Today, the selection of hearth products is greater than ever. Whether you're looking for a beautiful fireplace or fireplace insert to add romance to your living room, a freestanding stove to heat your home, or even to create an outdoor living room with a fire pit for your patio, Maschino's is here to help you understand your options. We can install and service your hearth products too.
Fireplaces, stoves, inserts and other hearth appliances are one of the most popular features in American homes. In fact, half of all U.S. households (55 million) have at least one fireplace or freestanding stove. And, fireplaces rank among the top three
features desired by new home buyers, after outdoor porches and upgraded kitchens, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Most fireplaces are no longer traditional brick and mortar, but are engineered and pre-built by major manufacturers. More than seventy-five percent (over a half million) of all fireplaces installed each year are factory-built and shipped to the construction site.
A factory-built fireplace is actually a firebox enclosed within a steel cabinet. A blanket of insulating air keeps the outer wall cool, land spacers surrounding the cabinet allow it to be installed in close proximity to the wood framing (hence the name "zero-clearance fireplace"). They pass rigorous testing standards established by Underwriters Laboratories and the American Gas Association and have an excellent safety record.
Factory-built fireplaces are surprisingly inexpensive. They use a safe, lightweight chimney and do not need any additional footing or other structural support. Because they have fewer limitations than site-built masonry fireplaces, they can be easily and safely installed in almost any room. Factory-built fireplaces are available in a range of sizes, and can be open on one, two ("see-through" and corner models), three ("peninsula"), or four sides ("oasis"). Brick, stone, marble and other facing materials can be combined with your choice of mantels to suit your décor.
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Fireplace inserts are heating units that retrofit into an existing fireplace (masonry or factory-built). They burn wood, gas or wood pellets and offer superior efficiency. Fireplace inserts utilize the existing chimney, through a flue liner or other necessary modification, for venting. Vent-free fireplace inserts require no chimney or flue modification. Most have blowers to circulate the heat. Inserts are used to convert an existing fireplace into an efficient, heat producing zone heater.
A freestanding stove gives you the ability to incorporate virtually any style into your home décor. The most versatile hearth product, stoves are available in a wide selection of sizes and styles. They are made of steel, stone or cast iron, and finishes include porcelain enamel and high temperature paint in an array of colors.
Freestanding stoves burn wood, gas, coal, wood pellets, oil or are electric, and many use a space age ceramic glass to provide fire viewing. They are generally used to heat a specific room or zone of the house. Stoves are very efficient and control of the fire, heat output, burn times and installation options are greatly improved. The gentle waves of radiant heat will make your home cozy on the coldest winter day.
Local Fuel Types
Today gas-burning hearth products are the most popular hearth category. Thanks to significant product innovations almost 70% of all hearth products now burn gas.
Easy, Safe and Efficient
Gas appliances, including fireplaces, log inserts and stoves have convenient optional features that allow you to have a beautiful fire at the touch of a switch, thermostat or even a remote control. All gas stoves, fireplaces, inserts and logs can burn either natural gas or propane (LP)*. As with their wood counterparts, they are designed to either provide aesthetics or to produce heat.
*Vent free gas products are gas type specific and cannot be converted from from one gas type to another.
Gas hearth products are characterized by how they are vented. Natural draft stoves, fireplaces and inserts vent products of combustion outside the home using an inexpensive ("Class B") pipe similar to that used on furnaces or gas-fired water heaters. As with a conventional wood stove or fireplace, the pipe goes vertically through the roof. Natural draft units are tested and listed as either decorative or heater-rated units.
Direct-vent stoves, fireplaces and fireplace inserts vent in a revolutionary new way. They do not need a full chimney terminating through the roof, so installation costs are lower. Because they can vent directly through an exterior wall, this new technology is great for apartments and condominiums or unusual applications such as under a window.
Direct-vent units are also especially attractive in tightly insulated homes. By pulling air for the fire from outside the home and exhausting the burned gasses through the same vent system, the combustion process is completely sealed from the living area. This eliminates concerns about indoor air quality and results in a balanced burn that is not affected by fans or other drafts. Most direct-vent units are very efficient and are rated as "heaters" by testing agencies and regulatory authorities.
When people think of a fire on the hearth, they think of burning wood, which is natural. Wood is the traditional fuel. It grows locally, is abundant in most areas and is one of our few renewable sources of energy. For many, nothing beats the warmth and beauty of a true wood fire.
Burning wood also makes great sense from an environmental standpoint. As concern about global warming and greenhouse gases increases, so does the attraction of using renewable biomass for energy. Trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, replenishing the atmosphere. Most firewood comes from harvesting dead trees. Unlike fossil fuels, there is no net carbon contribution when burning wood, as those same gases are given off when the tree decomposes in nature.
Clean-burning, Efficient and Economical
Burning wood has become less polluting and more efficient over the past decade. Sophisticated new designs have doubled the energy efficiency of stoves, helping to reduce overall heating costs. Even better, the amount of smoke emitted by wood stoves has been reduced by an average of 90 percent. All wood-burning stoves and inserts sold today are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as clean-burning. And less smoke means less potentially flammable creosote within their chimney systems; the safety record of wood-burning appliances is the best ever.
Finally, burning wood makes economic sense. Many people have access to their own firewood. Even when purchased, cordwood can be an inexpensive form of residential space heating. Modern wood stoves can heat the entire house providing the home is well constructed and adequately insulated. Best of all, there is the immense satisfaction of relaxing in front of your fire.
Wood Wax Firelogs
Wood wax firelogs are made of recycled sawdust mixed with wax. These neatly wrapped logs are available many places including supermarkets and convenience stores. They ignite easily and quickly, burn cleanly, leave little ash and offer a longer more consistent burn than cordwood.
Pellets are a fuel option that answers the need for clean-burning, renewable energy. Pellets are made of compressed sawdust that might otherwise end up in landfills. The fuel is consistent in size, and comes in forty-pound bags. Simply pour the pellets into a hopper which feeds automatically into the stove. A single load can burn 24 hours. Pellets are available at hearth specialty stores, mass merchants, home improvement stores, and feed stores.
An electric stove or fireplace is a simulated gentle wood fire, but without a chimney or venting system. Electric fireplaces and stoves have a built-in heater to provide the right amount of warmth controllable by the flick of a switch. These appliances can be installed into an existing fireplace opening or into a mantel. They are ideal for apartments, town homes, offices or even hotel lobbies and rooms.
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