a. It really depends on your needs, preferences, and budget. You can find stoves in a number of sizes, styles, and prices to suit your checkbook. If you choose to burn wood, there are a variety of EPA-certified wood stoves to choose from. If you prefer not to haul or chop wood, a pellet or gas stove may be more convenient. If heat during a power outage is a concern, you should know that the automatic pellet feed system in pellet stoves requires electric power.
a. A fireplace insert is a wood stove designed to fit inside an existing fireplace. It functions just as wood stove does and should be EPA-certified. And just as there are gas and pellet stoves, there are also gas and pellet inserts that burn cleaner and more efficiently.
a. Most of the wood-burning stoves on the market today are EPA-certified stoves, so you should be able to buy one from any retailer of hearth products. It’s important not only to purchase an EPA-certified stove, but also to have it properly installed by a certified technician.
a. Yes, with an EPA-certified wood stove, you can expect to use up to one third less firewood than you would using an older, less efficient stove. In an EPA-certified stove, most of the smoke is burned, resulting in more heat for your home from the same amount of wood.
a. We pride ourselves on our customer service and we will service and install anything we sell. Therefore, we like to give our full service to our customer who bought our quality, reliable products. But we do not install products we do not sell. One, we can’t get parts for units that we do not sell and therefore would not be able to service you. Also, when the product doesn’t come from us we do not know its condition and can’t take responsibility for something that we do not have control over. Lastly, we do not do warrantee on any products that do not come from us.
a. Yes, most vented logs sets do soot. Since the flames touch the logs, soot will build up on them during the combustion process.
Soot on the logs just adds realism. But, if you want to remove it you can. A small soft bristle paint brush works well or a vacuum with a soft brush attachment.
a. Certain models will permit you to install a remote receiver.
a. Vent-free logs are rated as a heating appliance and do not require venting to the outside. Vented logs are rated as decorative and require venting to the outside.
a. They normally use less gas than vented logs and produce more heat since no venting is required. They can’t be used in homes that do not have a masonry fireplace.
11) How often should I have my chimney swept?
a. This is a tougher question then it sounds. The simple answer is: The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 says, “chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances.” Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary. “this is the national safety standard and is the correct way to approach the problem. It takes into account the fact that even if you don’t use your chimney much, animals may build nests in the flue or there may be other types of deterioration that could make the chimney unsafe to use.
a. The smell is due to creosote deposits in the chimney, a natural product of woodburning. The odor is usually worse in the summer when the humidity is high. A good chimney sweeping will help but usually won’t solve the problem completely. There are commercial chimney deodorants that work pretty well, and many people have good results with baking soda or even kitty litter set in the fireplace.
a. It’s good idea to schedule your chimney inspection/cleaning directly after the burn season or early summer. The big benefits of this are that you will have an easier time scheduling rather than waiting for the fall rush. The other good reason is that if the inspection reveals any needed repairs you’ll have more time to get them scheduled and completed before the winter.