Keeping Your Family Safe From Carbon Monoxide

August 22nd, 2012

 

Keeping Your Family Safe From Carbon Monoxide

 

What is carbon monoxide

 

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. In high concentration carbon monoxide, or CO, can be deadly to humans and pets alike. Carbon monoxide is all around us and a natural by-product of combustion.

 

How to protect your home from dangerous levels of carbon monoxide

 

When thinking about carbon monoxide safety make sure you use all of your appliances as directed by the manufacturer. Never use outdoor appliances, such as charcoal or gas grills, inside of your home. Never use any appliance that is not approved for home heating to heat your home, especially gas stoves and portable propane appliances.

Install a UL listed carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, making sure to test the batteries regularly. In addition to proper usage of household appliances be sure to have them serviced and cleaned by a licensed technician at least once a year. Especially fireplaces, pellet/wood stoves, gas or propane furnaces, and even gas or propane hot water heating systems.

 

What you should do if you suspect carbon monoxide in your home

 

The following symptoms are a good indication that carbon monoxide levels in your home have become dangerously high. These symptoms include:

-Shortness of breath

-Confusion

-Dizziness

-Drowsiness

-Headache

-Fainting

-Irritability

-Rapid or abnormal heartbeat

-Nausea and vomiting

-Unconsciousness

If you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms dial 911 immediately and vacate the home. After you have safely evacuated the home call a service company, such as Hearth & Stove, to repair and maintain the faulty system.

In the case of carbon monoxide prevention is key. If you are unsure of the age, working condition, or last service date of your fuel consuming appliance please give us a call. We would be happy to assist you in keeping your home safe and comfortable no matter what the the season. Hearth & Stove.

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Why You Should Think Twice Before Buying Online

February 13th, 2012

Your home is unique to you, and the same can be said for the installation of your fireplace: something that only an authorized dealer can understand. Although it may be tempting to save a little bit of money initially by purchasing online, there are many other factors at play that WILL end up costing you more money in the long run. For starters:

*Do you know for sure that the fireplace you’ve selected is compatible with your home?
*What if your fireplace is defective, or malfunctioning? How much is that going to cost to repair? Perhaps more importantly, how long will it take to repair?
*Many local fireplace dealers will not service a fireplace that they didn’t sell. If they do, then it usually comes at a higher price than if they had made the purchase with the dealer.
*Regional and national regulations are very strict when it comes to fireplace installation. Failure to use a certified chimney installer may void your home insurance in case of fire.
*There is a much higher risk of fire-damage by purchasing online and using inexperienced installers.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a fireplace, Hearth & Stove offers a full year of service for free if you go with us. In addition, our customers enjoy discounted chimney cleanings and servicing for any unit that we sell. Dan Carter, the owner and chief installer at Hearth & Stove is CSIA Certified (Chimney Safety Institute of America) and is an NFI Certified Gas Specialist. You’re in good hands!

Keep children safe around natural gas fireplaces

November 17th, 2011

A natural gas fireplace is like a magnet in most homes – they encourage people to gather because they are warm and comforting. This is especially true when the temperatures begin to drop outside. Be aware of the potential so that the entire family can spend time together safely.

Never use your natural gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked or broken. Don’t try to replace the panel by yourself, hire a licensed technician instead.

Ensure that the chimney or vent is clear of any debris to be sure that the fireplace is receiving enough fresh air intake to burn efficiently.

Young children should never be left unsupervised around gas fireplaces. Many children burn their hands and fingers from contact with the glass barrier at the front of the gas fireplaces. Burns can happen when toddlers fall towards the gas fireplace, and push up against the hot glass for balance or touch the glass out of curiosity, resulting in serious third degree burns.

The glass barrier can heat up to over 200oC in about six minutes during use, and takes 45 minutes to cool to a safe temperature after the fire has been switched off.

Take a few simple steps to keep children safe.

Create a barrier around the gas fireplace. Safety guards can be installed to keep children at a safe distance at all times. Or use safety door gates to keep children out of the room the fireplace is in.

Consider not using the fireplace if you have children less than five years old in your home. Or, use it only after children have gone to sleep.

By Manitoba Hydro

http://www.altonaecho.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3347545

Save Money Heating Your Home This Winter

November 5th, 2011

Interested in saving some money this winter? Check out this article about how a vent-free gas fireplace might be a good option for you. We carry many fantastic gas products from brands like Napoleon, Monessen, Majestic, and more!

http://www.krmg.com/news/news/local/save-money-heating-your-home/nFFwp/

Keep children safe around natural gas fireplaces

October 29th, 2011

A natural gas fireplace is like a magnet in most homes – they encourage people to gather because they are warm and comforting. This is especially true when the temperatures begin to drop outside. Be aware of the potential so that the entire family can spend time together safely.

Never use your natural gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked or broken. Don’t try to replace the panel by yourself, hire a licensed technician instead.

Ensure that the chimney or vent is clear of any debris to be sure that the fireplace is receiving enough fresh air intake to burn efficiently.

Young children should never be left unsupervised around gas fireplaces. Many children burn their hands and fingers from contact with the glass barrier at the front of the gas fireplaces. Burns can happen when toddlers fall towards the gas fireplace, and push up against the hot glass for balance or touch the glass out of curiosity, resulting in serious third degree burns.

The glass barrier can heat up to over 200oC in about six minutes during use, and takes 45 minutes to cool to a safe temperature after the fire has been switched off.

Take a few simple steps to keep children safe.

Create a barrier around the gas fireplace. Safety guards can be installed to keep children at a safe distance at all times. Or use safety door gates to keep children out of the room the fireplace is in.

Consider not using the fireplace if you have children less than five years old in your home. Or, use it only after children have gone to sleep.

By Manitoba Hydro

http://www.altonaecho.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3347545

FAQ’S From The Chimney Safety Institute Of America

October 24th, 2011

Q. How often should I have my chimney cleaned?
This a tougher question than it sounds. The quick simple answer is: The National Fire Protection Association standard 211 says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” This is the national safety standard and is the correct way to approach the problem. It takes into account the fact that even if you don’t use your chimney much, animals may build nests in the flue or there may be other types of deterioration that could make the chimney unsafe to use.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces should be cleaned at 1/4″ of sooty buildup, and sooner if there is any glaze present in the system. Factory-built fireplaces should be cleaned when any appreciable buildup occurs. This is considered to be enough fuel buildup to cause a chimney fire capable of damaging the chimney or spreading to the home.

Q. My fireplace smokes. What can I do?
There are a multitude of reasons for smokey fireplaces. We have included an entire section on smoking fireplaces in the fireplace area and we suggest you go there for a better discussion of this problem.

Q. My fireplace stinks, especially in the summer. What can I do?
The smell is due to creosote deposits in the chimney, a natural byproduct of wood burning. The odor is usually worse in the summer when the humidity is high and the air conditioner is turned on. A good cleaning will help but usually won’t solve the problem completely. There are commercial chimney deodorants that work pretty well, and many people have good results with baking soda or even kitty litter set in the fireplace. The real problem is the air being drawn down the chimney, a symptom of overall pressure problems in the house. Some make-up air should be introduced somewhere else in the house. A tight sealing, top mounted damper will also reduce this air flow coming down the chimney.

Q. When I build a fire in my upstairs fireplace, I get smoke from the basement fireplace.
This has become quite a common problem in modern air tight houses where weather proofing has sealed up the usual air infiltration routes. The fireplace in use exhausts household air until a negative pressure situation exists. If the house is fairly tight, the simplest route for makeup air to enter the structure is often the unused fireplace chimney. As air is drawn down this unused flue, it picks up smoke that is exiting nearby from the fireplace in use and delivers the smoke to the living area. The best solution is to provide makeup air to the house so the negative pressure problem no longer exists, thus eliminating not only the smoke problem, but also the potential for carbon monoxide to be drawn back down the furnace chimney. A secondary solution is to install a top mount damper on the fireplace that is used the least.

Q. I heat with gas. Should this chimney be checked too?
Without a doubt! Although gas is generally a clean burning fuel, the chimney can become non-functional from bird nests or other debris blocking the flue. Modern furnaces can also cause many problems with the average flues intended to vent the older generation of furnaces. We suggest you check the areas on gas and carbon monoxide for more information.

Finding a Chimney Professional
The safety and efficiency of your hearth appliance is wholly dependent upon the integrity of your fireplace and chimney to protect your home against carbon monoxide leaks and from fire damage. It is imperative that your entire chimney system be thoroughly inspected before installation of any wood or gas burning appliance. Older homes are of particular concern because settling, deterioration and nonconformance to current codes may dictate repairs before your project may be undertaken.

First, choose a CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) certified chimney sweep to thoroughly clean and inspect your chimney before installing a new hearth appliance. He/she may also be qualified to install your new appliance and any venting system. Check your local codes for safety requirements; many localities will require a licensed plumber or HVAC contractor to install or connect gas lines and a building permit may be required.

Thanks to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) for this article, reprinted from their informative website. The CSIA is the only recognized agency in America that certifies the level of knowledge of a professional chimney sweep.

http://www.thefireplacechannel.com/articles/article/3679544/55187.htm

How to Clean Gas Fire Glass

October 17th, 2011

The glass panels in the viewing doors of most gas fireplaces or heat stoves typically require little maintenance beyond removal of a white-colored film that is a byproduct of burning natural gas. Although a spray window cleaner works well on the viewing glass doors of wood fireplaces and heat stoves, the film that accumulates on gas fire glass is more like the film that accumulates on a car headlight than loose ash. It requires the use of a non-abrasive fireplace glass cleaner cream to polish the film off the glass.

Instructions

Things You’ll Need

* White fabric
* Non-abrasive fireplace glass cleaner cream
* White microfiber cloths

1. Remove the viewing door(s) or glass panel(s) from your gas fireplace or heat stove. If you don’t know the correct removal method for your specific model, refer to your model’s user manual as removal methods for various models differ.

2. Lay the viewing door(s) or glass panel(s) on a soft, clean piece of white fabric.

3. Squeeze the glass cleaning cream on to a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth and gently rub in circles across the entire surface of the glass.

4. Wait for the cream to dry per the instructions on the glass cleaner packaging and then rub the cleaner off the glass with microfiber cloths. Sweep from side-to-side at first to remove most of the cream and then repeat with a clean cloth in a circular motion until you have removed the cream from all surfaces including the viewing door frame (if applicable).

5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 on the opposite side of your door(s) or panel(s).

6. Reassemble your gas fireplace or heat stove.


Tips & Warnings

* If some of the white residue film remains after you rub off the glass cleaner cream, repeat Steps 3 and 4 as it sometimes takes two to three applications of the cream to remove the white film.

* Never clean the glass in the viewing door of your gas fireplace or stove while it’s hot as cold cream or moisture can crack or break the glass.

Article by Irena A. Blake, eHow Contributer
http://www.ehow.com/how_6039585_clean-gas-fire-glass.html