General FAQ

How often should I clean my chimney?

The frequency of chimney cleanings depends upon the type of appliance, the frequency you use the appliance, and the type of fuel you use. As a general rule, you should clean your chimney at least once a year. Visually inspect your chimney for obstructions and cleanliness. Creosote build-up coats the wall of the flue and starts to restrict the air flow up it. A wood stove, insert, or furnace being used for alternative heat should be inspected frequently during the heating season you may need to clean 2 or more times. A wood fireplace may only have to be cleaned once at the end of the season. As the creosote builds up, the likelihood of a chimney fire increases. Protect your investment and clean your chimney!

What is seasoned wood?

Cut wood that has been allowed to air dry for 1-2 years. Ideally, the wood you cut today will be ready to burn in about 2 years.

What is the best kind of wood to burn?

Hardwood (i.e. oak, ash, maple) burns the slowest and cleanliest--best for long burns. Softwood (i.e. pine) burns quickly and dirty--not recommended for burning.

What is a flute?

A flute is a common misnomer for a flue. A flue, or chimney, is the passage for smoke to pass from your appliance (fireplace, stove, etc.) to the outside. Some people have also mistakenly called a damper blade a flue. The damper is the metal plate in the chimney that needs to be manually opened when burning and closed when all the ashes of the fire have gone out.

What is the LP?

Liquid propane (LP) is what is delivered to the house and stored in a tank. Natural gas is delivered to the house thru pipes in the street.

Why does my fireplace smoke?

Simple question but very difficult to answer. If you google that question, you will get thousands of sites to visit that have numerous answers. Each house and situation is different. What it all boils down to is why your house acts as a better chimney than the chimney does. Sometimes it smokes because the opening of the fireplace is too big for the flue size: Corrected by adding a smoke guard to the top of the fireplace opening. Or, the height of the chimney is too short: Easily corrected by making the chimney taller. How about that kitchen renovation with the new cooking range with exhaust fan? The fan's CFM (volume of air it moves) may be moving too much air and the easiest source for the house to supply air to the new exhaust fan is from the fireplace. The same could be said of the new bathroom fan, the dryer, and furnace regardless of the location in the house. Your external environment may contribute to the problem.--wind, trees, etc. Each situation needs to be studied individually. Sometimes opening a window or door a crack somewhere in the house may relieve enough pressure so the chimney may work properly. Your chimney may only need to be preheated prior to starting a fire. A hair dryer or lighted newspaper torch held near the open damper for several minutes will warm the chimney to help induce a draft up the flue. An exhaust fan attached to the top of the chimney may also work. As you can see, there is no simple sure-fire solution to this common problem.

What is your policy on special (custom) orders?

A special or custom order is an order for something that Fire Glow does not stock. Fire Glow requires a 50% deposit before ordering and the staff talks with the customer at length before taking the deposit. These items are non-returnable!

How do I order a stove and installation?

You finally finished your research and picked the appliance you have to have! A 50% deposit is required to proceed to the next stage of the sale. At time of deposit, we create an estimate of materials and labor for project, schedule a site visit (if needed), and install date (if appliance is in stock). If a site visit is required and it is determined that the project is unable to proceed, your deposit is refundable.

What does a site visit include?

Fire Glow's subcontractor goes to the site of install with the papers describing what the customer wants. The subcontractor verifies that the install can occur and what needs to be done for completion. When he returns to Fire Glow, we review the paperwork and contact the customer. Our subcontractor is not a sales person but the means for you to get what you want safely, both during the installation and your enjoyment of a working appliance.

Do you have a salesperson that comes out to the house?

Fire Glow has a 2700 sq.ft. showroom with many items on display. Our sales staff is located at the store! Our subcontractor who does site visits is not a sales person but a contractor who is very informative about installation and operation of the appliances.

Fireplace FAQ

Can I tap into my fireplace flue and have a stove in another location share the flue?

One combustible unit is allowed per flue. The fireplace should have its own flue and the stove should have its own flue. If the stove is going into the fireplace, the stove can utilize that flue. The furnace and hot water heater are the only 2 combustible units that are allowed to share one flue.

Do I have to have a glass door on my fireplace?

According to NY State Energy Code, you are required to have a glass door on your fireplace. This may become important when you are trying to sell your house. Glass doors can reduce the amount of air lost out of the house, hence the energy code. They do not replace your damper but can add an additional barrier to prevent air lose out of the house. Also, while the fire is down to just embers, you can close the doors and leave the room without closing the damper immediately.

How do I measure my fireplace for glass doors?

Fire Glow has a measurement sheet available on our Glass Doors page that presents a lovely picture. You need to measure both the width and height in two different places as some masonry fireplaces won't be perfectly square. If there is an arch, be sure to measure the arch. Our subcontractor will do a pre-site before the door is ordered to ensure the glass door will be the perfect size for your fireplace.

How do I measure my fireplace for a gas log set?

Fire Glow has a measurement sheet available on our Gas Log page. Measure the width of the fireplace in the front and the back and the depth. From those dimensions, our knowledgeable salespeople will direct you to the size log that will fit your fireplace.

What is a zero-clearance fireplace? Pre-fab fireplace?

Zero-clearance and pre-fab fireplaces both describe a factory-manufactured metal fireplace with a metal chimney encased in a chase. The inside of the fireplace is typically filled with fake brick panels. These fireplaces are UL listed. The manufacturer's manual will include specific dimensions required for framing, allowed chimney systems plus chimney height and offset instructions, and finishing instructions for hearth dimensions and mantel clearances. A zero clearance fireplace can be installed in condos, town houses, renovations, and new construction where weight of the fireplace and space is critical.

What is a masonry fireplace?

A masonry fireplace is one created by a mason and constructed of completely of brick/stone and clay tile. Some heatilator fireplaces contain a metal firebox, but otherwise fit the above requirements. If you're attempting to figure out if your fireplace is masonry or zero-clearance, the easiest distinguishing feature is the chimney: for masonry fireplaces you will see brick/stone/clay tile at the top of your chimney. Look under the fireplace. Masonry fireplace will have a stone/concrete footing going into the ground for support.

Why do I need a chimney cap?

Chimney caps prevent damaging things such as rain and wild animals from entering your chimney. In the case of metal chimneys, rain can rust/rot out part of the pipe and animals that find their way into the house through the chimney can cause problems, especially if they are sick

Stove FAQ

Why are clearances to combustibles important?

Over time, the heat of the appliance will slowly dry out anything combustible until the intense heat is able to ignite the object without a spark. Manufacturers have tested their stoves in order to determine the clearances necessary to prevent this from happening. Not sticking to clearances exponentially increases the chance of a house fire. Be sure to maintain the proper distance between your appliance and combustibles.

Can I make my own stove pad?

It is possible to make your own stove pad, but it is imperative that you pay attention to the manufacturer's requirements for your stove. A stove may require a specific amount of thermal protection or just a non-combustible floor in addition to a heat shield. Size is also very important. The stove will have a minimum amount on each side of the stove. The dimensions will not be the same for each side. Discuss your project with one of our knowledgeable staff to determine the perfect size and material for your stove!

I don't like seeing the electrical cord for my wood insert. Can it get plugged inside the fireplace?

No. The electrical cord cannot be plugged inside the fireplace because of the heat that the insert reaches. Our helpful suggestion is to place a log holder/toolset or other accessory in front of the wire to draw attention away from the wire. ?? I'm thinking about this answer.

Chimney FAQ

How tall does the chimney for my wood stove/ fireplace need to be?

Check the manufacturer's specifications because every appliance has been tested for chimney heights and has a minimum required height. As a general rule, a chimney has to be 2 feet higher than the highest point in 10 feet and at least 3 feet over the roof.

Where is the best location for placing my wood stove/fireplace?

This is a tough question because each house is different. Fire Glow thinks first of the chimney not the appliance. A chimney that will go straight up thru the center of the house will be best for drafting and support. When the majority of the chimney is surrounded by the house, it will keep the heat and draft for a longer length of time ensuring longer fire and less chance of smoke entering the house. Chimneys that extend more than 5' out of the roof (remember the height of the chimney must be 2' higher than anything in a 10' radius) will need support. Either guy wires or a chase will need to support this height. Lastly, how will this chimney be cleaned? Will you be able to clean it on a regular basis or will you need to hire a chimney sweep. Will the sweep have the proper ladder to scale an excessively tall chimney? Next we think about the appliance. EPA- certified wood appliances create a very intense radiant heat so when they're placed in an area with good air-flow they can heat a very large area, but they can overheat a small room if burned aggressively. Placed along an outside wall, the chimney can be installed thru the wall then up the side of the house. Best location would be where the chimney will terminate close to the peak of the roof. Since the majority of the chimney is outside the house, the chimney tends to be a little temperamental. If the appliance isn't fired up everyday or is small, the chimney may get cold and lose its draft. Creosote will build up faster. Wood fireplaces can be placed on an outside wall then chased (boxed with either siding or stone). Similar to a wood stove, the chimney should be ending near the highest point on the roof. Since fireplaces tend to lose heat up the chimney, they keep the draft once it has been established and aren't as temperamental as wood stoves.

Where is the best location for placing a pellet stove?

Pellet stoves blow heat into the room. It is better for venting when they are places on an outside wall away from any operable windows or doors. Distance from windows and and/or doors are specified by the manufacturer. The vent needs to be at least 12 above grade and 7' above a public area, such as walkway, patio, driveway. Pellet appliances are power vented and can be vented straight back. Some appliances may require a vertical rise in the chimney. Avoid placing pellet appliances in bedrooms: building code doesn't allow open fire and the noise the fan produces will interrupt sleep. A common place for pellet stoves is in central rooms, facing towards hallways or stairs to facilitate the spreading of heat. Pellet appliances have more flexible venting requirements compared to wood stoves. Our knowledgeable staff can assist you with the specifics for the stove you are contemplating.

Where is the best location for placing a gas stove/fireplace?

Because of their easy operation and ambiance, gas appliances should be placed in a room where they will be used. Do not expect the heat to travel from room to room. If it does that's great, but its goal should be to heat the room it's placed in. Venting requirements are minimal. Gas appliances can vent straight out, a vertical rise may be necessary due to the BTU size of the appliance. It will need to be located 12 above grade and 7 above a public area, such as walkway, patio, driveway. Distance from windows and doors vary per appliance.

Do I need a full liner for my wood, pellet, or gas insert? Why can't I use a partial liner?

According to code, a full liner is necessary for any insert. A full liner will provide a direct connection from the appliance to the top of the chimney and less likely to encounter poor draft plus provide a single surface to sweep. Wood requires a 6 stainless steel liner. Years ago, it was common practice to use a partial or no liner. Draft and creosote build-up was some serious complaints. Large flues tend to lose draft. To properly clean the chimney, the insert needed to be removed, partial liner removed, chimney cleaned then re-installs the insert and partial liner. Otherwise, improperly cleaned chimneys had creosote build-up and chimney fires and a few had the partial liners crushed unbeknownst to the owner. Some people have installed a partial liner with a pellet insert. We strongly advise against it due to lack of vacuum within the stove not to mention issues of the fine ash that settles around the partial liner and difficulty when cleaning the chimney.

Outdoor Room FAQ

Can I put a wood fire pit on my deck?

No. Placing a wood fire pit on a deck is a house fire waiting to happen. Ideally, a wood fire pit should be placed on a stone/cement patio or cleared ground away from anything combustible.

Accessories FAQ

What does a cricket on the hearth mean?

A cricket on the hearth is good luck. It is common in many cultures for a cricket to be considered good luck. The most common answer Google will give you as an example is Charles Dickens's Christmas short story.