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Is Your Fireplace EPA 2020-Ready?

Your fireplace should be safe, warm, and saving you money. If your fireplace is old and outdated, 2020 is the perfect time to replace it. In May, stronger EPA standards for wood burning heaters go into effect. These new standards mean that any wood stove you buy now will be more efficient than ever. Not only that, but modern, efficient stoves are eligible for a tax credit.

At Mountain Hearth & Patio, we’ve been putting modern and efficient fireplaces, stoves, and inserts in homes in the Denver Metro for years. We supply many stoves that comply with the updated standards and our certified professionals can help you find the perfect appliance for your space.

What are the EPA standards?

The New Source Performance Standards for Residential Heaters, or NSPS, went into effect in 1988. These standards were set to regulate the amount of particulate emissions allowable from wood stoves, fireplaces, inserts, and other residential wood heaters. At the time, these appliances were far less efficient and a major source of air pollution.

This traditional-style FireplaceX 44 Elite is a great example of a modern wood fireplace.
Modern wood fireplaces, such as this Fireplace Xtrodinair 44 Elite in Conifer, aren’t just efficient heaters, they’re also beautiful, customizable features for your space.

Over the years, the EPA has updated the standards to require higher efficiency. The most recent update, in 2015, tightened the particulate emissions standard for wood heaters to less than 4g/hr. This May, the EPA will be updating the standard again, tightening the efficiency requirements for these appliances further.

What is the updated EPA standard for 2020?

On May 15, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency will roll out their updated standards for wood burning residential heaters. Where the old standard required that stoves emit less than 4 g/hr of particulate emissions, the new standard will require emissions of less than 2.5 g/hr when burning cord wood.

A wood insert and new finish are great ways to update your existing fireplace. Our NFI-Certified technicians installed this FireplaceX wood insert in Evergreen.
A wood insert and new finish are great ways to update your existing fireplace. Our NFI-Certified technicians installed this FireplaceX wood insert in Evergreen.

These tighter standards are great for air quality. They also come with the added bonus of burning less wood for more heat due to the overall increased efficiency. Modern wood stoves, inserts, and fireplaces achieve this efficiency in several ways. Catalytic stoves use a catalytic combustor to re-burn the byproducts of combustion and increase burn efficiency and heat output. Non-catalytic stoves use baffles to create a longer, hotter path for gases, they also allow more combustion air to flow into the firebox.

Which hearth appliances meet the EPA 2020 standard?

Our wood burning fireplaces, stoves, and inserts are 2020 ready. We have many high-quality, high-efficiency hearth appliances from Fireplace Xtrordinair, Hearthstone, Lopi, and more that meet or exceed the new emissions standards.

These fireplaces aren’t just efficient. They’re beautiful, customizable features for your living space. Modern wood fireplaces, stoves, and inserts allow you to choose from design options such as doors, surrounds, and more to match your style. Whether you’re looking for traditional ambiance or contemporary elegance there’s an EPA 2020 compliant stove for you.

Wood stoves are powerful heaters with a classic attitude. We installed this Hearthstone Manchester in Evergreen, CO.
Wood stoves are powerful heaters with a classic attitude. We installed this Hearthstone Manchester in Evergreen, CO.

What is the Biomass Energy Tax Credit?

When you install a modern, efficient wood hearth appliance, you’re also eligible for a tax credit! As long as you update to a fireplace, stove, or insert that burns wood with 75% efficiency or more. This tax credit can be another way to find savings on your new appliance and installation. If you have an efficient wood burner installed before December 31, 2020, you can take advantage of these savings.

You can burn wood in Denver and the Metro as long as you burn in an EPA-Certified appliance. Our technicians installed this Vermont Castings Montpelier in Lakewood, Colorado.
You can burn wood in Denver and the Metro as long as you burn in an EPA-Certified appliance. Our technicians installed this Vermont Castings Montpelier in Lakewood, Colorado.

If you plan to take advantage of this tax credit, make sure to save the documentation of your purchase and your stoves efficiency. Then, it’s as simple as filling out the IRS Form 5695 and filing with your 2020 taxes.*

Talk to us about your home efficiency!

If you’re a wood burning purist looking for a modern source of heat, Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney can help. Our NFI-Certified sales and installation staff can help you select the perfect fireplace, stove, or insert for your home that meets the latest efficiency standards. Come in to our showroom or check out our product pages to see our wood burning fireplaces, stoves, and inserts.

We also provide high-quality service and repairs. If you’re happy with your fireplace and need repairs or annual maintenance, our CSIA and NFI-Certified technicians will put their experience to work for you.

Contact us on our website, by phone at (303) 679-1601, or by email at Office@MtnHP.com to start your fireplace project. From service and repairs to sales and installation we have the experience and expertise to do it all.

Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney has over two decades of experience with the sales, service, and installation of fireplaces, stoves, and inserts. We work in the Foothills communities, Lakewood, Littleton, Denver, and everywhere in between!

*Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney are not financial advisors or tax preparation professionals. This article should not be considered legal or financial advice. To learn more about this tax credit and to discuss whether it’s right for you, consult with your accountant, attorney, or other tax preparation professional.

Originally posted on MtnHP.com, our sister website.

By Scott Rupe on April 14th, 2020 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

Unhappy With Your Fireplace? We Can Help!

Is your fireplace looking a little run down or old-fashioned? It’s time for an upgrade! Unsightly damages and out-of-date structure contribute both to the looks and functions of your fireplace, but you don’t have to deal with these frustrating issues with proper fireplace care and maintenance. After all, fireplaces are meant for peace, relaxation, and creating lasting memories. Now it’s the perfect time to give us a call!

Pick Your New Gas Or Wood-Burning Fireplace Today

At Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney, we sell and install gas and wood-burning fireplaces, and they are definitely going to fit your modern decor. Having trouble deciding between the two? Let us help!

Wood-burning fireplaces are a classic and traditional choice. Wood is not only a cheap fuel source, but many also believe you just simply can’t beat the sounds and smells associated with it. The only downside is that these types of fireplaces require lots of work and upkeep. Although, some people do enjoy finding, hauling, storing their own wood. It’s all about what you prefer!

Gas fireplaces are known for their convenience. They offer a great ambiance and provide many styles, without the stress and hassle of maintaining a wood pile. You also don’t have to learn how to start a fire, as these units turn on with a switch! Worried about messy ash piles? Not with a gas appliance! They’re mess-free and great for people with a busy schedule. Talk to us about investing in yours today!

Considering An Insert?

Many times when homeowners upgrade their fireplace, they choose to invest in an insert. If this is the right option for you, our experts can help with that, too! Inserts are known for their efficiency and high heat output. Typically, they save homeowners a lot in energy bills throughout the year!

Like our traditional fireplaces, the inserts we offer come in both wood and gas-fueled options, but we also offer a third option – pellet-fueled. All three have their pros and cons, and it’s really about deciding what will work best with your lifestyle and family. Our team is ready to help! We’ll work together to find exactly what you’re looking for so you can live happier and safer when fall arrives. We’re ready to serve you!

Spring Is The Time To Call

With spring upon us, now it’s the perfect time to invest in chimney and fireplace repairs. Our schedule is likely more open, and when fall arrives again, you won’t be waiting around for maintenance. We want you to enjoy your fireplace on that first cold day! Call our professionals now to come take a look.

By Jake Johnson on May 8th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Start Working On Next Year’s Firewood

When it comes to firewood, it is important to plan ahead. Did you know most types of wood take at least 6 months to season? And many take one to two years! If you hope to burn lots of fires in 2018, you need to start prepping wood now.

Importance Of Seasoned Wood

By seasoning your own wood, you are doing yourself and your fireplace a great service! Burning unseasoned fuel results in smoke accumulation, creosote build-up, acidic toxins in the air, and more. By sticking with your own properly dried fuel, your fires will be easier to build and they will burn cleaner and more efficiently. Keep your chimney in good health by burning only seasoned wood from here on out.

If you are ready to start storing and seasoning your own fuel, then we have some great tips to help you get started. Check them out!

Cut It Short

When cutting your wood, the shorter you go the better off you will be. The smaller it is, the quicker it will dry out. You will also want to make it an appropriate length for your fireplace or stove. There’s no use in storing your own firewood, if it will not fit in your appliance! Do some measuring, then cut the logs to at least three inches shorter than the width or depth of your fireplace (depending on how you build your fires).

Be Careful When Covering

You may need to cover your wood to keep it safe during bad weather. Yet, covering it up all the time means less sun exposure and longer drying times. When the weather is good, uncover your wood so more heat can get in and dry out the moisture. Also, never cover up the sides. Just cover the top to keep rain out.

Stack Off The Ground

Leaving wood on the ground leads to mold accumulation and rot. Instead, store the wood on pallets or poles to keep it off the ground throughout the seasoning process. Also, stack the pieces lightly. The more air circulation each piece has, the better the whole pile will vent. A well-vented storage area is ideal for effective seasoning.

Look Into Wood Types

You may also want to keep in mind that certain types of wood burn more efficiently than others. Try for ash, hickory, oak, pine, and similar hardwoods that are known for producing high heat and longer-lasting burns.

Remember, too, that certain trees are more common in different areas. Find which types of wood you have the most access to, so you never have to worry about running short.

At Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney, we want to help you enjoy your fireplace for years to come! Invest in our services for any and all of your chimney-related needs. We look forward to helping you out!

By Jake Johnson on January 19th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Energy Efficiency of Pellet Stoves

For many homeowners, pellet stoves represent a low cost and high efficiency option for heating their homes during the winter. In addition to their ease of operation and minimal maintenance, pellet stoves continue to gain popularity as they present a more energy efficient option to environmentally conscious homeowners. Pellet stoves are able to replicate the look and feel of a wood burning stove with the added benefit of increased energy efficiency.

pellet-stove-evergreen-co-mountain-man-chimney

Are pellet stoves more efficient than other wood burning appliances?

One of the major draws of pellet stoves is their efficiency. In a regular wood burning appliance, energy is wasted breaking down the wood so it can be burned. Because of a pellet’s size and composition, it is able to burn with less energy wasted. The majority of pellet stoves are between 75% and 90% efficient and have a BTU output 4-5 times higher than firewood.

Additionally, pellet stoves are able to benefit from better fuel to air ratios in the combustion chamber. This leads to the fuel being burned more completely, causing less waste and increasing efficiency. Finally, unlike wood burning appliances pellet stoves create very little smoke and creosote, the buildup of which is the number one cause of chimney fire.

How much do pellet stoves cost to operate?

Because they do require electricity for their fans and feeders, many homeowners worry about any additional electricity costs a pellet stove may have. However, these appliances actually use very little electricity. For a pellet stove that is used as the primary heating appliance for an entire home, the average cost per month in electricity is only $9. While this price may vary, it is often far less that the extremely high price of natural gas during the cold winter months.

The only other cost associated with running a pellet stove is that of the fuel itself. While pellets are slightly more expensive than cordwood, this is easily made up for by the fact that pellet stoves burn much more efficiently than traditional wood stoves. And while it may not save dollars, many homeowners appreciate the fact that their pellet stove can operate without the constant needed to be tended, stoked, or have logs added.

What size pellet stove do I need?

Choosing the right size pellet stove for your home can be a daunting process. A stove that’s too big tends to run at a low smolder, wasting fuel and creating increased air pollution. Likewise, a stove that’s too small will not be able to adequately heat the entire home, leaving residents chilly and frustrated. According to energy.gov, “A good rule-of-thumb is that a stove rated at 60,000 British Thermal Units (Btu) can heat a 2,000-square-foot home, while a stove rated at 42,000 Btu can heat a 1,300-square-foot space.”

The experts at Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney will be able to help you choose the pellet stove that is right for your family based on your space, style, and heating needs. Contact them today for more information on how a pellet stove can more efficiently heat your home this winter!

By Jake Johnson on September 30th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment