Monday, October 29, 2012

How Does a Pellet Stove Work

Many people are making an investment in a pellet stove for their home. You may have heard them mentioned in conversation. You probably have an idea of what a pellet stove is, but how does it work?

A pellet stove does not burn regular firewood. They burn wood pellets. These pellets are put into the hopper on your stove and the stove automatically dispenses the pellets from the hopper via an electronic auger system into the burn box. This system turns slowly and carries the pellets at a steady rate to deposit into the hot fire. There hot air that is blown across the fire by a fan that enables the pellet stove to keep up high temperatures so that the pellets burn evenly and efficiently. There is also a second fan on the pellet stove that blows hot air through heat exchanger pipes that run through the interior of the stove to provide long lasting heat in this low maintenance unit.

Before using your own pellet stove you should be sure to read all the instructions and contact the manufacturer if you have any questions regarding how to safely use your stove. 

Keep in mind that if you are looking for a heating system as a back up during power outages that a pellet stove is not for you. Pellet stoves require electricity in order to work.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dry Air from Wood Stove Heat

Some people have found that by using a wood stove in their home that the air seems to be dryer. This would be an accurate observation by a wood stove owner. Heat from a wood stove is a dry heat and can reduce the moisture in the air of your home.

So what can be done to remedy this situation? There are a couple options.

The first option is to use a wood stove steamer. A wood stove steamer is used by filling it with water and setting it on top of your wood stove. The heat from the stove converts the water to steam. This will add moisture to your air. It is advisable to place a wood stove trivet under your steamer in order to avoid cracks or dings being added to your wood stove. Some people also use the wood stove steamer to add nice aromas to their home by adding a few drops of an essential oil of their choice to the water in the steamer.

The second option to add moisture to the air in your home is to use a humidifier. Be sure to select one that is appropriate for your needs and follow the manufacturer's instructions on your unit.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Maintenancing your Stove Pipe

Quality steel stove pipe will last for many years, but there are some things that can cause premature failure of the stove pipe.

What can cause stove pipe premature failure?
  • Corrosion from acidic condensed flue gases. Flue temperatures need to be high enough to prevent water condensation to prevent this.
  • Corrosive gases that are present when burning household trash. To prevent this, do not burn household trash in your wood or pellet stove.
  • Excessive temperature. If your stovepipe is glowing hot then it will have a shortened life expectancy.
  • Humid weather can also cut down on the life of your stove pipe.
Be sure to check your stove pipe frequently for weaknesses in the metal and be sure to have your chimney sweep check it during your yearly inspection & cleaning. This will help to reveal faults in the pipe, hopefully before they have time to become a hazard.

To purchase stovepipe online:
For stove pipe visit: for pellet stove pipe visit

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tips on Using a Kerosene Heater

Having a heat source like a kerosene heater does take some safety precautions. When you purchase your kerosene heater you should first read all the instructions that come with them and be sure to store these instructions in a safe place so that you know where to find them if you ever need to refer to them in the future.

When using a kerosene heater you need to be sure to use only water-clear 1-K grade Kerosene in  your heater. Never use gasoline. Gasoline in a kerosene heater, even in very small amounts can greatly increase the risk of an explosion or fire. For this reason you should also NOT use any volatile fuels or solvents mixed with your kerosene that you are using in your heater.

Be sure that when you are storing your kerosene that you keep in a container that is recommended for kerosene use, also do not use a container that has gasoline previously stored in it. To help you remember which container is for kerosene use, you should label it. (Read more on Kerosene Storage)

Do not refuel your kerosene heater inside of your home. You should fill the tank outside, away from any combustible material, and be sure that the heater has been turned off and allowed time to cool before refilling. Also be mindful that you do not fill your fuel tank above the full level.

Be sure that smoke alarms are installed in your home before using a kerosene heater. Be sure to test your alarms monthly and replace annually. You also should have a fire extinguisher in your home, these tips are useful for any home regardless of whether a kerosene heater is being used or not.

If operating your heater inside a home you need to operate it in a room that has a door open to the rest of the house, be sure to have an outside window open at least 1 inch to allow fresh air to dilute pollutants. Do not leave the heater unattended.

Always, and we mean always, operate your heater according to the manufacturer's instructions. Also, be sure that the wick in your heater is clean and in good operating condition, if it is not, it will need to be replaced (Read more on Replacing a Kerosene Heater Wick)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Some Chimney and Fireplace Tips

When caring for a fireplace or wood stove, sometimes it is easy to forget about the chimney, we have written a few chimney articles in the past:

How to Decide on a Chimney Brush
How to Prevent a Flue Fire
Wood Stove Chimney Connection

But today we are bringing you a few extra chimney tips and facts along with a few for fireplaces:

Chimneys need protection from rain and from critters like birds and rodents that sometimes claim a chimney as their home. The best way to protect your chimney from these things is to install a chimney cap.

Know what size fireplace grate you should have: the grate should be no wider than the width of the back wall of the fireplace, it should sit about 2 inches away from the back wall and it should not be positioned too close to the front either or else it will cause your fireplace to smoke.

Do not allow any water to pool beside your chimney or foundation, this can cause water damage to your home.

If you paint your fireplace be sure to use a high temperature paint that is recommended for fireplace use. Some paints will let off noxious fumes when they are heated, so to be safe ask before making a paint purchase to use on your fireplace.

To keep your fireplace safe, please use a fireplace screen, this will help prevent sparks from flying out into the room and it can help keep loose clothing from being sucked into the fire. This is a feature that every fireplace should have.

Your chimney needs to be swept every year to remove creosote build up. Creosote is highly flammable and is the main cause of chimney fires.

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