About Us

Company History

Since 1932, Empire has manufactured gas-fired home heating equipment at its plant in Belleville, Illinois – located near St. Louis.

The company is committed to building high-quality zone heating products and offering them at competitive prices.

Through the years, Empire has developed a network of knowledgeable distributors and dealers who can help consumers select the right product for their home and follow through with trained technicians to install and service the heater.

Empire offers a full line of direct-vent, vent-free, and B-vent heaters in sizes to warm almost any room.

Nearly all of Empire’s heaters are made in the company’s two Belleville facilities.



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 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.


  • 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



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.


  • 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



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.


  • 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



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.


  • 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

How to Purchase

We Encourage You to Buy from Your Local Dealer

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

While our products are available to purchase 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 is 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 Ultra-Saver High-Efficiency Heating Products

Love Letter to a Heater

Love Letter to a Heater

“This is one ugly heater. When I first bought my house 10 years ago, I was appalled at the monstrosity parked in the kitchen. We have an oil furnace as our main source of heat, so the Empire is “extra.” My HGTV soul took over, and I was determined to replace it with a pretty gas fireplace as soon as the budget allowed.

Fortunately, that never happened. Instead, I now see nothing but beauty in that big hunka metal in the corner. That heater has never failed to keep us warm when we’re without power, and it was our lifeline when we lost power for a week following an ice storm. We used it to melt snow for flushing the toilets, to cook, and even as our main light source.

I’m a single mom with a bunch of boy scouts, and we were able to make do because of the Empire RH-65-5. I choke up thinking about how that “thing” has saved us from freezing pipes and allowed us to stay home when the power was out. We have an 18-year-old dog, and he spends all winter next to that heater. It’s beautiful to him, too.

Thank you for your help – and for designing truly wonderful heaters!”

Alyson M.
Mont Vernon, NH