381-8 Old Riverhead Road

Westhampton Beach, NY

Tel. 631-998-0780

Hours: Tues. - Thur. 9am to 3pm / Fri. 9am to 12pm (or by appt.) / Sat. - Mon. Closed

Our Company Blog

What is the Real Problem with Wood Smoke?

Fires produce smoke, right? Every fire will produce a little smoke when it is first lit. A little smoke pushing into the home while a fire is burning is normal. Wood smoke is natural. It only bothers people with asthma. This is all accurate in some ways, but there is more to it. At Beach Stove & Fireplace, we want to help you understand all the problems of wood smoke and why it is not good for you or your home.

The Type of Wood You Burn and Smoke

Your wood fireplace produces wood smoke naturally when you burn wood. It produces more or less smoke depending on the type of wood you burn. The amount of water or other debris on the wood and the efficiency of the chimney system all affect the wood you burn. It is okay to burn wood in your fireplace, but only the right wood, and when the system is working properly.

There is never a time when smoke should push into your living space. When that happens, the system isn’t working properly. Inhaling smoke can cause respiratory problems, dangerous allergic reactions, bothersome allergies, unwelcome odors, and even carbon monoxide poisoning. Over 50 percent of fire-related deaths occur because of smoke inhalation. While your fireplace should not produce enough smoke to result in death, it should not be putting any smoke into your home.

Causes of Smoky Fires

Improper Wood – The only thing that should be burned in a wood fireplace is properly seasoned firewood. This is wood that has been cut to length and stored to dry for 3-6 months. Wood that has more than 20 percent moisture content will burn incompletely. This results in a waste of wood to reach the desired temperature, more smoke and air pollution, more ash, creosote, and soot.
Damage or Debris – If your chimney system has damage that is obstructing or complicating airflow, the smoke will not rise up the flue as it should. The flue is designed to provide a smooth outlet for the exhaust to rise up the chimney and out. Cracks, gaps, and debris may slow or obstruct airflow altogether, resulting in a smoky fireplace.
Competing Drafts – The chimney depends on a draft to work properly. The heat from the fire helps the smoke and particulate pollution to rise up the flue, but the air that is drawn from the home must be replaced. If the house is too tight or if other large appliances are using air in a similar way, the chimney may not have the necessary draft to vent the fire. Try cracking a window or shutting off other appliances while the fire burns.
Flue Improperly Sized – The flue is at a specific length and diameter to best vent your fireplace. This is based on the capacity of your unit or the size of your firebox. If the flue liner has an improper installation or if the chimney is too tall or wide, the smoke will not rise completely out of the flue and will likely push into the house. You should hire a professional to assess it, as they can make necessary repairs or reline the flue.

There is never a time when your fire should push smoke into the home. When lighting a fire in a cold fireplace, you can avoid a smoky start by priming the flue. If you still experience smoke in your fireplace, it’s time to call a professional. You can reach a fire expert at Beach Stove and Fireplace by calling 631-998-0780 or stopping by.

By Julie Dismore on July 10th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on What is the Real Problem with Wood Smoke?

Gas, Pellet, or Wood

When you choose a new fire appliance or plan a new fireplace construction, it’s important to choose the type of fireplace that best fits you. The type of fuel you choose will determine the control you have over your fire, the heat output, and the resources required to keep the fire going day after day. Talk with an expert at Beach Stove and Fireplace, we can match you with the best product for your home and family.

Gas Fires

wood stove The most convenient fuel option is of course gas. It is the cleanest burning fuel, and it offers a fairly easy install. It is low maintenance and easy to use. Gas fireplaces come with a push-button light and precise temperature control. Your model may even have a remote control so that you can light and control your fire from the comfort of the couch. These appliances offer the most convenience and the less maintenance than other models. They also offer a beautiful flame that has the look and warmth of a wood fire.

Pellet Fires

Pellets are a wood product made from recycled wood materials. They burn cleanly and hot, with fewer emissions than wood, but with all the beauty and ambiance of a wood flame. Pellet appliances offer wood heat, but without the mess or trouble that comes with wood. You can ignite your pellet fire immediately, and the pellet hopper even feeds the fire consistently so that you don’t have to continuously reload it through the night and it burns while you’re away.

Wood Fires

The wood fire is the age-old favorite. They are especially popular among homeowners with their own wood source. They create high heat, but they also offer beautiful and vibrant flames. Wood fireplaces, inserts, and stoves are more efficient and economical than ever before. When you use them properly alongside seasoned firewood. They are easy to use, light, and maintain. You can utilize your forested acreage by investing in a wood fire appliance. Talk with one of our professionals today to determine which is best for you.

Once you’ve determined the best fuel for you, you can choose the right appliance for your home and family. At Beach Stove and Fireplace, we can help you determine the best appliance for your space, budget, and heating needs.

  • Fireplaces can be installed anywhere. We install tunnel fires, linear tabletop fires, traditional “brick and mortar” fireplaces, and more.
  • Stoves can be installed anywhere that a vent is installed. They come in models ranging from traditional and rustic to sleek and contemporary and feature fire-viewing windows. They have ceramic logs that look vibrant and life-like. Wood fires even come with a space to store some firewood. Using special refractory panels and firebricks, we can install stoves even in tight spaces.
  • Inserts are retro-fitted directly into your firebox. They are a popular option for those who wants to avoid firebox rebuilds or chimney repair. An insert is a closed unit that burns efficiently and vents through a pipe up the chimney or an opening in the wall (direct vent insert). Direct vent inserts, like stoves, can be installed in any space or room where a vent can be installed.

Call a Beach Stove and Fireplace professional today at 631-998-0780 or visit our store to check out all of the options we offer.

By Julie Dismore on February 14th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Gas, Pellet, or Wood

How to Build an Efficient Fire

Winter is in full swing, and many homeowners dependent on fireplaces for both zone heating and relaxation. However, a wood fire can be a pain though, especially when the nights get cold and the fire can’t seem to get warm enough. At Beach Stove and Fireplace, we have our favorite ways to light our fires, and we’re ready to share those secrets with you!

Start with Seasoned Firewood

masonry chimneyYou should only burn properly seasoned firewood in your fireplace, insert, or stove. Burning wet or “green” firewood is very difficult to light, and it is also not hot enough to drive the smoke up the chimney flue. Wood that has too much moisture causes more creosote and soot production, which also causes a drop in the efficiency of your system. This leads to a more difficult-to-light fire. You should build your fire with properly seasoned firewood only this winter. 

Prime the Flue

Even a well-built fire can be difficult to light when your chimney is cold. The chimney is one of the largest spaces in your home. When it’s cold, it is filled with a wall of cold air that falls into the fireplace. In order for the smoke from your fire to rise up, the air needs to be warmed. You can prime your cold chimney by rolling up a piece of newspaper and lighting it. Hold the paper at the entrance of the flue, and it will slowly warm the flue as it burns. Once your chimney is warm, the smoke is then able to rise up the flue.

Top-Down Burn

Our favorite fire is untraditional, but lights well and burns very efficiently. Instead of the way you were taught around a campfire, put the kindling on top–where air flows freely. First, put the largest pieces of firewood at the bottom, laying front to back. This allows the air to move through the vents at the front of the fireplace, and it also feed your fire from the bottom.

Next, place 4-5 smaller levels of wood on top of this layer, alternating directions, and topping it with kindling, wood shavings, and lint or small pieces of paper. Many homeowners decide to go from the bottom to top layer, starting with hardwoods on the bottom, and the softest on top. When the fire is lit, the heat and smoke rise straight into the flue, unhindered by a pile of wood. The coals drop down, lighting the rest of the wood as it burns. This method is the most efficient and recommended by the professionals too!

If you’re using properly seasoned firewood, you primed your chimney to built a proper fire. However, the fire still won’t light, you may have a problem with the chimney itself. It may have an obstruction or other problems. Call the professionals to have it assessed and repaired or cleaned, contact a professional today by calling 631-998-0780 or online!

By Julie Dismore on December 17th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on How to Build an Efficient Fire

Safety Tips for Wood Stoves, Fireplaces, and Inserts

The holiday season has officially begun, and next to setting up and decorating a Christmas tree, lighting a fire is the second-favorite holiday tradition. Wood fires during the holidays set a mood that says: comfort, warmth, family. A beautiful fire in a stove, fireplace, or insert can be the best backdrop to holiday gatherings and festivities, and help supplement heat during cold winter days and nights. It can be devastating. Make sure your fire appliance is installed by a professional and that you’re using it correctly.

Fire Safety

How you use your fireplace can help you stay safe, or put your family and home at risk. Don’t take chances. Instead, take action.

Take care of your fireplace.Safety Tips for Wood stoves, fireplaces and inserts

Whether you have a stove, fireplace, or insert, it needs to be regularly cared for. This doesn’t only mean professional care, but ongoing care during use. Removing ashes on a regular basis will keep embers and burning logs from falling out of your fire. In addition, you should check the hinges, glass, and connections of your system as often as you check your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors (monthly).

Use it properly.

You should use the damper and other parts of the fireplace and chimney system properly. Using the damper improperly can lead to smoke being pushed into the home and carbon monoxide poisoning. It can also keep you from a warm fire this winter.

Use correct fuel.

You should only burn properly-seasoned firewood in your unit. This helps your fire burn hotter and cleaner, resulting in less dangerous creosote coating the inside of your flue, and helps your fuel last longer.

Tend to your fire.

Never leave a fire unattended. While you’re sleeping or out of the house, you should not have a fire burning in an open fireplace. The majority of house fires occur during the night–while the family is sleeping. This results in more loss of property and injury or death to family members in the home. Even during waking hours, children should never be left alone with a fire that is burning.

Install safety features. 

You can decrease the likelihood of accidental burns and falls into a fire by installing a fireplace screen and glass doors. It is better to get a minor burn than a major one, and it’s far easier to treat. Keep the children safe also by using baby gates and similar devices placed appropriately.

Install detectors and alarms.

It’s important to have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors installed before using a fire appliance. There should be one device on each level of your home, and the batteries should be checked regularly and changed every 6 months. These devices can save your life and should never be disabled.

Set rules for your fire.

Talk with your family about who is able to tend to the fire and make sure those who can are trained in safety. Do not allow guests to your home for the holidays to mess with your fireplace. Make sure everyone knows the rules and the safe escape route in the event of a fire.

While you’re enjoying your fire this winter, make sure that everyone stays safe while staying warm. Check out these tip sheets for more information about fire safety.

By Julie Dismore on November 30th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Safety Tips for Wood Stoves, Fireplaces, and Inserts

How to Properly Season and Store Firewood

One of the perks of owning a wood insert, fireplace, or stove is that wood is always available, especially if you have your own property from which to cut from. Even if you can’t cut your own wood, you can still find a local source of wood.

Type of Wood

The type of wood you choose for firewood will affect the type of fire you have. Hard woods like oak, maple, and beech have a longer, more consistent burn. Softer woods like pine, fir, and spruce burn faster. Choosing softer woods means you will run through twice as much wood to achieve the same kind of fire. Once you find the best trees for the job, it’s time to cut and split the wood.

Properly Seasoned Firewood

A live tree can contain up to 100% moisture when it’s cut and needs to be about 20% before it’s burned. Whether you cut your own wood or buy it, it should be adequately dried, or seasoned before it’s burned. This process can take about about six months, though especially hard woods can take longer. The way your firewood is stored can also help it dry properly.

Tips for Buying Firewood

  • Visit the supplier before you pay. Make sure the wood is properly seasoned and that the stack is tight and measures correctly for the price you’re paying. For instance, a cord of wood is 128 cubic feet. If you’re purchasing your firewood, you want to get all you pay for.
  • Buy local firewood. It is best to not transport wood across county and state lines due to to invasive species that are affecting forests. Also, buying local allows you to go and see the supplier and the wood before making your purchase.
  • Ask if the wood is “ready to burn.” Be specific with your questions before making your purchase. This is also a good reason to go to the source yourself and check the wood for signs it is seasoned.

Tips for Storing Firewood

  • Cover your firewood. It isn’t a requirement, but it does help the process. You can build a roof over your stack or even throw a tarp over it. Some homeowners prefer a woodshed, but it would have to be quite large to hold all of the winter’s wood while it seasons.
  • Stack it. When wood is stacked properly it should allow free air flow to assist the drying process. You can even stack it with the bark side up to avoid water penetration in wet climates.
  • Stack it on dry land. You can place a strip of pallets, gravel, or sand on the ground to allow runoff while your wood is drying, instead of allowing water to pool around your stack of firewood.
  • Check it. You can check your wood periodically to determine if it’s ready for burning. It should be grayed in color, crack at the ends, and pull away from the bark. When wood is dry it should also produce a hollow sound when hit together.

A Tip From Beach Stove and Fireplace

Whether buying or cutting, NEVER BURN WET WOOD. It’s bad for the fireplace and it’s bad for you. It’s our goal to keep you safe. To find out more about firewood selection, air quality, and chimney safety, contact Beach Stove & Fireplace today!

By Julie Dismore on January 24th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on How to Properly Season and Store Firewood

Will Oil Prices Stay Low, and What to Do About It?

If you’ve lived long enough to own a car or a house, you have probably noticed there’s one thing (besides taxes) that we can count on: fluctuating oil prices. Fuel prices may be low this summer, but you can be certain that when winter comes, sometime after the election, and maybe just in time to ruin your holiday plans, oil prices are going to rise again. If you depend on gas for home heating this may present a problem for you.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to gas heating! If you don’t want your budget to be subject to the rise and fall of oil on the other side of the planet, we understand. You might want to convert your heat system to wood!

Will Oil Prices Stay Low Image - Westhampton Beach NY - Beach Stove and Fireplace

What’s the Difference Between Gas and Wood

Both gas and wood are organic fuels, meaning they’re natural products of the earth, and therefore offer a clean burn. However gas burns more clean than wood, creating a more efficient heat system with very little byproduct left behind. Wood heat is a viable alternative to gas, however, because it is a fairly easy conversion, and wood appliances and fireplaces can heat large spaces.

Some benefits of wood heating:

  1.  You can use the same chimney to vent both wood and gas appliances. If you switch from gas to wood, you won’t have to replace the chimney liner (although it should be checked for needed adjustments whenever an appliance is added or removed).
  2.  You will not run out of fuel as long as you are able to chop wood. You can chop your own wood, buy rank wood, or buy pellets (if you have a pellet stove). Wood is one thing that doesn’t often fluctuate in price.
  3. Heating an entire home with a wood appliance is definitely possible, depending on the size of the home and the appliance. A fireplace doesn’t have the capacity a furnace does, however.

Make the Switch Before the Fall Rush

During the “Fall Rush” you can count on your chimney sweeps being busy. It’s generally harder to schedule appointments during the fall rush, and it’s also not the time to make changes that require an inspection, and conversion of or work on the chimney. If you are making these changes in the fall, you might find yourself in the cold while waiting for it to be ready. Furthermore, if you switch to a wood furnace or fireplace, you need to burn only properly seasoned wood. This means the wood must sit for a given amount of time and dry out. If you wait until fall to make the switch to wood, you will end up buying wood that is seasoned.

At Beach Stove and Fireplace we put our customer’s safety and comfort as our top priority. We want you to be warm and safe, and we do our best to make sure of it. If you are considering a switch from gas to wood home heating, call a Beach Stove chimney sweep today. Our certified chimney sweeps are experienced with conversions, installations, repairs, and more. We offer the best wood heating products the industry has to offer, and are experienced and skilled in installing and maintaining them.

Before you run out of summer, call Beach Stove and Fireplace today, and discuss your fireplace conversion.

By Julie Dismore on August 12th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Will Oil Prices Stay Low, and What to Do About It?

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)