If you’re in the market for a new fireplace or fireplace insert, it can be hard to distinguish one company from another. So how can you tell if you’re choosing a company that really understands the safe selection, placement and installation of a home-heating appliance? Look for a company that is certified by the National Fireplace Institute (NFI).
What is the NFI?
The NFI is the professional certification arm of the nonprofit Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Education Foundation. Since 2002, the NFI has offered education and certification to professionals working in the fireplace industry in an effort to improve public safety.
What does NFI certification mean?
NFI certifications indicate that a fireplace professional has gone through training and testing involving the planning and installation of fireplaces. The certifications indicate that a hearth professional understand the proper installation and venting of fireplace products. Fireplace professionals can be certified as an NFI Gas Specialist, an NFI Woodburning Specialist, an NFI Pellet Specialist, or all three. Professionals who have earned all three types of NFI certifications are referred to as Master Hearth Professionals.
How do fireplace professionals become NFI certified?
To earn their NFI certifications, hearth professionals have to pass multiple choice exams developed to demonstrate that the professionals have the knowledge needed to safely and properly plan and install fireplace appliances. Hearth professionals also can take NFI training courses meant to provide them with the knowledge they need to pass the NFI certification exams.
What are NFI-certified professionals tested on?
The NFI certification exams were compiled through a job analysis process that determines the knowledge hearth professionals need to have to properly plan, install and maintain hearth appliances. To earn their NFI certifications, hearth professionals are tested on:
- The science of combustion,
- Heat protection,
- Safety guidelines,
- The basics of construction,
- Installation guidelines and techniques,
- Regulations regarding hearth construction and fireplace installation,
- Appliance instructions and requirements,
- Proper appliance drafting and ventilation requirements,
- Fuel delivery, and
- Fireplace inspection and service.
How do fireplace professionals maintain their certifications?
NFI certifications are good for a three-year period. To maintain their certifications, hearth professionals can either attend NFI-certified continuing education programs through the NFI Continuing Education Program for Certification Renewal, or they can take the most recent form of the NFI-certification exam before their existing certification expires.
How can an NFI-certified professional help you with your hearth needs?
An NFI-certified professional can help you choose a hearth appliance that meets your home-heating needs. Once you select an appliance that is the right size and the right fuel for you, an NFI-certified professional can prepare your home and install the appliance in accordance with local codes, the manufacturer’s recommendations and industry best practices. Throughout the life of your appliance, an NFI-certified fireplace expert can service and repair your fireplace.
How can you find an NFI-certified hearth professional?
If you’re searching for an NFI-certified fireplace professional to help you with your hearth in the greater Detriot area, look no further than FireSide Hearth & Home. We carry a lineup of the industry’s best hearth appliances, and we are proud to be NFI certified! You can speak with one of our hearth specialist by stopping by one of our three showrooms — in Canton, Utica or Royal Oak — today!