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Can you remove the front vents on a wood burning fireplace?

My house was built in the mid 80s. The fireplace is wood burning with a chimney. It has these vents or slats on the front of the fireplace on the top and bottom. I am thinking of refinishing the surrounding area with a glass tile mosaic. These vents are old and beat up and I am wondering what the purpose of these vents are and if I can remove them. It would give me a much cleaner rectangle look with glass tile framing the actual box rather than old beat up vents below the box (all the way to the floor) and above.

Any info would be appreciated . I certainly don’t want to do anything that would prevent airflow or be a potential fire hazard.

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    1. I would call a chimney inspector and get his professional opinion. You don’t want to mess with this one on the internet.

    2. I believe the metal piece on the bottom allows air to flow into the fire box to help the wood burn and the top one allows the warmed air to flow into the room. Pretty sure you need both. However you might be able to replace them with something nicer. Try a big box store like Lowes or Home Depot for advice.

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