Frequent Questions

Frequent Answers to Frequent Questions. Call us if your question isn’t answered here.

Frequent Questions

Frequent Answers to Frequent Questions. Call us if your question isn’t answered here.

Where are you located?

We are at 130 Russ Street in San Francisco, CA. We are between Folsom and Howard Streets, between 6th and 7th Streets.

What are your store hours?

We are open Monday through Friday from 9:00am until 5:00pm. We are open Saturdays from 10:00am until 3:00pm. We are closed on Sundays.

What manufacturers do you carry?

What is Spare the Air Day and how do I know when I can use my fireplace?

The Winter Spare the Air season runs from the beginning of November through the end of February. During this period, it is illegal to burn wood, pellets, or manufactured fire logs when a Winter Spare the Air Alert is issued. To find out if you can burn on any particular day, you can check the Spare the Air web site at

I have gas logs. Do I still need to have my chimney swept?

You may not need to have your chimney swept, but it should still be inspected regularly. The National Fire Protection Association recommends annual inspections of all fireplaces, chimneys, and vents. This annual inspection is not only to determine whether or not the chimney needs to be swept, but it is also to determine if the chimney is cracked, damaged, or otherwise unsuitable and unsafe for use.

Do gas logs need to be serviced?

Yes. It is recommended that gas logs be regularly serviced. Vented gas logs will need carbon deposits removed, and possibly the chimney and fireplace swept. Logs also should be serviced to remove all dust and foreign matter from the logs and burner, and proper log placement should be verified.

What is a direct vent fireplace?

A Direct Vent Fireplace is a gas log fireplace (propane or natural gas) that has a flue at the top or back of the fireplace that vents directly out side. Fresh air is brought in through a pipe surrounding the exhaust flue so that no air is required from inside the home to sustain the fire. Unlike Vent-less Fireplaces, all the combustion gases are vented outside. The Direct Vent Fireplace has a glass plate that seals off the firebox from the room. Below and above the firebox are vents that allow cool air to enter at the bottom and exit as hot air at the top.

With a direct vent insert, do I need to reline the chimney?

No, you do not have to reline to wood burning specifications, but you must use the piping that is recommended by the manufacturer, which fits into the existing chimney.

What is an insert?

Inserts are designed to enhance the operation and appearance of an existing wood burning fireplace, whether masonry or factory-built. Categorized primarily by the fuel burned for operation (natural gas, propane, EPA certified wood, pellet and coal), a fireplace insert is installed into an existing wood burning fireplace. Fireplace inserts are made from cast iron or steel and have self-cleaning glass doors that allow the dancing flames of the fire to be viewed while the insulated doors remain closed, making the fire more efficient. Many manufacturers also augment the operation of fireplace inserts by offering state-of-the-art features such as fans and thermostatic controls (depending on the fuel).

What is the difference between an insert and a fireplace?

An insert is designed to be placed into an existing masonry or factory built fireplace. A fireplace is either masonry (not zero clearance) or factory built (zero clearance) unit built for burning wood or gas.

What is zero clearance?

A zero clearance fireplace is a factory-built fireplace that is constructed so that it can be placed, safely, close to combustible material.

How do I convert my wood-burning fireplace into a gas fireplace?

To convert your wood-burning fireplace into gas, you must get an insert type gas fireplace. They are designed to fit into existing masonry and prefabricated fireplaces.

How high above the roof should a chimney extend?

The minimum clearance for wood or b-vent is 3 feet above anything within 10 feet. For direct vent it is 18 inches above anything within 10 feet.

If the brick in my chimney is cracked, can I burn wood?

If the crack is bigger than the tip of a pencil, we do not recommend that you burn wood. We can come to your home and inspect the chimney and if needed make repairs and/or reline your chimney.

What is a BTU?

Depending on the design and efficiency of the appliance, a certain proportion of the heat generated from burning ends up as useful heat in the room (heat output) while some portion is lost to vents and chimneys (flue loss). All Valor models are tested and certified to Heater standards and therefore are rated for Heat Output. This is determined at full fire, without optional blowers and after the heater is up to operating temperatures.

A BTU or British Thermal Unit is the amount of heat required to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit. All gas appliances are rated in BTU’s/hr Input which is an approximation of the amount of gas consumed on full fire in one hour as expressed in terms of the heat potential of the gas.

When was the last time you used your fireplace?

Maybe it’s time to give your fireplace a fresh new look you’ll love!

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