Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions on Wood Inserts

Whereas it may be said that wood stove inserts are some of the easiest appliances to use, it is also veracious to say that guidance in the course of installing, operating, and maintaining them may lead to questions on some areas where clarity is vague. To avoid imprecision in any of the vital areas addressing safety of operation, the user’s guides to any wood inserts purchased are availed with detailed, easily retrievable information on the same. Below are some of the chief areas that customers and other users frequently ask about concerning wood stove inserts. They include, but are not limited to;

a)    The clearing space: This is the free space or allowance made available between wood inserts and the nearest combustible materials. This space should span at least 4 feet (1.2 meters) in front of the unit. Do not situate any combustible objects anywhere on the appliance or within 48 inches in front of it. This is because high temperatures may ignite flammable materials thereby causing a fire risk.
b)    The odors from units: This is the smell that may emanate from new wood stove inserts during their first few hours of operation. What causes this is the curing of the interior and sometimes exterior coats of paint or the burning off of applied oils at the manufacturer’s factory. The odor may also be smelt if the appliance is kept for a very long time before use- the smell in this case may come from accumulated dust during that said dormant state. Since the vapors and odors produced by initially operating wood stove inserts might be irritating to sensitive individuals, it is advisable to open windows to improve air circulation and allow in fresh air. The odors, however, do not remain for long as the appliances are put into constant use. The performance, effectiveness, and longevity of the appliances are not subject to the presence or absence of these odors whatsoever. 
c)    Unexplained metallic noises: These are sounds that may emanate from wood inserts during operation. The noises produced are similar to the sounds so produced by a heating duct or a furnace. These sounds are caused by metallic expansion during the heating stage and contraction during the cooling stage. These noises do not in any way affect the functionality or longevity of wood stove inserts.
d)    The whirring noises: These are the uninterrupted rapid buzzing sounds that may be heard within the vicinity of wood inserts in operation. The blower of a unit may at times produce a whirring sound and the volume thereof increases as the rotational speed increases. This does not at all affect the performance or durability of wood stove inserts.

Wood burning inserts are generally easy to use. The new ones may give off an odor at the initial few hours of operation but this does not further persist. These appliances also have a tendency to produce metallic sounds due to expansion and contraction of metal and buzzing sounds from their blowers. These do not affect the functionality of the wood inserts.

Fire Safety Measures Governing the Use of Wood Fireplace Inserts

Many homeowners have the tendency to discard their manufacturer’s manuals the moment they have verified that the wood fireplace inserts they just bought are fully functioning. However, the manufacturer’s instructions manuals have so much that ought to be read carefully and understood. One of the key areas tackled in them is the prevention of house fires. The chances of causing fire accidents depends much on the knowledge that one has of using a home heating system; and this applies to wood inserts also. Below are a few of the chief areas that the manuals address and that are indispensable if house fire accidents are to be kept at minimum chances of occurrence:-

First of all, the wood inserts must be installed and operated only in accordance with the inevitable directives therein appearing. These instructions are geared towards the most appropriate installation and venting procedures as well as the right way of operating the appliances. Anytime a qualified and authorized technician is undertaking the work of wood fireplace inserts installation, he or she must contact and confirm with the local building officials about any installation expectations, inspections and restrictions in that area. An example of an area the local building or fire officials will be keen at is the manner in which the chimney or vent will pass through combustible places like ceilings or hardboard walls.

Another example is whenever the wood inserts’ designs require that they be installed in masonry recess areas. In such cases, the masonry fireplaces must first be verified as to their conformity to the specified local and national codes. If these codes demand that no bricks or mortar should be removed so as to accommodate modification for a new venting system, then this must be adhered to. In such a case though, the manufacturer’s instructions manual pertaining to the wood fireplace inserts in question come with provisions for what should be done. In a situation where a pre-existing chimney is available and accessible, the manufacturer’s manual would suggest the use of a starter pipe that will lead into the inspected pre-existing chimney. That particular method of modification also requires an airtight face seal to ensure maximum levels of the users’ safety.

It is also instructed that in the close vicinity of wood inserts there should be no combustible materials or easily flammable liquids or gases. Such materials include clothing, carpets, draperies, varnish coated furniture, and many others. Children must not be allowed to operate or to touch wood fireplace inserts whenever these are being used or even when they have just been in operation. This is because wood inserts have the capacity to retain heat for a long time after the last session of use.

It is not advisable to discard the user’s instructions manual that come with wood fireplace inserts. They are good for reference not just during installation but also during operation and maintenance. Always adhere to the directives therein so as to avoid eventualities like house fires. Call in expert technicians whenever need arises.

Types of Fuel Associated With Wood Fireplace Inserts

Wood fireplace inserts are stoves made of cast iron or other strong metal casing that utilize combustible materials that coming from wood or wood products. They are unlike their traditional firewood fireplace counterparts in that these are designed to burn fuel at far higher efficiency rates. This is especially wood pellets contrary to natural wood pieces and logs that the traditional wood burning fireplaces burn. There are different flammable materials, liquids, and gases (compressed) that can be used as fuel in different home heating appliances. The Napoleon wood burning fireplace insert specifically burns combustible materials made from wood chippings, or other parts of natural wood. 

There are two types of materials associated with combustion in wood fireplace inserts; there are those that are combustible while others are completely incombustible under normal burning conditions of heat and pressure. Materials made of wood or surfaced with wood, or made from compressed paper, or form plant fibers, or made from plastics, or any other material that has the capacity to burn at normal conditions of heat and pressure, whether made to have plaster or without plaster; or made flame-proof or not, all fall into the category of combustible solid materials. Some of these have been designed to work with the different varieties of wood fireplace inserts. The other type of materials is the non-combustible ones; and these will not ignite and burn under normal burning conditions. These are materials made exclusively of steel, cast iron, tiled materials, bricks or stones, glass, slate or plasters; or even the combination of all or some of the above are all classified as non-combustible materials. Some of the non-combustible materials are further classified as non-combustible sealant materials that are used as fillings or mortar. Non-combustible materials are never to be used within the Napoleon wood burning fireplace insert. This is to ensure that safety at its best is maintained. 

Unlike the wood fireplace inserts, dry seasoned wood is the best source of fuel for the traditional conventional wood burning fireplaces. This is because completely dry and fully seasoned wood logs gives excellently efficient fire that minimizes all chances of creosote formation which itself is a hardened crust-like substance that forms from tar in wood and which accumulate in vents and chimneys. Creosote could ignite causing fire accidents. Though well seasoned wood may be said to have a high degree of efficiency, it may not make wood burning fireplaces exceed the efficiency of, say, the Napoleon wood burning fireplace insert. Again, it is a lot of hassle trying to get seasoned wood with the right amount of moisture content and buying unseasoned wood, on the other hand, is a waste of energy and resources. 

In the event that a Napoleon wood burning fireplace insert is being used, it is always advisable to utilize the kind of fuel that the manufacturer has recommended. This is because there are many types of materials that can be said to be combustible but would end up causing danger if used with such a wood burning fireplace insert.

Warnings Associated With the Operation of Wood Fireplace Inserts

Wood fireplace inserts are relatively easier to use compared to the conventional traditional wood burning fireplaces. Inappropriate use, though, may lead to a host of hazards, some of which could be disastrous. Indeed, if the information that is so clearly stipulated in the manufacturer’s instruction manual is not followed with precision, a house fire could erupt and cause damage or loss of chattels, personal injury, or the loss of life of the occupants thereof. Napoleon fireplace inserts must never be operated if the operation instructions are not carefully read and accurately adhered to.

Napoleon fireplace inserts come with instructions therein packaged that have dedicated sections dealing with warnings while other parts give caution at different times in their installation, operation and maintenance. Cautions indicate hazardous events which, if not minded and carefully avoided may result to slight injury. Warnings, on the other hand, indicate hazardous events which, if not heeded may culminate to death or high degree injury. Warnings are given on different situations that regard, but are not limited to, the following;

First, there are warnings given about hot surfaces: No hands should be placed on glass or other napoleon fireplace inserts‘surfaces are extremely hot during operation and in the duration in the cooling down. Hot glass has the capacity to cause terrible burns. Children should never be allowed to come into contact with such hot surfaces and they must be supervised carefully when they are in the same room as the fireplace inserts. A dealer may suggest that a user attach a fixed decorative glass shields to protect children from coming into contact with wood fireplace inserts.

Also, it is warned that fire risks are apparent if users take combustible materials other than wood into wood fireplace inserts. Other fire risks are likely to occur if any damaged appliances will be installed. To avoid fire risks, there should be no modification whatsoever to the napoleon fireplace inserts. Installation and operation with accessories or components that are not certified and/or approved by the manufacturer also could cause fire risks. All operations must be done after assembly of all the components. Wood fireplace inserts should also not be over-fired (whereby the unit connectors glow as an indication). To prevent over-firing do not use any flammable liquids (for instance, gasoline, or kerosene, or any of the wood/ charcoal lighter fuels), do not overstuff the appliances with wood, and do not allow too much oxygen (room air) into the fire.

There are many warnings that could be given in the operation of wood fireplace inserts but all are geared towards ensuring maximum safety of the user. If carefully adhered to, these warnings are life saving and following them can save a lot of potential damage to property or personal injuries. It is, therefore, imperative that they be read carefully, understood, and keenly followed so as to achieve the bests results initially intended. Napoleon fireplace inserts are magnificent and add a lot of splendor to any living room, but if mishandled they may be hazardous.