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651 Route 165 Preston, CT 06365

Tel. 860.886.1484

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Shopping for a new stove or fireplace may seem a daunting task.  The effort is well worth it.  (See Ode to a Fire below).

Never have there been so many product types and technologies competing for attention.  Even veteran users can become frustrated when searching for a replacement stove or fireplace.  Partly, this is due to the rapid progress in hearth technologies that have even affected the lexicon of the industry.  For instance, even the phrase "hearth products" came into use only a decade ago.   Many concepts have changed.  Conventional wisdom has often had to yield to the results of scientific testing.  But take heart.  There is help out there if you know where to look.

There are many things you will need to consider...  

  • Product Type
    • Stove - Free Standing
    • Fireplace
    • Fireplace Insert
    • Log Set
    • Central Heat - Furnace - Boiler (Hydronic Heating)
  • Fuel Type
    • Wood
    • Gas (LP or Natural)
    • Coal
    • Pellet
    • Oil
    • Electric
  • Vent Type 
    • Class A Chimney (NFPA 211) Pre-Fab or Masonry
    • Direct Vent - DV  (Certain Specific Gas Models)
    • B-Vent (Certain Specific Gas Models)
    • Vent - Free (Certain Specific Gas Models)
    • Pellet Vent
    • Chimney Liners
  • Construction Materials - Appliance
    • Plate Steel
    • Cast - Iron
    • Soapstone
    • Sheet Steel
  • Location Issues
    • Interior
      • Floor Protection Adequacy - How to Provide
      • Combustibles - Required Clearances
      • Venting Configuration and Design
      • Structural Modifications if Necessary
      • Indoor Air Quality
      • Floor Level of Installation
      • Access
    • Exterior
      • Climate Zone
      • Impact of Landscape, Structures, Wind
      • Elevation (Above Sea Level)
      • Seismic Disturbances
      • Weather and Flooding
  • Regulatory Compliance
    • Inspection and Permitting
    • Other Local Requirements
  • Insurance Concerns
    • Contact and Approval
  • Operator Issues
    • Safety Concerns 
    • Convenience
    • Storage
    • Fuel Availability
    • Fuel Economy
    • Physical Access and Mobility
    • Experience
    • Knowledge


This is most certainly not a complete list.  It's a step in  exploring and planning your hearth appliance purchase.   As you may have surmised, many of the above issues are linked in complex ways.   You should seek the help of a qualified hearth professional and code official (s) in your area before beginning or modifying an installation.  You may be required to obtain permits.   Consult the manufacturer, qualified dealers, and officials in your area about questions you may have.  Read all you can.  Take a casual look at the many products on this site and others.  Links to manufacturers sites and industry organizations may help answer many questions.   The effort you make to become informed will pay off when you purchase, install, and operate your hearth appliance.  You are on your way....

Are you ready to read more?  Check out the HEARTHWARMING guide to hearth products...  and go to the website (button below).   It's packed with hard to find information and can save you lot's of time!  We 'borrowed' the following Ode from that site (with permission, of course), because we're impressed with it's imagery and truth.

Ode to a fire

A fire on the hearth represents
a piece of the sun which was stored
in heart of the earth's ecosystem.

As a fire burns,
we should delight in
the life it brings to our homes
as we should delight in the life
once generated by the trees in the forest
as they collected the sun's energy
and provided us with
the air we breathe.

Let us ensure that as long as the sun
shines down on us, fires will continue to
warm the body and soul of humanity.

Ted Kesik 1991




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Last modified: April 16, 2014