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Wood, pellet or gas – Which type of stove is right for your home?

If you’re considering adding a heating stove or fireplace insert to your home, it can be difficult to know what type of stove is right for you. Wood-burning, pellet and gas stoves all have their advantages and disadvantages, which you’ll need to weigh to help determine which type of stove will fit your home-heating needs.

Wood-burning stoves

Wood stoves are a natural choice for traditionalists. If you prefer the warm glow and pleasant sent of a wood fire, a wood stove makes sense. EPA-certified woodstoves can be incredibly efficient, returning up to 70 percent of the fire’s heat to your home. EPA-certified stoves also emit relatively low levels of smoke and particulate matter into the atmosphere.

Of course, one of the biggest draws of wood-burning stoves is fuel costs. If you cut, stack and store your own firewood, you can heat your home with a free fuel source. Even if you must purchase firewood, wood-burning stoves can be inexpensive to fuel and can lower your home’s overall heating costs.

Pellet Stove Options - Cinncinati OH - Chimney Care CompanyPellet stoves

Pellet stoves are ideal for people who love the traditional feel of a wood fire, but hate the work and storage space that goes into powering a wood-burning stove. Pellet stoves also are incredibly efficient and environmentally friendly. With pellet stoves, you can expect up to 83 percent of the fire’s heat to be returned to your home. Because pellets are made from dehydrated wood and contain little to no moisture, pellets burn more cleanly than logs, emitting less smoke and leaving less residue in your chimney.

Pellet stoves are easier to maintain than wood stoves, as pellets can be purchased as needed in 40-pound bags, eliminating the need for chopping, stacking and storing firing wood. Because pellets are fed automatically from a hopper into the stove, one load of pellets can heat a home for up to 24 hours. That means a pellet stove can heat your home consistently while you’re at work, running errands or sleeping.

Gas stoves

Gas stoves win on convenience and efficiency. With a gas stove, you can enjoy roaring flames with the flip of a switch or the push of a button. Many gas stoves are connected to thermostats, so you can control the temperature. Gas stoves emit next to no particulate matter, and gas stoves return up to 99 percent of the fire’s heat back into your home!

Some people worry that gas stoves will provide an artificial-looking fire, but new models produce incredibly real looking logs and flames, complete with glowing embers. Of course, if you prefer a more modern look, gas stoves also can be fitted with rocks or glass marbles.

We can help you choose!

If you’re trying to determine which type of stove is right for your home, call the experts at The Chimney Care Co. Our experts can talk to you about your home heating needs and walk you through the positives and negatives of each type of heating stove.

By Jeff Keefer | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

How Can Zone Heating Reduce My Energy Bills?

How Can Zone Heating Reduce my Energy Bills - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Care CompanyThere are many different ways to warm your home this winter and avoid an especially high energy bill. Simple changes like keeping your temperature a few degrees cooler and bundling up with jackets and blankets, as well as lowering the temperature when you and your family are not in the home will save you a lot of money. If that just isn’t lowering your bill enough, it might be time to think about zone heating.

What is zone heating?

Though this can apply to both heating and cooling, cooler temperatures will have us thinking about staying warm, sooner rather than later. At its most simple, zone heating is a system of separating each area of your house into different zones, and allowing each area to be controlled individually. A more involved process of zone heating and cooling requires outfitting an entire house with a series of dampers in the air ducts, as well as have programmable thermostats to control each area. This can be pricey and time intensive. An easier alternative is using another heat source in the rooms that are most frequented. Using a gas or electric log set, a fireplace, or a stove in rooms with a high volume of traffic will allow you to lower your central furnace use and also the costs associated. Rooms that are not used as frequently, such as guest bedrooms and bathrooms, will remain at lower temperatures while the den, kitchen, and bedrooms can be outfitted with a series of aesthetically pleasing heating sources. We have a variety of options to choose from depending on if you want the ambiance and feel of a more traditional fireplace or log set, or if a vented stove is necessary for a larger room.

How is it going to help me save money?

By being able to control the amount of heat in each room of your house, the amount of wasted heat will be lowered, along with the price of your bill each month. The U.S. Department of Energy states that homeowners “can save up to 30 percent on a typical heating and cooling bill” and up to 40 percent of utility bills by switching to zone heating. That adds up to huge savings!

What are the benefits?

  • A beautiful addition to your home that perfectly represents your style
  • A new focal point for each room
  • Lovely new ambiance
  • Lowered heating costs this winter

Thinking about switching to zone heating can be a little overwhelming, but will be hugely beneficial in the long-term plan. There are many heating choices to choose from, and we want to help. Stop by the Chimney Care Company showroom and let us show you our collection of hearth products, and we can figure out together the best option for your budget and taste.

Update Your Fireplace or Stove This Summer

Fireplace Upgrades During Summer - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Care CompanyA great fireplace, stove or insert not only adds value and warmth to your home, it’s a natural focal point for entertaining purposes. If you’re having a hard time picturing your guests sipping cocktails around your current hearth, it may be time for an updated unit. Lucky for you, summer is the perfect time to update your fireplace, stove or insert with the help of the professionals at The Chimney Care Company. We would love the opportunity to help you transform your outdated hearth into a stunning piece of art and/or a conversation piece for guests once again.

A LITTLE GENERAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Half of all American homes (approximately 55 million) have at least one fireplace or freestanding stove, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. Fireplaces rank among the top three features desired by new homebuyers, after outdoor porches and upgraded kitchens. Fifty-nine percent of those homeowners consider the fireplace to be a major design feature of their home, and 73 percent of wood-burning fireplace owners say they use them to enhance the home’s atmosphere. An outdated hearth, however, can detract from the overall appeal of your home.

WE CARRY A VARIETY OF BEAUTIFUL STOVES AND FIREPLACES FOR EVERY TASTE AND SPACE!

After a brutally cold winter, many of us here in Ohio are just glad it’s starting to warm up (although we have to admit there are some people who would be satisfied living on the frozen tundra year round). Regardless of which category you fall into, we’ve got a home heating appliance for you! If you’re one who’s fond of saving money whenever possible, our showroom specials were tailor-made for you. We have an assortment of fireplaces, inserts and stoves and are sure to have something to your liking!

If pellet stoves or inserts are your thing, we’ve got something for you. If you’d prefer a wood-burning stove, insert or fireplace, we’ve got you covered, too. If gas stoves, inserts or fireplaces are more to your liking, we’ve got just the thing for you as well. You honestly can’t go wrong by making a trip to our showroom to get up close and personal with all of our great fireplaces and stoves. We carry a wide variety of quality appliances, and in our 20+ years in business, we’ve kept a focus on finding and recommending only the industry’s most reliable and beautiful products. There’s sure to be something that’s right up your alley!

As you can see, your tired fireplace can easily be taken from drab to fab in a relatively short amount of time (depending on the overall scope of your particular project). If you’re considering having a new appliance installed, The Chimney Care Company can help you from start to finish. We’ll advise you on types of units that will meet your needs and suit your space and the fuel that will best suit your lifestyle and preferences. Contact our team today to and let our experts help you find a great value. You won’t be disappointed in our expert workmanship, professional service or your new fireplace or stove, as all will bring you years of enjoyment!

EPA Increasing Fireplace and Stove Efficiency Standards

Wood Stove EPA Efficiency - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Care Company

Avalon Rainier™ Wood Insert
Heat Output: 71,800 BTU’s / Hour
Emissions: 2 Grams Per Hour

Wood smoke from home heating is the primary source of wintertime air pollution in our country. It contains fine particulates, gases, and even toxic compounds. These pollutants can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, as well as respiratory disease. Wintertime wood burning for residential home heating can be a significant source of pollution both inside your home and out. Wood smoke impacts occur during the winter months when cold temperatures contribute to increased burning. Frequent winter inversions cause air stagnation, which causes pollutant levels to exceed healthy air quality standards.

PROGRAMS TO ASSIST WITH CHANGING OUT WOODSTOVES

As a result of the increased attention now being given to air quality, many states have begun to offer tax credits and incentives (in the form of woodstove change-out programs) that offer rebates to replace old uncertified stoves with new cleaner stoves. Most programs allow consumers to trade in an old woodstove for a new one, at a discounted price, but some only allow trade outs to lower emitting appliances such as pellet and gas stoves, or give much higher rebates for pellet or gas stoves. The Alliance for Green Heat believes that “many wood stove change out programs haven’t taken a holistic approach and, as a result, air quality improvements have been somewhat undermined.” The Alliance has urged the EPA to use their leverage in directing funds to areas that have demonstrated a level of commitment, such as banning the installation of new exempt woodstoves, old, second hand uncertified woodstoves and/or unregulated outdoor wood boilers.

MAKING STRIDES IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

Unlike cars, refrigerators and virtually every other appliance, woodstoves can last so long that they remain in use for upwards of 50 years. As a result, most woodstoves are still not EPA certified, a program that wasn’t started until 1990. Pollution from older stoves, or from incorrectly used new stoves, is a serious health concern, and one of the best ways to get them out of circulation is a changeout program.

CONSIDERING WHAT THE EPA HAS TO SAY

Back in the late 1980’s, the EPA established a mandatory smoke emission limit for catalytic woodstoves (4.1g/h) and for non-catalytic woodstoves (7.5g/h). Today, all woodstoves sold in the U.S. must meet these limits, and many are certified for emissions down in the 1 to 4g/h range. The EPA certified emission rate is a reliable number that can be compared from one model to the next.

When shopping for a new woodstove, you’ll have two main sources of information to help you in making your decision: manufacturer’s literature and the advice you receive from the woodstove dealer. This is where knowing who to trust is of the utmost importance. The professionals at The Chimney Care Company would like to be your trusted resource for this information. We can help you find the perfect heating appliance, one of which might just be perfect for your needs, and install it for you, too. Our technicians can help you weigh your choices and their benefits and land on the perfect new appliance. Stop by our showroom and talk to our home heating experts about what you’re envisioning for your home, and we’ll do the rest.

Gas and Wood Fireplace Inserts Add Both Beauty and Heat to Your Family Room

If sitting in front of a crackling fire is your favorite way to warm up during the cold winter months, but your traditional fireplace isn’t quite cutting the mustard anymore, we have a solution for you that will add both beauty and heat to your family room. Fireplaces are a highly desired feature for many new homebuyers; unfortunately, they’re also a major air gap, sending as much as 8% of valuable heated air straight up the chimney. An energy-saving wood, pellet or gas insert will help you transform your existing hearth into a super-efficient heater that can significantly cut your energy bills.

Wood & Gas Inserts - Cincinnati OH

Wood-Burning Inserts

Wood-burning inserts create real heat with real logs. This firebox slides into your existing masonry or metal fireplace. Your installer will snake a stainless steel liner down your chimney to connect to the top of the insert before fitting a decorative cast iron, steel, or colored porcelain flange around the insert to provide you with a finished look. Many front doors come with ceramic glass to help with radiating heat into the room. Adding logs to the fire is as easy as opening the front door and tossing some in. Wood-burning inserts can easily heat anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 square feet of living space, depending on their size. Inserts designed to heat 1,500 square feet will typically burn for three to five hours before needing more wood, whereas inserts designed to heat upwards of 3,000 square feet will typically provide an 8- to 10-hour burn window.

Pellet Stoves

Instead of burning wood logs, a pellet insert burns wood pellets—rabbit-food-sized bits of compressed, recycled wood waste and other renewable substances—that are poured into a hopper. Like its wood-burning counterpart, a pellet insert is a sealed combustion box with a partially glass front door that’s surrounded by a decorative flange. To operate the system, you buy a bag of pellets, pour them into the hopper, press a button, and sit back and enjoy the fire. Unlike their wood-burning counterparts, pellet stoves need electricity—to start the fire, operate the blowers, run the auger that feeds the pellets into the burn pot, and run the computer board that monitors the whole system. Pellet inserts can easily heat anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet of living space, depending on their heat-generating capacity and the size of the fuel hopper.

Gas Inserts

Converting to gas has never been easier. Unlike the older generation of gas fireplaces, today’s gas inserts are real heat producers that can use propane or natural gas to power a steady flame that dances across fake logs, decorative glass chips, or stones, all behind a sealed glass face. A gas insert can be used in masonry or prefab fireplaces and can be vented through the existing chimney or directly through an adjacent exterior wall. In comparison to the other options, a gas insert is the easiest to use and requires very little maintenance beyond the customary annual check. Lighting the fire is as easy as flipping a switch. It is ideal for zone heating (heating the room you’re in while turning down the thermostat in the rest of your house).

An insert, installed by a factory-trained professional, will help to keep your heated air in the room. Inserts generally run anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000, including installation (prices can vary depending on the current state of your fireplace and existing chimney liner). Choosing the fuel type you want to use is the first step in the conversion process. To help with this decision, you’ll need to decide what’s most important to you—burning real wood and having heat even if the power goes out (wood insert), burning bio-fuel without the hassle of chopping and hauling wood (pellet insert), or push-button convenience for flipping on fast heat in a specific area of your home (gas insert). Regardless of the route you choose to go, the professionals at The Chimney Care Company can help you every step of the way.

By Jeff Keefer | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

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Chimney Care Company | 413 Wards Corner Road, Loveland, Ohio 45140