Frequently Asked Questions

When you purchase one of our products, it’s the beginning of a long-lasting relationship. GC Fires takes providing customer service and support to both prospective and existing customers very seriously. It’s where we excel. So, if you have any questions regarding our products or you require assistance in any other way; feel free to contact us. Any time!

Per Product

What is a closed combustion fireplace and why is it so much better than an open fireplace ?

Closed combustion fireplaces are sealed by a door. This ‘sealed combustion’ allows you to control the airflow into your fireplace, so you can increase the temperature in the combustion chamber and control the burning rate of the fire and increase fuel efficiency.

Try that with an old-fashioned open fireplace! Do you know that open fireplaces often achieve only 15% efficiency? This means that every time you throw that pricey Rooikrans wood onto your fire, 85% of its fuel energy literally goes up in smoke. In comparison, most modern closed combustion fireplaces achieve an average of 60–80% efficiency.

This all makes closed combustion fireplaces superior to any open fireplaces. Think of the advantages: more heat, less wood because of better efficiency; and best of all you’re able to adjust the heat output by controlling the airflow.

The emissions from an open fire are also much higher, as the open fire emits 15 times more CO2 and 50 times more fine-particle pollutants than a closed combustion wood-burning fireplace. Choosing a closed combustion fireplace is a more environmentally friendly option.

Lastly, but very importantly: because the firebox is closed, your fire can burn when you’re not present without the danger of sparks presenting a fire risk.

Which is better: a cast iron fireplace or a plate steel fireplace? And how long do they last?

The honest and simple answer is that they both have their strengths and weaknesses.

How valuable is your time? Cast iron takes a little longer to heat up but it can retain the heat for a little longer, while steel heats up quickly but also loses heat more quickly when the fire has died.

Some entry-level cast iron fireplaces do not offer the same levels of control over the airflow into the firebox as their plate steel counterparts. Due to the moulding process of some cast-iron models, some of the individual parts may miss the precision at which they are manufactured but they are virtual indestructible.

How do you rate price vs. quality? Steel fireplaces allow for more contemporary designs than cast iron, which is why steel fireplaces have become so popular over the years. Steel fireplaces manufactured of slightly thinner plate steel (≤ 3mm) are less expensive too, but will not last as long as cast iron. Either way, look after your fireplace with regular maintenance and always use dry wood.

If you ask us, we would recommend a steel stove with cast iron internal parts and a cast iron door as
we like the more contemporary style and robustness that the cast iron offers and this way you get the best of both worlds.

But hey, that’s just us. The decision is yours.

Can you ship/deliver my fireplace?

Yes, absolutely.

We can deliver to all parts of South Africa, and to other SADC countries upon request (Angola, Botswana, Congo (DR), Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).

Delivery costs are  quoted on request.

All fireplace deliveries come on a wooden pallet and, depending on your order, may weigh as much as 150kg or more. These heavier deliveries are very different from standard courier deliveries.

Follow this link for details about ‘Shipping & Delivery’ and information about heavier deliveries.

Can you take care of the installation?

Yes, we can!

We work with a combination of our own installation teams and our trusted installation partners teams to be able to offer assistance with your installation all over South Africa and during our busy peak season from March to August.

Our installation partners are carefully selected individuals and companies who can assist you in your area.

These are experience individuals and companies that we have worked with and have shown the same passion for delivering an outstanding service.

Some of these installation partners are also able to assist with larger products that involve building work sometimes required for installing build-in fireplaces and braais.

Lastly, for our ‘Do-it-yourself’ clients out there, we can provide you with detailed information if you want to do the work yourself – you may find that installing a fireplace is not as difficult as you thought.

Please follow this link to download the installation manual.

What is the correct size fireplace for my house?

In theory this is not too difficult to answer, but we need to use a little math.

To calculate the right kilowatt we apply a common formula used throughout the fireplace industry.

Firstly, we need to know what size area needs to be heated?

The room’s length x depth x height = Cubic meters (m3).

Once we’ve done this, we calculate the kilowatt needed to heat the area.

The cubic volume of the room (m3) divided by 30 = the kilowatt rating of the fireplace needed to heat the room volume. This means that for every 30 cubic meters you require approximately 1 kilowatt.

You can now look at which fireplaces are certified to provide those kilowatts in heat.

Where it becomes tricky is there are a few variables such as – the insulation of the house, number of windows, outside temperature and of course the desired room temperature.

With hot air rising, the room heats from the top downwards. So, if your ceiling is more than 2.6 meters or you have no ceiling at all, you might need a higher kilowatt output.

The kW of your fireplace and the heat distribution can always be complemented with a ceiling fan to circulate the hot air downwards. Some fireplace models come with ‘optional extra’ or integrated fans.

When you are choosing your fireplace, bear in mind that you can always go (al little) bigger and burn less, but you should not go smaller and over-fire your fireplace, as this will damage the fireplace by trying to heat an area that it is not designed to heat and ultimately nullify your warranty.

Experience helps, so please feel free to contact us if you are not sure which fireplace best suits your space as we can advise.

Do you do site visits?

Yes, we do virtual site visits.

Invite one of our knowledgeable sales consultants into your home for a Virtual Site Visit using WhatsApp Video Call. We’ll join you to advise you on the right fireplace for your home and to give you valuable installation advice.  Simply contact our sales consultants ….. And schedule a time and date for a video call.  

We do all our quoting and planning of the information requested by us and provided by you. It’s only if we feel that the installation is not straight forward, that we will then suggest a virtual site visit. Most installations are generally straight forward, and you can trust our skilled team and experience.

We also offer Virtual Showroom Visits for clients who are unable to visit our showroom and for clients who live far away. Contact our sales consultants ….. And schedule a time and date for a video call. 

 Our professional staff will always be happy to assist and advise you if needed.

How do you ensure that my quote is accurate?

We have more than 10 years of experience in this field.

An experienced sales consultant will design your flue pathway free of charge and carefully assemble the quote based on the information supplied to us by you. Each part is listed individually within your quote, so you can see in detail what we think you will need for a successful installation. Any flue parts not used during the installation will be refunded to you by GC Fires in full without any deductions.

However, sometimes we encounter an unforeseen situation that requires extra parts. If you want to get technical, the most common example of this is when the roof trusses block the flue pathway, and bends are required to offset the flue. When this happens, the installers will point it out and discuss it with you before proceeding. Don’t worry, your installation will not be delayed because our teams carry spare bends with them for these unforeseen situations.

The extra parts will be noted on the job card and can be paid for along with the installation cost.

Please follow this link to visit the ‘Quotes & Orders ’ section for more details.

Do you have a showroom?

Yes, we do. We have one of the largest showrooms in Cape Town with over 100 models from most of the popular brand ranges on the floor for viewing!

We stock a wide range of freestanding and built-in, closed combustion fireplaces, as well as ceramic fireplaces, portable pizza ovens, portable braais, built-in braais, stainless steel flue kits, and all the necessities. We also sell freestanding, built-in, and drop-in gas fireplaces, gas grates, and gas braais.

You can find our office, showroom, and warehouse situated at 39 Delson Circle, Somerset West Business Park, Somerset West, in Cape Town. We are off the N2, past the Gants Centre – just over the bridge and left at the first traffic lights into the Somerset West Business Park on Hazelden Drive. If you’ve passed the BP petrol station on the N2 on your left, then you have gone too far. Enter the park, turn left at the circle, and then left again. You are now on Delson Circle and you should follow the road until you drive parallel again with the N2. You’ll see our signage on your right-hand side.

Follow this link to find us on Google Maps

Our office, showroom, and warehouse are open Monday to Friday 8 am – 5 pm. On Saturdays, our office and showroom are open from 8 am – 12 pm (warehouse closed).

We also offer Virtual Showroom Visits through WhatsApp Video Call so that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. The video call should be pre-arranged and scheduled with one of our knowledgeable consultants.