Comparing Empire VFRL-18 and VFRL-18-10, the former is 26k BTU while the latter is 10k BTU. The look and price are identical. My question is, can I buy the 26k BTU unit to use in my living room, but if I decide to move it to the bedroom later, I can I step it down to 10k BTU to make it code compliant? In other words, how's the difference in BTU's physically implemented? Is it some part that can be swapped out?

  • You state to make it code compliant. Do you have a Code restriction for your location limiting BTUs to the 10K value that is based on the fact it is a bedroom or by room size? – spicetraders Sep 13 '16 at 17:31
  • The fact that it's a bedroom limits it to 10k BTUs by code. – Wynne Sep 13 '16 at 19:39
  • Be sure vent-free (aka ventless) gas fireplaces are allowed in bedrooms in your jurisdiction. (In mine, they are not permitted in bedrooms) – Tim B Nov 12 '17 at 4:05

It appears that the burner length is the primary difference, but that's not to say that there couldn't be other differences in the valving, etc. You'll probably want to contact the manufacturer if a company representative doesn't appear in this conversation.

A unique 18-inch (10,000 Btu) Millivolt Loft burner provides heat and ambience for bedroom fireplaces. Check your local codes for applicable restrictions.

The 24-inch Multi-sided Loft Burner (36,000 Btu) is ideal for Peninsula and See-Through fireboxes. ...


  • Actually, both are 18 inches, except one is 10k and the other is 26k. And the prices are identical. – Wynne Sep 13 '16 at 19:40
  • It may be the orifice size in the gas valve, larger hole to allow more gas flow. Usually higher BTU requires more area possibly more burn holes in the burner? – Ed Beal Dec 4 '18 at 23:51

While it might be possible the two burner tubes themselves are the real difference and might be interchangeable allowing a 10K burner to swap into the 26K housing.

The housing would still be stamped/marked for 26K BTU. With the strick code for your area, if inspected would be subject to inspectors determination of BTU value. You would likely have to produce documented facts that the change was made and meets the 10K requirement as well as certified safe for use.
I would not risk possible penalties vs. cost of the second unit. Or if code permits the 10K unit in the living room then look at buying it, worst case then would be having to buy a 26K BTU unit if the 10K was not adequate for the living rooms heat.

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