Our Company Blog

The Value of Glass Doors on your Fireplace

Open hearth fireplaces add a warmth and ambiance to any room in the home. Over time, however, homeowners may want to upgrade the look of their fireplace without investing in a major remodel.

One of the easiest ways to change the look of your open hearth fireplace without cleaning out your savings account is by installing new glass doors on your fireplace. Below are just a few of benefits to installing glass doors, such as an upgraded look, improved safety, and greater efficiency.

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1. Increased efficiency

Although open hearth fireplaces are beautiful, they are also incredibly inefficient. Most open hearth fireplaces operate with as little as 10% efficiency, meaning the vast majority of the heat created is lost up the chimney. Glass doors, however, better absorb and radiate heat in to the room. Likewise, by enclosing the firebox the firewood can be more completely burned, saving you money on wood.

2. Lower heating and cooling costs

While dampers are able to partially seal off the chimney from the rest of your house, they are not able to prevent all the heated or cooled air from escaping. Because of this, your HVAC system may have to work overtime to compensate for the conditioned air lost or the unconditioned air entering your home.

Adding glass doors can prevent this energy loss by creating another layer of protection between your home and the outside air. This often results in lower energy costs, especially when using the now more efficient fireplace as a supplementary heating source in the winter.

3. Reduce downdrafts

Dampers can protect your home against downdrafts – when they are closed. When the fireplace is in use – especially during windy conditions – you may experience smoke blowing back into the home because of downdrafts. Keeping fireplace doors closed will prevent smoke, soot, ash, or embers from blowing into your home because of downdrafts.

4. Modern style

If your masonry fireplace looks dated, remodeling it might seem like a daunting process. In addition to the hassle of living in a construction zone for weeks – or longer – remodels can be expensive and may include hidden expenses. Rather than dealing with the annoyance of a complete remodel, consider adding glass doors as a way to easily and cost effectively upgrade your fireplace’s style. Glass doors are available in a wide variety of styles from the traditional to the contemporary, as well as at a variety of price points to fit any budget.

5. Safety

Open hearth fireplaces are beautiful but can pose a safety hazard, especially when there are young children or pets in the home. Adding glass fireplace doors can act as a baby gate barrier between the fire and any curious hands or paws.

In addition to protecting your family members, fireplace doors can also protect your home. When the doors are closed, sparks and embers are contained in the firebox and are not able to blow into the room or onto any carpets or furnishings.

With so many benefits to glass fireplace doors, consider adding them to your open hearth fireplace. Contact Pristine Sweeps today to find the perfect glass doors for your fireplace!

The Truth About Burn Bans

For owners of fuel burning appliances, the threat of burn bans can be extremely frustrating. Likewise, complex burn ban regulations can be difficult to understand. At Pristine Sweeps, our goal is to help our customers understand burn bans so they can use their fuel burning appliances as often as possible.

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What is a burn ban?

Burn bans can be put in place by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. They are mandatory orders that restrict the use of wood burning fireplaces and stoves and outdoor burning. There are two main kinds of burn bans: air quality burn bans and fire safety burn bans.

Air quality burn bans are enacted air quality is degraded and the health of area residents may be negatively impacted. Although they are mandatory, air quality burn bans are merely temporary measures. They usually occur during the fall and winter months and only last for a day or two, but may last as long as a week or more.

Fire safety burn bans, on the other hand, are issued by local fire marshals when dry conditions have increased the risk for wildfire. Most fire safety burn bans last for several months at a time, but typically only effect outdoor burning, such as campfires.

When are burn bans enacted?

Air quality burn bans are typically put into place during stagnant weather conditions when there is an increased risk of air pollution. As most fuel burning fires produce fine particles, or soot, this can be harmful to the heath of small children, the elderly, or people who suffer from respiratory illnesses. By restricting wood smoke emissions, the health of those living in affected areas can be protected.

Stages of burn bans

Based on state burn ban requirements, there are two stages of burn bans. The stage of burn ban that is instated is determined by the air quality in individual counties.

Stage one: A stage one [http://waburnbans.net/terms-explained/] burn ban is based on the possibility of rising pollution levels coupled with current weather conditions. During a stage one burn ban:

  • No burning in wood burning fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, or uncertified inserts is allowed. This does not apply if the wood burning appliance is your only source of heat.
  • No wood burning appliances – even those that are certified or are primary heat sources – may produce visible smoke.
  • All outdoor burning is banned, including charcoal recreational fires.

Stage two: Stage two burn bans are enacted when the levels of fine particulate emission reach the trigger values set by state law. During a stage two burn ban:

  • No burning in wood burning appliances – certified or uncertified – is allowed, unless it is your only heat source.
  • No visible smoke may be generated.
  • All outdoor burning is banned, including charcoal recreational fires

Should I be concerned about burn bans?

Although the prospect of a burn ban may seem like a deterrent to purchasing a fuel burning appliance, in actuality there are very few burn bans in the Seattle area each year. Typically, there are only three or fewer burn ban days each year, and almost all burn bans are stage one.

If you have questions about burn bans or if your heating appliance meets the certification requirements to operate during burn bans, contact Pristine Sweeps today!