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

Maintaining Your Wood Burning Stove or Fireplace

It is essential to properly maintain a wood burning appliance – whether it’s a stove or fireplace- to ensure the safety of your home and efficiency of the unit. Hiring a certified professional annually is your best bet, as they can assist in vital maintenance of your chimney, fireplace, or stove before you need it most. The best time to have your appliance inspected and cleaned is right before wintertime, when it will be at highest use.

Below are some tips to consider to properly care for your solid fuel appliance:

Removing ash, soot, and debris

Maintaining your wood burning stove or fireplace - Westhampton Beach NY - Beach Stove and Fireplace

Before you begin using your wood burning appliance more often, it’s important to clear all of the old debris from the inside of the unit. A vacuum cleaner can assist in getting all of the material out – just be sure that all of the debris is completely cool first. If your appliance has an ash pot or tray, be sure to remove this and empty it.

By Julie Dismore on December 29th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Comparing Gas and Wood Burning Appliances

With the abrupt arrival of winter and its frigid temperatures, most people have headed indoors in an effort to stay warm. For some, staying warm involves huddling around a fire, its bright flames rippling heat into the room. Few can resist the lure of an indoor fire in the winter time. The radiant heat, shimmering flames, and alluring flicker of light can feel very soothing after a long day, so people flock to fires whenever they have the chance. While most people agree that fireplaces and wood stoves have an inexplicable appeal, they likely have wide ranging opinions on whether the appliance use wood or gas for fuel.

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Wood burning fireplaces are what many people envision when thinking about fireplaces. The giant brick hearth is full of freshly split logs, and the fire crackles incessantly, even spitting an occasional ember. Throughout the night, the logs burn down to a pile of hot embers that glow and pulse a soft orange light from the residual heat of the fire. While all of this seems rather appealing, burning wood for fuel comes with some less attractive qualities as well.

For one, burning wood requires gathering or purchasing wood for fuel. In rural areas, homeowners may have the option to gather their own wood, which costs no money but does cost in time and energy expended. In more populated areas, the wood must be purchased from a dealer. Neither of these options promises good wood though. To burn most efficiently, the wood needs to have seasoned, or dried out, for at least one year. Freshly cut wood or wood that has been stored outside is likely too wet to burn safely. In addition, burning wood produces a substance called creosote that builds up in the chimney. If a chimney sweep is not performed annually to remove the creosote, it can cause a hot and dangerous chimney fire. Finally, wood fires produce ash in the fireplace, which needs to be swept or vacuumed out after each fire to prevent it from being blown into the house.

On the other hand is the option to burn natural gas as fuel. For homes with access to natural gas through piping, this fuel is readily available at any time. Gas fuel also burns very efficiently, with up to 99 percent of the fuel used to create fire and heat, while wood burns at a very low efficiency and produce significantly more harmful products. With this type of fuel, no messy wood splitting, creosote buildup, or ash removal becomes an issue. The only downside to gas fuel is that they require ceramic log sets in order to burn, which do not provide the same aesthetic appeal as wood logs burning down to a bed of embers. These logs never change appearance and do not crackle or spark the way wood logs do.

In general, wood burning appliances are becoming more historic and less applicable, despite their visual appeal. Burning gas is healthier, more convenient, and more efficient, so many homeowners are having gas appliances put into their homes, new or existing. If you have questions about wood fuel compared to gas fuel, contact Beach Stove and Fireplace to speak with an expert.

The Importance of Well Seasoned Firewood

Weather experts have predicted this upcoming winter to be as frigid as last year’s record breaking winter, and this has everyone thinking ahead about keeping warm. For some people, staying warm inside the house involves lighting a toasty fire in the fireplace or wood stove. However, burning a fire requires having the right fuel, and if the fireplace burns wood, that means stocking up on the best firewood.

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Prior to deciding on the species of tree to burn in the fireplace, the most important aspect of the firewood is actually its dryness. Dry firewood has completed the “seasoning” process in which it has been stored out of the elements and allowed to dry for an amount of time specific to the variety of wood. Lightweight wood may only need about six months to season, while the densest woods could take up to two years.

Do your best to avoid firewood that has been stored outside because it has not had a chance to season. The water content in this wood is most likely very high, which results in cool smoky fires. When the wood contains a lot of water, the fire expends a lot of energy boiling the water away, and this produces less heat, creates more smoke, and costs you money in poor fuel efficiency. In the end, the firewood also burns incompletely.

Incompletely burned firewood leads to the production of creosote. This thick, tarry material first leaves the fire in a hot, vaporized form, but as it travels up the chimney, it cools and clings to the chimney walls. Over time, creosote can build up to the point of closing up the chimney completely, which can cause a backup of harmful gases like carbon monoxide into the home. Creosote is also highly flammable, so a stray ember in a creosote-filled chimney could result in a devastating house fire. Luckily, you can avoid all of this with regular chimney sweeps and by only burning well seasoned wood.

Once you have found the right wood with the longest seasoning time, you have to take it home and decide how to store it. The most ideal way to store firewood is to keep it indoors and uncovered. Storing the wood indoors protects it from rain and snow, which keeps it dry. Seasoned wood, especially, absorbs water very readily because of its dryness, so keeping it out of the elements is vital. Leaving the wood uncovered also permits any trapped water to evaporate. Completely wrapping the wood in a tarp can lead to trapped moisture and an increased water content. If storing the wood inside is not an option, you can store it outside, but be sure to cover the top of the stack. Any kind of water proof “roof” works well in an outdoor storage situation, such as a sheet of aluminum siding. Leave the sides of the wood stack open, so air can flow through to keep it dry.

If you have any questions about choosing or storing your firewood, get in touch with your local chimney and fireplace specialist. For an expert in the Westhampton Beach, New York area, contact Beach Stove and Fireplace.

By Julie Dismore on November 30th, 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)