Phone: (330) 538-2367

Location: 11216 Gladstone Road
Warren, Ohio 44481

 

Education

Click on the link below to view the information you are interested in reading.

Energy Cost Calculator
Wood & Coal Burning Tips
Vented or Vent Free
Tips for Starting a Coal Fire
Care and Replacement Manual for Woodstove Catalytic Combustors

 

Energy Cost Calculator

Bush's Quality Fireplace - Energy Cost Calculator


Wood / Coal Burning 101

 With the continuing rise of fuel prices, wood and coal burning have become the “in” things once again.
While burning wood or coal is a pleasure, there are procedures that should be followed to ensure the best
possible experience. We hope these tips help as you learn or relearn the process.
Good luck and most of all, be patient!

1. Read the manual supplied with your unit. It gives invaluable information for operating and maintaining the fireplace, insert, furnace, or stove. You will also find the terms of the manufacturer supplied warranty located here.

2. Use good quality fuel! What does this mean? Here are some pointers:

  • The best wood is a hardwood such as maple, oak, beech, ash, or hickory.
  • Wood should be split, stacked, and air-dried outside, under cover for at least 12 months.
  • Deadfall and slab wood are NOT considered good seasoned wood. 
  • Green wood will burn, but much energy is required to drive off the excess moisture meaning less heat for you, more creosote, and a potentially dangerous situation.
    If you burn green or wet wood, you may have to clean your chimney on a monthly basis.
  • Wood dried for more than two years is too dry and will reduce burn time.
  • Anthracite coal in the size specified for your coal stove.

3. Clean, clean, clean!! Wood / coal burning is enjoyable, but it also involves some work. Here are some things you will need to do on a daily basis:

  •  Check the level of ashes and empty before they reach the top of the ash pan. This helps keep your grate(s) from warping.
  • Clean any loose items from around the unit – ashes and debris from wood or coal.

4. Do a visual inspection of the unit itself – do all gaskets look good and seal properly, are the surfaces free of any foreign objects, is the glass intact, do all doors latch properly?

5. Make sure to go over entire stove during the summer. This is your annual maintenance and will include some or all of the following depending on your individual unit:

  •  Thoroughly clean and inspect the chimney.
  • Check gaskets for wear or compression. Replace if needed.
  • Inspect and clean catalyst. Replace if needed.
  • Clean the glass.
  • Make sure all handles are tight.
  • If you have heat shields, make sure all screws are tight.
  • Clean out ash pan. You can put cat litter in it to keep the inside of the stove dry during the summer.
  • Touch up paint.
  • On some units, a physical interior tear down and inspection should be done in the summer months.
  • Clean and lubricate blowers.

6. Order any needed parts during the summer if possible. This ensures your burning season is not interrupted. Most parts are available in 7-14 business days and some can be shipped directly to you. We try to stock some common parts and gaskets, but it is not possible to stock everything. Remember, most people wait until the last minute to order parts then wait in line to get them - get ahead of the game!!

7. Things to remember!

  • Every home / situation is different. What works with you neighbor’s stove may not work with yours.
  • We prefer to look at your installation before you purchase a unit. We have years of expertise under our belt and will give you our honest opinion of what is best for your situation. The choice is still up to you, but it helps to give you direction.
  • A properly sized stove and chimney means better operation. Over-sizing can introduce many problems than can cause unsafe situations.

8. Glossary of terms – hear are some words that are important to be familiar with

  • Air wash – system by which primary air is rushed over the interior of the glass from top to bottom. This helps to keep the glass cleaner that with no air wash at all. The glass does not stay pristine with the air wash, but it is much better that without. Some smoke, soot, and glazing can be expected.
  • Catalytic Combustor – ceramic honeycomb coated with platinum. Ignites and re-burns smoke to recuperate heat that would otherwise be lost to the outside. The catalyst increases the efficiency of the stove, helps decrease the amount of creosote, and creates less air pollution. 
  • Back-puffing – happens when the fire produces smoke faster than the chimney draft pulls it out of the unit. There are several causes including: cool chimney, oversized flue, over dry firewood, and negative pressure. Please ask if you would like additional information on back-puffing.
  • Creosote – organic tar that is a by-product of slow wood burning. Creosote can generate chimney fires if it gets hot enough.
  • Negative pressure – this occurs when the air pressure in the home is less than the air pressure outside of the home. When this happens, air will enter the home through the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, this is often the fireplace or stove flue.
  • Anthracite – the highest rank of coal, hard, brittle, often referred to as hard coal. Contains the highest percent of fixed carbon and the highest heating value of the three types of coal.
  • Bituminous – dense, black coal, often referred to as soft coal. Contains a high percentage of sulfur. This type of coal produces a lot of smoke, soot, and odor.
  • Primary air – the part of the combustion air introduced with the wood.
  • Secondary air – the part of the combustion air introduced over the flame to enhance completeness of combustion.

 


 

“Vented or Vent Free?”

 This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions here at Bush’s Quality Fireplace. In the hope that we can make your decision a bit easier, we created this paper to show you the pro’s and con’s of both vented and vent free gas products. Purchasing a fireplace is an individual decision. We hope that this helps you to weigh the benefits of each type of fireplace.

 Vent Free Fireplaces

Pro's  Con's

Very efficient—99%+
• Cost less to run
• No need for a vent
• Can be placed virtually anywhere, you only need a gas line
• Cost less than comparable vented units
• Instant heat

Less realistic flame patterns
• Emit a slight odor
• Reduce oxygen levels
• It is recommended that a window be open when the unit is lit
• Place up to one quart of water into the air per hour
• Vent free units can not be converted from one gas type to another. (Ex: LP to NG)
• Some people experience a slight graying of the walls (especially with LP)
• Require more frequent cleaning of pilot assembly since system is open

 

Vented Fireplaces

Pro's Con's

• Up to 82% efficient
• Conversion kits available for most units
• More realistic flame patterns
• Do not contribute to poor air quality in the house
• Better for people with respiratory or cardiovascular problems

  • Require a vent
  • Cost more than comparable vent free products
  • Flames are behind fixed glass panel
  •  



 


Tips for starting a Coal Fire

Burning anthracite coal is an art. It is altogether different than burning wood, but once learned, it will take less time in the long run. These tips are provided as a supplement to the information provided in the manual that came with your coal burning product. Used together, we hope you have years of enjoyable coal burning! Above all else, be patient!

Starting your coal fire:

1. Use paper and kindling to start the fire.
2. Add small pieces of wood after the kindling is burning hot. Make sure your damper and thermostat / draft control are open.
3. Continue adding wood. When you have a good base of red, hot wood coals (3”-4”), start building a coal base. Do a thin layer of coal on top of the wood coals. Wait five to ten minutes and add another thin layer. Repeat this until you have approximately 2” of burning coal.
4. Fill the stove to its maximum level. This is where many people make a mistake. Coal burns from bottom up. You must have coal above the base to maintain your fire.
5. Once the coal ignites and you see blue flames, adjust your damper and thermostat / draft control.

Don’t burn coal until the outside temperature is below 55 degrees all day. If the temperatures rise above this, your chimney will not be able to develop enough draft.

Additional Tips:

1. If you don’t have kindling, you can use Matchlight charcoal. Spread the charcoal until the grates are barely covered. Place a small amount of anthracite on top but don’t cover the charcoal completely. Open your damper and thermostat / damper control. Light the charcoal. When you have blue flames, add more coal as in #5 above.
2. Before you start burning, make sure your chimney is drafting up. Some chimneys, especially those that sit on the outside of the house, tend to want to draft down. You can reverse your draft by sticking a piece of newspaper into the flue of your stove and lighting it. This will help warm the chimney and reverse the draft. Some people have success with heat guns or torches as well.
3. Never poke into the bed of coal. This will break it up and you might lose your fire. Only poke around the edges to get rid of dead ash if necessary
.4. Use high quality, low ash coal.

Shaking down your stove:

1. Most people can get on a schedule of shaking the stove down two times a day. In colder weather, this number could increase.
2. Shake only a hot stove. If the fire is low, follow these steps:
     • Open your damper and thermostat / draft control completely.
     • Shake the coal slightly to help get some air.
     • Add more coal if needed.
     • When the fire is burning hot again, shake the stove thoroughly.
3. Use vigorous short motions when shaking. On many stoves, if you go too far, you could dump your coal bed.
4. If you shake your coal and only see ash in the ash pan, shaking is not complete. Continue shaking until you see dots of red coal in the ash pan. Remember, coal is a much denser material than wood and will create greater amounts of ash.

Maintenance

1. Don’t let the ash pan fill with ash to the point of touching the grates. This causes a forge effect and will result in bowed grates.
2. The glass will get dirty when you use wood to start your coal fire. This can be cleaned with oven cleaner or specially formulated cleaners made for cleaning creosote from glass.
3. Exhaust and ash from coal contain sulfur. This can damage pipe much faster than exhaust from wood fires. You can help neutralize this and lengthen the life of your pipe by making slurry from baking soda and water. Soak a rag in the mixture and swab the inside of the pipe. You can wrap the rag around a chimney brush to accomplish this.
4. Do maintenance in the summer months. Order any needed parts during the summer if possible. This ensures your burning season is not interrupted. Most parts are available in 7-14 business days and some can be shipped directly to you. We try to stock some common parts and gaskets, but it is not possible to stock everything. Remember, most people wait until the last minute to order parts then wait in line to get them - get ahead of the game!!

Safety tips

1. Use caution when loading the stove or opening any doors. Doors should be opened slowly allowing air to enter the stove and combustion gases to exit into the pipe.
2. Don’t leave your ash pan open. This introduces large amounts of air into the burn chamber and can result in damage to the stove.

 

 

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