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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

Are You Interested in a Stove or Insert? Look at our choices

Everyone needs a little change in their lives every now and then, and your home is no different. Adding a new heating appliance to your home will allow you to better control how heat is distributed in your home. Furthermore, a new heating appliance can add a wonderful touch of ambiance to your living areas and help reduce the amount of work needed to enjoy a fire. At Old Smokey’s, we have a wide variety of stoves and inserts that can help supplement your home’s heating needs and add a touch of beauty to your home. If you are in the market for a change, come check out all that we have to offer today!

The stoves and inserts that we offer are top of the line. We sell stoves and inserts that come from popular manufacturers like Regency, Lopi, and Xtrordinair. These manufacturers have a proven record of decades of quality and elegance and are consistently considered some of the the top brands in the world. At Old Smokey’s we want to make sure you have access to only the best appliances and when you visit our showroom, we’re sure that you’ll be impressed with the selection that we have to offer.

Stoves, inserts, and fireplaces, which is the best for you - Fort Wayne IN - Old Smokeys

The stoves that we offer.

At Old Smokey’s, we offer a wide variety of stoves for our customers. Stoves are great heating appliances because they can easily installed almost anywhere in your home, they give your home a nice rustic ambiance, they are efficient, and they produce a lot of heat. If you are thinking about buying a stove, one thing you’ll need to consider is how much heat you want to produce. Heat production can vary depending on the type of stove you buy. Although all of our stoves produce heat, depending on the size of the firebox and they fuel type, some stoves are better suited to heat larger areas, while some stoves are perfect for heating a small room.

Another thing that you need to consider is efficiency. Stoves are typically a lot more efficient than a fireplace. Also, newer stoves are becoming more and more efficient. This can help homeowners in a number of ways. First, you are getting a lot more bang for your buck. If more of the fuel you are burning is going towards producing heat, you won’t be using as much fuel. Fuel savings can start to add up very quickly. Efficient heating appliances are also better for the environment, which, depending on where you live, can lead to rebates or tax credits.

The Inserts that we offer.

Inserts are perfect for the homeowner that already has a fireplace that isn’t being used, or has a fireplace that they want to change the fuel type of. An insert is basically a shell with a burning unit in it. This shell is placed into an already existing fireplace, essentially replacing the firebox. This is a great option if you are looking to switch the type of fuel that you want to use in your fireplace. Inserts also come in a wide variety of options depending on your heating needs and efficiency requirements.

Fuel Types

One of the most important things that needs to be considered when buying either a stove or an insert is the type of fuel that you want to use. In general, there are three main fuel types that we offer for stoves and inserts: wood, gas, and pellets. The type of fuel that you’ll use will be dependent on availability of that fuel in your area, the cost, and the amount of effort you want to put into it.

Wood fuel is a popular choice because it burns hot and it creates an ambiance that can’t easily be replicated by other types of fuels. Many people desire the smells, the soft crackling, and the warm glow that wood fires have to offer. Wood is also an excellent fuel source if you live close to timber and get it cheap. Another great reason to install a wood-burning appliance is that you can use it off the grid. This means that if something happens to your electric or gas lines, you will still be able to keep your home warm. The main downside of using wood is that it takes more work than other fuel sources to use. You need to chop, collect, store, dry, and haul wood to create a fire. Also, once you are done burning, there is more clean-up involved with wood fires compared to a gas-burning appliance.

Gas fuel is also popular because of its ease of use. Usually, to start a gas appliance, it only takes turning on a switch. However, gas appliances need to be connected to a pipe, so if your gas goes out, so does your heat. Also, the need to connect to a gas line can limit the number of places you can install a gas appliance.

Pellets are another good option. Made from compressed wood, pellets put out a ton of heat. This also makes them a cheap source of fuel. One issue with pellets is that they automatically feed the fire with a conveyor system, and if the electricity goes out, it can be difficult to constantly keep feeding your fire.

At Old Smokey’s we have a number of appliance and fuel type combinations. If you’re in the market for a brand new stove or insert, come down to our showroom at 220 W State Street in Ashley, Indiana. Or you can call us to see what options would work best for your living area at 260-424-0009 or schedule an appointment online. We would love to hear from you, so don’t hesitate and come see us today!

The Dangers of Chimney Fires

Reducing Fire Hazards This Holiday Season - Fort Wayne IN - Old Smokey's Fireplace and Chimney

Did you know that keeping your chimney well maintained and swept annually can not only keep your heating appliance operational, but it can also help keep you and your family safe? Chimney fires are dangerous and can cause a lot of damage to a home. In fact, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) states that more than 20,000 residential house fires every year are caused by chimney fires? One of the most upsetting things about this statistic is that most of these chimney fires could have been prevented with an annual chimney inspection and cleaning. In fact, research by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) shows that a majority of chimney fires are caused when a chimney is not properly cleaned. Here at Old Smokey’s, we want to make sure that you and your home is safe from the dangers of a chimney fire. Let us show you why having a clean chimney is so important.

How Does My Chimney Get Dirty?

When you burn fuels such as wood, pellets, and coal, it naturally creates a product called creosote. Creosote is formed when the fuel that you are burning isn’t hot enough (less than 1100 degrees Fahrenheit) to completely burn off. When fuel isn’t completely burned, it is released from the fire as byproducts in the form of smoke, soot, and other gases. As these byproducts go up your chimney, they cool and start to condense. As this condensation starts to build up over time, it creates a sticky tar-like substance. This substance is creosote. Wood that is drier and properly seasoned will burn at higher temperatures than wood that is wet and not seasoned and, therefore, produce less creosote.

Another way that your chimney can get messy is if it isn’t protected from the outdoors. The inside of your chimney makes a perfect spot for many types of birds and small mammals to build nests. Furthermore, if the top of your chimney is open, leaves, branches, and other items can blow or fall into the top of your chimney and become lodged within it.

What Issues Can a Dirty Chimney Cause?

Creosote is combustible, meaning it can catch fire. Although it takes very high temperatures to cause combustion in creosote, it is possible that it can happen in your chimney. One of the most dangerous things about a creosote fire is that once it starts, it is nearly impossible to extinguish. You are at risk of a chimney fire even if there is a small amount of creosote buildup in your chimney. If fact, it can take as little as ⅛ of an inch of creosote buildup in your chimney for it to be considered a fire hazard. The likelihood that creosote in your chimney catches fire is increased if there is debris from trees, litter, or animal nests in your chimney. This type of debris lights at lower temperatures, but if it catches fire, it can easily cause a chain reaction that can lead to creosote igniting and then your home.

Another issue related to creosote and other debris is that if left to build up for a while, it can block up your chimney, which can cause all sorts of issues with your fireplace’s airflow and chimney’s exhaust. If your fire isn’t getting enough airflow, it can cause a cycle that leads to cooler fires which will create more byproduct and therefore more creosote, restricting airflow even more. Total chimney blockages can lead to smoke billowing back into your home, damaging your home’s carpet and walls.

How do I Prevent Chimney Fires?

There are a few things that can be done to prevent chimney fires from occurring. The first thing that you can do is to choose good firewood. Although you can’t totally prevent creosote from forming, if you use firewood that has been seasoned by letting it dry for at least six months after chopping, you can slow the pace of creosote buildup. Because there is less water in seasoned wood, it burns hotter and produces less smoke and, therefore, less creosote.

However, the most important thing you can do to prevent a chimney fire is to have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned at least annually by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney technician. At Old Smokey’s, our CSIA certified technicians can inspect your chimney, making sure it is clear of debris. If there is debris, they might suggest installing a chimney cap to prevent issues with debris from happening again. After the inspection, our technician will sweep all of the creosote out of your chimney, being careful to cover up and protect any valuables in your home. Once sweeping is done, our technician will clean up and go over the details of the inspection with you.

If you haven’t had your chimney inspected in the past year, you may be putting your home at risk! Call Old Smokey’s today to schedule your chimney inspection and chimney sweeping. You can reach Old Smokey’s at 800-876-6539 or 260-424-0009, or you can schedule an appointment online. We look forward to serving you and keeping you and your family safe in 2020!

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