While people agree that a fire on the hearth makes their house a home, choosing from the many options can be confusing. The following questions are intended to help you identify the right unit for your home or outdoor living room. Remember that the starting point is you, your home, your tastes and your lifestyle. From there, a trained hearth products retailer can help you choose the best heating fuel and the ideal product.
With today’s venting options, fireplaces, stoves, inserts and other hearth appliances can be installed almost anywhere in the home. Consider a fireplace for nontraditional locations, such as the kitchen, home office or master bedroom or bath. Even creating an outdoor living room by installing fireplaces on patios and decks is a very popular trend today.
If you have a unit that is inefficient or seldom used, converting to a new hearth product may be simple and surprisingly affordable. Gas logs or a fireplace insert may be just right for you.
You can add atmosphere and focus to your home by incorporating a hearth product early in the design stage. Talk to your architect or remodeler about stove and fireplace ideas.
Some hearth products are simply decorative, while others are extremely efficient and beautiful to watch at the same time. How much heat output would you like? Consult HPBA’s home heating buyers guide for more information.
Once you decide whether to use your hearth as room, living zone, or entire house heat source your local hearth dealer can help you determine the right size appliance for your home. Your retailers can also help you decide the best heating fuel factoring in your climate, floor plan and lifestyle.
Use the HPBA home heating calculator to determine your best options and savings based on your local fuel availability: firewood, natural gas, propane, wood pellets, coal, oil or electricity.
One of the benefits of most hearth products is that they can operate during power outages, when you need the heat the most.
Having a fire can be as simple as pushing a button on a gas stove or fireplace, or engaging as supplying your own wood, building and tending a fire. If someone in the house has allergies, that needs to be considered.
The hearth products industry offers many choices to consumers.
Price is always a consideration. Hearth product prices range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Fuel prices also are a factor to consider and vary by region.
For information on pellet fuels and the new Pellet Fuels Standards www.pelletheat.org
Grills are measured in square inches of cooking surface. Knowing whether you’ll be cooking for yourself, your family, or entertaining guests will help you decide how big your grill should be.
BEFORE lighting the grill, apply non-stick spray on the grates. The protective spray cuts down the clean-up time afterwards.
For charcoal grills, line the bowl with aluminum foil. After grilling, and once the grill and coals are cool, simply discard the foil with the coals and ash, then wash and reline with foil for next time.
Use a wire brush or even crumbled aluminum foil to scrub away buildup on the grates once the grill has cooled.
Squirt grease-cutting dishwashing detergent on grill and grates (once cool). Scrub with brush or abrasive pad, then rinse. A repeat may be necessary.
Don’t forget to place a grill pad or splatter mat beneath your grill before cooking. These naturally heat resistant pads will protect your deck or patio from any grease that misses the drip pan and will make it a lot easier to keep your outdoor living area clean and looking like new.