industry required standards (UL-127) and can be burned for long periods of time, unattended.

What type of wood will give me the most efficient burn?

Dry, seasoned hardwoods will provide you with the best results. You can burn soft woods in our fireplaces but must be seasoned and dried completely. Hardwood produces more BTUs per pound when compared to soft wood. If you burn unseasoned or wet wood the performance of your fireplace is reduced dramatically and can cause creosote formation in the chimney.

Do Acucraft wood fireplaces come with a log grate?

No. Acucraft Fireplace Systems have a firebrick lining that lines the inside of the fire box. We recommend building a fire directly on the firebrick, which will continue to radiate heat after the fire has dwindled. Also, by burning directly on the firebrick, the fire burns the logs more efficiently and completely which eliminates unburned log chunks.

What is the best way to remove the ashes from the fireplace?

When disposing of ashes, always place the ashes in an airtight, metal container. The closed container of ashes should be placed on a non-combustible floor or on the ground, well away from combustible materials until their final disposal. Red hot coals can stay warm in ash for several days so it’s imperative to make sure everything has cooled down and to be cautious of where you are emptying your ash.

Why do you recommend insulating the combustion air ducts for wood-burning fireplaces?

Condensation can occur when air is moving through a duct into the fireplace through a heated space and can cause the duct to sweat or have condensation form on the duct which can cause issues such as creating frost on the pipe which will melt and can cause water damage. Its common practice to insulate the duct so there is no chance of issues.

Why is wood burning fireplace chimney height so important?

  • The chimney is what produces draft in a wood burning fireplace. Heat rising up the chimney pulls air through the air controls through the combustion air ducts. The taller the chimney, the stronger the draft. If the chimney is too short, it struggles to pull air in through the air controls. Symptoms of this includes a fireplace that struggles to burn, or puffs smoke out the front when the doors are open, or if the fireplace dies out when the doors are closed.
  • If you add a set of elbows to offset around framing, it’s recommended that you add additional chimney height to compensate for the elbows.
  • A proper chimney system is as important as the fireplace. Our Fireplace Advisors will help determine the best performance chimney height.

Can I offset the chimney for my fireplace to avoid framing?

  • Yes, offsets are available in 15°, 30° and 45° angles.
  • 45° elbows cannot be used for wood burning fireplaces in the USA, Canadian installs can use them.
  • 30° elbows are most common, an easy rule for offsetting is: it takes twice the vertical space to equal the offset distance. If you want to offset the chimney 12” side to side, you’ll need 24” in height to move the chimney over. In most situations, the chimney must stay over the footprint of the fireplace.
  • Please refer to chimney offset chart provided by your Fireplace Advisor.

How do I clean my chimney if I have offsets?

Cleaning your chimney is important for maintenance and safety and should be done on a yearly basis. Plastic brushes are used on flexible fiberglass rods and will have no issue bending through offsets up to 45°. These parts can be purchased from a home center, Hearth store or online, and can be done by a certified chimney sweep or an average do-it-your-selfer.

Can I install 2 fireplaces over each other on different floors?

Acucraft fireplaces can be installed over each other on different floors but there are limitations, and it takes planning to get the chimneys aligned. Most often the fireplaces need to be offset enough from each other to have the proper amount of space for the lower-level fireplace to be offset around the fireplace above. Often, you don’t have enough space to offset far enough to the side without reaching the ceiling. Offsetting the centerline of the fireplaces will reduce the offset distance needed and make it possible. Acucraft Fireplace Advisors & Designers are available to work with you to provide the best solution for your project.

Can I mount a TV above my wood fireplace?

Yes,  but each fireplace will have a different minimum height for a Mantel or TV above the door/face. Please refer to the installation manual for mantel clearances for your specific fireplace. Heat can damage your TV and reduce its lifespan, so Acucraft recommends using a mantel to shield the TV. The heat will then be directed in front of the TV and keep it at a cooler temperature. You can read more about mounting a TV above a fireplace on our blog.

Wood Fireplace Best Practices

What type of wood should I burn in my fireplace?

  • Acucraft recommends using dry, seasoned hardwood. Soft woods can be used if they are properly dried and seasoned. On average, it takes roughly two years for wood to fully dry to the point of being seasoned and ready to burn.
  • Only use small, natural kindling to start a fire or a wax and sawdust fire starter.
  • Do not burn kiln dried lumber or any kind of building materials or engineered plywood; it is so dry that it can cause your fireplace to overheat.
  • Never burner artificial woods or anything with glues or finishing products.
  • Do not use newspaper or routinely burn paper of any kind, it is a very dirty burn and will lead to creosote build-up in your chimney system.

What are the handles (controls) on the front of my wood burning fireplace used for?

  • There are two sets of controls on an Acucraft wood burning fireplace: your combustion air intake (fresh air coming in) and your flue damper (exhaust air going out).
  • The handle on the left-hand side is for your combustion air intake; think of this as a gas pedal in a car but is used for controlling the intensity of your fire.
  • The handle on the right-hand side is for your flue damper; this control is used primarily to slow down the chimney draft.
  • You can adjust both controls from fully open to fully closed. However, your combustion air intake (left-hand side) and your flue damper (right-hand side) should only be fully closed the fire is completely out. Fully closing your flue damper while having a fire can result in smoke spillage into your living space.

What is the best way to start a fire?

  • Acucraft recommends have both your combustion air intake and flue damper fully open (all the way to the right).
  • Start with a top-down burn with the largest logs on the bottom and kindling or a fire starter on the top. We recommend using only a wax and sawdust fire starter. Do not use paper or garbage as kindling.
  • Place three (3) large quarter split logs on the bottom of the fireplace with small air gaps between the logs. Your logs should be roughly 4”-5” in diameter.
  • Remember, there is no need for a log grate, you can build your fire directly on the firebrick within the fireplace.
  • Place 5-6 smaller logs across the larger bottom logs leaving air gaps between. Your smaller logs should be roughly 2”-4” in diameter.
  • Place 6-8 small kindling sticks on top of the smaller logs. The kindling sticks can be crossing and should be roughly 1”-2” in diameter.
  • Light your fire and leave one door slight cracked open, approximately 1”, for the first 3-7 minutes. This will allow more air to flow through the firebox and ignite your fire.
  • Once your fire is burning strong you can close the door completely.
  • If the fire appears to be dying out once the door has been closed, re-open the door(s) for a few minutes until your fire really gets a strong burn going and then close the door(s) completely again.

What should I do once I’ve gotten my fire started and closed the doors?

  • Allow the fireplace to burn fast and develop a bed of coals. This typically takes around 45-60 minutes after starting your fire.
  • Once some of the fuel (dry, seasoned wood) has broken down into red hot coals you can start to slowly adjust your combustion air and flue damper controls over the next 1-2 hours.
  • Your controls should not be closed more than 50% until after the second hour of burning. You want to ensure you have a large bed of coals before turning your controls down that far.
  • Closing the flue damper (right-hand side control) will slow your burn rate and cause more heat retention.
  • Closing the air intake (left-hand side control) will slow the burn rate of the fire, make it less intense, and causes the wood to burn longer.

What is the safest way to add more fuel (wood) to my fire?

  • When you are ready to add more wood to fire, open both the air intake (left-hand side control) and flue damper (right-hand side control) so they are opened 100% (all the way to the right).
  • Turn the door handle to unlock the door and slowly open one door a maximum of 1” and pause for 20-30 seconds to ensure proper drafting and prevent smoke from spilling into your living space.
  • Once you have achieved a proper draft, you can slowly open the doors, one at a time, and add more fuel (wood) to your fire.

How do I safely “turn off” or shut down my wood burning fireplace?

  • There is no way to simply “turn off” a wood fireplace. It takes time and effort to safely shut down a wood burning fire.
  • Do not fully close either of your fireplace controls (air intake and flue damper) to try and “choke” the fire out. This can cause smoke spillage into your living space.
  • At any point during a fire, you can stop adding fuel (wood) to the fire and will naturally, slowly begin to die out. It is important to note that even once all your wood has burned, the coals can retain heat for several days.
  • When disposing of ashes, always place the ashes in an airtight, metal container. The closed container of ashes should be placed on a non-combustible floor or on the ground, well away from combustible materials until their final disposal. Red hot coals can stay warm in ash for several days so it’s imperative to make sure everything has cooled down and to be cautious of where you are emptying your ash.

How can I relight my fire from coals?

  • Open both the air intake (left-hand side control) and flue damper (right-hand side control) so they are opened 100% (all the way to the right).
  • Turn the door handle to unlock the door and slowly open one door a maximum of 1” and pause for 20-30 seconds to ensure proper drafting and prevent any smoke from spilling into your living space.
  • Once you have achieved a proper draft, you can slowly open the doors, one at a time.
  • We recommend a bottom up burn to revive a cooling fire from coals.
  • Use a fireplace poker to pull your red-hot coals into a small pile.
  • Place 6-8 small kindling sticks directly on the coals, which can be crossing and should be roughly 1”-2” in diameter.
  • On top of the kindling place 5-6 smaller logs roughly 2”-4” in diameter leaving air gaps in between logs.
  • With both your air control and damper control still fully open (all the way to the right), leave one door slightly cracked open (approximately 1”) for the first 3-7 minutes. This will allow more air to flow through the firebox and ignite your fire.
  • Once the fire is burning well, continue to add additional firewood until you have the fire built back up to the size desired, at which point you can close the door.

Didn’t find the answer to your question? Speak with a Fireplace Advisor for more information: 888-317-6499

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