Do you have questions about your fireplace or chimney? We have the answers! Here are some common questions we receive at Smokey’s Stoves. Whether you have a similar question, or one more unique, feel free to contact us. Call today or use the form at the bottom of the page. We would love to hear from you!

Can I use my gas fireplace in a power outage?

Yes, you can! Many fireplaces are equipped with a “standing pilot” system that allows the pilot to be lit with a push button igniter. This pilot light will actually produce the millivolt electricity needed to use the fireplace. Other fireplaces have “electronic ignition” which typically comes with a battery backup for use in a power outage. With either system, the blower will not work.

How often should I have my chimney serviced?

We adhere to the National Fire Protection Association’s recommendation that a chimney be inspected once a year. Cleanings should be done as needed (typically after every 2 to 3 cords of wood burned) to maintain an open draft and prevent creosote buildups. Ideally, have your chimney serviced in the summer. Among other benefits, this allows for problems to  be remedied before the winter comes.

Creosote buildup inside of pipe.

Soot from the chimney swept down into the firebox.

What does the term "zero clearance" mean?

The term “zero clearance” describes a wood or gas fireplace that can be built in the wall during a remodel or new construction. These fireplaces are insulated so that wood framing can be brought in close proximity to the appliance.          

How should I build a fire in my wood stove?

Take your tinder (paper, or another dry, readily ignited material) and place it in the middle of your firebox. Next, pile kindling ( small to intermediately sized sticks of wood) around your tinder. A tepee-like shape works well to allow airflow. Next, place your fuel (small to medium pieces of firewood) around your kindling. A “log cabin” stack is ideal. Next, light your tinder with a match or lighter and muse by the fire.

Variation: Do you have trouble getting a good draw established? Try putting several pieces of wadded up paper on top of your kindling fire and light the top paper before the bottom. The quick heat from the paper on top will help establish a draw.

How do I light my pilot?


For standing pilot/ manual ignition systems:

Step 1: Locate and open the gas valve that supplies fuel to the appliance.

Step 2: Locate the fireplace’s pilot assembly for future reference (located behind and below logs in the firebox – typically in the bottom center).

Step 3: Locate control valve with “On”, “Off”, and “Pilot” positions and push button igniter.

Step 4: With the control valve in the “pilot” position, depress knob on control valve while simultaneously and repeatedly pressing the igniter button.

Step 5: Verify that there is a pilot flame at the pilot assembly and continue depress control valve knob for 30 seconds.

Step 6: With pilot light standing on it’s own, advance the control valve knob to the “On” position.

Step 7: Replace the glass front and use your fireplace’s switch or remote to turn on the burner.

* If you do not see a red or black spark igniter button, you do not have a manual ignition system. If power is actively supplied to your fireplace, simply turn the on/off button, wall switch or remote control to “on” to ignite your main burner.

Smokey's Fun Facts.

Did you know that...

  •  Whale bones made the first effective chimney brushes in 1800’s England.
  • Crow stepping, a 15th century architecture element was designed in part to allow sweeps safe access to the chimney.
  • Spazzacamini? It’s not pasta… it’s Italian for “chimney sweeps.”

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