Cooter Brown’s Southern Kitchen and Bourbon Bar in Rehoboth features our new fireplace

June 15th, 2017

Crabby Dick’s co-owner Dale Slotter stands next to the new fireplace at he and partner John Buchheit’s newest venture, Cooter Brown’s Southern Kitchen and Bourbon Bar, located on the second floor of First Street Station in Rehoboth Beach. The restaurant serves up twists on traditional Southern cooking with an extensive bourbon and cocktail menu.
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2017 Farmers’ Almanac

September 7th, 2016

The 2017 Farmers’ Almanac, which hits store shelves everywhere on August 15, 2016, forewarns that exceptionally cold, if not downright frigid weather will predominate over parts of the Northern Plains, Great Lakes, Midwest, Ohio Valley, the Middle Atlantic, Northeast, and New England this winter. The Farmers’ Almanac’s long-range weather predictions also suggest shots of very cold weather will periodically reach as far south as Florida and the Gulf Coast.

In contrast, milder-than-normal temperatures will prevail over the Western States.


We invite you to preview the Regency City Series online

September 7th, 2016

Regency introduces the City Series with cutting edge contemporary design and quality. The City Series gives you the creative freedom to apply any finishing materials to the edge of a clean line gas fireplace. Maintain your standards with the warranty and support of Regency while delivering a dynamic fire all year round.


Heating Your Tiny House

August 26th, 2016

by on March 16, 2014 in Construction Details, Off Grid Ideas/Tips, Tiny House Design Strategies, Videos

As is the case with many aspects of tiny house construction, the smaller the space is, the more challenges that one must solve. Finding a heating unit that would work in hOMe turned out to be a major undertaking eating up at least a dozen hours of research, visiting showrooms, and connecting with other tiny house owners. The biggest challenges we faced were finding a propane heater that didn’t require electricity, that needed very little clearance space so that we could place it in a small corner, and that would put out just the right amount of heat without blasting us out of our house. It needed also to be reasonably priced, not too heavy, and have a programable thermostat. Who knew heating your tiny house could be so hard?

In the end we went with the Hampton H27 and we have been 100% satisfied with it. Even in the -10F spell we had this winter we stayed toasty warm. In this Tiny House Minute we talk about how to calculate your BTU needs to make sure you end up with a system that is large enough, why the marine stoves aren’t cutting it for most tiny house owners, and the benefits of the Hampton.

Tax Credit for Qualifying Biomass Stoves

January 11th, 2016

Wood and Pellet Stove Tax Credit Extended Through Dec. 31, 2016

Additional Details

Q: What is the Biomass Stove Tax Credit?

Answer: This federal tax credit encourages people to make energy-conscious purchases that improve the energy efficiency of their home. It is a $300 dollar-for-dollar tax credit for purchasing a qualifying biomass-burning stove between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016. Biomass simply means the stove uses wood or pellet fuel.

Taxpayers may claim the credit on their federal income tax form. The credit is a reduction of total income tax at the bottom of your return of $300. This tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit available for individuals who pay taxes and who make energy-conscious purchases to improve the energy efficiency of their home.

Q: How can I claim this tax credit on my tax return?

Answer: Paper Filing: The credit can be claimed on IRS Form 5695. Forms for 2015 have not yet been posted, but on the 2014 form, the biomass tax credit could be claimed on line 22a (Residential energy property costs — Energy-efficient building property). More detailed instructions regarding completion of this section can be found on the last page of IRS Form 5695 at the bottom of the first column.

Electronic Filing: If you are using tax filing software such as H&R Block or TurboTax, the credit likely will be found under the “Credits” section of the Federal portion. For example, H&R Block users in 2014 could find the credit under the “Home Ownership” section under “Credits” as the first option, “Residential energy credit or credit carry forward (Form 5695).

Q: If I claimed this tax credit in past years, may I claim it again this year?

Answer: No, if you claimed the tax credit in previous years, you may not claim it again.

Q: If I purchased a qualifying stove in 2014 but it wasn’t installed until 2015, in which year would I claim the tax credit?

Answer: You would claim the tax credit in the year in which it was installed completely. In this example, you would claim it in 2015.

Q: When does this tax credit go into effect and how long will it last?

Answer: This tax credit is valid only for the purchase of a qualifying biomass stove made between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016.

Q: The nonbusiness energy property credit is capped at $500, but I can only claim up to $300 for a biomass stove. Why?

Answer: The nonbusiness energy property credit can be claimed for a number of different qualifying purchases, all of which each have a specified credit cap. The biomass stove credit has a credit limit of $300 while, for example, the maximum credit a taxpayer could claim for a furnace or boiler is $150. If a taxpayer purchased a qualifying biomass stove and a qualifying furnace in the same year when they could claim the tax credit, they would be able to claim the maximum credit amounts ($300 + $150) for both products (if applicable) and would be under the total cap limit of $500.

Q: Do I need a manufacturer certificate or receipt of sale to apply for this tax credit?

Answer: Yes, but only for your personal tax records. You should retain (1) the sales receipt and (2) the manufacturer’s certification. The sales receipt demonstrates that you purchased the qualifying stove during the effective time period of the credit. The retailer from whom you purchased the qualifying stove should also provide you with a manufacturer’s statement indicating that the product is qualified for the tax credit.

Q: Are biomass stoves installed in new or vacation homes covered by this tax credit?

Answer: No. The credit only applies to a purchase made for your existing principal residence. The exact IRS language state that this credit covers “a stove which uses the burning of biomass fuel to heat a dwelling unit located in the United States and used as a residence by the taxpayer.”

Q: What appliances qualify for the tax credit? What does the IRS consider to be “biomass fuel?”

Answer: Any wood- or pellet-burning stove that meets or exceeds the 75 percent efficiency rating qualifies for this credit.

Visit your local specialty retailer who can explain which products qualify for the tax credit.

Q: Why was 75 percent efficiency selected?

Answer: The 75 percent efficiency number was originally designated by the U.S. Congress in 2008 as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act and was used again for this tax credit.

Q: Do other wood and solid-fuel appliances (like inserts, EPA-certified wood-burning fireplaces and hydronic heaters) qualify for the tax credit?

Answer: The U.S. Congress and the IRS have not specifically stated that inserts are covered or are not covered. However, based on EPA’s practice of treating inserts and freestanding biomass stoves in a similar fashion, manufacturers may choose to indicate that qualifying inserts are covered. This credit does not cover open wood-burning fireplaces, hydronic heaters, wood warm air furnaces, and anything else that is not a wood or pellet stove.

Q: If a consumer purchases other products, such as solar collectors or window upgrades, does this mean a biomass stove tax credit can’t be taken?

Answer: No, the tax credit is an aggregate, meaning the total nonbusiness energy property credit can be used for items other than biomass stoves, such as windows and doors, HVAC and non-solar water heater upgrades, and roof upgrades, all of which are in the same tax credit category as biomass stoves. The tax credit for all of these upgrades is capped at $500 for expenditures made after December 31, 2005.

Q: What must a manufacturer’s certification statement contain?

Answer: A manufacturer’s certification statement must contain the following information:

  • The name and address of the manufacturer.
  • Identification of the class of qualified energy property (Biomass-Burning Stove) in which the property is included.
  • The make, model number and any other appropriate identifiers of the stove.
  • A statement that the product is an eligible qualified energy property.
  • A manufacturer’s certification statement must contain a declaration, signed by a person currently authorized to bind the manufacturer in these matters, in the following form: “Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this certification statement, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, the facts are true, correct, and complete.”
  • These documents don’t need to be attached to your tax return, but you should keep them for your records.

Q: What should a retailer provide and the customer retain for tax purposes?

Answer: Retailers and consumers must keep exact records of any sale or purchase. Retailers should provide a consumer with the manufacturer’s certification statement for the specific product model purchased. A consumer may rely on a manufacturer’s certification statement that their products are qualified energy property. A taxpayer is not required to attach the certification statement to the return on which the credit is claimed. A consumer claiming a credit for the qualified nonbusiness energy property should retain the certification statement as part of the taxpayer’s records.

Manufacturers should make this certification document available to consumers on their website, in the product packaging, or in some other easily accessible manner.

Q: Are installation costs included in this tax credit?

Answer: Yes. Installation costs are included as long as professional installation is required for the proper and safe operation of the stove. The IRS is silent on the possible need to replace a chimney when upgrading an existing biomass stove; however, the EPA has a section on its website titled, Installation Affects Efficiency, which retailers and consumers should consult when deciding if a chimney replacement is warranted when installing a biomass stove.

Q: Does the stove need to be manufactured in the U.S. to qualify for the credit?

Answer: No, there is no “Buy America” component to this tax credit.

Welcome Flame Tech to the Travis Family

December 1st, 2015

Click here to the official welcome letter!

September: National Preparedness Month 2015

September 29th, 2015


With colder weather approaching, now is the best time to prepare and plan for potential emergencies and the unexpected that can occur this winter.

On August 31, 2015, the White House declared September National Preparedness Month in an effort to prepare practical responses before disasters happen. It is important to formulate a plan in advance with your family, friends and community to ensure the proper resources are available to respond, if needed.

For fireplace and stove owners, fall is an exciting time — it means that most fireplaces will soon be used for the first time since last season and loved ones gather around the hearth for warmth and coziness. It is important that fireplace owners take the appropriate precautions to make certain their appliance is ready to be used safely. There are a number of resources to help prepare depending on the type of appliance.

Wood Burning Appliances

A wood burning appliance such as awoodstove, pellet stove or fireplace can serve as a reliable, sustainable and low-cost source of additional heat. Many households employ zone heating to heat a frequently used area of the house to reduce home heating bills as well as have a backup heat source in times of an unexpected power outage.

Natural Gas and Propane-Fueled Appliances

Gas fireplaces, stoves, inserts and log setsare all available with manual controls, remotes, wall thermostats and remote thermostats. Most offer blowers to help circulate the heat. Gasfireplaces, stove and log sets can provide a unique alternative to existing wood burning stoves or fireplaces. Gas stoves, fireplaces, inserts and log sets can burn either natural gas or propane. It is also important to schedule an annual inspection of your appliance by a technician before each home heating season.


New Safety Standard for Hot Glass-Front Fireplaces Takes Effect

June 17th, 2015

Industry Urges Supervision and Adding Barriers to Keep Kids Safe

(Covered by ABC’s Good Morning America)

ARLINGTON, VA, January 5, 2015. Starting January 1, 2015, all newly manufactured glass-fronted, gas fireplaces and stoves will include an installed protective barrier if their glass surface temperature exceeds 172 degrees Fahrenheit to protect young children and others from serious burns, according to the Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association. This new safety standard requires that the barrier must be in place when the product is installed.

“While gas fireplaces, stoves and inserts are a great asset to any home, the glass can become very hot during operation and stay hot long afterwards, creating a potential burn hazard,” said Jack Goldman, president & CEO of HPBA. “In the past several years, there have been reports of burns involving young children and others who may not been aware of the potential risk of touching the hot glass on gas fireplaces, inserts and stoves. While we believe these incidents are few, even one is too many. We believe the new safety standard will provide greater protection to young children and others with special needs.”

The new standard was approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 2012. Following more than four years of research and testing by the hearth products industry and discussions with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, this standard is focused on reducing the potential hazard posed by direct contact with hot glass surfaces to at-risk people, especially children.

Products manufactured prior January 1, 2015 may still be sold after that date, even if they do not meet the new standard.  “We expect to see a mix of both older and newer units in stores this year as retailers clear out their inventory. We advise consumers to ask retailers if the unit they are thinking about buying meets the new standard and if not to ask what types of barrier options may be available for a particular unit,” said Goldman.

Consumers Need to Remain Vigilant, Exercise Caution

However, Goldman issued the following warning: “While the new safety screens are important in avoiding direct contact with the hot glass, understanding the potential hazard and offering constant supervision are vital to preventing burns.  It remains important to keep kids and others from touching any surface of any fireplace.”

According to the 2012 Hearth Consumer Survey, nearly 11 million existing households have a gas fireplace with a glass front, and more than half of those households currently are unaware of the risk of burns from touching the glass fronts.

“Owners of gas fireplaces, stoves and inserts  — whether they meet the new safety standard or not — need to take steps to provide an added level of protection for young children and others who don’t understand the risk of touching hot glass,” said Goldman.

Specifically, HPBA advises owners of all gas fireplaces, stoves and inserts that have glass fronts to observe these safety tips:

  • Always supervise children, the aged, infirm and/or pets near an operating gas fireplace, stove or insert – even one that has recently been turned off.
  • Keep the remote control out of the reach of children (if your appliance has one).
  • Install a switch lock to prevent children from turning on the appliance.
  • Make sure family members and guests are aware that the glass and surrounding surfaces on a gas fireplace, stove or insert can be very hot.
  • Wait for the appliance and glass to cool down before allowing anyone to get near it… cool down can take a long time – an hour or more.
  • Always read the owner’s manual and follow instructions.

Safety Screen and Barrier Options for Existing Fireplaces, Stoves or Inserts

“While vigilance and supervision are essential to ensuring a safe environment, there is no substitute for a physical barrier,” advised Goldman.  Consumers with existing gas fireplaces, stoves or inserts should consider installing a protective screen or physical barrier to reduce the risk of serious burns by preventing direct contact with the glass front.

Safety products come in various forms, including:

  • Attachable safety screens that fasten to the front of the fireplace to create an air space between the glass and the screen. Important note: Prior to installing, homeowners should consult with their hearth specialty retailer to verify that they have the appropriate safety screen, approved by the fireplace manufacturer, for use on their appliance, as aftermarket safety screens could negatively affect the safe operation of the appliance.
  • Free-standing safety screens and gates are barriers set up to prevent access.  Free-standing fireplace screens and barriers are set back from the fireplace or stove front to prevent direct access.

For an informative video and downloadable images of attachable screens, free-standing safety screens and gates, as well as more detailed information on the issue, and downloadable safety tips, visit



Original Article can be found here

Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces

July 10th, 2013

Borrowed Directly from Heatilator


Our world is buzzing with exciting technologies that are changing the way we live and work. In the fireplace category, direct vent technology has had a profound effect on the convenience, safety and enjoyment of fires in the home.

Gas fireplaces outfitted with direct vent technology are fueled either by natural gas or propane and burn very clean and efficiently. They feature a sealed combustion firebox that eliminates heat loss associated with some wood-burning fireplaces, such as masonry constructed fireplaces. Without sealed combustion, warm air drafts into the firebox and is sent straight outside the house through the chimney. This is highly inefficient and wastes considerable energy.

Depending on the model, direct vent gas fireplaces can be up to 85 percent efficient. They are great heat producers that draw all combustion air needed for the flame from outside the home through the outer channel of a coaxial direct vent pipe. Meanwhile, an inner pipe exhausts 100% of all combustion byproducts outside, maintaining indoor air quality.

If you already have a masonry built wood fireplace, you can have it transformed into a heat producer with a direct vent gas insert. Inserts are installed directly into the existing fireplace without needing to demolish the stone or brick surround.

So next time you’re in the market for a gas fireplace or insert, be sure to choose a direct vent model. A video that explains the technology in more detail is available here.

Open House at FLAME-TECH Headquarters

March 8th, 2013

Open House BBQ at Flame-Tech