A zero clearance fireplace is a prefabricated, factory-built fireplace that can be installed virtually anywhere, including right next to walls and directly on floors, thanks to its highly insulated construction. These fireplaces have become popular in new construction and remodels alike because they don't require a masonry base and are easy to install. They also tend to be more energy efficient than traditional fireplaces because they have fans that circulate air.
Made of either sheet metal or cast iron, zero clearance fireplaces can be either wood-burning or gas. They also come complete with a prefabricated chimney that is installed inside or outside the home (which must be considered for placement). When purchasing a zero clearance fireplace, make sure the size of the firebox opening is scaled to the size of the room to assure adequate heat coverage and energy efficiency.
Most zero clearance fireplaces have glass doors, which are either designed to operate with the glass doors open or closed.
Zero Clearance Fireplace Safety Tips
Place wood to the back of the fireplace. This helps prevent smoke from spilling out of the front.
Ensure CO and smoke detectors are working, just in case something goes wrong.
Clean chimneys annually to prevent the fire from burning somewhere you can't see or control.