Fireplace Doors Guide

Fireplace Door - Hidden Air Draft Assembly

Monday, November 24, 2008 Posted by Marcus D
Often, customers looking to purchase a fireplace door have questions regarding the hidden draft assembly feature:
  • What is it?
  • What purpose does it serve?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Why is it hidden?
Let me take a few moments to answer these questions in detail.

Question: What is a hidden draft assembly on a fireplace door?
Answer: The hidden draft assembly is located on the bottom of the fireplace door frame that allows you to control the flow of air from your room into the fireplace. It typically is a ¼” slot that runs the length of the fireplace door frame and is operated by a hinge.

Question: What purpose does it serve?
Answer: The hidden draft assembly is primarily used when the fire is dying out. The homeowner can close the fireplace doors for the night and open the hidden draft assembly so combustion air can still feed the fire allowing it to burn out.

Question: Is it necessary?
Answer: It is not essential to have a draft assembly with your fireplace door. In fact, many budget doors do not feature a draft assembly. However, be aware that if you close the fireplace doors on a burning fire, the fire will suffocate and create lots of smoke. This smoke may leak into your room and be very unpleasant to say the least.

Question: Why is it hidden?
Answer: It is hidden primarily for aesthetic reasons. Older fireplace door models featured a draft assembly masked by a filigree design. It was operated by a knob located on the face of the fireplace door. Once the filigree design was no longer popular, the hidden draft assembly replaced it as the preferred design.

There is another purpose for the draft assembly but it somewhat controversial. Many homeowners like to burn a fire with the doors closed and the air draft assembly open. There are some important things to consider before you do this. I will cover this issue in my next post.

The air draft assembly is more than just a frill, it's an important component of your fireplace door. The fact that new designs have hidden the draft assembly simply enhances the overall attractiveness of the door and contributes to the newer, sleeker styles that you are seeing in the most popular fireplace doors.


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