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

Emergency heating solutions during power outages

With all things pumpkin-spiced and warm comes the anticipated cold weather. By now your chimney is swept and inspected (and if not there is still time), and you have got your grandmother’s recipe for chicken noodle soup ready for the making. As lovely as the image looks, it’s important to prepare your home and your family for extreme circumstances. Having a power outage during the middle of winter isn’t only inconvenient: it’s downright dangerous.

power-outage-heating-image-westhampton-beach-ny-beach-stove-and-fireplaceYour home:

Here at Beach Stove and Fireplace, we highly recommend preparing a power outage kit, especially if you have children. Having warm clothes and blankets, a battery-powered radio or TV, matches, as well as flashlights and extra batteries readily available will minimize the stress and make it easier to focus on finding an alternative heat source. Isolate your family into a single room with at least one alternative heating solution. Most commonly, a living room with a wood-burning fireplace is the chosen room. It doesn’t have to be a fireplace though. As long as the chosen room has an adequate source of ventilation, you can use a stove or space heater that utilizes oil, gas, coal, or wood to fuel it. If none of these options are available, a gas oven or even a camp stove could be used to provide warmth. Multiple options are always better

Finding fuel:

If possible, having a stack of easily accessible firewood would be best, but emergencies call for other alternatives just in case. Newspapers, magazines, straw, or even corncobs can be used as kindling. Lighter fluid, gasoline, furnace oil, camp stove fuel, and alcohol accelerate the spread of a flame with the strike of a match. Longer burning fuel like coal and wood chips can replace firewood if your supply runs out. Rolling paper, like newspapers, tightly will produce a slower burn as well. Extreme situations have even called for the burning of furniture.

Other tidbits:

Sectioning yourself off to one room in your home will keep you and your family warm until help arrives and the power turns back on. Hang towels or bedding over any windows or doors that may carry a draft. Avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer unless necessary. Your food will stay cold and the house won’t become any cooler. Keep some sort of fire extinguishing substance like baking soda, water, or salt near by your heating source. Someone should always be watching the heat source at all times to ensure proper ventilation. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a real threat without some airflow out of the room.

Being prepared means being able to keep your cool and have a plan. Let us know if you have any questions about what to do in a power outage.

By Julie Dismore on October 14th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment

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: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

The Facts About Wood Pellet Stoves

Wood pellet stoves sales are surging according to Consumer Reports. Homeowners are using pellet stoves to supplement their furnace to reduce utility costs. Beach Stove & Fireplace are your local pellet stove advisors.

Wood pellet stoves use pellets which are little thin rods of compressed wood and saw dust. The benefits of burning pellets rather than traditional logs in a fireplace include the ability to burn cleaner and produce less ash and smoke. Pellets are also a more economical and environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels.

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While watching a fire burn in a traditional fireplace has romantic appeal, if you are looking for an alternative method to heat your home with an efficiency factor as high as 90% you may want to consider a pellet stove. Pellet stoves can be freestanding or a fireplace insert. Most pellet stoves are made from steel or cast iron and the design can be decorative or merely functional depending on their use.

Pellet stoves are self-igniting and turn on and off based on the temperature setting. It is important to burn only high quality pellets in your pellet stove, the higher grade pellet the less ash produced. In addition to wood, pellets can also be grain, corn, or seed. The bags of pellets should be stored inside. Look for pellets qualified by the Pellet Fuels Institute. Click here to learn more about their advice and recommendations.

When deciding on what size pellet stove to purchase, Consumer Reports offers this advice, “Stoves and inserts typically heat 1,500 to 2,500 square feet. Choose one according to the size of the area you’re heating. The heat that these appliances generate is measured in British thermal units per hour. Figure about 25 to 30 Btu/h per square foot, or at least 5,000 Btu/h for a 200-square-foot space. Other considerations include the climate in your region, effectiveness of insulation in the ceiling and exterior walls, height of the ceiling, number and size of windows, and whether the space above and below the room is heated.”

The Anatomy of a Pellet Stove

Pellet stoves run on electricity and require a standard outlet. There is the hopper, the auger system, two blower fans, a firebox, a controller, and several safety features including heat sensors and a vacuum. Operationally, they are very simple; when you put the pellets into the hopper the auger pushes them into the firebox where they are burned. The fan circulates air to keep the flames burning and also forces the warm air into your home. The venting on the pellet stove routes the exhaust out of your home and the waste pan collects the ashes.It is important that when pellet stoves are installed there is an outside air intake to ensure your safety and the efficiency of the stove.

Professional installation is required for a pellet stove. Consumer Reports cautions that your contractor should be certified by the National Fireplace Institute who is not only familiar with fire and safety regulations, but also has the expertise to advise you of the best location for the pellet stove and creates the proper venting. Temperatures can reach several hundred degrees and can pose a huge fire risk if not properly located away from walls, furniture, and secured on a proper base.

The technicians from Beach Stove and Fireplace have installed pellet stoves in all types of surroundings and know the best placement and installation for your safety and efficiency. Our team will work with you to choose the type stove that will deliver the results you are looking to achieve. We’re here to answer any questions, and help you get started on reducing your heating costs. Give us a call today.

Reasons to Avoid Vent Free Gas Products

As the most recent fireplace fad, vent free gas logs have drawn a lot of interest based on their high burning efficiency of up to 99 percent. Companies also emphasize the ability to burn these logs with the flue closed, which only further entices consumers. These impressive features make this product seem like an obvious choice, but in reality, vent free gas logs actually pose some serious hazards.

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Vent free gas products use natural gas as fuel and require no ventilation. Rather than utilizing the air flow up through the chimney, or the draft, of a traditional fireplace, vent free fires consume the oxygen in the house. Designed specifically to burn without any type of venting, these logs should not be substituted with any other types of logs for use in a vent free system.

Any time combustion occurs, imperfect burning always results in the production of some type of waste. Even though the vent free gas logs boast a nearly perfect efficiency, they can still leave up to eight percent of the fuel incompletely burned. This incomplete burning produces harmful waste materials, such as carbon monoxide. Fatal in high enough concentrations, the inhalation of carbon monoxide and other fumes is a real threat when using vent free products because the system offers no escape for these gases. In fact, there have been reported claims of aggravated asthma, allergies and other respiratory issues by people living in homes that use vent free gas logs.

In addition to harmful gases, vent free units also produce excessive amounts of water vapor. All types of fires produce water vapor, but because the vent free systems offer no escape, the vapor ends up condensing inside the house. This is evidenced by moisture on walls, floors, and furniture, which can also lead to a variety of problems. Water damage can ruin the walls and furniture, and the home will become uncomfortable humid. Mold growth throughout the house also becomes a valid concern.

For all the claimed efficiency, vent free gas logs cannot be relied on as a source of heat. Marketers promise the production of a lot of heat, but they fail to mention that the vent free units should not stay on for more than a few hours at a time. Burning for lengths of time beyond this recommendation can lead to a depletion of oxygen levels, an increase in toxic fumes, and an increase in humidity.

Another issue is in newer houses, where the airtight build can cause interference with the combustion process. When the house is sealed tight, air cannot enter quickly enough to provide the amount of oxygen needed for the fire to burn and this lack of oxygen will extinguish the fire. Some manufacturers suggest fixing this issue by opening a window, but this defeats the purpose of investing in a vent free system in the first place.

Vent free gas products might sound great in theory, but the problems heavily outweigh the benefits. Rather than investing money into a dangerous and unhealthy vent free unit, consider high efficiency traditional fireplace inserts or direct vent fireplaces. If you live in the area of Westhampton Beach, New York, contact Beach Stove and Fireplace for more information on fireplace options.

By Julie Dismore on December 29th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

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)