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choose grill bbq grill, gas grill, pellet grill, charcoal grill

Which type of BBQ grill should you choose? Gas grill, Charcoal, Pellet or Electric?

It’s that time of year again when the weather is heating up and the days are getting longer. With weather like this, it’s the perfect time to have family and friends come over and spend some time on the patio enjoying a delicious meal fresh of 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. For those looking for a new grill, there are many options that you can choose from. Four of the most popular types of grills are gas, charcoal, pellet and electric. Here’s what you need to know about each type of grill before buying a new one.

 

Gas

Perhaps the most popular grill on the market, the gas grill is a staple in many backyards. Most gas grills run on either bottled propane or natural gas that can be purchased from a utility provider. One of the best features of a gas grill is how fast it can heat up. The gas grill is perfect for those who do not want to deal with handling charcoal or wood and just want to get cooking. Gas grills also heat evenly which is a big advantage over charcoal grills which can heat unevenly if you’re a novice griller.

 

Gas grills are often more expensive to buy, but it’s cheaper to cook with a gas grill than a charcoal grill. While some gas grills come with a small smoker, you will only get a hint of smoke; however, gas grills produce a rich flavor especially compared to cheaper options like electric grills.

 

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time getting the temperature just right and you want to start grilling fast, then a gas grill will be perfect for you. Some of the most popular brands for gas grills include Fire Magic, Twin Eagles, MHP, and Broilmaster.

 

Charcoal

If you are a Backyard BBQ purist then a charcoal grill might be a good fit for you. Gas grills are the most popular in backyards, but charcoal grills are also iconic. To many people, a charcoal grill has a unique taste and texture. One of the biggest setbacks of Charcoal grill is that it takes a significantly longer time to heat up when compared to a gas grill.

Charcoal grills come in all shapes and sizes, but one of the most popular brands is Big Green Egg. Big Green Eggs are a unique kind of charcoal grill called a vessel grill that uses the radiant heat from the side of the grill walls to cook the food. Vessel grills are much better smokers than other charcoal grills.

 

 

Pellet

Pellet grills are the new kids on the block in comparison to gas grills and charcoal grills. Pellet grills became popular on the West Coast and have spread over to the Midwest and East Coast. The wonderful things about pellet grills are that it is a nice mixture of charcoal and gas grills. Pellet grills use compressed wood pellets which provide heat and smoke. Pellet grills also have a built in computer that reads the temperature from the grill body and adjusts the temperature as desired by the grill master.

 

A pellet grill can provide a nice balance between a gas and electric grill, but its biggest downfall is that it needs to either be plugged in or run off of a battery at all times. If you are looking for something off the beaten path, then a pellet grill will be perfect for you. The most popular brands of pellet grills are Memphis Wood Fire and Louisiana Grills.

 

 

Electric

An electric grill is an option for city-dwellers living in apartments with grill restrictions. Electric grills are convenient because they are typically small, portable and easy-to-use. Unfortunately, the taste of the food cooked on an electric grill leaves a lot to be desired. The smoky flavor is almost entirely lost when cooking with an electric grill and overall the food will be drier and less succulent when using an electric grill. For true BBQ grill diehards, an electric grill is not a real option, but it’s worth mentioning for those that are prevented from using other grills because of building regulations. The most popular brand of electric grills is the George Foreman Grill.

 

 

As you can see each of the 4 grills we talked about has its pros and its cons. Come in and speak with one of our grill masters and let us help you find the best one for you. Aspen Fireplace & Patio is here to help you with all of your grilling needs to make your summer BBQ a hit!

fireplace doors at aspen fireplace in columbus ohio

Why Fireplace Doors are better than Screens

When it comes to fireplace accessories, there are none more important than fireplace doors or screens. They are both important aspects of maintaining a safe and healthy fireplace, but they don’t serve the exact same purpose. Oftentimes, people are confused about the differences between fireplace doors and a fireplace screen. This article will help you understand the difference between fireplace doors and fireplace screens, and also explain why fireplace doors are a better investment in most cases.

 

The Difference between Doors and Screens

A fireplace screen is a piece of mesh that serves as a barrier between the fireplace and the room. The frame is usually made of a metal (iron and bronze are common) while the mesh panel is made of woven wire or perforated metal.

 

Fireplace Screen

Fireplace Screen

StollFireplace-26 cabinet doors

Fireplace Doors

Fireplace doors are made with thick glass and much sturdier. Sometimes they are called glass fireplace doors in order to differentiate them from screens and prevent confusion. Similar to screens, doors serve as barriers for the fireplace, but the glass is much more solid than mesh.

 

The Benefits of Fireplace Screens and Doors

Fireplace screens and doors both serve a very important function: keeping your home and family safe from the heat of a fireplace. A fireplace can produce a lot of heat and can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Both screens and doors provide an extra layer of protection from either the hot glass of a gas fireplace or the burning logs of a wood-burning fireplace. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, a fireplace screen will also block burning embers from getting in your room and potentially starting a fire.

Fireplace screens are also great decorative pieces. They can be centerpieces of a room especially in traditional style homes. If you have fire logs and accessories around your fireplace, a fireplace screen is a great way to create space for those items and define the area of the fireplace. Subtle fireplace screens are also available that add a nice touch to your fireplace.

 

Why Fireplace Doors are Better

Doors have all the same safety benefits as fireplace screens. They add an extra layer of protection for gas fireplaces and they create a barrier between the flames and your room for wood-burning fireplaces. They also add to the décor of the fireplace. The main advantage of fireplace doors, though, is that they have energy efficiency benefits.

When your fire is out or dwindling, closing the doors on your fireplace will prevent the warm air from escaping out the chimney. By keeping the heat in the room longer, your fireplace becomes a more efficient source of heat. In addition, fireplace doors prevent cool air from escaping out of your fireplace during the summer.

 

Traditional fireplaces are beautiful elements of any home that has one, but they can be frustratingly inefficient at supplying heat. Fireplace doors are the easiest way to improve the efficiency of a traditional fireplace and they also have added safety and decorative benefits. While screens are nice additions to a fireplace, the better long-term investment is in fireplace doors.

 

To find our more on fireplace doors and screens, check out the articles below.

avalon fireplace columbus ohio aspen fireplace zone heating example

Fireplaces Maximize the Comfort of Your Home and Wallet with Zone Heating

Most homeowners today would agree that a roaring fireplace on a chilly fall night is a nice thought. Other homeowners would say it’s a necessity. Fireplaces have come a long way from tromping out into the woods, pulling cut logs from the pile stashed under tarps covered in feet of snow. You have the many options of typical fireplaces set as a firebox, freestanding stoves, fireplace inserts, manufactured log sets, etc. But why the necessity?

 

While homeowners can mostly agree that a fireplace is nice, nearly all would nod their heads in saying that heating a house can be expensive, especially for us northerners. So how can we reduce the bills while staying warm? Turns out, you can have you cake and eat it too through a method called zone heating. Zone heating is putting heat where you need it, when you need it, allowing you to turn down the thermostat on your central heating system. Research states that we spend more than 80% of our time in 20% of the home. According to the US Department of Energy, by inserting a fireplace, stove, or logset insert, you are able to turn down the thermostat and decrease your bill by anywhere from 20-40%. Because seldom-used rooms don’t require constant heating, zone heating allows you to save money by running more concentrated amounts of heat when necessary.

 

In addition to the billing efficiency, zone heating can offer greater benefits like increasing the value of your home. The National Association of Realtors estimate that adding one fireplace can increase the value by almost 12%. And that’s per fireplace. They also state that adding a fireplace is among the top three things that interest homebuyers. If a fireplace is something that is not yet installed in your space, purchasing and placing the system won’t break your bank. Many factory-built systems use a safe and lightweight chimney (sometimes no chimney at all) and do not require additional structural support; making the installation easy and less expensive.

 

Zone heating is an option that should be thought through carefully and involve a professional installer who can advise appropriately. Here at Aspen Fireplace, we would be more than happy to help inspect and provide the best and most reliable products for your next home renovation. Feel free to contact us for more information on how you can improve the quality and function of your home space.

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/

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.

marinated grilled shrimp bbq grill graduation party recipes aspen fireplace

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.