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Thinking Of Cleaning Your Chimney Yourself

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 13, 2010

Thinking Of Cleaning Your Chimney Yourself? Read This first.

It's important to clean your chimney after a long winter of using your fireplace. If you don't want to have it done professionally, we do offer chimney sweep kits to do-it-yourself. The task of cleaning your own chimney can be a very long and tedious one, it is recommended that you hire the professionals here at Fireplace Showcase, however if you insist on doing it yourself consider these tips before you buy the brushes.

One of the first things you need to think about when buying chimney sweep brushes is the height of your chimney. You will have to measure the height of your chimney from the smoke chamber to the very top. The rods used for chimney sweep brushes come in sections that measure from three to six feet. You need to make sure you buy enough sections so that the brush will be long to cover the height of your chimney.

You will also have to choose from different types of rods when you buy chimney sweep brushes. Fiberglass roads are stiffer and suitable for straight chimneys. Chimney sweep brushes with rods made of polypropylene will be more flexible.

One of the next things you will need to consider when buying chimney sweep brushes is the size. If you buy a brush that is too small for your chimney, it won't clean it properly.

One of the final things you need to consider when buying chimney sweep brushes is the type. If there isn't a heavy buildup or creosote in your chimney, you can get the job down with a standard wire brush. However, if the buildup is heavy, you will need to use flat chimney sweep brushes.

How Often Should You Clean Your Chimney

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 06, 2010
There's really no general rule to how often chimneys should be cleaned, however a thorough chimney inspection will help determine if chimney cleaning is to be done.  This should be done once a year in general.

After a while creosote, the residue from burning wood, will start to form around the interior walls of the chimney, a build up of 1/8 of an inch or more requires cleaning.  

It's important to keep your chimney clean not only for efficiency, but to also preventing the built-up creosote from catching fire resulting in a flue fire.  These fires can be very dangerous.

Although there are many do-it-yourself cleaning equipment to handle chimney cleaning, it's also best to consult with professional chimney cleaners.

The Revolution In Outdoor Grilling Is Here

Joseph Coupal - Monday, August 02, 2010

Outdoor grillers look no further for the perfect grill. Fireplace Showcase has what you need. Whether you like to smoke your meats or cook your food at a high heats, the Big Green Egg has the best of both worlds. It is arguably the best outdoor grill on the market in terms of flavor and versatility. Here are some facts about the Big Green Egg to convince you:

Porcelain Glazed Ceramic Construction - The Big Green Egg is made of an advanced ceramic material. It is perfect for retaining moisture and heat within the grill. This means it is the most efficient, precise and best grill on the market! Most grills with thin metal walls don't retain heat well and dry your food out.

Precise Temperature Control - Because of the temperature retention of the ceramic walls of the grill, your charcoal fuel can be kept at just the right temperature for whatever your cooking style. By varying the opening of the fire dampers you have precise control of temperature to within a few degrees!

Smoker and Grill - Like most barbecues, the Big Green Egg can be used both as a smoker and a grill. Rarely do you find one outdoor cooking utensil which is this versatile and can do both so adeptly.

Easy to Start - Because of its recessed and entirely contained shape, the Big Green Egg acts like chimney, intensifying and retaining heat perfectly. It protects your charcoal from wind and the elements while helping it ignite so that it will be ready to cook in minutes.

Safe - Because of its unique ceramic walls and the porcelain-glazed outer coat, the surface of the Big Green Egg stays relatively cool, even when it is hot inside. So this grill is safer around children and pets than metal grills which get very hot on the outside as well.

Natural Flavors, No Metal - Some people don't like metal grills because they can impart a slightly metallic taste to your food. Not the Big Green Egg, just the natural flavors of your ingredients and the wood smoke you choose to cook with. 

Fireplace Maintenance Tips To Remember

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Regular cleaning of your fireplace is essential if it is to effective and safe. It doesn’t matter whether you have a wood-burning or gas-burning unit. Here at Fireplace Showcase we recommend getting your fireplace cleaned once a year. Our professional chimney sweepers will check all parts, including the chimney draw, fans, pilots, burners, ignition, combustion and vents. Actually, the chimney is one of the most important parts that need to be inspected because it can often become obstructed by nest-building animals such as birds and raccoons. A chimney cap can help prevent animals from nesting. A fireplace that is not properly maintained and cleaned can result in carbon monoxide buildup in your home, a dangerous and potentially deadly occurrence.

Keeping your fireplace up to date in its cleaning also keeps ashes from building up in a fireplace. However, ashes and small embers from a fire can remain hot for several days and should be removed very cautiously. Remember; never use a vacuum to remove ashes from a recently used fireplace because it could easily start a fire. It's also important to open the damper before removing ashes; with no air going up the chimney, any blown-back ash and dust will spill out onto the floor. If you have a gas fireplace, we recommend cleaning it about once a month with a bristle brush. Be sure to wait until the log has cooled completely before cleaning it.

Why More People Are Buying Vent Free Gas Fireplaces

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 23, 2010
Yes more and more people in America are buying vent free gas fireplaces. In fact, there are over eight million who prefer vent free gas fireplaces to any other supplemental gas-heating device. This is because of the ease and convenience provided by a vent free gas fireplace.

When it comes to appearances, one of the most attractive vent free gas fireplace motifs is Fireplace Showcase’s peninsula design. It offers three viewing surfaces and releases heat in three directions. This particular vent free gas fireplace model is most often used in a short divider wall positioned between two rooms. This design is also suitable in a large room since it provides a bigger area where folks can gather around. As for see-through models, they can give off heat and ambience for two rooms. The most excellent features of the vent free gas fireplace are the fireplace surround and mantel.

Fireplace Showcases’ vent free gas fireplaces are inexpensive and have low operating costs. Because it doesn’t need a chimney, there is no heat loss so the efficiency of the vent free gas fireplace is almost 100 percent. Moreover, a vent free gas fireplace has the capability to supply heat and warmth during power outages.

Benefits of a Catalytic Stove and Cleaning Tips

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Your wood burning stove is the primary heat source for home heating. The catalytic combustor in your wood stove is the heart of your wood stove. Keeping your wood stove operating at its optimum efficiency increases the stoves performance. Installing a catalytic combustor in the wood stove forced all smoke to be re-burnt before it entered the chimney. This resulted in cleaner emissions in the air.
 
The most surprising result of adding the catalytic combustor to the wood stove was a huge increase in heat output from the stove. In order for the catalytic combustor to engage the stove must reach an internal temperature of around 1100 degrees. Once the catalytic combustor is engaged it slows down the burning process in the stove. The wood is slowly cooked as opposed to being burnt. The slow cooking of the wood is a more thorough burn which results in total combustion. Coals and ash are reduced to a fine white powder. The total combustion utilizes the wood as a fuel source with no waste.
 
The increase in heat output by using less wood to heat your home has been a huge savings. Keeping your catalytic combustor operating properly adds to the wood stoves efficiency. Burning firewood that is not seasoned puts excess moisture into the wood stove and this can cause the ceramic cells in the combustor to deteriorate. Keep your combustor clean and it can last five years or longer providing heat into your home. If the catalytic combustor starts to crumble it must be replaced.

Chimney and Fireplace Awareness

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Some people neglect their fireplace or chimney and figure it cleans itself and nothing bad could ever happen. However, this kind of behavior can end up costing you more than you would pay to have it professionally cleaned. If you can't remember the last time you cleaned your chimney it might be good to contact Fireplace Showcase to schedule an inspection. Here are some tips on how to prevent chimney disaster.
 
Unseasoned wood is actually a cause for concern. It takes longer to dry out and produce a solid, crackling fire but there are also serious repercussions to using this type of wood. The extra smoke and lower temperatures, associated with unseasoned wood, also means greater and faster creosote build-up.
 
Another factor with creosote build-up is the temperature of your chimney flue: the colder the flue, the greater the build-up. Creosote is created when the smoke from a fire condenses. For this reason, most of this by product is created at the beginning of a fire. People who use their fireplace a lot, but for shorter periods of time, may be at the greatest risk for the worst types of chimney fires.
 
Fires can start in chimneys but many fires also start outside the chimney. Due to rotted wood in your attic, which could be from from roof leaks or poor ventilation, have an ignition temperature equal to or lower than a piece of paper. If this wood is touching the outside of your chimney, the fire can actually start outside your chimney and quickly spread throughout your home.

 So do be careful and make sure you are aware and take care of your chimney.

Fireplace Showcase Offers Chimney Caps

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Ever wonder how some chimneys stay so intact and clean? The answer is simple -- chimney caps. What are chimney caps? Chimney caps serve a number of purposes, including home safety, preventing disruptive occurrences and avoiding costly repairs. Chimney caps usually are made of aluminum, copper, galvanized or stainless steel. Metal chimneys commonly have caps when purchased, while masonry chimneys may need one added. Your fireplace will be complete with its fresh new chimney cap. Chimney caps have wide benefits such as from animals to the elements

It is common for birds to enter a chimney that does not have a chimney cap, typically looking for a nesting area. The birds can also fly into the fireplace and, if the fireplace door is open, right into the house. If the nesting material in the chimney is not removed, the blockage can cause carbon monoxide to build up in the house.

When it rains, the rain coming into the chimney can cause unpleasant odors and damage flue walls. Rain also may run down into the stovepipe and the stove itself, or into the fireplace, and cause further damage. Even wind can harm an unprotected chimney by creating downdrafts that can cause smoke. Chimney caps minimize all of these negative effects. So now you know. Chimney caps do much more than preventing embers and sparks from flying out of the chimney and causing severe (and sometimes fatal) damage.

Lean, Green, Pellet Burning Machine

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 01, 2010

The increase in greener supplies and appliances is greater than ever now. With the pollution of the air and Earth itself, old traditional appliances are going more environmental friendly. And here at The Fireplace Showcase we strive to satisfy our customers to the fullest. Our pellet stoves are relatively versatile appliances. They are self-igniting and cycle themselves on and off via thermostat. Some of our stoves, with automatic ignition, can be equipped with a remote control.

An advantage of a pellet stove is if properly cleaned and maintained they do not create creosote, the sticky, flammable substance that causes chimney fires. Pellets burn very cleanly and create only a layer of fine fly-ash as a byproduct of combustion. The grade of pellet fuel used affects the performance and fly-ash output. The premium grade pellets produce less than one percent ash, while low grade pellets produce up to three percent ash. Pellet stove users should be aware of the extra maintenance required with a lower grade pellet, and that inconsistent wood quality can cause serious effects to the electronic machinery over a short period of time.

Now you may be wondering, “what is pellet fuel?” well pellet fuel is made from compacted sawdust, wood chips, bark, agricultural crop waste, waste paper, and other organic materials. Some pellet fuel appliances can burn a wide variety of biomass fuels, including nutshells, corn kernels, small wood chips, barley, beet pulp, sunflowers, dried cherry pits, and soybeans. This makes The Fireplace Showcase’s pellet stoves one of the greenest fires producers out there.

Unlike wood stoves which operate exclusively on a principle of chimney draft, a pellet stove must use a specially sealed exhaust pipe to prevent exhaust gases escaping into the living space. Pellet stoves require certified double walled venting with a stainless steel interior and galvanized exterior. Because pellet stoves have a forced exhaust system, they have the advantage of not always requiring a vertical rise to vent. Like a modern gas appliance, pellet stoves can be vented horizontally through an outside wall and terminated below the roof line, making it an excellent choice for structures without an existing chimney.

New England Wood Pellets are in

Joseph Coupal - Monday, June 28, 2010

New England Wood Pellets are in stock now at The Fireplace Showcase.  Priced at $259 per ton supply will not last long.  Quick delivery is available.

New England Pellet is the most experienced and largest pellet manufacturer in the northeastern United States and takes great pride in the quality and craftsmanship that we put in to making our premium-grade pellets.

Our stringent quality standards apply to every pellet in every bag and exceed industry standards. And while a primary goal of our company has been to constantly improve upon and evolve our premium wood pellets, one thing has never changed: our dedication to making not just the best performing wood pellets in America, but the most trusted, too.