Monday, May 4, 2015

Simple Tips To Keep Grilling Safe and Fun

Summer is right around the corner. The days are getting longer and the evening getting warmer. It’s grilling season. Whether you’re grilling traditional hot dogs and burgers, or trying to grill a pizza, it’s important to employ cautionary techniques in order to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Universal Tips

  •   Always use propane and charcoal grills outside of the house.
  •  Place your grill away from your home, and pull it out from under the eaves.
  •  Make sure children and pets are away from the grilling area until you’re done cooking        and the grill cools down.
  •  Remove grease and fat buildups from the grills and collection trays every time you cook
  •  Never, EVER leave your grill unattended for any reason.
  •  Before you use your grill for the first time each year, thoroughly check inside for critters that may have taken up residence over the winter.

Charcoal Grills

  •  ONLY charcoal starter fluid to start your grill – do NOT add other types of flammable liquid to the flame.
  •  Keep your charcoal and starter fluid away from children and pets at all times, and make sure it’s away from the heat when it’s not in use.
  • Only use newspaper as a fuel IF you have a Charcoal Chimney Starter.
  • When you are finished grilling, make sure the coals cool completely, and dispose of them in a metal container. Keep in mind coals can remain hot for up to 24 hrs.
  •  For chemical free grilling, consider using natural lump charcoal & light it with fatwood or waxy sawdust type starters.

Propane Grills

  •  Before each use, check your gas tank hose for cracks or leaks.
  • To check the hose, apply a soap and water solution to the hose; if there is a propane leak, the soapy water will bubble.
  • While your grill is operating, the smell of propane indicates a gas leak. Immediately shut off the grill and the gas tank.  Have a professional service your grill before you use it again.
  • If you have an out of control fire or flame coming out from underneath the grill, immediately call the fire department. 

With a little precaution, you can make sure that your summer cookouts are memorable for all of the right reasons.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Top 3 Reasons Why Fireplace Inserts Are More Energy Efficient than Outdated Fireplaces

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Older stoves that were manufactured before 1990 burn wood inefficiently, which wastes firewood, pollutes the air in your neighborhood, and creates dust inside your home.” Conversely, “Newer stoves can reduce smoke and dust, as well as cut heating expenses.”
If you have an older fireplace, or simply want to enjoy heat from a more energy efficient appliance, we recommend a fireplace insert. At The Firebird, we offer a robust offering of inserts, from gas to wood to pellet, and while each option has specific pros, the underlying benefit is energy efficiency – so you can’t go wrong.
In this blog post, we will illuminate the top 3 reasons why a fireplace insert is more efficient than an older, traditional fireplace.

Fireplace Inserts:

1.      Prevent Serious Heat Loss

Open hearths, while dramatic and alluring, don’t put out nearly as much heat as an insert. A lot of heated room air is actually sucked into the fireplace instead of pushed out, which results in palpable heat loss. An insert, on the other hand, has a sealed air-tight door system, which simultaneously generates more heat, burns considerably slower, and best of all – eliminates heat waste. According to, “The efficiency of fireplace inserts can be as much as 80%.”

2.      Are Energy Efficient by Design

Fireplace inserts are designed to be energy efficient. As we mentioned above, they are air-tight, which omits the possibility of extra heat loss. Wood burning inserts also have a re-burn system, which helps achieve efficiencies of 70%. Also, controllable circulating fans allow you to monitor the amount of heat felt in your space.

3.      Save You Money

Having the experts at The Firebird properly install a fireplace insert will ultimately reduce your energy bill. According to, “A more efficient wood-burning heating system means less gas, oil, or electricity is required to heat your home. When the insert is not in use, the closed air tight glass doors will prevent heated inside air from escaping up through the chimney and also stops cold outdoor air from getting into the home, whether hot or cold, this cuts your energy costs.”

As we hope you can see, the energy efficiency benefits of fireplace inserts are tenfold. We would love to meet with you to discuss your space and outfit an insert in your home so that you can experience high quality, easily controlled heat AND save money. Schedule a consultation with our insert experts today.