How Does A Heatilator Wood Burning Fireplace Work [Explained]

Heatilator is one of the best brands that offer top-notch quality fireplace models and inserts. Every option of Heatilator has the ability to give a peaceful and enjoyable atmosphere. 

Using a heatilator will become easier when you know how does a heatilator wood burning fireplace works. Also, knowing some other details will help you to operate the whole unit perfectly. 

Be patient, I will go to the point shortly. I will share how you can use a wood fireplace, what to look for before buying it, about a fireplace insert, and many more! 

Lastly, there will also be a dedicated FAQ section to meet your queries. Now let me explain them briefly—

How Does A Heatilator Wood Burning Fireplace Work

Different parts of a fireplace do different jobs and thus a complete fireplace unit works. So you need to know the components of a fireplace to perceive how it works: Wood fireplaces are mainly divided into two parts—

  1. The fireplace, and
  2. The chimney. 

The fireplace:

The fireplace has some different parts to operate different jobs. It is wise to have a gross idea about the parts of a fireplace and their functions. Here they are—

  • Hearth: The core part is made of fireproof materials like bricks. It is basically the outer shape that holds the other parts of a fireplace. 
  • Firebox: The interior of the fireplace mainly contains the firebox. It contains fire and smoke.
  • Flue: The flue is usually made of baked clay or stainless steel. It is the top passage from which gases and smoke go out of the house.
  • Smoke shelf: It is present at the base of the smoke chamber. It prevents rain or other things from falling directly into the fireplace. 
  • Damper: The damper is present at the bottom of the smoke shelf. It is movable roofing that separates the firebox. 
  • Smoke chamber: It is near the flue, it helps to assemble the flue and fireplace.

The Chimney:

The chimney keeps the flue heat and prevents the contact of heat with other flammable materials. It also helps to eliminate the toxic fume and smoke out of the house. 

How The Fireplace Works

As it is a wood fireplace, it works by following the principles of a regular fireplace. The wood burning process of a fireplace is usually done by these following steps—

1. Allowing Fire to Burn the Wood Inside of the Fireplace:

The fireplace opening let the user light the fire. You can build a fire from here and the fire will produce heat. The opening of the fireplace also will allow the radiation of heat through the house. 

The area where you build a fire is known as a hearth. It is made of non-combustible material to resist heat. It also prevents the ashes and embers from entering the room.  

2. The Firebox Controls the Amount of Heat:

The firebox determines the amount of wood that is going to add to the fire. You will need to place the woods inside the firebox. It also controls the amount of heat that will be generated from the fireplace. 

If your firebox is large, it will allow more wood to burn and produce more heat. If it is small in size, it will allow less wood to burn and produce less heat.

3. Fireplace Grate Holds the Fuel:

Many fireplaces come with a grate that facilitates fire build up above the hearth. You can place the grate in your living room. It will help to air supply and hold the fuel in its place. 

If the open fireplace needs wood and coal, the air supply through the grate is important for heating.     

4. The Air Vents Control Airflow to the Fireplace:

The air vents help to burn the wood efficiently. The normal room oxygen may not be enough to keep the fire on. To make sure the oxygen supply, external air vents are used. You can also close the vent to prevent entering the cold air. 

5. Secondary Combustion is Significant, too:

The fire produces waste gases that are kept within the fireplace for secondary combustion. As a result, produced heat can be easily radiated through the house.   

How The Chimney Works

When the fireplace burns the woods and coals, it also produces toxic smoke and gases that are harmful for health, specifically for the respiratory system. So you need to eliminate the smoke and fumes from your house.

The chimney is used for this purpose. Fireplaces consist of a chimney that acts as a passageway of the byproducts of fire to keep the house safe. 

It is usually located vertically just top of the fireplace, or near the roof of the house. This is the basic mechanism of a wood-burning fireplace.

Usually, fireplaces work by producing and maintaining a fire. This is how mainly all wood fireplaces work.

Types Of Heatilator Fireplaces

Before going to purchase a fireplace, you should do good research through the physical store and online search. It will help you to choose the perfectly matched product that is suitable for your home. 

Let’s see what are the available types of Heatilator fireplaces out there:

1. Wood Burning Fireplace With Blower

This type of fireplace provides the unique feel, smell, and look of wooden fire. The fireplace heat blower helps to recirculate the heat. Also, it burns efficiently. 

As a result, it creates a much lower creosote on your heatilator chimney pipe and decreases environmental pollution. Wood burning fireplace indoors is a great option for a warm and comfortable environment. 

2. Heatilator Gas Fireplace

These types of fireplaces are convenient as they require natural gas or propane. They will offer you the real fire charm. You can get both the traditional and modern-styled gas fireplace. All you need to do is, hit the switch and then you will get a warm burning fire. 

Sounds great, right? You don’t even need to chop wood or build the fire. The heatilator unit will circulate the heat from the gas fireplace to the whole house.   

3. Electric fireplaces

The most easy-to-use option is an electric fireplace that does not require wood burning fireplace vents, re-routed gas lines, and heatilator vent covers. Also, the installation method is very easy and simple. They work by giving off the heat with the help of an electric coil. The modern fireplaces are made of electric lights and fiber optics that simulate fire. 

Old Heatilator Wood Burning Fireplace

Old-style fireplaces are a great combo of ventilators and heaters. They use a unique venting system that pulls the cool air and releases the same air after making it warm. 

The air does not need to go through any firebox. Therefore, it won’t get any smoke, ash, or unpleasant odor. They are free from the drawbacks related to the traditional fireplace.  

How to Use Heatilator Wood Burning Fireplace

Many people love the wood-smelled feel and appearance in their fireplace. Wood fireplaces are the best option for them. You will need to go through the heatilator wood burning fireplace manual to know how you should use it.

Or, you can simply go through this step by step guide on how to use a heatilator wood fireplace:

Step 1: Seasoning the Wood

You must season the firewood properly to get a smooth starting. Most of the time fireplace problems are initiated by burning unseasoned, wet wood. 

Step 2: Starting the Fire

Make the first 3-4 fires moderate in size. This will help the binders and oils to burn and cure the refractory paints. If you smell an industrial odor from the first 3-4 fires, consider it normal.

  • Fully open the flue damper
  • Place twisted papers to the bottom of the fireplace 
  • Make a tent of chopped wood on the fireplace grate
  • Pre-heat the flue to decrease smoke
  • Hold a burning rolled paper under a flue damper
  • Add 3-4 split firewood  

Step 3: Using the Firescreen

The firescreen helps to limit the sparks. You should keep the firescreen close while using the fireplace. The screen may not prevent any bumping material, so be careful when you are near the fireplace. 

Step 4: Using the Vents

You may wonder what are the side vents on a fireplace for? Well, they are necessary while using the gas logs. The vents are used for draining the fume that is produced by the fireplace. The harmful fume then will be expelled by the chimney. 

Step 5: Using an Insert

It is recommended to install an insert if you have a masonry-built, open wood fireplace. These types of fireplaces can dissipate heated room air every burning minute. Additionally, they draw cool air in the house while burning.

The wood fireplace inserts help to transform them into heat sources and help to produce long-lasting warm fire. Also, they produce a much lower residue.

This is how you can use a heatilator fireplace. If you still face any difficulty in operating any part of the unit, you can go through the heatilator fireplace troubleshooting. 

Things You Should Look for Before Buying a Heatilator Fireplace:

To get the best fireplace for your house, consider the following things when you are going to purchase it:

  • Select a quality unit tested to UL safety standards.
  • The components should be compatible. 
  • A product with at least 20 years of warranty.
  • A product that comes with attractive accessories and several options. 
  • An easy installation process. 

If you keep these things in mind, you will end up picking the right choice for the house. A fireplace is a great investment for a comfortable environment during a cool winter night.  


1. What is the use of a heatilator wood burning fireplace blower?

The blower helps to circulate the warm air in the room. The fan motor and baffles of the blower help to do the job smoothly. The fan pulls cold air, warm it up within the baffles. After that, the air blows out of the room. 

2. Can your fireplace warm up the whole house?

An open gas or wood fireplace won’t heat your entire house. These fireplaces may release and radiate heat, but it is not enough for heating the whole house.

3. Which wood is suitable for fireplace burning?

The hardwoods, like oak, birch, hard maple woods are the best woods to burn within the fireplace. They produce more heat and less creosote deposit, so they are environment friendly, too.

4. How can you increase wood burning in a fireplace?

There are some easy way of increasing the fire in a wood fireplace—

  • Keep the damper open as wide as possible 
  • Keep the glass doors closed while wood is burning 
  • Use a fireplace insert
  • Season the wood before burning. 

5. Are wood fireplaces safe?

Sometimes wood fireplaces can affect the indoor air quality negatively. If the escaped smoke of the firebox circulates into your room, the fireplace is not working properly. It is not good for the environment at all. 

6. How long the fireplace blower takes time to turn on?

It takes around 10-20 minutes to turn on and off or to complete the process once. It can not turn on and then turn off instantly. The blower needs at least 10 minutes to do the job.

7. How does a fireplace blower work?

A fireplace blower blows the warm air to your room. It uses a little space at the back of the fireplace. When the cool air warms up in the fireplace, it blows out the air from the unit.

8. How long do heatilator fireplaces last?

Usually, most of the fireplaces can last 20-30 years if they are maintained properly. The chimneys can last even for generations. The prefabricated chimneys usually come with warranties, but they last really a long time.  

9. Why does the fireplace blower sound loud?

Sometimes the fireplace blower sounds louder than usual. The possible reason for the sound may be troubles in the blower like the fan is loaded with dust or the malfunctioned motor. You can replace the blower or clean the fan to get rid of the rumbling noise.


If you want to get good knowledge about how does a heatilator wood burning fireplace work, this article is definitely gonna help you. Also, you can check the product manual that comes with every fireplace. 

Do not keep any oil or other flammable products around your fireplace to avoid a fire hazard. Also, use the fireplace with the proper precaution to get maximum advantage and protection. 

About William

William is the founder of He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

2 thoughts on “How Does A Heatilator Wood Burning Fireplace Work [Explained]”

  1. I installed a cheap fireplace when I built my home, I want to install a new fireplace that will put off enough heat to send this heat with the blower you speak of to the end of the hall by the bed rooms to offset my Propane central heat (propane went from $2 per gal to $4.5 per gal) there is no way I can pay $2000 per month to heat my home…
    I have been researching this concept for some time…. one YouTube guy connected your in line fan into his central heat duct!….
    Question: what is the best heater to buy with about 30,000 BTU that I can install then have a heat box built around it (I grew up with metal fabricator) this heat box will have chimney run through it… and i will connect duct to attic to your fan with temp on/off…. and send heat to other end of home….
    What heater can I buy that will allow heat on exterior of fireplace to be captured by this heat box i will built (contractor for 43 years)


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