Empire Purchases Ownership in Stove Builder International Inc.

BELLEVILLE, IL – The Empire Group, the parent company of Empire Comfort Systems in Belleville, Illinois, has purchased majority ownership of Stove Builder International (SBI), a Canadian manufacturer of wood-fired and pellet-fired heaters and hearth products, along with venting. Empire manufactures gas-fired heaters, hearth products, and grills.

Both Empire and SBI are family owned manufacturers and both have undertaken aggressive product development programs that have spurred growth in recent years. While SBI’s primary market is Canada, they also distribute into the US, South America, Europe, and Australia. Their brands include Osburn, Caddy, Enerzone, Valcourt, Drolet, Century Heating, Nexvent and Vortex. Empire’s brands include American Hearth, White Mountain
Hearth, Broilmaster Premium Grills, and Empire Heating Systems.

Read Whole Press Release

Written by Empire Comfort Systems Inc.

Wood Heat – New technology improves a time-tested sustainable fuel

(Nov 8, 2017 – Port Sydney, Ontario) – Over half a million homeowners in Ontario get some or all their space heating from wood stoves. While most use it for supplementary heat, as part of an effective zone heating system or to combat power outages, many others use it as their primary source of heating.

Whether you are a power wood user, with logs being your primary heat source or you use wood at the cabin or chalet, creating a cozy ambiance at the cottage, this is the time for a refresher on smart wood heating.

Laura Litchfield, Executive Director of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association of Canada (HPBAC), the Canadian wood heat industry association, observed, “With the advent of new clean burning wood stove technology, wood is increasingly seen as a smart fuel choice in many parts of Canada. Wood heat provides warmth when the power goes out, it is easy to obtain and is locally sustainable. The reduced GHG’s from clean burning wood stoves is recognized in the Ontario Climate Change Action Plan and pending wood stove changeout program. Finally, not to be ignored, money paid for firewood very often stays in the local economy.”

A new clean burning wood stove and dry wood are key to successful heating with wood. No matter the type of wood you have available, it needs to be “seasoned”, which usually means splitting the logs and ensuring covered storage over the summer season for drying. The sweet spot is to have wood which has less than 15-20% moisture content, using wood with over 30% moisture means it will be hard to both light and burn. Wood that isn’t being burned completely risks dangerous creosote buildup in your pipes and chimney.


Hand-held moisture meter testing a woodpile for its moisture level

Calculating the moisture content of your woodpile is fast and easy if you use a hand-held moisture meter.  While virtually any dry wood can be used in your fireplace or wood stove, more dense hardwood species such as maples, oaks and beeches require less volume to get the same heat output (measured in British Thermal Units – BTU’s) as a much larger pile of softwood like spruce, pine or poplar. Red Oak has roughly 40% more BTU per volume than White Pine. Low density wood will keep you warm, but will require more work transporting, splitting and greater storage area.

Ms. Litchfield, went on to say, “New wood heat units with proper fuel are a clean burning energy source that deliver more heat per unit of wood than older units.  Many people see the reduction in wood use including less splitting, stacking and carrying as sufficient motivation to replace stoves over 20 years old, while others tout the indoor and outdoor air quality benefits of the cleaner burning units.”

Whether your stove is old or new, to ensure optimal performance and safety, make sure you have your chimney cleaned regularly.  This should be done annually by someone with WETT certification. Your local wood appliance retailer can refer you to a qualified company.

Other common-sense tips include having smoke and CO detectors with fresh batteries installed when you start your wood heating season. You should also have a designated place outdoors to dump ashes safely away from combustible sources.

If you have questions visit www.hpbacanada.org or your local wood stove retailer for reliable answers.

For more information, or to schedule interviews (French or English) please contact:
Laura Litchfield, Executive Director, HPBAC [email protected] 1-705-385-2223 X 1

For French interviews, Dominique Pagé, Board President [email protected] (418) 803-3494

Most wood heat retailers and manufacturers in Canada are represented by The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association of Canada (HPBAC). The HPBAC is the Canadian industry association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives and service firms in the hearth industry. The Association provides professional member services and support and consumer education. There are more than 575 members in the HPBAC.


New Woodstove Rebate Program for Kelowna BC

As overnight temperatures begin to dip, the timing couldn’t be better for anyone thinking of changing out their wood burning appliance, says the Central Okanagan Regional District.

There’s a new cash incentive available for Central Okanagan residents who upgrade their old wood stove to a cleaner burning one.

The provincial government is now offering a $400 rebate for replacing an uncertified wood stove with cleaner appliances, such as new pellet stoves, electric heat pumps or gas or propane stoves.

The new cash rebate is effective immediately through the Central Okanagan Air Quality program, while funds last.

The original $250 rebate that the government offered is still available for those who replace and recycle their old wood burning appliance with a new EPA/CSA-certified wood replacement.

Participating Central Okanagan retailers will take care of recycling your old stove and provide all the necessary paperwork for the applicable rebate, says the regional district.

See the full story here.
See details for the program here.

Bill 59: New Ontario Government Bill Sidelines Bill 14 in Effort to Manage Door-to-Door Sales

Bill 59: New Ontario Government Bill Sidelines Bill 14 in Effort to Manage Door-to-Door Sales

In the spring, a well-intended but poorly drafted legislation proposed by MPP Yvan Baker. That private member’s Bill (Bill 193) was challenged by HRAI, CIPH and CWQA because of its potentially devastating impacts on all forms of water heater, in-home water treatment, hearth and HVAC equipment sales, including those initiated by the customer.

Continue reading “Bill 59: New Ontario Government Bill Sidelines Bill 14 in Effort to Manage Door-to-Door Sales”

HRAI Insight: Shutting the Door on Bill 14 in Ontario

Read more about The Ontario Government’s Bill 14 which would ban in-house sales of HVAC products. Designed to stop dubious door-to-door HVAC sales techniques, will actually put a great deal of stress on those who offer home assessments to ensure customers are getting the appropriate equipment as part of their high-quality customer service plans.


The Greening of Vancouver: Surely the city council is going too far

Most Canadians understand that climate change is one of the greatest threats the world faces. Perhaps the greatest one. Many Canadians would also agree that we, as a nation, should play our part within the global community in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, with only 1.6 % of the world’s GHGs being attributed to Canada, there is a limit to the effect we can have. Continue reading “The Greening of Vancouver: Surely the city council is going too far”

TSSA in Ottawa – May 17

Please join us for an evening with TSSA
Tuesday May 17th, 6:30 to 8pm – Only $10!

Greet and Eat followed by our speaker Mike Goldberg, Regional Supervisor, answering questions such as:
* What changes might affect the Hearth and Barbecue industries?
* What are the top infractions seen in the field?
* What are the expectations of the service personnel regarding glass screens?

Hosted by:
The Fireplace Center & Patio Shop
1722 Carling Ave, Ottawa ON K2A 1C7

Winners of the Big Green Egg Cookoff – HPBExpo 2016
We look forward to seeing you!