A. Usually, but it still does not hurt to be prepared. Some things like aesthetics, how much heat you are looking for, etc. are questions which only you may know the answers.
A. How many fireplaces / stoves are you looking for?
What size of appliance do you have in mind?
Do you want your fireplace / stove to produce a lot of heat, some, or none at all?
Where would you like to put the fireplaces / stoves?
If you’re shopping for an insert, you should have the dimensions of the existing fireplace opening.
Do you have a single, two, or three story home?
How high is your ceiling?
What is the pitch of your roof? (if applicable)
What type of fuel would you like to use? (Gas, Pellet, Wood)
How large of an area do you want to heat?
Do you, or will you, have a raised hearth?
You should have your address, your phone number and directions to your house.
You should have blueprints, if new construction.
What type of style are you looking for? (Contemporary, Classic, Rustic)
A. What fireplaces / stoves do you have that will fit my space / location?
How much heat will it produce?
How will it be vented?
What materials may we install around it? tile, stone, marble, drywall, mantel?
Does it have a fan option?
Can it be installed with a remote control?
How efficient / clean burning is it?
How hot will the surface temperature get?
Any special requirements (hearth pad, metal framing, electricity, non-combustible material around it)?
A. Usually the builder for new construction and the homeowner for remodels.
A. This is a term used typically when purchasing a fireplace for new construction. The term zero clearance should be named close clearance. The term refers to being able to surround or build around your fireplace with combustible materials, usually wood and drywall. With that said, there is usually some clearance needed. For example, clearance to side 0″, clearance to top 0″, clearance to back 1″.
A. This term refers to the application of installing a fireplace insert into an existing fireplace.
A. When installing an insert (gas, wood and pellet) or if your chimney flue is cracked or heavily worn.
A. You should examine your chimney and flue once a year, to see if there is a buildup of creosote and any signs of water damage. A chimney sweep can provide this service.
A. Creosote is a byproduct of incomplete combustion. Incomplete combustion consists of smoke, gases, liquid droplets and solid particulates. This flammable tar-like substance is called creosote.
A. Just like your chimney, we suggest that your fireplace or stove be serviced once a year.
A. Direct vent applies to gas fireplaces, gas inserts and gas stoves. It is the process of using outside air for combustion, thus eliminating the use of preheated indoor air, which is lost up your chimney. Using a direct vent system gives you better indoor air quality, higher efficiency and greater venting options.
A. B vent systems work much the same way as a standard masonry chimney system. It uses indoor air for combustion and removes indoor air, smoke and gasses up your chimney / vent.
A. Pellet pipe for stoves is a 3″ diameter pipe (4″ for 2 or more story applications) made out of stainless steel and gasketed inside the pipe. Woodstoves typically are 6″-8″ diameter pipe while gas fireplaces / stoves range between 6-5/8″-8-1/2″ (sometimes larger). Wood fireplaces range between approximately 8″-16″.
A. A fan’s main contribution is distributing the heat your fireplace or stove produces throughout the house. Another great quality about fans is that they push the heat away from mantels or shelves above the fireplace, preventing them from getting really hot.
A. Most wood and pellet stoves / inserts have this helpful feature. Just above the door there is a slot of holes where superheated air flows through and immerses your glass, burning off smoke and creosote.
A. You will probably need to refer to your owner’s manual. Most new fireplaces / stoves will have a bottom louver, which folds down. Just under the glass there will be a glass retaining latch, pullout and down. To remove glass, pull lower glass towards you while lifting upward. Gas fireplaces / stoves will commonly have a white film residue. To remove or clean use a ceramic glass cleaner. (Do not use any abrasive cleaners. They will scratch your glass.)
A. For daily cleaning, use very fine steel wool (while glass is hot) to wipe away deposits. Remember to wear your hearth gloves when doing this! For deeper cleaning, use a glass cleaner designed for removing creosote. Spray cleaner on glass and wipe away deposits using paper towels. Do this when glass is cool.
A. Again, you will probably need to refer to your owner’s manual or call your local dealer. Most gas log systems will have either a key valve or a safety pilot valve. To light with a key valve, light a long match, slowly turn your gas on by using a key into the key valve, rotating clockwise. Extend your lit match or lighter under the logs and grate. To light gas logs with a safety pilot valve, turn your on/off pilot knob by pushing in and turning counter-clockwise to full on. Turn knob (without pressing in) clockwise until it stops, this is your pilot position. Light a long match or lighter, find your thermal pile (this is typically under the grate, in the right back corner, looks like a rod and funnel.) Push in on the on/off pilot knob while lighting the thermal pile. Once lit, keep your on/off pilot knob pressed in for approximately 45 seconds. Depress and turn counter clockwise to full on. To light a zero clearance gas fireplace or insert: pull down bottom louvre, turn on/off pilot knob to pilot position (pilot will be even with the white dash). Press in and hold while pushing the red spark igniter button. Once you see the pilot light, hold in the on/off pilot knob for 45 seconds, depress and turn counter -clockwise to on. At this point you can light your fire by pressing the on button, using a wall switch or remote control.
A. You will most likely have natural gas in urban housing and propane in rural housing. Natural gas is lighter than air and is 138,000 BTUs a gallon, while propane is heavier than air (caution: propane will pool up if you have a leak – shut gas off immediately until leak can be fixed) and is 90,000 BTUs per gallon.
A. British Thermal Unit. It is a measure of heat energy, or the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
A. There are hardwoods (oak, hickory, apple, etc.) and soft woods (pine, birch, poplar, etc.). Your wood should be dry and seasoned before using. Hard woods will have a higher BTU content than soft woods.
A. Look at the ends to see if they have cracks in them. If they don’t, your wood could be wet. Take two pieces of wood and hit them together. If they have a cracking sound, it’s dry. If they thud, it’s wet. You could also take a core sample to determine moisture content. Moisture content should be about 20%.
A. Hard woods are generally the preferred species for cordwood appliances because of their higher BTU content and lower emissions. Pellets from soft woods generally have slightly higher heat value and lower ash content than pellets produced from hard woods. Pine is a soft wood which will outperform oak in a pellet application. Though, oak is less expensive.
A. Cultured stone is a brand of manufactured stone veneer. Cultured stone looks exactly like the natural stones from which they were molded. As a building material, real stone can be problematic, but cultured stone is lightweight, versatile (can use indoors or out) and affordable.
A. Single wall stove pipe is a single layer of steel mostly used with wood stoves. Double wall stove pipe has the same use, and has an air space between an inner pipe and outer pipe, which makes the outer portion of the pipe cooler, enabling your stove to be closer to a combustible surface. Class A chimney is double wall pipe but instead of an air space, it is packed with high heat insulation, which can handle more heat. Class A chimney is used in the attic and outside of the home.
A. Every stove / fireplace is different, so you will want to check the manufacturer’s specifications. The type of venting / pipe you use will play a roll in this as well. Combustible means able to burn.