Discover Everything About Empire Fireplaces (Plus Some Good Picks)

Empire Comfort Systems is a family-owned company that was formed in 1932 and has since then produced a full line of gas-fired products. The company is based in Belleville, Illinois, and prides itself on its efficient and artful heating solutions. Empire specializes in high-quality Vented, Vent-Free, and B-Vent Empire Heaters, Empire Fireplaces, Empire Vented gas logs, Empire vent free gas logs, and Empire Fireplace Inserts, as well as Cast Iron Stoves. 

The Brand Family offers excellent flexibility in terms of product choice and specifications. They include the White Mountain Hearth and American Hearth fireplaces, which offer stunning traditional and contemporary fireplaces, gas log sets, and Cast-Iron stoves. The Empire Heater line specializes in classy Vent-Free Blue-Flame and Radiant systems, B-Vent, and Direct-Vent systems that are a perfect fit for any home. The Broilmaster line deals with multi-level cooking grids, separate burner controls, stainless steel griddles, and the Smoker Shutter.

Generally, Empire fireplaces have impressive owner reviews, mainly as a result of their durability and outstanding performance. They are also highly efficient and are available for online purchasing, which makes it easier to access for those who opt to install them themselves. Empire is also known for honoring its warranties and providing exemplary customer service. We have prepared a list of Empire fireplace review options for your comparison.  

Below are reviews of some of top Empire fireplace inserts:

The Empire Loft Series comes in both vent-free and direct-vent systems, each offering incredible performance. The Loft fireplace inserts offer up to 99% efficiency and are sure to meet your heating needs. 

They come in a polished, simple design that you can tailor to your own décor with a variety of designs for surrounds and decorative glass in numerous options, which create a realistic illusion of a floating flame. 

The Empire Loft series are certainly the preferred models for those looking to upgrade their traditional fireplaces for a more contemporary look.

Empire Loft Series Attributes

The Empire Innsbrook fireplace inserts come in stylish traditional and contemporary direct-vent and vent-free options. They come in 20”, 26” and 28” sizes, but they’re also smaller, contemporary 10,000 BTUs vent-free inserts for bedroom installation. 

These models are highly efficient for zone-heating, thereby reducing your heating cost by up to 30%.

Empire Innsbrook Attributes

The Empire outdoor traditional vent-free fireplaces come in 36” and 42” sizes for your ideal lavish fireplace. It offers a high performance of up to 50,000 BTU for your outdoor heating needs. These models make a great way to transform your outdoor space and elevate your outdoor lifestyle. 

These models are elegantly designed with stainless steel exterior and an exclusive stainless-steel interior. You can customize your Empire outdoor vent-free fireplace with attractive refractory liners and detailed log sets for an authentic and scenic view. 

Empire Outdoor Vent Free Fireplace Attributes

The Tahoe Premium models are direct-vent, clean-face Empire fireplaces that come in both traditional and contemporary designs. 

They are beautifully crafted with hand-painted ceramic fiber liners, charred log sets, an advanced burner with a vibrant flame pattern, and a black porcelain liner than enhances the utmost realism and depth. 

The Empire Tahoe Premium also features an optional variable blower to improve heat circulate in your living space. 

Empire Tahoe Premium Attributes

The Empire Tahoe Clean-Face Direct Vent Luxury Fireplace models are sleek, simple, and minimalistic fireplaces made for maximum durability with an in-built look.  

These models are controlled by a multi-function remote, and have a fireplace barrier screen for additional safety. 

The Empire Tahoe Luxury models have a ceramic glass window that not only ensures high heat transfer, but allows for viewing of the realistic, rich flame pattern. 

These models can be customized to match your home décor, with exquisite liners and ceramic fiber floors.

Empire Tahoe Luxury Attributes

The Empire Rushmore is a refined and sophisticated direct-vent gas fireplace that features the cutting-edge True Flame technology, which uses a ceramic catalyst to minimize emissions and maximize efficiency. 

It also guarantees maximum flames and ember glow. It has a clean face that perfectly integrates into the fireplace front, with a number of customizable finishes, doors and decorative andirons.  

This model comes with a multi-function remote that works as a conventional thermostat, a Smart Thermostat for adjusting the flame height, or manual control. 

The tall, brilliant fire created by the Empire Rushmore gives a stunning view that makes it the undeniable focal point of your home. 

Empire Rushmore Attributes

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Gas Fireplace Inserts Work?

Gas fireplace inserts use natural gas or liquid propane gas to heat rooms. They are made of a metallic firebox that fits into your fireplace. The gas burns and the heat generated is radiated into the room, for efficient zone heating. 

There are Empire direct vent fireplaces and vent-free gas fireplace insert options, the difference being that the Empire direct vent fireplaces draw in the air required for combustion, from outdoors, as opposed to inside the room. 

The exhaust and fumes from the direct-vent appliances are also released outside the exterior wall. The direct-vent fireplaces are considered safer because they maintain the indoor air quality, but vent-free units offer higher efficiency.

How Long Do Fireplace Inserts Last?

Fireplace inserts are expected to last for a period of 20 to 30 years, with proper use and maintenance. Some of the components and accessories have a shorter lifespan and therefore require replacements and repairs within the first ten years of use. 

Empire Comfort System Inc. offers a non-transferable warranty to the original purchaser only, for repairs and replacement of defective parts or workmanship. This includes a Limited Lifetime Parts Warranty for the Combustion Chamber, Heat Exchanger and Factory-Installed Glass, and a Limited One-Year Parts Warranty for the Remote Controls, Thermostats, Lights, Accessories, and Replacement Parts. All other components are covered in a Limited Three-Year Parts Warranty. 

How to Light Empire Fireplace Gas Inserts?

Empire gas fireplace inserts use either the standing pilot or the intermittent pilot for ignition, each with different lighting instructions.

Standing Pilot

On initial lighting, the Empire fireplace insert will take a few minutes for the lines to purge themselves of the small amounts of air in the lines. Once the purging is complete, the Empire gas fireplaces will light and operate satisfactorily. 

The appliances with a standing pilot are to be lighted only by hand. Smell around for gas before lighting, and in case of any gas smell, do not light the appliance or use any electrical devices. Call the fire department or your gas supplier from the neighbor’s phone. Use only your hands to push in or turn the gas control knob. 

To light the insert, set the REMOTE/OFF/ON switch to OFF, then turn off all electric power to the appliance. Next, remove the barrier assembly and push in the gas control knob slightly and turn it clockwise to “OFF.” Wait ten minutes to clear out any gas, then smell for gas, including the floor. If the air is clear, find the pilot behind the burner on the right side and turn the gas control knob counterclockwise to “PILOT.” 

After that, push in the control knob all the way and hold it in. Repeatedly push the piezo ignitor button until the pilot is lit. Continue to hold the control knob in for about one minute after the pilot is lit, then release the knob for it to pop back up. The pilot will remain lit. Turn the gas control knob counterclockwise to “ON”, replace the barrier assembly, and turn on all electric power to the appliance. Finally, set the REMOTE/OFF/ON switch to the desired setting.

Intermittent Pilot

These appliances have a pilot that can be lighted with the manual on/off switch, a remote control, or by switching the remote receiver switch to the “ON” position. Before lighting, smell for gas and take precautionary caution as in the standing pilot, in case of any gas smells. Next, use only the remote control or manual remote receiver switch to operate the gas valve. 

To light the insert, turn OFF the electric power to the appliance, remove the front surround panel assembly or the bottom louver if included, then turn the gas shut-off valve counterclockwise to the “On” position. 

Wait ten minutes to clear out any gas, then smell for gas. If the air is clear, turn ON the electric power to the appliance. Find the pilot behind the burner on the right side, and turn the main flame to ON. The pilot will light within 60 seconds. Replace the front surround assembly or close the bottom louver assembly. The operation of the gas valve is controlled by a manual on/off switch or a handheld remote control. 

To turn it off, set the REMOTE/OFF/ON switch to OFF and turn off all electric power to the appliance if service is to be performed. Finally, turn the gas shut off valve to the “OFF” position.

Do direct-vent gas fireplace inserts need the vent pipe installed in the chimney, or can it vent up the existing chimney?

Direct-vent gas fireplace inserts do not need installation of a vent pipe in the chimney since they can be vented up the existing chimney. However, it might be necessary first to install a liner that matches the insert, in the chimney, for proper venting.