Friday, January 21, 2011

Your Kerosene Heater Wick

There are many things that you need to know about kerosene heaters wicks.  Some of which will help the life of your wick and really just some need to know information about safety,

To clean burn a kerosene heater, take the heater to a well ventilated place.  Outside the house is best, but a garage with no flammable materials will work as well.  Turn the heater on and allow it to run completely out of fuel.  After the heater cools, brush any remaining carbon deposits from the wick.  If you have a fiber-glass wick it will feel softer after this process. You only want to do this with a fiber-glass wick NOT a cotton wick.

To maintain a top operating cotton wick. Roll your wick up so that you can see the top of it clearly and remove any uneven or brittle ends carefully with a pair of scissors.  This only works for cotton wicks, NOT fiber-glass wicks.

It is recommend by the American Lung Association, US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission the you change your wick yearly. If it is used frequently, or you are using a low quality of kerosene, you may need to change your wick more often.
We do recommend that you keep the instructions to your heater and follow the instructions.  The correct wick type will be listed in the manual.

There is information on your heater to help you find the wick that you need, but you need to know the brand.  Lots of heaters have the model as a name not number.  For example, you may have the Aladdin Temprite 15, the brand is Aladdin and the model is Temprite 15 or you may have an Aloha and you would need the serial number or lot number which you would find on a plate that is riveted to the side or back of the heater. It may look something like 423900.JY747S and your model number would be JY747S.  The reason you need this information is because there are many different sizes, lengths, with cut outs, with pins and some are the whole unit or only the top that burns.

Here are some basic reasons you would want to change you heater wick:
  • if you purchased a used heater
  • if it has been more then a year since you last used it
  • if you are having problems getting it to burn
If you are having problems with it not wanting to burn I would start with getting rid of the fuel that you are using.  Kerosene does have a tendency of going bad and tends to collect moisture. As a reminder to everyone, if you are going keep you kerosene in a red or blue gas container it is always smart to take a sharpie and write, “K-1” on the side so you never mix the contents of the container.

If you need to purchase wicks for Kerosene Heaters visit

Monday, January 17, 2011

How do you know what size Wood Stove you need?

When it comes to heating your home you want to be sure that you purchase the appropriate heating system for your home.  When you look at the description for a wood stove you will see that it heats in BTUs.   

A BTU is a British Thermal Unit.  This is a measure of how much heat the stove puts out.   

Sometimes you see the measurement in kW or Kilowatts.   

The output you require is dependent on the size of the room to be heated.  To determine the cubic meters of the space to be heated you will need to use a metric ruler and measure the length, width, and height of the room you wish to heat (in meters). Multiply the three measurements. The number you get is your cubic meters.  

Once you have that measurement you have the cubic meters of the room.  To heat a 25 cubic meter space it takes approximately 1kW if the room is well insulated.  If it is not then 1kW will heat a 15 cubic meter average insulated room, of a 10 cubic meter poorly insulated room.

When you have the initial measurements you multiply them all together and divide by the insulation figures listed above.  Here is an example:

If the room is 6 meters wide, 7 meters long, and 3 meters tall your cubic meter space is 126.  Let’s assume the room is insulated fairly well, but not excellent meaning it falls in the average category.  We’ll now take 126 and divide it by 15 cubic meters.  This means it will take approximately 8.4 kW to heat that room. 

Now as we have already mentioned the units may be given in BTUs for the stove you’re looking at.  To convert kW to BTU you’ll need this conversion:

1 kW or kWh (same thing) = 3412.3 BTU/hr

So to convert this example to BTUs then take 8.4 kW and multiply it by 3412.3 BTUs and you’ll get 28,681.17 BTUs/hr.

But to help you out a little most of the wood stoves we have listed on Wood Stove Outlet also have the square footage that the stove can heat listed as well.  So if you know the square footage of your home, that may help you, but as far as ceiling heights, and taking insulation conditions into consideration, BTUs are really the best measurement you can do to determine appropriate stove size. 

None of this really matters though if you have a room that has a lot of windows, drafty doorways, etc.  Weather proofing your home and adding more insulation will help you keep heat in your home.

If you are buying a wood stove more for decorative purposes rather than for the heat, make sure you do not buy a stove that will put out too much heat.  If you are running that stove at lower outputs the efficiency will be poor, possibly cause flue problems including condensation and reduced visual appeal due to smaller flames and under performing air-wash.  You are better to have a stove that has slightly less output than you require so that the stove is working hard all the time, resulting in more flames and cleaner glass.

Before buying and installing any wood burning stoves you should have your chimney and flue inspected by a trained, certified chimney sweep.  Your chimney may have a low integrity that prevents you from safely burning a fire in that stove.  Also call your insurance company and talk to them about adding that a wood burning stove or fireplace to your home owner’s insurance policy. If you decide to invest in a wood stove then you will want to be sure to properly maintain and upkeep the stove.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Decorative Fireplaces, What to do with them...

There are many people who have purchased a home or are renting an apartment that has a fireplace in it, that once upon a time was working, but is now only there for decorative purposes. But before you get started decorating, you might want to use a fireplace hand brush to clean all the soot off of it from the days when it was once in use. So here are 5 ideas that we have come up with for your decorative fireplace:

1. Tried and True.  Many people have used candles in their decorative fireplaces.  And this is a great idea, and there are many candle racks, or candelabras made for fireplaces.

2.  Make it look real.  Many people will still put firewood in their decorative fireplaces to give it a feeling that it could be used, just be sure to keep people from trying to light it.

3. Storage.  Some people use them as a place to store things if the fireplace is deep enough.  Want to hide the clutter that is hiding in your fireplace, use a decorative fireplace screen.

4. Bookcase.  If the seal is tight enough that no water ever leaks in, you could add some shelves into your nonworking fireplace and create a neat built in bookcase.

5. Potted Plants.  Some people keep a potted fern, or other plant that needs limited sunlight in their decorative fireplace.  This adds a bit of greenery to an otherwise dark space.

Let us know if you try any of these ideas.  We'd love to see some photos, or your blogs about what you did with your decorative fireplace. Also feel free to check out some fireplace myths.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Benefits of Woodstoves

Many people are frustrated with how high their electricity bill can get in the winter.  And as cold as it has been lately, (and with all of the snow we've had, especially here in SW Virginia) its easy to see what the cause of this increase in spending on electricity is.  Wood stoves are a great alternative to using electrical, oil, or propane heat.  Not only can they help lower your power bill, but they are also a great back up plan for your heating when/if your power fails.

With wood, it is typically cheaper and easier to purchase vs. Oil or propane.  It is also a renewable resource.  Which is always a good thing.  And depending on the type of wood you are burning, it can burn at a much slower rate than oil or propane does.  And as for decor, woodstoves can add a unique old world feel to the room that they are in.

But before you make the purchase of a wood stove you will want to see if there are any local building regulations regarding wood heating in your city or county, you will also want to figure out what size wood stove you will need.  Safety is always a first!

View our Squidoo Lens on The Benefits of Woodstoves.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Nostalgic Cooking

For many of us with wood stoves, it is easy to forget that if we have the right type of wood stove, that they can be cooked on. Although, I always remember right when the power goes out and after enough times of that I decided to go ahead and invest in some great Cast Iron Cookware by Lodge Logic.  But, you don't have to wait until the power goes out to use your wood stove for cooking.  My grandmother made some of the best dishes cooking on her wood stove, and using my to cook with always makes me think of her.

Breakfast is my favorite to cook.  It's quick, simple, and seems to taste so much better.  There are tons of websites with recipes for cast iron cookware Lodge Logic offers some recipes on their website, but the possibilities don't stop there.  We'd love to hear what you've been cooking on your wood stove this winter!

Be sure to keep your wood stove in top shape by taking the steps to maintain and upkeep your woodstove.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Woodstove Outlet

Hello and welcome to our first blog.  We are Woodstove Outlet, and things are in full swing for the New Year already.  We cannot believe that 2010 went by so quickly.  We are owned and operated by Red Hill General Store which has a brick and mortar location in Hillsville, VA.  You should stop by and see us there if you live close enough we are located just outside the town limits of Hillsville, at 1035 Sylvatus Hwy. (Rt. 100)
In our online store and at Red Hill General Store we offer Woodstoves and accessories, Fireplace accessories, Stovepipe, Kerosene heater wicks, Chimney accessories, and more!  So feel free to check out all our links, leave comments/suggestions, bookmark us, etc.  We love to interact with our customers and readers!  Feedback is always a plus!

To get you started feel free to read:

How to Change a Kerosene Heater Wick
Woodstoves - History
3 Fireplace Myths
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