Fireplace Glass Doors Open or Closed? The Definitive Answer!

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You should always keep your fireplace glass doors open when the fire is burning and close them when your fireplace is not in use.

Most homeowners don’t know if they need to keep fireplace glass doors open or closed, which is why they often face heat losses and broken glass doors. Understanding different chimney parts, such as glass doors, helps homeowners operate their fireplaces safely and efficiently. 

The following article explains everything you need to know about fireplace glass doors.

Should Fireplace Glass Doors Be Open or Closed?

Fireplace glass doors should remain open during an active fire and close when the fireplace is not in use. Let’s discuss both cases in detail:

Fireplace Glass Doors During an Active Fire

Fireplace glass doors should be fully open when the fire is burning inside your fireplace. There are five main reasons why you should never leave your fireplace glass doors open during an active fire:

  • Proper airflow is important for the complete combustion of your logs. Open glass doors allow air to circulate properly, which helps the fire burn hotter and produce more heat.
  • Closed glass doors restrict the airflow. Complete combustion does not occur without enough air, producing more soot and creosote. Soot and creosote deposits can clog the chimney and increase the chances of a chimney fire.
  • When the glass doors are closed, the heat generated by the fire does not enter your room. Most of the heat escapes through the chimney.
  • Keeping your fireplace glass doors closed can quickly increase the temperature inside your fireplace. Such high temperatures can damage the combustible materials surrounding your fireplace.
  • Glass doors made of tempered glass can bear temperatures up to 470 °F. Since the temperature inside a fireplace can reach up to 1200 °F, your glass doors can shatter if you close them during an active fire.

Fireplace Glass Doors When the Fireplace Is Not in Use

Keep your fireplace glass doors closed when you are not using your fireplace because:

  • Closing the fireplace glass doors prevents the warm air inside your room from escaping through your chimney.
  • Since warm air remains inside longer, you’ll use your fireplace less often. This keeps the energy bills low.
  • After you’ve put out the fire, close the glass doors to prevent dust, ash, soot, and debris inside your fireplace from ruining your room or nearby furniture.

What Is the Purpose of Glass Doors on a Fireplace?

Following are some main reasons homeowners should consider installing a glass door on their fireplaces.

Aesthetic Appeal

Fireplaces are a thing of beauty, especially when the fire is burning. But when the fireplace is not in use, you can’t help but notice the dirt, soot, ash, and debris.

You can block this unpleasant view by installing fireplace glass doors. These glass doors are available in various styles, colors, and designs. No matter the style of your fireplace and your room decor, you will surely find something that’ll fit perfectly and enhance the beauty of your fireplace.

Reduce Fireplace Clean Up

Fireplaces contain a lot of dirt, soot, and debris, which can flow out and spread across your room by a chimney downdraft. If you install a glass door in front of your fireplace, downdrafts will not occur, and the dust and debris will remain inside.


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Improve Safety

As the fire starts to die out, logs usually shift and can roll out of the fireplace. Such a situation can be hazardous, especially if you have children or pets roaming around. Fireplace glass doors prevent the burning logs from coming out of the fireplace and hurting someone.

It’s also common for sparks and embers to shoot out of an open fireplace. A glass door can protect you and your loved ones from these sparks.

Protect Furniture

Whether you’ve got a wooden or carpeted floor, sparks and embers flying out of an open fireplace can destroy both. Hot embers can also float, so furniture near your fireplace is in danger.

If you install a glass door in front of your fireplace, you can protect your flooring and furniture from damage.

Increase Energy Efficiency

While a closed damper prevents warm air inside your room from escaping, some can still escape. A fireplace glass door provides a much better seal.

When you are done burning your logs, close the fireplace glass door to prevent the warm air from venting out of the chimney. If you make a habit of it, you’ll notice a significant cut in your energy bills.

Keeps Your Room Cooler in Summers

Like warmer air escapes through an open fireplace in winter, cooler air vents out in the summer. If you’ve got a fireplace glass door installed, keep it closed in the summer. Cooler air will remain inside and keep the temperature inside much cooler. It will also keep your energy bills low since you’ll need less air conditioning.

How to Use a Fireplace With Glass Doors?

Glass doors add utility and beauty to both wood-burning and gas fireplaces. But both these fireplaces use glass doors differently. Let’s understand this difference and know how to use fireplace glass doors for a safe and efficient operation.

 Wood-Burning Fireplace With Glass Doors

Glass doors on a wood-burning fireplace should remain open when the wood logs are burning. An open fireplace allows air to circulate properly and helps in combustion. It allows the logs to burn completely, producing more heat and less creosote.

Once the fire has died out, and only a few burning embers remain, you can close the glass doors. When the fireplace is not in use, closing the fireplace helps keep the dust and debris inside. It also prevents the warm air inside from venting out through your chimney. This keeps your room warmer and the energy bills lower.

Gas Fireplace With Glass Doors

Direct vent gas fireplaces come with fixed glass doors. Gas fireplaces are sealed chambers that use outside air for combustion.

The glass seals the fireplace, so the inside air does not vent out. It also helps radiate the heat produced inside the fireplace.

That is why you should never open a gas fireplace glass door.

Some gas fireplace glass doors can be opened. But you should always consult a chimney expert about whether removing the glass will affect the safety and efficiency of your fireplace.


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What Is the Difference Between Tempered Glass and Ceramic Glass for a Fireplace?

Tempered glass is cheaper and used for wood-burning fireplaces. Whereas ceramic glass is more durable, safer, and can handle higher temperatures than tempered glass.

Most fireplaces have glass doors made from tempered glass or ceramic glass. Both types of glasses have their own set of properties. Knowing these types can help homeowners decide which type of glass to use.

Here’s a detailed comparison of both types of glass:

Tempered Glass

Tempered glass is cost-effective and can withstand temperatures up to 470 °F. It is usually used for wood-burning fireplaces.

The problem with tempered glass is that it is not as durable as ceramic glass. If the fire is a lot of heat and the tempered glass comes in contact with moisture, the glass can explode into pieces. That is why you should always be careful and leave the glass door open when your fireplace is running. And don’t let your kids or pets near the fireplace.


  • Cost-effective


  • Not durable
  • Can explode
  • Can’t handle temperatures more than 470 °F

Ceramic Glass

Ceramic glass is more expensive and can handle temperatures up to 1256 °F. It is used for indoor stoves and is much more durable than tempered glass.

Ceramic is also a safer option than tempered glass since it does not explode when it comes in contact with moisture. Instead, it cracks.


  • Durable
  • Don’t explode
  • Can handle high temperatures


  • Expensive

Which Fireplace Glass Door to Choose?

Ceramic glass is the obvious choice for a safe and durable fireplace glass door. Once installed, you don’t have to worry about it exploding or replacing it anytime soon.

Tempered glass can be cheaper if you plan on a temporary fix or don’t intend to use your fireplace too often.

How Much Do Fireplace Glass Doors Cost?

Fireplace glass doors can cost around $300 to $600, depending upon the size and material of the glass door. Other factors that affect the price of fireplace glass doors include their design and finish.

You’ll have to pay an additional $600 for the installation. The installation cost can vary based on the cost of living in your locality.

You can save on the installation cost if you choose to do a DIY installation. But it is best to let a certified chimney expert install the glass doors. This ensures that doors are installed perfectly and minimizes the chances of any problems during or after the installation.

The Takeaway

It is a great idea to install fireplace glass doors to increase the beauty of your fireplace and improve its efficiency. Also, it is important to leave the door open when the fireplace is in use to allow proper ventilation. You can prevent backdrafts by keeping the glass doors closed when you’re not using your fireplace.

Impressed by the utility? Get a chimney expert to install glass doors on your chimney and save up on energy bills.


Do fireplace doors prevent smoke?

Fireplace glass doors to prevent smoke from getting inside your room. You can close the fireplace glass doors when the fire starts to die. It will prevent smoke and other harmful gasses from entering your home and causing lung diseases.

Are glass doors required on gas fireplaces?

Glass doors are essential for a gas fireplace to work efficiently. Gas fireplaces come with fixed glass doors that seal the fireplace. This prevents indoor air from venting outside. Since no warm air is escaping, your room remains warmer. The glass doors also radiate heat, making gas fireplaces more efficient than wood-burning fireplaces.

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Thomas Green

Thomas has worked in the Chimney & Fireplace field for over 12 years. He is an expert in his trade and loves to help People with their needs. Thomas Write helpful articles so that homeowners can make the most informed decisions about their fireplace and chimney.