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Frequently Asked Questions Insulation & Fireplaces

Why should a homeowner choose Pisgah Insulation & Fireplaces?

Pisgah Insulation is constantly evolving as a company to provide more services to our customers. Homeowners can count on the same prompt and professional services that we offer our contractors. We offer a variety of products that will increase the comfort, value, & appearance of any home including fireplaces and pellet stoves.


Why should a contractor choose Pisgah Insulation & Fireplaces?

Pisgah Insulation & Fireplaces is completely dedicated to providing our customers with the very best in service, quality, and products. We are a full service company that provides many top quality products and services, allowing our busy contractors to fill many needs with one resource. Our commitment to quality, timely service, and fair pricing coupled with our professional staff makes Pisgah Insulation & Fireplaces a resource our contractors can call on time after time.


What are my insulation options?

Pisgah Insulation carries an insulation type for every consumer. For more than 150 years, Johns Manville has focused on developing materials to make diverse environments stronger, more durable, and more energy efficient and comfortable. They manufacture premium quality building and mechanical insulation, commercial roofing, glass fibers and nonwoven materials for commercial, industrial and residential applications. JM products are used in a wide variety of industries including building products, aerospace, automotive and transportation, filtration, commercial interiors, waterproofing and wind energy. No matter the type of building, Johns Manville has an insulation solution for you. From their complete line of certified Formaldehyde-free™ fiber glass building insulation to their versatile spray foam, polyiso foam board and mineral wool products. In 2002, JM was the first company in the industry with a complete line of fiberglass building insulation made without formaldehyde.


What exactly is the Blown in Blanket System?

The BIB system starts with a fine mesh fabric tightly stretched over and stapled to the internal framing of the home. A small hole is cut into the mesh so that the loose fill fiberglass insulation can be blown to fill the cavity. The BIB system provides a higher insulation rating when compared to batts because it conforms to the shape of the cavity, filling in behind and around piping, wiring, and electrical boxes. A huge advantage of the BIB system when compared to other blown insulation is that it does not settle, it has a much lower combustion point and carries one of the highest R-values on the market.


What materials are used to form a gas log?

Gas logs are made of either cement or ceramic fiber. Ceramic fiber logs glow when Heated, so they have become a popular choice. Yes, we do. With repeat clients, we prefer to “negotiate” contracts with the Owners. We provide cost analysis once we are the preferred contractor for the job, rather than offer free bids on speculation. Detailed estimating takes many hours, which we would rather spend pricing work we know we are going to build. Adopting this policy has allowed us to focus our energies on clients who seriously want us to undertake their projects on a regular basis. Under certain circumstances, we will blind bid for select jobs.


Is it OK to shut off the pilot in warm months?

Yes. It will save gas, and reduce the buildup of dust. This is also a good time to have your fireplace serviced.


Can I install a gas log into a wood burning stove?
Installing a gas log into a wood burning stove is dangerous and highly discouraged
How do gas logs achieve the wood-like flickering flame?

Vented logs use a burner pan (also called a sandpan) filled with silica sand or vermiculite. The burner tube is situated under the sand, so when the fire is burning, the flame flows through the sand, creating a realistic flame.


What happens if my electricity goes out?

Gas fireplaces with standing pilots will operate in a power outage. Blowers will not.


What is a Direct Vent Gas Fireplace?

Direct Vent fireplaces are often called “zero clearance” because most of them require no clearance to combustibles. Many homeowners find this option convenient due to the on/off switch, the cleanliness factor (no ashes or wood). They are also extremely efficient and can act as a primary heating source in a room.


How do Vent-free logs differ from Vented logs?

Vent-free logs are room heaters. Unlike with vented logs, you can keep your damper closed and force heat into a room rather than letting it go out the chimney. Vent-free systems require no flue.


What is a safety pilot?

A safety pilot is either a manual or remote controlled gas valve designed to shut off the gas supply if the pilot flame is extinguished.


What kind of services or maintenance does my wood fireplace or wood stove need?

Regular cleaning and maintenance will prolong the life and increase the safety of your fireplace or stove. Follow the service recommendation outlined in your owner’s manual and if you burn your stove or fireplace a lot, be sure that you have your chimney cleaned annually.


If I choose a wood fireplace or wood stove, what is the best wood to burn?

The absolute best wood to burn is the wood that someone else cuts, stacks, and carries into the house for you! Once you gave found that person; oak, dogwood, and locust are the hardest, hottest, and longest burning woods that you can use. Softer woods like poplar, maple, and apple still produce heat but will burn up more quickly. Dry, seasoned wood will always burn the best and provide the most heat, no matter which type you choose.


What is a Fireplace Insert?

Just as its name indicates, a fireplace insert is an appliance that is inserted within the cavity of an existing masonry or factory-built fireplace to convert it from one fuel source to another.


Is a bigger stove better than a smaller one?

Not necessarily. Before buying a wood stove, carefully determine what you are trying to accomplish with that stove. Be realistic… warm air likes to rise. Is it reasonable to expect warm air to go down a long hallway and then make a right turn into the farthest bedroom? Of course some of the heat will move down the hallway, however, it is unrealistic to expect the stove to sufficiently heat rooms on the other end of the home. The stove will fire best when you are giving it the maximum amount of air but you will also burn a lot of wood and overheat the room the stove is in. If you just want to heat the room that you spend the most time in, a small to mid-size stove will suit your needs. If you want to put the stove in a large room with a clear air flow to other rooms above it, then a large stove may be for you. Pisgah Insulation’s trained fireplace staff will be happy to do a site evaluation in order to see what you want from your stove and what the best product to suit your needs is.


What is the difference between a catalytic and non-catalytic stove?

Catalytic is short for Catalytic Combustor. This device is placed near the exit of the stove and burns any gases that pass through it. Any stove without this device is considered a Non-Catalytic. Both systems are approved by the EPA. Catalytic systems in a stove work to reduce emissions by burning the smoke (unburned fuel) within the stove, generating more heat and less smoke. Catalytic models offer a larger firebox with a less active, but more even fire. Your fuel load lasts longer with less tending. If you are a serious wood-burner searching for long-lasting heat, this may be the choice for you. If high-blaze factor appeals to you, you might consider a stove that uses a non-catalytic system. This system relies on high temperatures in the firebox and metered oxygen to consume the maximum fuel value from each piece of wood. Non-catalytic models are simple to operate and provide a dramatic fire, though they tend to require a bit more tending.


Who services gas fireplaces and how often should they be serviced?

Pisgah Insulation has personnel trained and certified to perform any services and repairs that your fireplace may need. Generally, gas fireplaces should be serviced annually to ensure their efficient operation. Please refer to the owner’s manual for the product’s recommended service interval that complies with the National Fuel Code.


How do I start my fireplace or stove?

First, refer to your owner’s manual. Each model has a different way to start the unit. If it still will not work, please call and schedule a service call with our fireplace staff and we will be happy to get it started for you and show you how to do it.


What is a Vent-Free Gas Fireplace?

Vent-free systems are designed for maximum efficiency and require no flue. Burners provide clean heat to your home. They require sufficient combustion air and should be located to areas spacious enough as not to become too warm.


Will a gas fireplace work if I lose power in my home?

Yes. Most gas fireplaces incorporate a self-generating millivolt electrical system that operates independently from any outside electrical current. Only options such as blowers and electric pilots rely on the house’s electricity to operate the fireplace.


Is there a difference in wood pellets?

Yes. Not all wood pellets are the same because the type of wood that they are made from and the amount of ash that they produce is different. There are many pellet manufactures in the United Stated and not all use the same type of wood for their pellets. The best pellets are made from one type of hardwood, such as oak; or from a mix of hard woods. The Pellet Fuel Institute grades all pellets based on the amount of ash they produce. The highest grade, Premium, produces less than 1% ash per ton of pellets burned. This lack of ash signifies that the pellets are burning hot and completely. A standard grade of pellet produces less than 3% ash per ton and may contain some softer wood. Any pellets that produce more than 3% ash should be avoided as they produce less heat and will require more frequent cleaning of your stove.


Will my pellet stove work if I lose power?

The majority of pellet stoves will not work if you lose power because they require electricity for self-ignition, pellet feed, and for the two fans that the stove contains. Some stoves can be equipped with a battery and there are models that have an 18 hour battery backup built into the unit.


What is an electric fireplace?

An electric fireplace simulates a wood fire but without the chimney, venting system or gas line installation.


Why would I want to heat my home with a wood pellet burning appliance?

Wood pellets are a renewable, recycled resource, unlike oil or gas. The pellets are made from sawdust left over from a variety of industries such as hardwood flooring or furniture. Wood pellets are the cleanest burning solid fuel available and have the lowest emissions of wood or fossil fueled appliances including natural gas. Also, pellet appliances with automatic ignition and thermostatic controls are almost as convenient as gas, oil, or electrical appliances. To learn more about pellet fuel and appliances, please visit www.pelletheat.org.


How much headroom do I need in order to have an opener installed on my door?

Pisgah Insulation recommends a minimum 14 inches of headroom; headroom being defined as the measurement from the top of the door opening to the ceiling. There are options for garages with less headroom, but these options will be addressed in a case by case manner.