Our Company Blog

The Effectiveness of Fireplace Inserts

Fireplace insert effectiveness Image - Littleton CO - Mountain Man Fireplace & ChimneyAccording to the National Association of Homebuilders, fireplaces are the second most popular home feature buyers look for. Because of this, adding a new fireplace to your home or updating an existing one can add value and help your home sell faster in the future – as well as keeping your family warm and cozy for years to come.

Benefits of a new fireplace insert

If you have an existing masonry fireplace, you may be losing as much 90% of its heat up the chimney. This extreme inefficiency can make it more difficult to heat your home as well as cost you more in heating and fuel costs. To combat this, consider installing a fireplace insert.

Fireplace inserts are easy to install, use, and maintain, and can help save you money thanks to their increased efficiency. Below are three of our favorite reasons to consider installing a fireplace insert in your home.

Improve efficiency

While open hearth masonry fireplaces are notoriously inefficient, inserts of all fuel sources have significantly high efficiency ratings. Burning with closed system combustion, inserts more effectively burn the fuel source and lose less heat up the chimney. Not only does this save you money on fuel costs, but it can also lower your electric bills. The Hearth, Patio, and Barbeque Association found that installing an insert in place of a masonry fireplace could reduce energy bills by as much as 40%.

Fireplace inserts aren’t just more efficient – they are also better for the environment. The EPA established strict particulate emission standards for all fireplace inserts. In order to earn the EPA certification – and be sold – inserts must create minimal amounts of smoke and other particulate emissions; by burning cleaner, fireplace inserts are often helpful for family members suffering from respiratory problems such as asthma.

Switch to a new fuel source

Installing a new insert can give you the opportunity to switch fuel sources. This is most commonly seen in homes that currently have a wood burning fireplace and want to switch to gas. In cases like this, installing a new insert into an existing hearth can help save money – while still giving you the fireplace of your dreams.

If you are switch fuel sources, your chimney may need to be relined. Because gas and wood fires create different byproducts of combustion, different chimney liners are needed; while wood burning fires create more smoke and creosote, gas fires create an acidic or corrosive condensation. Having the right flue liner can ensure your new fireplace is burning and drafting safely.

Find a fireplace that matches your style

Whether your home is rustic and traditional or has a distinctly contemporary look, there is an insert to match your style! With a variety of sizes and styles available, it is easy to find an insert that will seamlessly blend into your home’s décor. Likewise, accessories such as fireplace screens can also be used to add even more design to your new heating appliance.

Get your new insert before winter arrives!

There is still time to have your new insert installed before winter arrives. Whether you want to improve efficiency, change fuel sources, or merely update the look of your fireplace, a new insert will add warmth and comfort to your home this winter and for years to come. Contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney today for more information on new fireplace inserts.

By Jake Johnson on October 28th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

The American Lung Association Woodstove Changeout Program

The American Lung Association Woodstove Changeout Program Image - Littleton CO - Mountain Man Fireplace & ChimneyIf you have an older wood stove in your home that is used as a primary heating source, now may be the perfect time to upgrade it to a newer, more energy efficient and environmentally friendly model. The American Lung Association is currently sponsoring a Woodstove Changeout Program in Colorado that could give you anywhere from $400-$3000 off the purchase of a new wood stove.

What is it?

In an effort to create cleaner air conditions in Colorado, the American Lung Association is currently offering more than $900,000 in vouchers to upgrade old wood stoves to newer, EPA certified models. Businesses and homeowners in Boulder, Denver, Jefferson, Larimer, and Weld counties who use old wood burning stoves for their primary or significant heat source as eligible for a voucher between $400-$3000; the exact amount of the individual voucher depends on the income level and the type of replacement stove purchased.

How it works

To participate in this program, residents in the participating counties should submit a voucher application to the American Lung Association in Colorado (ALAC). If approved, the voucher will be valid for six weeks; during that time, the voucher can be taken to a participating retailer where an eligible replacement appliance can be selected. The retailer will then work with the resident to determine the exact voucher amount as well as to complete the installation. The voucher will serve as an immediate “coupon” to the retailer, while the retailer will then submit all qualifying documentation to the ALAC.

Eligibility requirements

The Woodstove Changeout Program is currently accepting applications from Boulder, Denver, Jefferson, Larimer, or Weld counties. In order to apply, applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements.

Currently use a non-EPA certified woodstove, heater, or other heating appliance as a primary or significant heat source
Agree to turn in the old heating appliance and replace it with a new, EPA certified wood stove
Purchase a new stove with a participating retailer within 6 weeks
Fully complete a voucher application in advance, including photos and documentation of the existing heater and income level

For a full list of the terms and conditions of this program, please visit the American Lung Association website.

Why it matters

Woodstoves are still used as primary heat sources for many Colorado families. While wood is effective, many older wood stoves are extremely inefficient and release high levels of air pollutants; this affects the air quality of these families, as well as their surrounding neighbors and communities. Children, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease are most at risk for health conditions associated with high levels of airborne fine particle pollution.

The Woodstove Changeout Program aims to work in three ways:

  1. Improve family lung health by reducing indoor air pollution by 70%
  2. Save money by burning energy more efficiently
  3. Improve outdoor air quality and public health

The Woodstove Changeout Program is the perfect opportunity to purchase a new woodstove for your home. For more information on the Woodstove Changeout Program or to learn more about our selection of environmentally friendly stoves, contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney today.

By Jake Johnson on August 18th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

EPA Versus Non-EPA Fireplaces and Stoves

Not sure the difference between EPA vs Non-EPA stoves? Read on to learn more or call Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney!

Not sure the difference between EPA vs Non-EPA stoves? Read on to learn more or call Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney!

During the cold months of winter, most homeowners consider their fireplaces and stoves to be a necessity. However, telling the difference between a “good” or “bad” heating appliance can sometimes be difficult.

Many homeowners base their decision on whether or not to purchase a stove or fireplace based on its EPA rating. Others may purchase a home with an older heating appliance only to discover that it is not EPA certified.

While EPA certifications are an excellent way to evaluate the energy efficiency of a new appliance, there are also many units that do not have these ratings yet still work well. In this post we will discuss the difference between EPA and non-EPA certified fireplaces and stoves.

What are EPA certifications?

The EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency, created regulatory emission requirements for heating appliances such as stoves, fireplaces, and inserts. These requirements were developed in order to help minimize air pollution.

What is the difference between an EPA certified and an EPA qualified appliance?

Currently, only wood and pellet stoves can receive EPA certifications. To make this certification, this must meet strict regulatory emissions standards.

Fireplaces and outdoor boilers, also called hydronic heaters, cannot be EPA certified because their emissions cannot be as closely regulated by the EPA. However, many of these appliances can be EPA qualified. To earn the EPA qualification, manufacturers can voluntarily meet emissions standards set by the EPA. While this does not make them certified, units with this qualification do burn cleaner and more efficiently than those without it.

How can I tell if my appliance is EPA certified?

Wood burning stoves that are EPA certified should have a tag or label located on the back of the stove. If you cannot find a tag, the current list of EPA certified wood heaters can be found here. Homeowners should also look for labels for safety certification groups such as Underwriters Laboratories.

Finding the EPA qualification tag of an existing fireplace unit may be difficult. Often, the labels for these appliances can only be viewed before they are installed. If you have questions about the qualification of your unit, the list of EPA qualified fireplaces can be found here. If you are purchasing a new fireplace, look for the tag that labels the appliance as Phase Two Qualified.

Benefits of an EPA certified appliance

Many homes may have older appliances that do not meet current EPA standards. While these appliances might still function well, there are a number of benefits of upgrading to an appliance that meets modern EPA standards.

The main benefit of upgrading to an EPA certified or qualified appliance is in the improved efficiency. An older, non-certified wood stove may create as much as 30 grams of smoke per hour. Newer certified models, however, create as little as two grams of smoke per hour. Less smoke means that more of your fuel source is being burned, which translates to savings for you by purchasing less wood or pellets.

While you may love your old stove or fireplace, consider upgrading to a new EPA certified or qualified model. You will make your home safer and healthier by reducing smoke and emissions, as well as potentially save money by burning your fuel source more efficiently. If you’re ready to upgrade your heating appliance and live around Littleton, CO, contact the staff at Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney today. Our expert staff can help you find the stove or fireplace that is right for you!

By Jake Johnson on January 30th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment