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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Fireplace Matches Reviewed In 2018Last Updated November 1, 2018
№1 – HomArt Fireplace Matches, Large, Cockatoo and Crane Design
№2 – HomArt Fireplace Matches, Large, Ikat Design
№3 – Fire Place Matches Extra Long 11″ Long Decorative Jaipur Jewel Design
Plug-In Electric Insert
The plug-in electric fireplace insert is a simple and inexpensive solution for anyone who wants to install an electric fireplace into a cabinet or mantel. Plug-in units are completely self-contained units, like a space heater. The units are fully enclosed on all sides and have glass fronts, which make them great for modern-style homes. The fan-forced heat output comes from the top of the unit above the heating element. Like electric log inserts, most plug-in inserts plug into a standard 1volt outlet and can heat up to a 400 square foot room. Infrared plug-in inserts can provide safe, comfortable heat for up to 1,000 square feet.
Flashing and Trim Options
Some inserts offer decorative flashings and trim to enhance the look and style of your installation. For example, instead of a basic black sheet metal flashing, some inserts offer a cast iron surround trim. In the rare case that none of the appropriate flashings or surrounds will cover your entire fireplace openings (particularly for those with very large fireplaces), it is possible to purchase the insert only and then have a custom surround fabricated by a local machine shop or sheet metal expert. Some of the best retailers offer services to help you do this.
All electric log inserts and fireboxes are designed to pulsate and glow while the flame effect is in use. The result is a realistic flame effect without the nuisance of smoke or the dangers of burning logs. How the effect will look, however, will differ based on the design and style of each of the inserts.
Some flame effects are generated using a pan of water that mists. Originally patented by Dimplex, this is the most realistic-looking approach. Others mimic flames using blown air and fireproof materials.
Most of models of electric fireplaces can be simply plugged into a standard household outlet. However, you need to make sure that this outlet is on a dedicated circuit breaker or fuse Dedicated circuit breaker means that this breaker is not shared with any other outlets or lighting fixtures and serves only one outlet.
Plugging an electric fireplace into an electrical outlet that shares one circuit breaker or fuse with several other outlets and lighting fixtures could overload the circuit, trip the circuit breaker and create a safety hazard.
Never plug in your Electric Fireplace to an extension cord!
If your Electric Fireplace is a built-in model that needs to be hardwired, a new circuit breaker and wiring is required. We recommend hiring a licensed electrician if you need new wiring for your plug-in fireplace or installing a hardwired model.
Make sure to always follow manufacturer’s instructions provided in the product manual.
Fan-forced Coil Heaters
Electric fireplaces with fan-forced coil heaters can provide supplemental heat for a 400-500 sq.ft. room. This is the majority of electric fireplaces. Here is how these heaters work – a silent fan blows air over the heated coils and the heated air comes out of a vent that can be located at the top, bottom, or front of the fireplace.
Depending on where you want to install your fireplace, the location of the vent might make a difference because it needs to be at least feet away from the combustible materials, like curtains, carpet, or furniture.
Electric Log Inserts
Electric log inserts look like a grate with logs and they have built in lights that create a flame like effect on the walls of your existing fireplace. Log inserts have a built in heater and come with an included remote allowing you to control the flame height, intensity, heat and even the ember bed lighting.
Electric fireplaces are great sources of supplemental heat. They are 99% efficient meaning that there is no loss of energy all of it gets converted into heat. Electric fireplaces can be placed in any room to add some warmth just there thus helping you save on your heating bill.
Log Set Inserts
An Electric Fireplace Log Set is the perfect solution for someone wanting to repurpose an old or unused wood burning/gas fireplace quickly and easily. Requiring the least amount of effort with installations, these units simply slide into an existing fireplace and plug in to the closest wall outlet. For those who want to hide the electrical cord, you may opt for a slightly more complicated installation and have a licensed electrician place an electric outlet within your fireplace.
Log sets are just as they sound: a 3D log set with a base and a rear projecting flame effect. Some units project the flames onto the back wall of your fireplace, while others have a built-in back plate. Both create a realistic flame appearance –this is where your own personal preference comes to play. The majority, though not all units, offer a fan-forced heater which can create supplemental warmth for areas up to 400 Sq. Ft. All units offer a hand-held remote for convenient and easy operation from virtually anywhere in your room.
Plug-In Electric Fireplace Inserts also offer a relatively easy installation; only slightly more complicated than a log set. These units are square or rectangular, fully encased boxes that can be used in existing cabinets, mantels and fireplaces. These units simply plug into a standard household wall outlet, which you may or may not prefer to have an electrician add to the inside of your fireplace.
These fireboxes feature glass fronts that encase either realistic log sets or contemporary glass ember beds depending on your preference. The integrated heaters vent from the top of the fireboxes and create supplemental warmth to help take the chill out of your room. Traditional fan-forced heaters warm 400 Sq. Ft. while Infrared heaters can warm up to 1,000 Sq. Ft. You’ll want to take this into consideration when deciding which unit will be best for the room you are planning for installation.
A Built-In Electric Fireplace Insert requires the most complicated installation process. These fireboxes are designed for more permanent and direct installations into a wall or fireplace. Built-In units can be plugged into a standard outlet using a plug-kit or hard-wired (preferred) into your home’s electrical grid. We encourage you to hire an electrician or carefully read the detailed instructions prior to installation. Depending on the voltage, built-in fireboxes are able to provide additional heat due to the larger circuit capacity. A hardwired 110V firebox will warm up to 400 Sq. Ft. (4,600 BTUs), whereas a 220V will heat up to 800 Sq. Ft. (9,600 BTUs).
Like plug-in units, these boxes are fully encased with glass fronts and offer either traditional log set or modern glass ember bed options.
On the other hand, infrared heaters are designed to warm larger areas, specifically rooms up to 1,000 Sq. Ft. in size. Heating much like the sun, infrared heat warms objects and not just the air within a room. Utilizing quartz infrared tubing, a copper heat exchanger and fan, these units create highly efficient, supplemental heat which is evenly distributed across your area.
As a Source of Heat
Some natural gas fireplace products can be used for heating. Look for the product descriptions “vented natural gas fireplace heater” or “vent-free room heater.” These offer substantial zone heating. Products certified as a “vented natural gas fireplace” are not designed to heat, but offer the ambiance of a beautiful fire.
One of the oldest and the most frequently used fireplace accessories, damper pulls are used to open and close a fireplace damper.
Typically measuring about a foot long, a damper pull is made of brass and has a hook on one end, which makes closing the damper easy.
The damper pull can be hung from the fireplace stand, mantle or wall whenever the fireplace is not in use.
Andiron are horizontal iron bars where logs are laid on for burning in an open fireplace. They stand upon short legs and are typically linked with an upright guard, which may be made of steel, iron, bronze, copper, or even silver. Andirons are often richly adorned with conservative patterns or heraldic ornaments.
A fireback is a thick iron plate located at the back of a hearth. It is placed against the back of the wall of the hearth. It shields the wall and reflects the heat of the fire toward the room. A cast iron fireback is still the best way to shield a hearth’s back wall from damage. It efficiently protects the back wall from any further damage.
Wood Burning Stove Range Video
If you are considering purchasing a wood burning stove, this article will provide a useful guide on the benefits of owning a wood burning stove, the latest designs suitable for your home and where to purchase the chosen appliance.
Stockton wood burning stove
A wood burning stove is designed to specifically burn wood rather than other solid fuels, as the airflow in the appliance has been specially constructed to get the best performance from wood.Internally, a wood burning stove does not have a grate or ash pan on the floor of the stove. If you plan to burn a combination of materials such as peat/turf briquettes and other smokeless fuels in your stove, consider a multi-fuel stove which has a riddling grate. A riddling grate allows ash to disperse into a built-in ashpan which can be easily emptied. If you would like to find out more about the differences between wood burning and multi-fuel stoves, read our “do you know a wood burning stove from a multi-fuel stove” blog.
How to identify good firewood video from Stovax.tv
Another reason to purchase a wood burning stove is the eco-friendly lifestyle choice it offers many homeowners. Wood is better in environmental terms as the amount of carbon dioxide realised into the atmosphere is approximately the same as that absorbed by the tree during growth. This term is often referred to as the “carbon neutral process”. By using wood as your fuel source for your stove,you are in fact offsetting your carbon footprint and becoming carbon-neutral.
If you would like to find out more about identifying good firewood, visit Stovax.tv. The website also offers a number of free instructional videos about keeping your appliance looking and performing at its best.
For a more thorough explanation on why homeowners should own a wood burning stove, please refer to the top reasons to purchase a wood burning stove blog.
A diagram of a Professional XQ installation
All Stovax wood burning stoves are CE marked which means that they are independently tested to exacting European standards for both heating efficiency and emissions. To ensure that your product remains at the highest possible quality and safety standard, Stovax also provide a year extended warranty for your wood burning stove. Find out more about Stovax’s year extended warranty policy.
The first thing to consider when choosing a gas log set is they enclosure or space you’re planning to put your logs – is your firebox vented or unvented? How big is the enclosure? What type of gas is available to use? All of these questions will get answered, but let’s take a look at that first one: vented or ventless – what’s the difference?
Manual Match Light Assembly
The simplest and most straight forward ignition type, match light systems don’t feature any sort of safety gas valve or pilot light – simply open the gas valve manually, and light the burner with a lighter. This type of system is basic, but without any moving parts it’s always going to work so long as there’s gas running through the line – and you can raise and lower the flame height for various flame levels.
Remote Control Pilot Assembly
The most convenient ignition option for gas log sets are units that feature a remote control assembly to automate the ignition process. The more basic units simply feature an on/off remote control to simply control the ignition while the more advanced units can raise and lower flame heights or even electronically spark the pilot light so you can avoid running the pilot light continuously.
Other Key Considerations
These central configurations are key to the performance of your gas log set, beyond them several variations are available to ensure there’s a viable option to suite your specific needs. Other factors to consider would be: ANSI certification, 2-sided “See-Thru” logs, reversible logs or contemporary fire glass sets.
Certain local codes or state zoning laws require higher safety certifications hence the ANSI designation. Many manufacturers make log sets directly intended for this purpose and carry the ANSI certification to ensure the high safety standards.
Contemporary Fire Glass Sets
For the more modern approach, contemporary fire glass sets are available to lend a distinct appearance. These unique burner systems feature the same high quality flame presence but have a special design so as to accommodate the use of contemporary fire glass of any color.
Brightest of the Bunch
We’ve done the dirty work for you and scouted the market for the handy nuggets, cubes, and packages worth stashing by the grill or fireplace. Keep reading for which options have been reviewed as the best fire starter in the business by consumers who have tried them all—as well as where you can stock up.
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Wood-burning fireplaces provide great ambience, but they can’t beat the easy, no-fuss efficiency of gas. You don’t have to split, stack, season, or haul logs. There are no ashes to bag, no smoky smells, no chimney to clean. You can start, adjust, and snuff out fires with the touch of a remote control. The fire needs no tending and won’t die out from neglect. A wall thermostat can control the flame size—and therefore heat output—to maintain a specific temperature setting in the room. The fixed glass panels covering direct-vent fireboxes ensure that the furnace- or boiler-heated air in the rest of the house doesn’t escape up the flue, as it does with a wood fire. You can get as much as 7to 9percent of a fuel’s energy back as heat, instead of the to 30 percent for wood fires. Gas fireplaces can go almost anywhere—in an upstairs bathroom, in a basement, or outdoors—without needing a chimney.
But before that
What To Look For Before Getting The Best Electric Fireplace Heater?
As usual, we start by enlightening you on some important things you should always look for when purchasing an electric fireplace. Features make a product. The better the features, the more efficient the product proves to be.
Check the primary feature that will lead you to your ideal electric fireplace:
Ease of Installation
You want to buy an electric fireplace, head straight to your home and put it into action. Unfortunately, if you purchase a system that gives you a headache on the installation part, things might not go as you wanted them to.
But you can avoid this by buying an easy to install unit that does not make your spend whole day put it into place. Ensure you go for the electric fireplaces that fit easily and smoothly, without much effort.
Most of the units available today comes with the necessary mounting hardware and a list of well-outlined instructions on how you can get the thing ready in a matter of minutes.
Wall-mounted electric fireplace models do not require much installation job. They don’t demand that you reconstruct the wall you hang them on or a major remodeling of your house.
This is no brainer. How much power does the unit you’re planning to buy consume?
Have you confirmed the manufacturer’s claims with the reviews of the previous users of that unit? Of course, an ideal unit should consume energy efficiently.
Let it not be a liability that keeps n raising your energy bill every single bill. Rather, it should be a valuable asset that heats up your room allowing you to realize huge savings on the amount of cash you spend on energy annually (at least up to 50% energy saving in most cases).
More factors to keep in mind while searching the market for an ideal electric fireplace…
At this point, I’ll take you straight to our list of Top-Notch electric fireplaces that are ruling the market.
Altra Furniture Manchester TV Stand with Fireplace, 70″, Black
Altra Furniture is a reputable company behind the manufacture of top quality electric fireplaces for over 20 years. Altra Furniture Manchester TV Stand with Fireplace is one of their latest releases that serves the dual task of an electric fireplace as well as a television stand.
The gorgeous black finish of this TV stand will defiantly create a beautiful focal point in any room in your home. It’s made from high-quality, laminated Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) and durable particleboard.
These active materials enable it to hold your flat screen TV and other media accessories for a longer period. With the molded details of this unit, it has enjoyed millions of visual appreciation. The 2inches wide fireplace is incredibly easy to operate using remote control.
You can easily warm up your room with a couple of heat settings that fall between 7and 8degrees. You can opt to enjoy the ambiance of the flames with or without the heat- it all depends on your needs.
You can quickly switch between levels of flame light for varied ambiance. The unit’s heater blower will automatically go off whenever it reaches the set temperature.
You can mount the 50-inches electric fireplace anywhere- on the walls of your bedroom, children’s room, etc., living room, and even office.
You can install it to enjoy the aesthetic appeal of this finely crafted unit without any safety hazards.
The unit allows you to use it for stylistic reasons or simple mood, without producing heat. And when you want it to warm up your room, it lets you choose between two heating levels- High and Low.
These are sufficient to heat up approx. 400sq. Feet of your room. On top of all this, the Onyx electric fireplace demands only a simple installation job (comes with step by step instructions for this part).
If you’re mounting the unit under your flat-screen TV, make sure the unit stands at around 2inches below the TV base.
Duraflame DFI021ARU Electric Log Set Heater
This is a highly affordable fire insert that you can use to enhance any room with existing traditional fireplace. Duraflame DFI021ARU Electric Log Set Heater is ideal for the retrofit applications. Given its compact size, you can easily insert it even in the smallest fireplaces.
The design of this particular fireplace is unlike the others we have discussed before. The unit has no back part which means that flames will project to the back of your fireplace.
When not running, this unit looks as realistic as your traditional fireplace. It comes with a fan- forced heat near the base of the great which effectively and quietly generates instant warmth of approximately 4,600BTU’s- more than enough for a 400 square feet space.
The unit proves to be even more unique given the fact that it comes fully assembled. So, the moment it hits your doorstep, you plug it in and add that feel of warmth and a real fireplace instantly!
Like other top-quality fireplace inserts, this unit too allows you to operate it without heat (or with flame effect only).
Thus, it’s ideal for any season, through the year. A user-friendly multi-purpose remote control that comes with the unit lets you adjust flame and heat settings independently, at the comfort of your sofa. The unit remains cool to the touch- making it 100% safe for young kids and pets.
Duraflame DFS-750-Pendleton Electric Stove Heater
If you’re looking for a freestanding electric fireplace stove to take you through the cold winter seasons, the Duraflame-750-is the ideal product for you.
The heater not only adds warmth to any room but also introduced ambiance and charm to any room in your home. The stove adopts the traditional designs while delivering the modern heating characteristics. The stove comes with efficient heat output capability that will amaze you.
The ember bed and the glowing logs produce a gorgeous burning effect that makes you fall in love with this stove. The ember alone gives you a beautiful glow that is also highly realistic.
An upgraded door handle that comes with this product will make you mistake it for the conventional wood stove. The doors resemble each other in all aspects, only that the door for this electric unit does not get hot.
You can open it to view the inside of the stove (not necessary, though). Durable metal construction sets the stove ready to give you unlimited service for an unlimited number of years.
The included remote control lets you control the temperature and the intensity of the flame from anywhere in the room. You can use this stove in condominiums, apartments, lofts, and single rooms.
The unit provides the warmth of up to 4,600 BTUs adequate for use as supplemental heat for a 400 Sq. Ft space. Because the oven makes it possible to utilize zone heating, you’ll only heat the rooms you’re using and save utility bill spending.
Duraflame DFS-450-Carleton Electric Stove with Heater
This is the lightest weight and the most affordable freestanding electric fireplace we’ve reviewed so far. With less than 20lbs, this unit is a compact powerhouse that you simply unplug and transfer to any area in your room where you need extra warmth as well as the glow of the fire.
Cheap maintenance finds a new meaning in this product. No costly gas lines or chimneys. No smokes, soot, or ashes to clean.
The 100% efficient electric stove meets your heat needs without much hassle.
With an enormous heat capacity of up to 4,600 BTUs, the unit can sufficiently heat around 400 square feet of your home space.
It’s also an ideal freestanding stove for zone heating- you’ll find out that you’ll be able to heat only the specific areas that require heat and thus save a lot of cash on the energy spending. The design of this stove is great!
It features a picture of a window with arched frame. This, together with the ambiance produced by the realistic flames, adds the ultimate charm to your room.
With a durable, matte finish that stays cool (which is incredibly easy to clean), you’re guaranteed f the safety for your kids and pets.
Additionally, this perfectly laid finish hides the thermostatic dial as well as two switches behind the door. The unit is ideal for any room in the home, apartment, condo, etc. It’s also great for RV’s.
Gas Fire Pits
A modern take on the classic fire pit, gas fire pits offer more convenience and more safety in a controlled fire to provide warmth and ambiance. Gas fire pits feature a gas burner to provide the flames and can be used with different fire medias like lava rock, fire glass, or ceramic log sets.
More of a decorative patio enhancement, fire urns provide a one of a kind statement to enhance any patio atmosphere. These gas powered units feature a high quality burner to provide bright and beautiful flames contrasted by the traditional decorative urn.
The worst way. Please don’t use starter fluid, mineral spirits, gasoline, kerosene, or any hydrocarbons. They soak into the coals and emit a stink that I can smell from blocks away. When I smell it I want to march over to my neighbor with a fire extinguisher and a link to this page.
Gas and kerosene put out noxious vapors and I have heard of more than one case of people being killed by the fumes. Here’s a news video about a man who died from gasoline fumes used to ignite a charcoal fire. Let’s not talk about how many sleeves have caught fire while trying to light coals with fluid and a cigarette lighter, and if your fire doesn’t get off to a roaring start please please please don’t squirt it with starter fluid unless you’ve been wanting to see how the inside of the hospital’s burn unit looks.
And stay away from the easy lighting charcoal. Just open the bag and smell. They are soaked in mineral spirits. All the way to the core. So petroleum products are in the smoke right to the end. And you can taste it in the food. I prefer salt and pepper thank you.
Here are some techniques that work. Remember that there are really two fuels, charcoal and oxygen, so make sure all the vents are open wide when you try to light the coals. With briquets you should wait until the heavy smoke subsides a bit and the coals are covered in white ash before you start cooking. Lump will not ash over, so about 1minutes is sufficient.
The charcoal chimney
This is the best method. A chimney is a tube with an upper compartment and a lower compartment. First you stuff newspaper into the bottom compartment, add charcoal to the top compartment, then you light the paper, and after about five minutes, put on a glove and grab the handle and give a shake so the unlit coals on top will turn over and that’s about it. In about 1minutes the coals are white and ready. The hot air from the newspapers rises and sucks oxygen in through the bottom which ignites the coals and creates an updraft that grows rapidly in heat making the top of the chimney blowtorch hot.
Some folks have been known to drizzle some cooking oil on the newspaper to make it burn longer but I’ve never found this necessary. Another technique is to use firestarters on the chimney. Weber sells small cubes of paraffin that work just fine (above). The package says to use two per chimney, but one is really all you need. You can even make your own starter cubes, cheap and easy. Just take a look at the sidebar.
Reader “SuperDave2” writes to say he puts the chimney on the sideburner on his gas grill and “I can light my chimney with a push of a button, they are ready in half the time, and perfectly evenly lit.” Clever feller.
With a chimney there is no chemical aftertaste, no solvent smell in the air, and it’s a lot cheaper and safer than using lighter fluid. Just make sure you place it on something heatproof after you dump out the coals, and away from children and pets.
The Weber brand of chimney is my fave and it lasts longer than the cheaper models. But another feature of the chimney is that it is an excellent temperature controller for your cooking because it is a measuring cup! As you get experienced, you will learn just how high to fill the chimney in order to get your grill to the desired temp. A Weber chimney holds about five quarts, or about 80 briquets. For a Weber kettle, I put about half a chimney of unlit coals in the grill and put about half a chimney of fully lit coals on top to get to 225°F. To get to 325°F, 3/to a full chimney should do it. It all depends on the air temp, humidity, brand of charcoal, and other variables. You must do dry runs to calibrate your grill.
Use a chimney. Get repeatable heat every time and save your eyebrows.
Paraffin wax blocks or some left over wax from used candles
Newspaper, cotton balls, or some dryer lint (whatever you have handy)
1) Put the parafin in a disposable aluminum pan, place the pan over a low heat source and melt the wax completely.
2) If you are using newspaper tear the pages into squares about 12″ x 12″, crumple into balls, and dip them into the wax holding one corner so it can act as the fuse when you light it. If you are using cotton balls simply hold a corner and dip into the melted wax. If you are using drier lint, make a ball about the size of a golf ball and dip.
3) Break open a cardboard box and lay it flat. Cover it with foil or parchment paper. Put the wax dipped starters on the foil and let them dry. Once the wax has had time to harden use a scrapper or spatula to break them free. Bag or box the cubes and store them in a cool area, away from direct sunlight or moisture.
To use the starters simply fill your chimney with charcoal place the starter on your grill grates and light one corner. Place the chimney over the lit starter and the coals will catch.
If you are in a hurry and can’t wait 1minutes for your chimney to be fully lit, the BBQ Dragon accelerates startup with a battery operated hairdryer-like fan on a goose neck with a clamp.
When the company sent us a test unit, I rolled my eyes and chuckled. Hair dryer on a stick. It sat unopened for weeks. Then one night my wife asked the dreaded question “When will it be ready?” The salmon was prepped, sides were almost done and I hadn’t started the fire yet. I filled the Big Green Egg with charcoal, lit up a couple of paraffin cubes, pointed the blower at the bottom damper and within minutes had a beautiful glowing fire.
There are some other uses that may not have occurred to you. Meathead uses his to fire up the logs in his pizza oven and when he grills over wood and says it reduces startup time for wood fires drastically. It can also be used on a fire for a long cook when the temp is dropping because the fuel is burning down. Puff some air on it and things really pick up. Or if you want to add new coals to a fire, it is always best to add lit coals. BBQ Dragon can have them ready in a hurry.
The sturdy goose neck arm clamps securely to legs, shelves and handles, or use the clamp as a base to rest on a flat surface. The variable speed motor allows infinite air control: crank high to get the coal started or dial low to gently aid a struggling cooker and stabilize temps. It is battery-powered, hands-free and the stainless steel and heavy black plastic construction feels durable and looks sharp. A micro-USB connection that accepts most cell phone chargers is built into the handle for AA rechargeable batteries. Water proof for cooking in the rain. Two year warranty. – Max Good
The Looftlighter is a real boy toy. It is a hair drier flamethrower hybrid. Just make a pile of coals (try to count them first or use a giant coffee can to measure a fixed amount), place the tip of the Looftlighter against the coals, and within 20 seconds you’ll see sparks flying. Pull back a few inches, and in about a minute or two you have a ball of hot coals. Stir, and in about 1minutes you’re in biz. Looftlighter is an excellent way to start a chain of coals (there are occasions when you want to lay down a C-shaped chain of coals and light just one end).
On the minus side, you need an outlet, you don’t want to use it in the rain, you don’t have the convenient measuring tool of the chimney, you have to stir the coals, and you have to be careful where you place it when it is hot. Plus, it sounds like a leaf blower. sous vide machine one day, I discovered it can also be used to sear meat!
The electric starter
This is an electric coil similar to the coils on a hotplate. Pour a pile of charcoal in your grill and jam the coil into it and plug it in. As the coals ignite, remove the coil, and mix the unlit and lit coals together with a fireplace shovel. Make sure you place the hot coil on something that is not flammable until it cools.
It’s an OK firestarter, and unlike the Looftlighter, you can walk away while it is doing its thing. But I have a few quibbles with it: You need access to an outlet, you don’t want to be using it in the rain, it ignites only the coals it is in contact with so you need to stir them around to get them all lit, and then you need to move them to where you want them. Chimneys are faster, get the coals hotter faster with less fuss, and you can dump them right where you want them. Also, you don’t have the convenient measuring tool that the chimney is.
Then there’s the real flame thrower. Connect it to a propane tank, hit the spark, and whoosh! Within a few minutes a whole bag of charcoal is glowing and that makes it popular on the competition circuit. And propane, unlike gasoline or lighter fluid, is flavorless and odorless when burnt.
It is also good for burning weeds from the cracks in your patio, and flushing enemy woodchucks. This is the kind of tool Karl Spackler would love. This model is the Red Dragon Torch.
For long cooks
Part of the problem with charcoal is that it starts cold, heats up rapidly, hits a peak, and then slowly cools as the fuel is consumed.
But it is important to keep the temp of your grill or smoker constant. There are several clever solutions. The core concept of them all is that you put lit coals on top of unlit coals, or visa versa, or side by side, and the ignition of the new coals synchronizes with the death of old coals.
They work well with one noteworthy problem. Freshly lit coals put out a lot of smoke, and it is thick white smoke, not the thin blue smoke that makes the best flavor.
The Minion Method
The Minion Method came first. Named after Jim Minion, a caterer who invented the technique, you start by pouring a Weber chimney full of unlit coals (80 briquets) into the grill or smoker and bury about three chunks of wood in the pile. Then put 1/a Weber chimney (40 briquets) of hot coals on top of cold coals, and a lump of wood on top. The exact number of coals will vary depending on the brand you use, the smoker, and the weather. It is the standard technique now for the very popular Weber Smokey Mountain bullet smoker.
The fuse method
To light the fuse, known as the snake, C, or U method, you put the coals in a C or U shape, ignite one end, and walk away. It works remarkably well. Here is how it looks on a Weber Kettle or a bullet smoker.
Here is how it looks on a Backwoods Smoker, but it can be adapted to many others.
As you can see that I have divided the coal tray with two bricks. No special firebricks, just bricks. The coals are spread out around the U and there is wood scattered along the path. Hot coals lit in a chimney are poured in one end on top of a wood chunk and the door is closed.
After about three hours. Notice the second chunk of wood has begun to smolder.
Discard the dust
Often there is charcoal dust and small crumbs in the bottom of the bag. Discard them. If you pour them in your grill they can clog the airspaces between the coals and constrict airflow and choke back your fire by as much as 50°F. Remember, oxygen is just as important as charcoal!
Discard the ashes
Empty the bottom of your grill. Ash is a great insulator and it reduces the amount of heat bouncing off the bottom of the cooker. On the other hand it reduces the amount of heat escaping through the bottom of the cooker. But too much ash can choke off oxygen, or be stirred up and coat your food with gray dust.
I prefer to suffocate the fire by closing all vents. It can take an hour or more for the coals to die, but they will die if your cooker is reasonably tight. You can extinguish a charcoal fire by dousing it with water, but beware, steam that that can peel the skin off your face will come up in a hurry, and the hot water that will pour out of the bottom of your grill can put you in a wheel chair for a while. Also, wet ashes can form a concrete-like crust that can corrode your grill. When they are thoroughly dry, coals can then be shaken to slough off the ash, and used again. But it can take days for them to get thoroughly dry so if you plan to use the grill soon, don’t douse the coals with water. If you have a ceramic grill, never use water to douse the fire or it might crack.
A video about charcoal
A wood-burning fireplace uses logs as its main fuel source. Though you will not have to worry about installing a gas line or running up your electric bill, purchasing wood on a regular basis can become quite costly. You must also clean the fireplace and chimney frequently to remove soot and debris. It can drastically lower your utility expenses, however, as it can take the place of your heating unit.
Gas fireplaces use natural gas to heat your home. A vented unit operates much like a traditional wood-burning fireplace, save for the fact that it ignites by simply pushing a button. There is no need to purchase wood or go through the trouble of lighting the fire. Thus, there is no soot to clean up or charred wood to remove. Higher-end gas fireplaces even feature realistic ceramic logs that mimic the appearance of wooden units. The downside to this option is that it does require gas, which involves gas line installation and monthly utility costs.
An electric fireplace is powered purely by electricity, which makes it one of the easiest to operate. Simply flip a switch or push a button to ignite the fire and enjoy the warmth. The drawback to an electric unit is that you may have to cover the cost of wiring installation and may see a spike in your monthly electric bills. Keep in mind, however, that they are typically more cost effective and energy efficient than central heating units.
Outdoor vs. Indoor
Outdoor fireplaces are much like indoor fireplaces except they are located on a patio or in the yard. They will still need a chimney or piping if they are powered by natural gas. Homeowners will need to measure the square footage area to determine the fireplace size, whether it is near a dining area or an independent space away from the patio for cool nights. There are different fuel types from which to choose, including wood, gas, propane and electricity. For any of these, you will need to consider the added pieces for installation. With wood, you will need a chimney, whereas with other types of fuel you might need to dig up the lawn a little. Gas can hook into a town line, and propane can be independently fueled with a tank. The hardest one to install is potentially the electrical fireplace, depending on where the fireplace is to be located outside.
Another option for homeowners is an indoor/outdoor fireplace, which provides heat on the inside and outside of the home. Homeowners can either have one installed into the wall of their home–which involves going through drywall–or they can have a portable one. They are easy to mount to the wall, movable, affordable and use clean fuel for energy efficiency. While they aren’t as ambient as a real fireplace and do not last as long as a bigger fireplace, they are good options for homeowners who might not want to build an entire outdoor fireplace.
If you wish to install a wood stove you have many of the same decisions in terms of wood-burning, pellet or gas as you would for a fireplace. While a wood-burning stove would not require the same extensive masonry work as a stone or brick fireplace, it does require a fire-resistant base of some type to rest on. This may come in the form of a brick, tile, stone or cement foundation that as a heat barrier. Which material you choose and how elaborately you want to embellish or style it will add to the cost of installation. Here are the most common factors to consider when purchasing a wood stove for your home.
All wood stoves must sit on a heat-resistant base that is non-combustible. This is due to the inevitable fact that stoves release sparks that can damage surfaces, such as carpets and hardwood floors. The cost of base installation varies greatly, based on the materials used and the size of the hearth pad. Regardless of the type of base you choose, it must extend inches beyond all sides of the stove.
Circulates the smoke exhaust so that it can be burnt again to increase the efficiency of the unit. This also reduces the amount of debris that must be cleaned up after the fact. The downside to a catalytic combustion wood stove is that it must be replaced more frequently, every or years. Overall, this option tends to be cleaner burning but more difficult to operate.
This easy to use option involves fewer maintenance expenses. These wood stoves have a single operational control, which makes it less likely that the unit will misfire. It does produce more by-product than a catalytic combustion system, however, due to the fact that the unit does not burn up the smoke exhaust.
Non-catalytic and catalytic standalone wood stoves can vent through a chimney made for wood-burning fireplaces, if they can match the height and position of the previous fireplace. It might be best to have a fireplace installer come out to help with the square footage measurements and safety regulations before picking out a wood stove. Standalone stoves must be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and their BTU rating will tell you how much heat they create, in case you need one for a particularly cold room.
Wood Stove Inserts
When installing a wood stove insert in a fireplace, it must be smaller and the flue must be bigger. Having a bigger flue means the vent can push out the debris from smoke more easily and avoid chimney fires. This is also known as creosote, which is brown or black debris left behind from chimney smoke.
Installing a wood stove or hearth stove, as it is also called, into the fireplace is best done with a stainless steel liner from the stove to the chimney. It is efficient and makes it easier for homeowners to sweep away debris from wood and inspect for any problems. Wood stove inserts come in a wide variety of types–same as their standalone counterparts–and should match the fireplace itself for the best results.
With every fireplace or wood stove installation you need to choose whether your unit will be vented or unvented. Adding vents and ductwork can add a great deal to your fireplace or wood stove installation, but not every home or every unit needs venting. There are also a number of different types of vents ranging from direct venting where the fireplace vents directly through the wall, to the need for more elaborate ductwork to be installed. Below is a brief explanation of the three most common types of venting systems.
This is the most traditional method. The air is taken in through the chimney or duct and then expelled via the same ventilation system. The drawback is that some of the heat also escapes through the vents, which decreases the efficiency of the unit.
Direct vents take in air from the outside of the home, and then release the contaminated air back to the outside via a dual vent system. There is no chimney or stovepipe involved, which reduces heat loss. However, the unit must have a glass door to ensure adequate combustion and maintain suitable air quality within the home.
Some noises may be normal for your fireplace. If the sound isn’t new and your gas fireplace acts fine, you have little cause for alarm. New sounds, coupled with operating issues, are clues that the two are related. Try to pinpoint the exact sound and, if possible, from where it originates. Contact a service professional for more intensive troubleshooting and repair.
An Abundance of Soot
You may instinctively think that since your gas fireplace doesn’t burn wood, you won’t have problems with a dirty fireplace or soot in the chimney. Unfortunately, it isn’t true. Try to reduce the amount created to protect your family’s health and to avoid a fire hazard.
Large fire pits can hold more wood, therefore creating a bigger fire, but do you have the means to accommodate this bigger size? If you intend on moving your fire pit often, it might not be the best option. Think carefully before purchasing a fire pit over feet wide because when it comes down to it, fire pits are supposed to be enjoyable, not a hassle.
Perhaps the most important element when deciding on your perfect fire pit is the material used to construct it. The materials not only equate to durability; they also create a certain style. Depending on your needs and your style preference, the prominent component of your fire pit will have a huge impact.
Steel fire pits consist of a wide variety of models that vary in price and quality. Steel is a great material because it can be easily molded into any shape imaginable. Just be careful, unprotected steel does rust over time, so be sure to purchase one that is powder coated and be aware of the physical changes that your fire pit may endure. High-end models are usually handmade by a steel artisan and are extremely unique, while the less expensive models are very common and come in many styles and sizes. see more steel fire pits here
Tile and stone fire pits are very unique and artistic. They are made with a solid steel frame and mesh body, with tiles, rocks or bricks then applied to the mesh body using standard masonry procedures. These rock fire pits are generally very heavy so frequent movement is not recommended. see more brick fire pits here
Copper is the cream of the crop when it comes to fire pits. These will not rust – in fact, most fire pits made from copper develop a desirable patina over years of use. Copper can be molded into ultimately any shape and will last virtually forever. Copper products do tend to be on the expensive side, but the cost is worth it in the long run. see more copper patina fire pits here
Cast Iron is one of the most common materials used in construction and fire pits are no different. Cast iron is inexpensive, easy to work with and light enough to move around when needed. Cast iron is not as strong as wrought iron nor as heavy, but to some the lightweight nature of cast iron is desirable. see more cast-iron fire pits here
Stainless Steel fire pits come with all the great features of stainless steel, including a rust-free, durable material that will stay looking great for years. Many people like the industrial look of stainless steel, as well the functionality. Unfortunately, stainless steel fire pits are rare and only come in very few styles due to their expensive price. see more stainless-steel fire pits here
When choosing the perfect fire pit, you also want to consider what you want to use the fire pit for. Do you just want to enjoy an outdoor fire or do you also want to use it to cook food? Maybe you just want it to act as furniture or décor in your outdoor space? Today, there are fire pits to accommodate anything you may want.
Grilling is as American as apple pie and having a fire pit that can double as a grill is extremely efficient. Many people also think that food prepared over an open flame is more delicious as well! Many of Serenity Health’s fire pits come with a cooking grate, but you can also buy a grate to fit fire pits that don’t already come with one. see more grill grates here
Fire pit tables function in multiple ways. These multipurpose fixtures provide heat for chilly nights spent in your outdoor area and offer a great surface to place drinks when having an outdoor get together. Fire pit tables range in size from coffee table height to dining or bar table height. With beautiful designs like mosaic tile, decorative glass, wrought iron and more, you can easily incorporate this kind of table into your outdoor furniture set. see more patio table fireplaces here
Artistic fire pits are great for those who want a more unique look on their porch or pool area. All of these fire pits are handcrafted by skilled artisans to create an artistic look that’s sure to make a statement in any outdoor area. see more artistic fire pits here
A campfire ring is a great lightweight and safe option for backyard campfires. If you want to enjoy a simple campfire safely without breaking the bank or making more work for yourself, a fire ring may be the perfect option. see more decorative fire rings here
Whether you’re purchasing a toaster or a TV, brands are part of your decision process. Although brand name fire pits are often less known than Sony or Toshiba, there are some definite differences between manufacturers that consumers should know.
The Sunnydaze Decor brand is one of the newest outdoor living companies out there, but they are quickly making a splash. Sunnydaze Decor is constantly developing new and interesting designs while keeping the prices lower than much of the competition. This brand also offers a great 1-year warranty on all of their products. They also have great customer service in case you ever have a problem with your fire pit once you use it. check out the Sunnydaze fire pits here
Uniflame has been in the fire pit business for a long time and they are a subdivision of the Blue Rhino Company, a company most well-known for its nationwide propane tank exchange system. Due to Blue Rhino’s history with natural gas and propane, many of their fire pits can be converted to work with either propane or natural gas. They have a plethora of unique products, ranging from wood burning steel fireplaces to gas fueled granite fire tables. check out the Uniflame brand here
Landmann is one of the oldest names in the fireplace equipment industry and grills are their specialty. Their fire pits range in styles and offer a nice variety of copper, steel and cast iron models. Landmann Fire Pits are sturdy in construction and always get high reviews from consumers.
Factory built fireplaces are a metal box, sometimes made with or without refractory bricks inside to be framed into a house without masonry. They are usually installed in framed walls and encased in non-combustible materials while the home is being built. Nowadays, a lot of new homes have gas fireplaces, but the standard for older homes is usually wood burning.
You can get a fireplace after your home has been built; it just requires a little bit of a renovation. A cavity will have to be created and venting allowed for, either by installing a chimney or applicable venting, or by buying a vent free fireplace (only available in certain states – check your local by-laws).
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Detail of photo from the series Midway: Message from the Gyre by Chris Jordan
So let me back up. After seeing photos like the one above of dead albatross chicks two and a half years ago, I made a commitment that after my plastic lighters ran out, I would switch to matches. So even though I still have these plastic lighters in my house, I started looking for plastic-free matches before I needed to.
We believe in the very best customer service and satisfaction…
Read what other customers think about our and services. “Very pleased with your personable service there at Fireplace Products” “We were extremely pleased with the prompt way the order was dealt with, the polite friendly manner over the telephone and the speed of delivery.” “When I rung up to order the stove, I was also given lots of help and advice and everything was very efficient.”
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Fireplace Matches wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Fireplace Matches
- №1 — HomArt Fireplace Matches, Large, Cockatoo and Crane Design
- №2 — HomArt Fireplace Matches, Large, Ikat Design
- №3 — Fire Place Matches Extra Long 11″ Long Decorative Jaipur Jewel Design