Fireplace Hood, Canopy or Heat Deflector
I’ve been looking at photos of the fireplaces in historic houses. I was trying to decide what will look best, or at least not stupid when I try to use an antique fireplace mantel with a new efficient gas heating stove.
The idea is by no means new. There are a lot of photos of heating stoves put into fireplaces. They’ve probably been doing it since the stoves were invented.
There are a couple of things in this photo. The very bottom part below the legs is the plinth. If I make the mantel higher so it won’t be close enough to catch fire, I was thinking about just building up the plinth. Here the plinth is the exact height of the base trim on the wall. The plinth on our mantel is already the same height as our base boards.
(The bottom is the plinth. The legs are called legs, jambs or pilasters.)
Then I noticed something else. See that piece of metal above the stove and below the mantel?
That is a fireplace hood. A fireplace hood is installed above the fireplace to direct heat as it rises away from the mantel.
Once I noticed it, I saw it on a lot of fireplaces. I don’t know why I never noticed it before. I am pretty sure I never lived in a house that had them.
This is a worst case scenario of a heater using the fireplace chimney. The U in the pipe is because the stove has a top opening. Just wow… Had to share. No matter what you have, now you know it could be worse.
But the fireplace has a hood.
Fireplace hoods are ridiculously easy to find. They come in every size and some of them adjust, like a curtain rod.
The more they extend, the more heat is deflected.
A fireplace hood that extends a lot is sometimes called a canopy. This one from Elite extends 6″.
I looked on eBay and found some great reproductions. There are a lot more available if you widen your search to include eBay international sellers. The United Kingdom has a lot of them new and used. If you have never bought international on eBay before or if it was a long time ago, you will be surprised by how little it costs and how fast it arrives. Even furniture costs less and gets here faster than I expected.
Check the used ones, too. If they fit, you can find something super cool.
Search Fireplace Hood on eBay >
Search Fireplace Canopy on eBay >
Mantel Protector Heat Shields
Once I knew what I was looking for, I found a lot of things. This is a mantel shield.
A couple of people recommended it when they put very hot vent free gas fireplaces under a mantel. People said it worked with mantels that were only 10″ above the fire and about 14″ over the fire.
This illustration shows two ways to use a mantel protector. I should think you would want to protect anything that might burn.
Meeco’s Red Devil Mantel Protector
Protects existing fireplace mantels from heat generated by fireplace inserts and stoves. Reduces installation clearances by up to 50%. Made of 24-gauge sheet metal which can easily be trimmed to fit. Black oxide finish can be painted to match decor. Kit includes 47 In. long mantel protector, all mounting hardware, and instructions.
Adhesive Backed Aluminized Fiberglass Heat Shield Material
I don’t know if we could do something with this, but it’s good to know it exists.
A-Team Performance Adhesive Backed Aluminized Fiberglass Heat Shield
Made with aluminized finish which is flexible and durable woven silica, this Aluminized Adhesive Backed Heat Barrier can withstand scorching temperature above 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Its reflective surface can still screen off the heat and provide utmost protection.
- Adhesive composite on its back
- Reflects 90% of radiant heat
The conclusion is, I don’t have to worry about it. We can get the stove we want and use the mantel I love and we can retrofit to keep the house from burning down.
(Our house burned down when I was a kid. We weren’t home, but we lost absolutely everything. It can happen.)