381-8 Old Riverhead Road

Westhampton Beach, NY

Tel. 631-998-0780

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am to 5pm / Sat. By Appointment / Sun. Closed

Our Company Blog

Choosing a Fuel Source: Finding the Right Fuel for Your Needs

When it comes to maintaining and enjoying your fireplace, it’s important to select the fuel source that best meets your needs. There are several options available, all of which offer different levels of effort and maintenance, and ultimately, different benefits.

Being informed is the most important step you can take before selecting the fuel source for your fireplace; here’s the lowdown on the different types of fuel sources available, as well as a few benefits and drawbacks they present homeowners.

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Traditional Firewood

There’s nothing quite like a wood crackling fire. The atmosphere created by burning wood logs in your fireplace is associated with comfort, coziness and relaxation.

The glow and crackle of a fire is something we can all appreciate. No other option offers the signature fireplace experience that is offered by wood logs.

Unfortunately, there are downsides to choosing this fuel source.
Burning wood can create pollution in your home and lead to the formation of creosote in your chimney. Without a professional chimney cleaning on a regular basis, creosote can cause chimney fires.

For many people, the biggest drawback to wood logs is the work of splitting, seasoning and hauling the logs. You’ll also need to create a space to store the firewood that is out of the elements, since moist wood will not burn.

Choosing wood logs can lead to challenges for people who don’t have the time, energy or physical stamina to maintain a supply of seasoned firewood for their unit.

Pellets

An increasing number of homeowners and consumers are choosing pellet stoves to reduce utility costs and supplement the use of their furnaces. These stoves can be freestanding or can function as a fireplace insert, making them versatile as well as efficient. In fact, pellet stoves can heat your home with an efficiency rate as high as 90%.

The fuel for these stoves, pellets, are small pieces of matter composed of things like sawdust, wood shavings, and similar biomass wastes; they are often made using materials that would otherwise have been dumped into a landfill.

Because of the pellets’ consistency, they burn hotter and more cleanly than wood logs. The compression of the pellets during manufacture reduces the amount of moisture inside, allowing the pellets to give off more heat and release fewer particulates than cord wood. Additionally, pellet-burning stoves or inserts allow you to enjoy the ambiance of a traditional fireplace, without the hassle of gathering, seasoning and hauling firewood.

Fireplace pellets are also great for homeowners who do not have a gas hookup or do not want to invest in having one installed.

One of the drawbacks of choosing pellets as your fuel source can be the work of hauling and dumping the pellets (which often come in 40 pounds bags) into the auger; pellets also need to be stored inside to maintain optimum dryness.

Gas Logs

Of all of the fuel-source options, gas logs are the most user-friendly. After all, you can simply flip a switch and enjoy an instant fire.

Additionally, gas logs provide more efficient heating than pellets or wood logs; they also reduce the likelihood of a fire-related hazard in your home, since there’s no chance of a crackling ember escaping the fireplace.

There is also no chopping, storing, seasoning or hauling of firewood as with traditional wood logs. There is no hauling, storing and dumping of pellets for a pellet stove. You also won’t have to clean out ashes after using your unit.

Of course, there are a few downsides to gas logs. Gas units don’t offer the crackling and aroma associated with a traditional wood fire, and many homeowners don’t want to spend money on propane or natural gas.

If these drawbacks don’t bother you, gas logs are still the most practical fireplace fuel source for those who want a low-maintenance, user-friendly experience. For elderly people or those with physical disabilities, transitioning to a gas log fireplace can dramatically reduce the frustration and effort of enjoying a fire.

Beach Stove and Fireplace of Westhampton has professionals on hand to answer all of your fireplace fuel source questions; contact us today!

By Julie Dismore on July 28th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Choosing a Fuel Source: Finding the Right Fuel for Your Needs

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

November has begun and that means fall is nearly halfway over. With the inevitable cold weather on the way, most people have retired their shorts and sandals in favor of warmer clothing like jackets and scarves. For homeowners trying to heat their homes as the cool temperatures set in, many have already lit up their fireplaces this season. With the right maintenance done every year, fireplaces can add plenty of life, character and warmth to your home. However, neglecting the fireplace and chimney’s need for an annual sweep and inspection can have disastrous consequences. One dangerous result of poor fireplace care is a deadly gas known as carbon monoxide.

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The tiny molecule called carbon monoxide is produced in large quantities anytime combustion occurs. Any fuel burning, therefore, produces carbon monoxide, including gas ranges, car exhausts, wood stoves, and even lanterns. When any type of burning occurs in an enclosed space, the area will experience a rapid rise in concentration of carbon monoxide. You cannot know the relative levels of carbon monoxide without the help of a specialized, functioning detector, because this insidious gas has no scent, color, or taste. Thus, the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning can set in quickly, even before the victim realizes what may be wrong.

Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include difficulty breathing, dizziness, nausea, and unconsciousness. To ease these symptoms, the person must be moved to an open, outdoor space. The reason carbon monoxide is so dangerous is that it moves more quickly than oxygen and replaces it inside the body. With the levels of oxygen in the body steadily depleting, the above symptoms begin setting in. Without reprieve, the body will suffer organ damage and eventually death.

For good reason, carbon monoxide is a serious threat that must be respected and avoided at all costs. This concerns your fireplace because, every time you light it, carbon monoxide flows freely from it. A properly functioning chimney expels the gas and smoke from the home, but without proper maintenance, this could change. For example, any obstruction in the chimney will cause the gases produced by the fire to back up into the home. An obstruction could be caused by an animal and its nest inside the flue, and this can be easily remedied by a chimney sweep and the installation of a good chimney cap. The chimney can also experience an obstruction through the buildup of creosote, which is a tarry product of burning wood. A chimney sweep can remove this, but if left to build up, it can cause serious problems.

To protect your home and your family from carbon monoxide, all you need to do this season is have an expert out to sweep and inspect your chimney. If you live in the Westhampton Beach area of New York, contact Beach Stove and Fireplace for a professional consultation.

By Julie Dismore on October 30th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

High Efficiency vs. Zero Clearance Wood-Burning Fireplaces

Fireplaces have enchanted homeowners for many years. The allure of a softly crackling fire in the background has made fireplaces a must have for countless home buyers, and thus, many homes now feature them. With the advent of the movement for environment-friendly energy sources, fireplaces have received recent appeal as a practical source of heat, in addition to their aesthetic benefits. Because technology is constantly evolving, homeowners have a wide variety of fireplace styles to choose from. A decision some homeowners must make when looking to add or update a fireplace is installing a high efficiency wood-burning fireplace or a zero clearance fireplace.

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A high efficiency wood-burning fireplace provides a suitable heating option for homes with enough space to accommodate them. These fireplaces feature a firebox separated from the interior of the home by a sheet of ceramic, heat resistant glass. Instead of being open to the home, the smoke and toxic gases from the fire are vented directly up through the chimney. The heat from the fire is shuttled into the home through a separate vent above the glass. This air flow construction keeps hazardous fumes from entering the house and keeps precious, heated air from escaping through an open fireplace.

There are a few downsides to a high efficiency wood-burning fireplace though. These fireplaces cost at least double the price of a factory-built inefficient fireplace. While the costs will quickly be made up as a result of heating bill savings, the upfront expense can be hard for some homeowners to manage. Additionally, these fireplaces do take up some space. For tight spaces that do not already have a fireplace in the floor scheme, a high efficiency fireplace may pose some spatial challenges.

On the other hand, zero clearance fireplaces are ideal for small spaces, particularly when installing a fireplace in a room that was not originally designed with a fireplace in mind. Zero clearance fireplaces are special because they can sit almost directly against combustible materials like walls, floors, furniture and wood. Their design includes fire-resistant bricks inside the firebox, so the installation does not require any masonry structures to protect combustibles from the heat of the fire.

The downside of zero clearance fireplaces is that they are generally pretty inefficient. They are almost always made with a traditional open design, meaning the doors are open when the fire is lit and the doors are closed when there is not a fire. An open fireplace with a lit fire allows toxic fumes to seep into the home and expensive, heated air to escape up the chimney. While you may be able to squeeze a zero clearance fireplace into your home, you should not rely on it as an efficient heating source.

If you are ready to add a beautiful new fireplace to your home, get in touch with an expert fireplace provider to help you make the best investment. Contact Beach Stove and Fireplace for a professional consultation on your new fireplace today.

By Julie Dismore on September 29th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on High Efficiency vs. Zero Clearance Wood-Burning Fireplaces

Our Location

Beach Stove and Fireplace is located on Old Riverhead Road between Montauk Highway and Sunrise Highway. From Sunrise Highway take exit 63 south, travel 1.2 miles and turn right at the 381 complex (just north of Gabreski Airport)