Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney In The News

Get Ready For A Change! Part 3 Gas Fireplaces

By Jake T Johnson 12/2014 for Mountain Connection

Of the homes in the mountain community that were built in the last 40 years, about 2/3 have included a gas-fired (natural gas or propane) fireplace. Since your fireplace is probably the same age as your home, you and it are likely to be ready for a change. But what’s in it for you? Most people are simply unaware of how much nicer looking and more effective a new fireplace is over those from even 15 years ago – let’s not even talk about those B-vent creatures from the 80’s!! – updating your fireplace can provide a dramatic improvement to your home.

The project of changing out your gas fireplace will provide you with the look and feel your home deserves. It is common to remove all of the rock or tile material that surrounds the fireplace and create an entirely new presentation. Or, if you really like how the fireplace wall currently looks, it’s sometimes a better option to only remove and replace the fireplace body – the wall stays but the new unit is much more attractive and functional.

There are four great reasons to update your gas fireplace:

Quality. The number of custom homes in the mountain area that were built with low-end, builder-grade fireplaces is remarkable. I am no longer surprised by the number of entry-level fireplaces we service in really nice houses. The solution is to remove the entire fireplace and install something that matches the quality and design of your home.

Looks. Not only will a new fireplace such as the Mendota DXV-45 Deep Timber 4 model (mendotahearth.com/ ) have a terrific flame pattern, but there are a large number of faceplate options to make the overall look meet your design goals. Tired of your traditional log set? How about a stunning combination of driftwood and stones? Or sparkling glass media? Your new fireplace can be as traditional or as contemporary as you want. Want a set of copper doors? Check. Want nothing to show but the firebox?Check. Got some other ideas – come on in and let us figure it out with you.

Heat. A new fireplace will generate heat – lots of it. Not only are modern burners more efficient, but the use of ceramic glass allows them to radiate a lot more heat into your home than any tempered glass unit ever could. Most of our clients are amazed by the volume of heat these units throw off. The use of a new gas fireplace to create a zone-heated oasis in your home is one of the best changes you can make.

Function. Ever get tired of going over to the wall switch or having to open the lower grill just to turn your fireplace on or off? Do you wish your fireplace could keep the room at a set temperature without any effort from you? Well, now it can. All modern fireplaces can be installed with a thermostat – simple. But it gets much better than that. The full-function remote on models like the DXV45 above will do all of these things right from the transmitter: operate as a thermostat, adjust the flame height, adjust the blower, turn on the light and change to/from standing pilot mode. Wow!

It all adds up to now being the perfect time for a fireplace change. Call us today for some great options or visit our Showroom and see your new fireplace in person.

For more information about your choices of fireplaces or other hearth products, by our showroom at 7001 Highway 73 in Marshdale or call us today at Mountain Hearth & Patio – (303) 670-0658, or electronically at sales@MtnHP.com facebook.com/MountainHearthPatio. Semper Fi!Semper Fi!

No, Really, You Need a Change Part 2 Woodstoves

By Jake T Johnson 11/2014 for Mountain Connection

Last month we discussed ideas for changing your wood-burning fireplace into something nicer and more efficient. This month we’re going to talk about change again: changing your woodstove into something you’ll enjoy the look and feel of much more than what you have now. Unlike fireplaces, whose purpose can vary greatly, woodstoves really have only one intended function – to produce a significant volume of heat for a specific area of your home. But how you get that heat, and from what appliance, has many variables.

The first thing most homeowners want to change about their old woodstove is to be able to actually see the fire burning – they want the glow and sight of the flames. Those old Timberline, Woodsman and Scandia stoves do a decent job of heating, but unfortunately, they have solid plates for doors and you can’t see the flames. ALL modern woodstoves have a large ceramic glass panel to provide a full view of the fire – what an enjoyable change it is!

Another big change in woodstoves is efficiency. A new woodstove really changes the heat output over those older models. The first thing to look for when shopping for a new woodstove is that it is an EPA-Certified model. If the stove you’re looking at doesn’t meet that basic standard, then it’s not going to be nearly as effective of a heater as those that are. It’s also not going to have the ability to be installed as close to combustible walls as those that are. For example, the Kuma Ashwood model freestanding woodstove, when installed in a corner with double-walled stovepipe connector, is UL Listed to be only 3” from the wall. Wow – what a change from that old stove sitting out in the middle of the room.

The third thing you might want to change about your woodstove is what material it’s constructed from. It’s important to match the stove’s construction to your intended use. There are three choices: steel, cast iron and soapstone. Each has its features and advantages; the benefits to you come from coordinating your woodstove to your lifestyle. The real difference is how fast the stove returns the heat to you. You won’t get more heat out of a steel stove than you will a cast iron stove or a soapstone model, but you will get it faster, and the stove will be hotter. Conversely, if you’re looking for extended burn times, cast iron will hold onto the heat longer than steel does and soapstone models from Hearthstone (www.hearthstonestoves.com) have an incredibly long ‘heat life’.

Finding a hearth professional who will closely match your needs will provide you with the change you need, and be worth it to you in safety and in warmth. At Mountain Hearth & Patio, we’re the only mountain area hearth retailer with product lines from all three types of woodstoves – soapstone, cast iron and steel.

For more information about making the change with your woodstove, call us today at Mountain Hearth & Patio – (303) 670-0658 , electronically at office@MtnHP.com or drop by our showroom at 7001 Highway 73 in Marshdale. Semper Fi!

Are You Ready For a Change? Part 1 Wood Burning Fireplaces

By Jake T. Johnson 10/2014 for Mountain Connection

If your home has a wood burning fireplace, you’ve likely asked the question, “Is it time for a change?” Perhaps you’d like your fireplace to provide warmth to a specific section of your home. Or maybe you’d like it to heat more efficiently and create less pollution and emissions. For many of our mountain area clients, the goal is simply to update their system from the look of a generation ago. Kitchens and bathrooms become dated, so do fireplaces. Upgrading your fireplace will not only increase the value of your home and your quality of downtime, but will save you money on energy costs, and is not as labor intensive as you probably thought it was.

The first step in determining how to approach your fireplace upgrade project is to determine if your fireplace is a traditional masonry structure or if it is a factory-built unit. Masonry fireplaces can have a firebox constructed from steel, firebrick, or cast panels, so it can be difficult to determine this. Factory-built fireplaces are characterized by round, metal chimneys and usually have a flat, black “face” that surrounds the firebox. An easy way to tell exactly what type of fireplace is in your home is to ask your chimney sweep. A quick look at your invoice should clearly state the category of fireplace on which the service was performed, or just send a couple of pictures to me at jake@mtnmanchimney.com, and I’ll figure it out for you. Tearing out an entire masonry fireplace and chimney structure is an enormous project—that’s why some really bright folks invented the gas, pellet and woodstove inserts. Let’s talk woodstove inserts. Modern woodstove inserts are steel fireboxes that fit inside of your fireplace. They are certified by the EPA to reduce particle emissions over 90%, compared to open fireplaces. But most importantly, THEY HEAT BIG TIME! It’s very satisfying to have a client describe how much more they enjoy certain part of their home because of the warmth of their new woodstove insert, and for many homeowners, cord wood is significantly less expensive than their current heat source.

Even if you already have a woodstove insert, it still might be time for an upgrade. New inserts all have glass windows that allow for viewing the fire—a huge improvement over that old Timberline or Woodman insert that was installed in the 80’s. Plus, modern inserts are dramatically more efficient than old ones. We commonly install new woodstove inserts with the surround panels tucked inside the stove veneer. That’s a HUGE improvement in looks(aesthetics) over a 30”X50” black steel plate covering the entire fireplace.

If your home has a factory-built fireplace, it’s likely that the entire system is at or near the end of its design life. We regularly remove the entire fireplace and chimney together and install a new EPA-Certified fireplace. Sometimes some or all of the existing facing materials can be left in place. However, more commonly, the project includes an upgrade of the tile, stone or other facing materials. Not only does your home get a terrific new heat source, but also, a beautiful focal point– hearth, mantel, and fireplace, all in one package! Because of the many wonderful options that today’s fireplace technology has provided, there’s no reason to put off that fireplace upgrade project any longer.

Business Q&A: Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney Inc., Evergreen

Posted September 4, 2014 on denverpost.com

Interview with Jake Johnson, founder and general manager

Q: How did you get involved in this business?
A: A few months after I got out of the Marine Corps, I met a scruffy old guy who was looking for someone to help him sweep chimneys. So I figured I’d give it a shot and it turned out to be something I enjoyed and had an aptitude for. After awhile, I went to the national chimney sweep training class and started my own business as the first chimney sweep along the Front Range to be certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Since then, we’ve expanded our activities to include a retail showroom (with more than 70 displays) and a full complement of installation, repair and service operations.

Q: What distinguishes you from other businesses in your category?
A: Our core values provide us with a unique combination of integrity, accountability, reliability and technical excellence. We’re going to do what we say we’re going to do, when we say we’re going to do it and for the price we said we’d do it. I am still surprised when our customers thank us for being on time or for being friendly and courteous on the phone — it’s just how we do things.

Q: What do you like best about your line of work?
A: It’s almost indescribable how majestic the mountain forests look from a rooftop on a sunny winter day after an overnight snowfall — it’s amazing. What gives us the most satisfaction, however, is teaching people to understand how their hearth appliances work and showing them how we can help to keep their homes safe and warm. Also, I get to meet a new dog or two almost every day.

Q: What is your business’ biggest challenge?
A: Training our team members that our place in the community is not about our products or our qualifications, it’s about how we can improve the lives of the people for whom we work. For each person who calls us or walks through the door, the challenge is figuring out how we can truly make a difference in their lives.

Q: Something people might be surprised to learn about you or your business:
A: Most people are surprised to learn I was selected as part of a small team to sweep the fireplaces and chimneys at The White House. For four days, we did nothing but sweep chimney after chimney — some are more than 70 feet tall. What surprises people about our company is that we’ll work on their roof all year round — rain, snow or shine. Semper Fi!

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A job well done ,spotless and ready to burn safety.
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