Why Are Glass Fireplace Doors So Important?

While lots of fireplace accessories are for esthetics, glass fireplace screens add beauty and actually serve the functional purpose of increasing fireplace safety and heating efficiency. Many sweeping clients ask our Certified Chimney Sweep® techs about glass doors for their fireplace. Whether it is masonry or a factory-built fireplace, the principles are the same. Air from the house is used for proper combustion in the fireplace and extra room air is sucked into the fireplace and used to draft up the flue.


Glass doors give a fireplace the finished look. They come in many different sizes and finishes to compliment the hearth. When the fireplace is not being used, the closed doors hide some of the messy looks of the last fire. different finishes can make a decor statement or blend with the surroundings.

Efficiency and Safety

A fireplace draws in large quantities of (your heated) room air. Some air is used to complete the combustion process but more air is driven up the flue in a draft. A draft is a good thing. Nobody wants the face-work and mantle area to overheat and cause a house fire. The overdraft into the firebox cools this area and prevents a smokey living room. When the fire starts to die and you want to leave the room, your heated room air is still being drawn up the chimney. You can’t close the damper until the next morning. So, all night long your furnace is heating the air being wasted up the chimney. Some estimates put this at over 1000 cubic feet of air per hour. Once the draft starts, you should have a safe way to close off this waste. Waiting up for hours to close the damper is one alternative. Closing a properly fitted set of glass doors is a better, more convenient option. You don’t have to come into a cold room the next morning to close the damper.

Common Misconceptions

I’d like to also take a minute to correct a misconception from some door manufacturers and other so-called experts. Without direct combustion air into the firebox area, glass doors need to be in the open position during your fire. Burning with the doors closed makes for a smokier fire, a dirty chimney, and more air pollution. Always use a metal, mesh spark screen and close it after tinkering or adding more firewood. Your fireplace isn’t a woodstove. It needs lots of air for draft and combustion. It uses air to help with the wood-burning and to minimize creosote buildup in the flue, plus keep the face work from overheating.

fireplace doors open

Valley Chimney Sweep can help you with a properly fitted glass screen door for your factory-built or masonry fireplace. Doors for a typical Majestic or Heatilator pre-fab are $450 to $500 installed. They are each custom made to fit on the inside of the firebox opening and only take 7 to 10 days to order. Masonry doors run from $700 to $950 for most sizes, finishes, and styles. They mount on the outside face of the fireplace. You wouldn’t leave a window open all winter, why not finish off your fireplace and keep your heat in the house? Give Valley Chimney a call at 630-553-5995 and have us measure for glass doors while we service your Chicago area fireplace and chimney. Photo source.

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“Great service and great quality workmanship.  Have used them for the last 10 years and have always been pleased.  Never been up sold or told that my chimney requires extensive repair.  Utilized another chimney service provider and by the end of the appointment they made me feel that I needed a completely new fireplace after only having the house built for two years.  Valley Chimney has never done that and has always taken care of my fire place.  Would highly recommend.”

‐ Johnathan P.

Chicago, IL

8940 D Route 34
Yorkville, IL 60560

(630) 553-5995


Service over 40,000 clients across the western suburbs of Chicago