About Us

Company History

Made in USA – Providing Opportunities for Employees and Suppliers

Empire manufactures American Hearth indoor and outdoor fireplaces, inserts, logs & burners, cast iron stoves, and mantels at the company’s two manufacturing facilities in Belleville, Illinois, just outside of St. Louis.  The company has provided jobs to southern Illinois residents for more than 100 years – both in the original sheet metal shop dating back to 1911 and in the manufacturing facility that opened in 1932.  The children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of some of the original employees still proudly work to produce our products, truly making this a family business.

Today, Empire employs hundreds of people in manufacturing, office staff, sales, marketing, engineering, accounting, administration, and management.

Venting Methods

Venting Methods

All of Empire’s Zone Heating appliances allow you to efficiently warm the rooms you use most. Zone heating saves energy and money by letting you turn down the thermostat on your central furnace.

Empire offers zone heating systems in Direct-Vent, Vent-Free, B-Vent, and Power-Vent. Each has its own advantages. Your dealer can recommend the system that’s right for your home.

Direct-Vent

Direct-Vent system uses two vent pipes. One draws air in from outdoors to support combustion. The other exhausts the by-products of combustion to the outside. The two vent pipes may be concentric (exhaust pipe within a larger diameter intake pipe) or co-linear (separate pipes of about the same size).

Combustion takes place inside a sealed chamber – with a glass front in the 
case of a fireplace. Room air circulates around the combustion chamber, often assisted by a blower, to heat the room.

A DV system is often installed along an outside wall to simplify the vent run, 
but can also be installed elsewhere in the home and vented through the roof.

Advantages:

  • Good efficiency – 60 to 80%
  • Good heat output with thermal transfer through the glass and air circulation
  • Separates room air from combustion air
  • May be used as primary heat source
  • Can operate with a remote or thermostat
  • Most systems can provide live-saving heat during a winter power outage
  • Choose fireplace, insert, cast iron stove, or heater

060211DV Venting Final

Vent-Free

A Vent-Free system uses room air for combustion and delivers 99.9% of the available heat energy directly to the room. VF systems have an unmatched safety record, thanks in part to their clean-burning technology and their Oxygen Depletion Sensor, which instantly shuts of the valve if oxygen in the room drops to and unsafe level. Because no venting is required, VF systems offer more installation options.

VF systems are limited to 40,000 Btu and must be operated as supplemental heating sources in conjunction with a central furnace that circulates air.

Advantages:

  • Unmatched efficiency – 99.9%
  • Offers the most installation versatility
  • Usually less expensive to buy and to install
  • Can operate with a remote or thermostat
  • Most systems can provide live-saving heat during a winter power outage
  • Choose fireplace, insert, heater, cast iron stove, burner and log set, or contemporary burner

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B-Vent

A B-Vent system takes in room air to support combustion and exhausts combustion by-products (along with much of the heat) to the outdoors through a single vent pipe – usually through the roof or through a chimney.

Because they are relatively inefficient, compared to a DV or VF system, most B-Vent fireplaces are rated as decorative appliances. They provide the ambiance of a fireplace without overheating your rooms.

Advantages:

  • Ideal for replacing a wood stove or oil burner – eliminates handling solid fuel
  • Can operate with a simple remote (no thermostat)
  • Usually less expensive to buy and to install
  • Choose fireplace, heater, or burner and log set

060211B_Vent_Venting_Diagram

Power-Vent

Power-vented systems – such as Empire’s US90-Plus wall furnace – offer unmatched efficiency – exceeding 90 percent AFUE. They are so efficient at extracting heat, very little heat energy exits via the flue. This means they can be vented with low-cost PVC venting instead of costlier stainless steel.

Advantages:

  • Unmatched efficiency in a vented system – greater than 90%
  • Unmatched heat output
  • Separates room air from combustion air
  • Can also provide humidity to offset dry winter air (US90 requires accessory tray)
  • May be used as primary heat source (however, they do not operate in a power outage)
  • Can operate with a remote or thermostat
  • Choose fireplace, insert, or heater

Residential Fuel Comparisons

To learn more, CLICK HERE to download our reference guide.

How to Purchase

We encourage you to buy from your local dealer.

For your safety, gas appliances must be installed and serviced by trained personnel.

While our products are available online, your local dealer has the product knowledge and the trained technicians to ensure you get the right product for your home and that it’s installed correctly.

In fact, Empire will not warranty certain products unless they are installed by the selling dealer or that dealer’s direct contract agents.

These products include:

  • All Direct-Vent Fireplaces, Inserts, and Stoves
  • All Boulevard Linear Fireplaces (Direct-Vent and Vent-Free)
  • All B-Vent Fireplaces
  • All Mantis Fireplaces, Inserts, and Stoves
  • All Ultra-Saver High-Efficiency Heating Products