6 Steps for Starting a Fire in a Wood Fireplace

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Wood inserts and wood stoves are great fireplace options for those that prefer the authentic sounds and smells of a wood-burning fire. However, getting the fire going in the fireplace can be tricky for those without a great deal of fire-starting experience. Fortunately, this guide will tell you how to get your fireplace blazing in just 6 easy steps.

  1. Make sure your chimney is clean. Your first step should always be to make sure it’s safe to burn a fire up your chimney. The best way to make sure your chimney is safe for a fire is to get a chimney sweep.
  2. Open the damper. Open the damper when starting the fire and when it’s burning. You can close the damper when the fire is out. Opening the damper will make sure the smoke goes out the chimney.
  3. Prime the flue. Priming the flue involved warming it up so that cold air from outside doesn’t mix with the warm air of the fire. Light a newspaper and hold it up the damper to prime it, or turn on the gas and light the pilot light if you have a gas pipe supplement in your fireplace.
  4. Gather your fuel. Tinder, kindling and logs are the only fuel that should be used in your fireplace. Make sure you get seasoned wood, otherwise creosote can build up in your chimney.
  5. Start the fire. Tinder is material that is easily ignited such as newspapers, twigs, or wood shavings. Start by lighting the tinder with a match or lighter. When the tinder catches, add some small sticks for kindling. When your kindling starts to burn well, slowly add your logs.
  6. Keep a small ash bed for next time. Keeping a small amount of ash in the fireplace will make it much easier to start the fire for the next use. However, you will want to clean the ash out completely every so often.

Once you get the hang of it, starting the fire in your fireplace will be easy and then you are free to enjoy it! If you have a traditional fireplace, but want to learn about more efficient choices like wood inserts then contact us online and a representative from Aspen Fireplace will be in touch.

For more tips on how to start a fire in a wood insert or other wood burning fireplace, check out these articles:

https://www.unitedfireplaceandstove.com/blog/step-step-guide-building-perfect-fire/

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2010/11/23/how-to-start-a-cozy-fireplace-fire/

B-Vent Fireplace

When thinking of the word “fireplace” we often think of a traditional stone hearth with a warm blazing fire inside, with a tall chimney that extends out and beyond the roof top. While that’s true, there is another type of fireplace that uses ideally the same functionality as your average fireplace, with a few changes. The B-vent, or natural, fireplaces do not have a sealed combustion chamber, and the smoke ventilates through the buoyance of natural gas. It uses either a traditional chimney to vent, or a B-vent pipe that is enclosed in a combustible material.

 

To keep the flames going, a B-vent fireplace uses the air surrounding the fireplace opening. Naturally, since heat rises, the flue gasses are hot and ascend up through the chimney. This pattern of air flow allows the hot gas to exit the house. As the flue gasses make their way up the chimney, the interior walls of the chimney continually increase heat throughout the duration of the fire. The heated walls allow the gasses to maintain their temperature and increase buoyancy as well as speed, as the gas is emitted into the outside. The idea behind the B-vent fireplace is to use the natural draft and air flow inside the room to keep the fire going and develop a pattern up the chimney to emit the flue gasses.

 

For help deciding between which type of fireplace is right for you, contact the professionals at Aspen Fireplace. We know fireplaces better than anyone else in Columbus, and we have experts that are knowledgeable in the field that can answer your questions and help you make an educated buying decision. Don’t miss our summer specials on patio furnitureincluding table sets, chairs, sofas and umbrellas, perfect for any patio this summer. We even have a great selection of outdoor fireplaces that will have you prepared for the first cool Autumn night!

Fireplace Terminology

At aspen Fireplace, we like to communicate with our customers as clear as possible, but there are some important terms to know when researching and purchasing a fireplace or other gas appliance for your home. Use this reference guide of Fireplace terminology to understand exactly what you’re looking for in a fireplace.
 

B-Vent

A double- wall metal pipe used with range hoods and other appliances to ventilate the gas.

 

Blower

A motorized fan that circulates air through the fireplace convection air chamber.

 

British Thermal Unit/ BTU

A unit of measure used to calculate the amount of energy needed to convert 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.

 

Clearances

The required safe distance between heat sources or flammable objects. For instance, the distance between a stove, fireplace, or chimney and upholstery or fiber carpets.

 

Direct Vent

A direct line for gasses to be released straight to the outside. No chimney is required when using a direct vent.

 

Efficiency

The amount of warm air delivered by the fireplace into the room versus the amount of warm air that escapes through the chimney.

 

Flue

The inner part of the chimney in which gas travels up and out of the fireplace.

 

Gas Fireplace Insert

A factory created appliance that can be placed directly into an existing fireplace, or can be free standing. It will provide the same amount of heat, with better efficiency.

 

Modulating Control

An automatic system to regulate the fuel input to the gas fire.

 

Natural Gas

The gas that burns in a gas fireplace. It is an all-natural, clean burning, fossil fuel that comes into the home via pipeline.

 

Pilot

The flame that ignites the gas used to start a fire on a gas stove or other gas appliance.

 

Radiant Heat

Heat that flows from a central point and heats objects it passes along its way.

 

Thermostat

The digital device that regulates an inside temperature. The thermostat triggers the HVAC unit to start and stop based on pre-set and current temperature.

 

For questions about fireplace and gas appliance terminology, the professionals at Aspen Fireplace are here to answer your questions. We can also help you select the best fireplace or other gas appliance that is best for you and your family this summer. 

Fireplace Xtrordinair’s High Output Linear Gas Fireplaces Win Prestigious ADEX Award!

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The 3615, 4415 and 6015 represent the High Output Linear Gas Fireplace Series, which recently won the 2015 New Products Platinum ADEX Award!

Sponsored by Design Journal Magazine, ADEX (Awards for Design Excellence) is one of the largest and most prestigious award programs for product design of furniture, fixtures and finishes, marketed to design professionals.

The High Output Linear Gas Fireplaces received the Platinum ADEX Award, which represents the highest level of award that can be achieved. Awards were given to new products based on the criteria of design excellence and sustainability, or “green” features.

What You Need to Know About the EPA Wood Stove Regulations

What You Need to Know About the EPA Wood aspen fireplace columbus ohio

Earlier this year, the EPA adjusted its standards for fuel efficiency thresholds of wood stoves. The EPA will require that wood stoves meet higher standards of fuel-burning efficiency in order to be sold. By the end of 2015, all wood stoves that are sold will have to meet these new standards.

What you should know about these EPA regulations:

1. Our wood stoves will be on sale. After December 31, we will no longer be allowed to sell our older wood stove models that don’t comply with the EPA regulations. This means we have to sell the remaining stock by the end of the year. You will be able to get great deals on our wood stoves from now until the end of the year so now is the time to buy if you’re looking for a wood stove.

2. Wood Stoves will be more energy efficient. Following the regulations, wood stoves will be more effective at using fuel. Wood stoves still won’t be nearly as efficient as other heat sources like gas or electric fireplaces, but they will be much more efficient than older models.

3. You won’t be forced to replace your current wood stove. One myth of these regulations is that it will impact the wood stove you already have in your home. You will be allowed to keep your wood stove regardless of its efficiency, but if you buy a wood stove from a certified wood stove dealer after December 31, it will have to meet certain efficiency standards.

4. Only certified dealers have to meet these regulations. One aspect to consider is that dealers will be selling wood stoves for cheap to get rid of stock, but consumer-to-consumer sales will remain unregulated. As long as you’re not a business dealer, you can sell a wood stove of any efficiency.

If you’re in the market for a wood stove, now is the best time to buy one. Be sure to check out our clearance items to find the best deals available and feel free to contact us with any questions.

6 Great BBQ Grill Graduation Party Recipes

 

6 Great BBQ Grill Graduation Party Recipes aspen fireplace

If your kid graduated from high school this year, then you’ve probably already started planning a graduation party. Graduation parties are an exciting time and it’s a great excuse to bust out the BBQ grill during a beautiful summer day. If you’re still trying to decide what to grill up for your kid’s graduation party, look no further. Any of these 6 BBQ grill recipes will be a crowd pleaser at a graduation party.

1. Grilled Bacon-Cheeseburgers. A classic recipe that just about everyone can enjoy. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to keep things simple and let the grilling speak for itself.

grilled bacon cheeseburgers bbq grill graduation party recipes aspen fireplace

2. Grilled Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs. This recipe is another summer classic. Hot dogs are meant to be grilled on a sunny summer day and you can easily grill up plenty for everyone in no time. Adding bacon to your hot dogs will make them a crowd favorite. Don’t forget to have all your favorite toppings and condiments available.

Bacon-Wrapped-Cowboy-Hot-Dogs bbq grill graduation party recipes aspen fireplace

3. Marinated Grilled Shrimp. This recipe is great as an appetizer or the main course. Marinate your shrimp to give them a unique flavor and then grill to perfection. The marinade makes this shrimp recipe memorable and your guests are sure to appreciate it.

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4. Easy Marinated Pork Ribs. This is another marinade recipe that will leave your guests asking for seconds. Ribs are a great summer dish and this recipe is the perfect graduation party meal.

Pork-Ribs bbq grill graduation party recipes aspen fireplace

5. Grilled Tomato Bruschetta. Don’t forget about appetizers for your graduation party. This grilled tomato bruschetta recipe is a delicious and healthy way to start the party.

grilled tomato bruschetta summer grill recipe aspen fireplace

6. Virginia Willis Pulled Pork. This pulled pork recipe is for Big Green Egg owners, but can be used if you have a smoker. Pulled pork is always a hit at graduation parties and this unique recipe will separate your pulled pork from the rest. A Big Green Egg gives you the versatility to cook amazing meals like this recipe.

VW-pulled-pork big green egg summer grill recipes aspen fireplace

If all you’re missing for your graduation party is a BBQ grill, then be sure to visit our showroom. We have some amazing deals on BBQ grills going on right now so don’t wait!

Why You Should Get a Chimney Sweep (Infographic)

Why You Should Get a Chimney Sweep infographic aspen fireplace columbus ohio

A chimney sweep is an essential part of any home with a chimney’s maintenance. A chimney sweep keeps your fireplace healthy and can prevent problems with your chimney from getting worse. For your safety, it is recommended that you get a chimney sweep twice per year if you have a wood-burning fireplace and once per year if you have a fireplace that runs on gas. Here are some of the main reasons why everyone with a fireplace should get a chimney sweep.

 

1. Creosote build-up. Creosote is a black residue that builds up in your chimney over time. Creosote is combustible which makes an excess accumulation a serious fire hazard. A failure to clean out creosote buildup is the cause of 25% of residential fires in the United States.

 

2. Remove bird nests. Birds inside your chimney can be a great annoyance. A chimney sweep will make sure to remove the nest without hurting the birds, but you should put a cap over the chimney to prevent them from returning.

 

3. Inspect the chimney. Buildup of dirt, debris, and other material can cause damage to a chimney. A chimney sweep will inspect the chimney for signs of any potential problems or hazards.

 

4.  Difficult to clean yourself. If you have the right materials, it’s possible to clean your own chimney, but unless you’re a professional you might miss something. The safest way to chimney sweep is by hiring a professional.

 

Aspen Fireplace has a wealth of experience with fireplaces and we offer fast and reliable chimney sweep service to the Columbus area. Contact us to schedule chimney sweep service for your fireplace.

5 Fun Facts About Electric Fireplaces (Infographic)

5 Fun Facts About Electric Fireplaces aspen fireplace infographic columbus ohio

 

 

 

Electric fireplaces offer great versatility and energy efficiency compared to gas or wood fireplaces. The main downfall of an electric fireplace is that they don’t offer that authentic fireplace feel of a wood-burning, or even a gas, fireplace. However, if you’re not concerned with authenticity, an electric fireplace is a great option for you. Here are some interesting facts about the benefits of electric fireplaces.

1. An electric fireplace can heat a room that’s up to 500 square feet. Electric fireplaces do not heat as well as a gas fireplace, but they are great for making small rooms or areas more comfortable.

2. Electric fireplaces are 100% efficient. No energy goes to waste when used by an electric fireplace. They use about the same amount of energy as a coffee maker.

3. Electric fireplaces do not release any pollutants when used. Unlike gas or wood fireplaces, electric fireplaces don’t emit vapors as part of the burning process. They are clean and energy efficient.

4. Most electric fireplaces only need a 120 volt outlet to operate. Electric fireplaces are extremely versatile. Once you get it set up initially set up, you can move it around your house when your heating needs change.

5. Electric fireplaces only cost about $0.09 per hour to run. Electric fireplaces are extremely energy efficient. You will most likely only spend about $25 per year on its operational costs.

5 Unique Places to Install a Gas Fireplace

Gas fireplaces are great additions to a home because they are energy efficient, safe, and versatile. The versatility and safety of gas fireplaces is especially compelling because you can have them installed in a variety of areas around your home. You’re free to install a gas fireplace almost anywhere as long as there is access to a natural gas or propane. This freedom gives you the ability to heat unique areas of your home. Here are some interesting places you can warm up with a gas fireplace.

 

1. Bathroom. One way to make your bathroom warmer is by inserting a gas fireplace. This is an elegant addition to a master bathroom; however, we recommend that the fireplace is in a place where there is no danger of water contact or slipping near the unit.

gas fireplace in bathroom aspen fireplace columbus ohio

 

2. Kitchen. If your kitchen is a popular gathering place in your home, then a gas fireplace might be an appropriate addition. It’s also a great way to keep dinner guests warm without cranking up the heat.

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3. Outdoor Living Area. Adding a fireplace to your patio is a fantastic way to get more use out of your outdoor living area. Patios get plenty of use in the summer, but once some cold weather sets in they don’t get nearly as much use. A fireplace will keep the patio area warm and comfortable so that you use it more often.

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4. Center of a Room. Adding a fireplace to the middle of an open space can tie a room together and provide a gathering place. People are drawn to the warmth which gives a room with a fireplace in the center a unique dynamic.

contemporary-indoor-gas-fireplaces  aspen fireplace columbus ohio

 

5. Bedroom. Don’t sleep in a cold bedroom. A gas fireplace will warm up your room so that it’s nice and toasty when you wake up in the morning.

Lennox hearth product gas fireplace in bedroom aspen fireplace columbus ohio

 

 

These are just a few of the many areas Aspen Fireplace can install your gas fireplace. Come visit at 5156 Sinclair Rd. Columbus, Ohio or contact us online to discuss which gas fireplace is best for your home.

Gas vs. Charcoal Grills: A Definitive Guide

Gas vs. Charcoal Grills

 

It’s getting to be that time of the year again, warm summer nights, evenings spent on the patio and dinners charred to perfection on the grill. Cookouts and social events in the summertime rely on the power of the grill, because nothing says “summer” like a grilled cheeseburger and shish-kabobs fresh off the BBQ. But, with that said, there’s an everlasting debate about the best type of grill for cooking: charcoal grills or gas grills. There is nothing that officially says one is better than the other, and it usually comes down to personal taste. Here are some tips about each type to decide whether a charcoal or gas grill is better for your cooking needs.

 

Round 1: Searing

Searing is one of the most common forms of grilling, where the meat browns evenly on both sides, offering a tasty crunchy texture to the outside of the meat. The best searing results can be achieved on a charcoal grill. More direct infrared heat is produced with charcoal grills, allowing for a more even sear across the meat without grill lines. Some gas grills offer infrared grilling options, but they come with a heavy price tag. Winner: Charcoal.

 

Round 2: Temperature Control

What many people don’t realize is that grilling doesn’t need to be used with extremely high heat. Some gas grills can reach up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, or higher, and charcoal can reach up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the optimal grilling temperature for meat is between 225-325 degrees Fahrenheit. Gas grills are much more efficient with temperature control than charcoal grills because they often have gauges or thermometers that track the temperature. It is much harder to regulate a steady temperature on a charcoal grill. Winner: Gas.

 

Round 3: Flavor

Smoke is another major difference between gas and charcoal grills. Charcoal produces more smoke than gas, and smoke can alter the flavor of whatever is being cooked, so that also comes down to a personal preference. Unlike smoke, gas produces no flavor, so the organic flavor of the food is kept when cooking on a gas grill. For foods like slow cooked ribs, beef brisket or pulled pork, charcoal grills are usually more desirable so that the smoke flavor infuses into the meat, giving it a unique flavor. Winner: You.

 

If you are looking for the easiest, most reliable grilling experience, we recommend going with gas. If you are looking for something that will infuse the “BBQ” flavor into what’s cooking, we recommend charcoal. Whichever experience tops your list, Aspen Fireplace & Patio is here to help you with all of your grilling needs to make your summer BBQ a hit!