Common Questions

Monessen Hearth Systems Company (MHSC) purchased the Vermont Castings brand from Canadian Fireplace Manufacturers Corp. (CFM) on July 25, 2008. MHSC is not responsible for information about, warranty of nor are we liable for Vermont Castings product manufactured or installed prior to that time. Information regarding those products should be requested from the original seller.

Parts, Service and Warranty

Manuals can be found in our Owner Center and via a link on the product page. Vermont Castings User Guides and Manuals Page

Your local dealer is the best source for service of your unit or chimney. You can find one on our Where to Buy feature. If there is no Vermont Castings dealer in your area, you can find a qualified technician via the National Fireplace Institute which trains and certifies installers and technicians in both gas and wood burning specialties. Visit for more information.

Your local dealer is again, the best source for service, repair or warranty information. You can find one on our Where to Buy feature. If there is no Vermont Castings dealer in your area, you can find a qualified technician via the National Fireplace Institute which trains and certifies installers and technicians in both gas and wood burning specialties. Visit for more information.

Vermont Castings do not sell directly to consumers or via the internet. We strongly encourage you to purchase your fireplace, insert or stove from our network of highly qualified dealers. Your local dealer is always the best source for products, parts and accessories. You can find one on our Where to Buy feature.

Safety and Installation

A hot surface above a fireplace is normal. Non-combustible facings, such as natural marble, clay, brick, stone, and ceramic tile, are safe materials with which to surround a factory-built fireplace system. These materials and any combustible trims or mantels, should be installed in accordance with the appliance instructions and local building codes.

Vermont Castings does not recommend installing any electronic device above a fireplace. Heat rising from the unit can damage sensitive electronic components found in televisions, computer screens, speakers, etc. as well as some artwork and home décor. Our products are tested for clearance to combustible finishing materials such as drywall and mantel surfaces, but are not tested specifically for use near other household electronics and decorative items.

Burn-off on stoves, fireplaces and other hearth products is normal. Always review the owner's manual and consult with your dealer for the proper burn-off time and ways to properly ventilate your home during that period. Expect to burn the appliance continuously, and at the highest settings, for a few hours. Smoke and odors should dissipate in short order.

Owner Information

No, vent free appliances are not field convertible. They are gas specific.

Each of our units has a rating plate attached to it that lists both the model and serial number. The rating plate is located in a unique area depending on your appliance type.

  • The rating plate for wood-burning inserts can be found below the firebox, attached to a small cable.
  • For wood-burning stoves, it is typically attached to the rear casting of the stove.

Gas appliances should be serviced on a regular basis, and the best time to service the unit is before the start of the heating season. Common household particles such as dust, dirt, and dander can build up and cause the pilot to drop out. Obstructions to the main burners may cause the appliance to burn inefficiently. A pre-season service call allows your technician to come to your home at a mutually convenient time. Some companies will even discount service calls made before the cold weather arrives. Allowing the appliance to fail during the heating season often means a longer waiting time for your appointment. Visit our Where to Buy feature to find a service technician. If there is no one in your area, can assist you in finding a qualified technician.

Vermont Castings does not sell directly to consumers. We rely on a dependable and knowledgeable dealer base to provide sales, installation and service of our products to the consumer. If you require assistance with your product please contact your local dealer for assistance as they can best assess your situation, making a site visit if necessary, and provide assistance to resolve your concern.

Remote Controls

Ambient Technologies warrants each new remote control against any defects that are due to faulty material or workmanship to the original owner, for a period of five years after the original date of purchase.

The transmitter will operate the receiver electronically from 1 foot to a maximum of 30 feet. (Once the receiver is mounted inside a pre-fabricated fireplace it reduces the range to 10 feet.)

It means the transmitter is in manual mode and there is no target temperature set, since the transmitter isn’t in auto or auto-p mode. You can still turn off the appliance by sending an off or off/lo signal from the transmitter by pressing the appropriate button.

Yes it’s possible for other electronics using the same RF technology as our products (such as a garage door opener) to influence the operation of the hearth remote. Simply change the dip switch settings in your transmitter & receiver, ensuring that they still match exactly, and that should eliminate the conflict between the two electronics.

If it has been operating error free in the past, you’ve probably turned on a switch that is preventing the receiver from receiving the off signal from the transmitter. Typically there are three ways to turn on the burner that will override the remote control unit

  1. Usually there is a rocker switch that is located around your burner which, if in the "ON" position, it will override the remote.
  2. There may be a wall switch that allows you to turn your burner on.
  3. A slide switch on the receiver has been moved to the "ON" position.

Any of these conditions will prevent the transmitter from electronically communicating with the receiver. If so, follow the below to correct each condition

  1. Usually there is a rocker switch that is located around your burner which, if in the "ON" position, it will override the remote. Turn the switch to "OFF."
  2. There may be a wall switch that allows you to turn your burner on. Turn the switch to "OFF."
  3. A slide switch on the receiver has been moved to the "ON" position. Slide the switch on the receiver back to the center or remote position.

Once all switches have been reset to the correct position, the remote control unit should be back in control of your fireplace and the transmitter & receiver should communicate electronically again.

Wood Stoves

Almost all local jurisdictions require a permit to install your wood stove. Some will also inspect the installation. City building inspectors usually conduct inspections for the levels of construction outlined on the issued permit. This service is supplied to verify the appliance is properly certified for that jurisdiction and the proper clearances have been met. You may also contract with a certified stove inspector — usually WETT certified in Canada or NFI certified in the U.S.— to be sure your installation meets all regulations. Most insurance companies require at least an inspection by a qualified professional before insuring a home with a wood stove.

All stoves list the proper stove protection in the installation manual for the appliance. One common requirement is for a continuous non-combustible hearth on which to place the stove (minimum dimensions are listed in the manual). These surfaces have a required “R” value which is established during the manufacturer’s testing of the stove. This minimum resistance to conduction of radiant heat (or “R” value) must be met and may be the total of all the “R” values in any layers of material under the stove. “R” values for different building materials are listed by the manufacturers of the materials. Downloading the manual to determine these values and the best hearth for your installation, is a prerequisite for proper pre-planning.

For accurate pre-planning, download a copy of the user manual for the stove you are considering buying. It will list minimum clearances from the stove to surrounding combustible walls and sometimes a separate listing for minimum clearances to a protected wall (usually less than clearances to combustible walls). These minimum clearances must be met. If you want to move your stove closer than allowed by the minimum clearances to combustible walls, then the walls need to be protected with non-combustible surfaces. Methods for doing this are usually listed in the manual for the stove or in your local fire code. Keep in mind, the further from interior and exterior walls the stove is placed the better the heat distribution.

If purchasing or splitting your own wood, try to get a mix of split and non split wood. Wood seasons faster once split and the smaller the split, the faster the drying time. Seasoning means evaporating the sap from the wood. It’s best to stack the wood outside away from the house (to prevent insect infestation). Stack the wood in a stable method off the ground and cover the top to prevent water from saturating the wood but allow the front and back to remain open for air to flow through. The seasoning process takes from 12 to 18 months. Properly seasoned wood has cracks radiating at each end of the log and is much lighter than first stacked. If you have access to a moisture meter, burning when the wood is 16% - 29% moisture content, is ideal.

This is usually caused by poor draft or draw. The chimney system does not pull hard enough to move the exhaust fumes quickly through the secondary burn off system. Volatile flue gases then ignite inside the main combustion zone (the fire) and make small puffs of smoke. Poor draw could be caused by one or a combination of one of the following:

  • Chimney system (connector pipe and chimney) not to the minimum height - usually 16’ from the stovetop.
  • Dilution of the draft (air pulled in from a source other than through the firebox) in the chimney caused by a loose or missing clean out; a loose flue collar; loose connector pipe joint or a crack in the masonry chimney if used.
  • Blockage or restriction of the exhaust path, caused by build up of ash in the secondary combustion zone; blockage in the catalyst if present; clogged rain cap or blockage in the chimney.
  • Burning unseasoned wood.

Stoves with an ash drawer or ash dump allow you to clean the excess ash from your unit without stopping to let the stove cool down. Ashes are raked or sliced through slits in a cast grate or a small opening in the stove bottom into an ash container below. Hot coals for the next fire are pushed to one side and colder ashes raked into the ash drawer. Alternatively a slicer is used to slice under the ashes and slide the ashes into the ash drawer. A small rake about 20" long is the most common tool to push the hot embers to the side and rake the ashes into the drawer. While more convenient than shoveling ashes directly from the combustion chamber, the ashes still need to be dumped as soon as they reach the top of the ash container.

EPA stands for the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA is a United States governmental organization whose mission is to protect human health and the environment. EPA certified wood stoves meet emissions guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA certified stoves will generally release fewer particulates into the atmosphere. Almost all stoves manufactured or sold in North America meet these guidelines as most jurisdictions in North America (including all in the U.S.) require an EPA certification.

All jurisdictions in the U.S. and some in Canada require the stove be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA clean air test does not include actual efficiency testing. EPA grants all non-catalytic stoves a default efficiency of 63% and because most catalytic designs are around 10% more efficient, the catalytic stoves are granted 72%. The manufacturer’s published calculated efficiency will usually be much higher — some in the 89% range. Keep in mind there are several methods of calculating efficiency so comparing efficiencies may not provide an accurate picture of the stove’s performance.

Glass should be clean enough to view the fire easily. This is accomplished by feeding primary combustion air into the fire from a slot running across the top of the glass just inside the door opening. The flow of air "washes" the glass unless one of the following occurs:

  • Air flows into the stove to feed the fire from another source other than the air wash. Most common is the door or glass seal but it could be any joint in the main panels low in the stove (including the air channels inside the combustion chamber).
  • Poor draft: the air flow is very poor and not providing enough air to "wash" the glass especially on a full load.
  • Burning unseasoned wood.
  • Wood is too dry which causes too many particulates to be emitted rapidly.

Most wood stoves have an "air wash" system to keep the glass relatively clean. However, deposits do build up over time and should be cleaned off at the first available time. Many specialized chemical products are available commercially to clean your glass. Note that there is no miracle product. If your glass has not been cleaned periodically, creosote build-ups and combustion residues will become hardened and difficult to remove and, in some cases, permanent. A damp cloth dabbed into clean cold ash makes a cleaning paste similar to some mild abrasive cleaners. When rubbed on a cold dirty glass surface and cleaned off with a dry cloth, the results are quite acceptable. However, over time, this method may scratch the glass.

Any moveable surface on a wood stove, such as load doors, ash doors, griddles, dampers and all glass panels, have gaskets usually made of fiberglass which require regular maintenance. These gaskets maintain the proper seal required to make the stove perform optimally. If any load door on the unit becomes loose, the latch mechanism should be adjusted as per the user manual. This is common after the first few months of use as the gaskets get worn in. If any gaskets fall out or become frayed or otherwise damaged, they must be replaced and/or re-attached immediately before using the appliance. The types and sizes of gaskets used on your unit are listed in the manual and should be available from you dealer.

This can occur due to several factors:

  • The fire was not burning hot enough to produce the draft needed to pull the air into the fireplace. Feed more dry wood kindling before closing down the stove.
  • The chimney draft is weak due to too many restrictions; chimney height below the minimum; draft is diluted due to poor gasket connection(s); loose clean out door.
  • The wood is not properly seasoned or too big to create the heat necessary to produce draft.
  • Air shutter was not open enough. Open the air shutter all the way to get the fire burning briskly before shutting it down.

A magnetic thermometer placed on the stove or a probe thermometer inserted into the connector pipe can help determine when to reload and when to open or close the air shutter. This allows you to burn the stove in the most efficient manner. It will also help you to determine whether you are over-firing or under-firing your stove.