Open post
A grill range with purple accents on a building balcony overlooking a cityscape in the afternoon

Is There a Portland Fireplace Ban?

Is There a Portland Fireplace Ban?

For a while, Portland, Oregon, residents had to bid farewell to the comforting crackle of their fireplaces and fire pits due to regulations aimed at preserving air quality. However, as of October 2023, the Portland fireplace ban on burning wood in stoves, fireplaces, and fire pits has been lifted, allowing locals to once again embrace the warmth and ambiance of their beloved wood-burning appliances.

The Fireplace Ban and Regulations

In response to concerns over air quality, Portland and Multnomah County implemented a ban on burning wood in stoves, fireplaces, or fire pits on days with poor air quality. This ban was in effect year-round, eliminating the previously designated "green" days when no limits on wood burning were set. Thankfully, after careful consideration, the authorities decided to lift the Portland fireplace ban, restoring the freedom for residents to enjoy their fireplaces and fire pits without restrictions.

The lifting of the fireplace ban in Portland and Multnomah County marks a return to normalcy for residents who cherish the warmth and ambiance of their wood-burning appliances. While the regulations were implemented with good intentions to address air quality concerns, the decision to revoke them signifies a balance between environmental consciousness and the enjoyment of home comforts. As the chilly evenings approach, Portlanders can once again gather around their fireplaces and fire pits, creating cherished memories with loved ones. As you prepare to rediscover the joy of cozy evenings by the fire, consider exploring Fireside Home Solutions' wide range of fireplaces, crafted to elevate both the aesthetic and warmth of your home ambiance.

FAQs About the Portland Fireplace Ban

Open post
A fireplace with glass barriers fit into a wall

Gas Fireplace Inserts Increase Heating Efficiency with Style

Gas Fireplace Inserts Increase Heating Efficiency with Style.

Let’s face it. Traditional, open-masonry fireplaces just aren’t very efficient. Every minute they burn, these fireplaces can exhaust as much as 300 cubic feet of heated indoor air outside your home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s 18,000 cubic feet of heated air lost each hour.

What happens as the warm air is leaving? Cold air from windows, doors and other parts of your home are drawn to the fireplace. The room may stay warm, but the rest of your house is actually getting cooler. Your furnace takes notice and works even harder to heat your entire home resulting in high heating costs.

So you might be asking yourself, how can I enjoy our existing fireplaces without suffering from high energy bills and drafty homes? It’s easy… a gas fireplace insert! Inserts fit directly into the opening of existing masonry-built fireplaces and offer enhanced heating performance, style and money-saving efficiency.

By placing a gas fireplace insert into an existing masonry fireplace, you’ll not only update the look of your home, but you’ll also be enjoying a more efficient, clean-burning fire with the flip of a switch. And, it’s faster and less expensive than most people think; just $2,900 covers the average cost of a gas fireplace insert and installation, and the whole process can usually be completed in just a couple hours.

Fireplace inserts come in numerous designs allowing homeowners to find an insert that fits their needs for style and performance. Two popular, best-rated fireplace inserts are the Heat & Glo Cosmo Insert and the Escape insert.

Marvelous & Modern Gas Fireplace Insert: The Heat & Glo Cosmo Insert. This unique gas insert features a delightfully contemporary design, perfect for stylish spaces of all shapes and sizes. A striking reflective, black glass interior and long ribbon flame makes it a standout supplement to any home.

Why we think you’ll love this gas fireplace insert:

  • It’s customizable! Select from 5 colored glasses or ceramic stones for a truly unique internal firebox that will perfectly suit your style.
  • It works for both large and small openings! This modern gas fireplace insert comes in two sizes to allow for the perfect, snug fit into your existing masonry fireplace opening. The Cosmo-I35 is ideal for larger fireplace openings (23-3/4″ high) and the Cosmo-I30 ideal for smaller fireplace openings (19-1/8″ high).

Refined, Traditional Gas Fireplace Insert: the Heat & Glo Escape. The well-appointed Escape FireBrick insert offers high-efficiency heating and impressive flames. Deluxe features like an illuminated ember bed, accent lighting and full-function remote make this traditional style fireplace insert, best-in-class.

Why we think you’ll love this gas fireplace insert:

  • It’s designed to heat better, faster! The Exclusive FireBrick® material provides authentic masonry appearance inside the firebox and allows for fast, powerful heat output.
  • It works for both large and small openings! This traditional gas fireplace insert comes in two sizes to allow for the perfect, snug fit into your existing masonry fireplace opening. The Escape-I30B is ideal for a smaller opening and the Escape-I35 is great for a larger opening.


Open post
A fireplace installation with a modern, sleek aesthetic

Four Reasons To Choose A Gas Fireplace

Four Reasons To Choose A Gas Fireplace

Nothing beats the warmth and comfort of a fireplace on a chilly night. There’s something nostalgic about staring in to the flames and hearing the embers pop as you curl up with your favorite book or movie. But did you know that old wood-burning fireplace is wasting energy, putting dust in your home and polluting the air in your neighborhood? Luckily, gas fireplaces offer a way to experience the thrill of a burning fire, while keeping your family and the environment safe from hazardous smoke. Here are a few reasons to choose a gas fireplace over a wood-burning one.

1. No Wood Is Needed.

Because a gas fireplace doesn’t burn any wood, you’re saved the effort of splitting, stacking and hauling logs. If you’re in a more urban area, you’ll be free from running to the store to purchase a pre-seasoned log every time the mood for a fire strikes. No wood also means no ashes, no smoky smells in your home and no chimney to clean.

2. It’s More Convenient.

Not only can a gas fire start with the flip of a switch or the push of a button, there are thermostats to control the flame size. The temperature of the fire can be adjusted in seconds and there’s no worry that the flames will die out. That fire will stay lit until you turn it off.

3. It Wastes Less Energy.

Gas fireplaces are more energy efficient than their wood-burning counterparts. A chimney is unnecessary with a gas fireplace, so no hot air escapes up the flue. In fact, a gas fireplace returns between 75 and 99 percent of its energy back as heat. A wood burning fireplace only returns between 10 and 30 percent.

4. It’s Better For The Environment.

Any wood-burning appliance made after 1990 is required to be EPA-certified. However, these fireplaces still emit much more pollution than their gas-burning counterparts. A wood-burning fireplace expunges about 28 pounds of particulate emissions per MMBtus of heat output, while a gas fireplace produces only .28 pounds per MMBtus.

Wood burning fireplaces may offer those crackling flames we all love to gaze at, but they’re simply not the most efficient way to heat your home. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the warmth and comfort of a fireplace, while keeping your family and the environment safe from harmful pollutants, a gas fireplace could be the perfect fit in your home. Schedule a free in-home consultation with one of our experts to find the right gas fireplace for you.

Open post
Red vintage standalone fireplace in a home

Cash Rebates and Incentives for High-Efficiency Gas Fireplaces in Oregon

Cash Rebates and Incentives for High-Efficiency Gas Fireplaces in Oregon

Interested in saving more on your Gas Fireplace? The Energy Trust of Oregon offers some great cash incentives when you install a qualifying Direct-Vent Gas Fireplace in your home. Additionally, the Oregon Department of Energy offers a state tax credit for high-efficiency Direct-Vent gas units you have installed. This includes zero-clearance gas fireplaces, gas fireplace inserts, and gas stoves. Upgrading to a high-efficiency fireplace, especially with the monetary incentives that are currently available, can save lots of energy and reduce your costs.

Energy Trust of Oregon Rebates

To be eligible for the Energy Trust rebates, there are four important requirements to keep in mind when choosing your fireplace. The unit you have installed must: have a Direct-Vent system, be equipped with an Intermittent Pilot Light (IPI), have a Fireplace Efficiency (FE) rating of at least 70 percent, and be listed as one of the Energy Trust’s qualifying models.

The Energy Trust rebate amount has two tiers, depending on efficiency:

  • $250 for units with a 70% – 74.9% Fireplace Efficiency (FE) rating.
  • $350 for units with a 75% or greater (FE) rating.

For example, this Heat n Glo Supreme I30 gas insert (shown right) has an efficiency (FE) rating of 72.7 percent, and qualifies for $250 Energy Trust Rebate, as well as a state tax credit.

Talk with one of our sales representatives to learn more about what fireplaces and stoves qualify for rebates.

Oregon State Tax Credits

Direct-Vent gas fireplaces, inserts and stoves with an efficiency (FE) rating of at least 70 percent also qualify for tax credits through the Oregon Department of Energy. This is another great incentive to install a new and efficient heat source in your home.

The eligibility requirements for the Oregon State tax credits are:

  • $350 for units with a 70% – 74.9% Fireplace Efficiency (FE) rating.
  • $550 for units with a 75% or greater (FE) rating.

For example, this Quadrafire Sapphire gas stove (shown left) has an efficiency (FE) rating of 76.0 percent, and qualifies for both the $350 Energy Trust of Oregon rebate AND a $550 Oregon Department of Energy state tax credit. That is a $900 value!

Call or stop by our Portland, OR location to speak to a sales representative about these Energy Trust rebates and tax credits, and find a qualifying fireplace or stove that is suitable for your home. You can find location information for our Portland Fireside location here.

We offer professional in-house installation on all of our jobs and our expert sales team can meet you at your home prior to your purchase to make sure that the unit you are looking at is the right fit. It’s also a great way to make sure you are installing a unit that will be both energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Now is a great time to make the decision to upgrade your old fireplace and take advantage of these savings and incentives.

Open post
Close up of a fireplace with wood pieces

What is a Zero Clearance Fireplace?

What is a Zero Clearance Fireplace?

The process of picking out a new fireplace, or upgrading your current one, can be overwhelming. There are so many choices of materials, styles and sizes, where should you begin? A good place to start is by learning the definition of a zero clearance fireplace.

Zero clearance fireplaces come in all shapes and sizes. Zero clearance means the fireplace has its own insulation and it needs zero inches of clearance (distance) from combustible materials in the home. Basically a zero clearance fireplace is a self-contained firebox that is designed to be installed almost anywhere in your home. It doesn’t require the use of tile or stone surround the fireplace and you can even run sheetrock right up to the edge of the firebox.

There are a couple of different styles of zero clearance fireplaces. The traditional style resembles older masonry style fireplaces. Traditional style fireplaces can use wood or gas logs or inserts to heat a room. Blower fans can help to circulate warm air throughout the home. Newer models are designed more as efficient room heaters. Generally using only wood fuel, these fireplaces usually have heavy cast iron doors to minimize the loss of warm air up the chimney.

Zero clearance fireplaces do require a chimney for venting, but installation may be easier than you think. Usually, a few sections of stainless steel chimney pipe are run out of the top of the fireplace and up through the roof. The chimney pipe can be integrated in to the siding of you home, concealed with a masonry chimney chase, or just left as is.

A zero clearance fireplace can be installed almost anywhere in your home that needs some extra warmth or the ambience of a glowing fire. But they’re not for everyone. Stop by one of our showrooms to see if a zero clearance fireplace is right for your home.

Open post
Modern fireplace in a modern marble wall set up

Three Simple Ways to Clean Your Fireplace

Three Simple Ways to Clean Your Fireplace

What good is a night spent in front of the fire if your fireplace is too dirty to see the flames? Wood-burning fireplaces give off a lot of smoke and soot, which can build up on your glass doors over time. More than likely, you’re going to need something a little tougher than an everyday glass cleaner to get the job done. Here are a few ways to put the sparkle back in your glass doors.

1. Wash With Ammonia.

Make a mixture of slightly diluted ammonia and water. The water helps keep the ammonia from evaporating and makes the job easier. Grab some paper towels, spray the glass, and begin to wipe it clean. It could take a few tries to get the window clear. If you have any spots with a lot of buildup, let the mixture sit for a while. When you’re done, wipe the glass clean with a dry cloth.

2. Fight Ashes With Ashes.

Take an old newspaper or cloth and dampen it. Then, dip the newspaper/cloth in your fireplace ashes and start scrubbing those doors. The ashes help to counteract the leftover residue. Once you’ve scrubbed it clean, grab a clean wet cloth and wipe the glass to remove the ash. You can finish with a spritz of glass cleaner and wipe it dry with a paper towel.

3. Get Down To Business.

If you have a lot of buildup on your glass doors, it may take more work to get it clean. A flat razor blade can remove caked-on deposits, just be careful not to scratch the glass. After you’ve scraped them clean, spray the doors down with a solution of white vinegar and water and wipe down with a paper towel or clean cloth.

These tips can keep your wood-burning fireplace doors looking like new. If you’re looking for a fireplace upgrade or just something a little lower maintenance, the experts at Fireside Home Solutions can help find the perfect fireplace for your lifestyle.

Open post
A brick fireplace in a non-connected wall on a back patio with snacks on a table

It’s the Middle of Summer…What is That Little Gas Flame Doing in My Fireplace?

It’s the Middle of Summer…What is That Little Gas Flame Doing in My Fireplace?

The little flame you see in your gas fireplace after you have turned it off is called a pilot light. A Standing Pilot Light runs constantly, whether your fireplace is on or off.

“It’s the middle of summer, why do I feel heat from the front of my fireplace?” “Oh well…it’s only a little flame, it’s no biggy.”
Well that “no biggy” is costing you between $12 and $15 a month. Over the course of a year that’s up to $180, nearly two Benjamins!
Most of today’s gas direct vent fireplaces have an innovation called intermittent pilot ignition.

What that means is that you don’t have a pilot light burning in your fireplace year-round. When your fireplace is off, it’s all off. No gas is being consumed at all. Saving energy and saving you money. When you turn your fireplace on, a spark ignites a temporary pilot flame, which in turn lights up your fire. If you want to turn off your standing pilot light, learn more here about how to turn off the pilot light.

The intermittent pilot system, along with direct vent sealed combustion is one of the reasons that gas fireplaces are much more efficient now than they were only a few years ago.

So much so, that in some areas utility partners even offer rebates for replacing older fireplaces with newer more efficient ones; up to $250 in fact. That plus your savings over burning a pilot year around can add up to a $430 savings in the first year! If that isn’t enough incentive for you, some manufacturers offer instant online coupons as well. Typically around $100, but I’ve seen them as high as $500 depending on the time of year and brand of fireplace.

Check into how you can save money and conserve energy today by stopping by or calling one of our Washington or Oregon showrooms.

That little flame can be a big drain… on your pocket book!

Open post
A wall installed fireplace with a clean brake frame and brick layout

Is Your Gas Fireplace Safe?

Is Your Gas Fireplace Safe?

The vast majority of today’s gas fireplaces and gas fireplace inserts are designed as a sealed system known as “direct vent”. Direct vent fireplaces bring 100% of the air needed for the fire from outside the home and exhaust all of the combustion by-products outside the home as well. The result is a balanced system that increases efficiency, provides optimal heat, conserves energy and ensures a clean healthy indoor air quality.

A direct vent gas fireplace or fireplace insert has a sealed piece of tempered or ceramic glass on the face of the fireplace. As a result of normal operation of these fireplace products, the glass front will become very hot. It is not unusual for the glass to reach sustained temperatures of over 475° Fahrenheit. These high temperatures on the glass will cause severe burns if touched. While it may be evident that the glass is hot when the fireplace or fireplace insert is on, the unforeseen danger is when it is off. It’s easy for someone to enter a room when the fireplace is off not knowing it was recently burning. This is especially true if it is controlled by a thermostat. The glass can remain dangerously hot for up to an hour after the fireplace or fireplace insert has been turned off.

As a result, ANSI (American National Standards Institute) has revised the standards to which these products are manufactured requiring that they be equipped with a safety barrier to keep consumers from coming in contact with the glass. All direct vent gas fireplaces and fireplace inserts with a glass temperature exceeding 172° Fahrenheit manufactured on or after January 1st 2015 must comply with these revised standards.

That’s great for the future but what about your gas fireplace or insert now? One manufacturer has been providing safety screens on all of their direct vent products since 2003 and others have started providing safety screens as an option. If your fireplace came equipped with a safety barrier screen, don’t take it off. If it didn’t, there are some options available that can help.

One choice is to purchase a standing screen to place in front of your fireplace. These screens come in a variety of styles and sizes and are available at most retail hearth stores. Another option is to place a barrier in front of your fireplace or insert. These are products that are like a fence or gate and are usually made of multiple hinged steel frames so they stand on their own in front of the fireplace or insert. Standing screens and barriers can help but because of their portable nature they can be moved away from the glass and there goes your safety. The best protection remains a factory installed barrier. That’s why it is now in the process of becoming mandatory.

While anyone can inadvertently come in contact with a hot glass front, children and the elderly are most susceptible. Educate everyone in your home about the danger of hot glass and never leave a child unattended in a room with an unprotected fireplace.

Besides the safety that factory equipped barrier screens provide there are other benefits as well. For instance, barrier screens help to cut the reflective glare from the glass and actually enhance the beauty of the flame. It also adds realism to a gas fireplace. Most burn systems in gas fireplaces and inserts are designed and engineered to imitate a wood burning fire as closely as possible. If you think about it, all wood burning fireplaces have some sort of screen on the front to protect from popping sparks and embers. The barrier screen on a gas fireplace or insert simply adds to the realism.

Be sure to keep the factory installed barrier screen on your gas fireplace or insert and if it didn’t come with one, contact the manufacturer of your fireplace or insert to see if one is available.

Open post
A simple, sleek fireplace in a white modern home layout.

Cook Your Next Meal on the Fireplace

Cook Your Next Meal on the Fireplace.

If you have an outdoor fireplace, there’s a good chance you’ve roasted a marshmallow or two over it. There’s something extremely satisfying about perfectly cooking (or burning) those little puffs of sugar with nothing but a stick and the flames in front of you. So, why not extend that feeling of satisfaction to your entire meal? There are several ways to cook your dinner using your outdoor fireplace; the hard part is choosing what you want to eat.

4 Ways To Cook On Your Fireplace

On A Stick.

Probably the simplest and most foolproof way to cook over a fire is with a stick. The easiest foods to cook with just a stick are marshmallows and hotdogs, but you can get fancy and wrap some refrigerated dough around your hotdog to create an at-home corn dog. The biggest downfall of cooking on a stick is that you’ll probably end up wasting some food, as it can fall off the sticks fairly easily. It also takes patience and a steady hand to ensure your food is cooked evenly and thoroughly.

With A Rotisserie.

While quite a bit larger than a simple stick, fireplace rotisseries are still a fairly simple piece of equipment to use. Rotisseries are perfect if you’re looking to cook a big piece of meat, as they sit in front of the flames and slowly cook your food to perfection. Some rotisseries even come with two separate spits, so you can cook a chicken on one, and veggie kabobs on the other. One con associated with rotisseries is they’re best used for large pieces of meat, so they may not make sense if you’re cooking for one or two. They can also block your view of the flames during cooking time.

Pie Iron Cooking.

A pie iron is two shallow metal bowls (varying in shape), that fit together and are attached to a long handle. To use them, you fill the bowls will food, snap them together, and then cook. Pie irons are most commonly used to make Panini like sandwiches, but really, the sky is the limit with what you can cook in these gadgets. The hardest part about cooking with pie irons is determining when your food is fully cooked. You don’t want to open them too soon or your dinner won’t be done. Also, be sure to properly season your pie irons and cover the inside with butter or oil before cooking, so food doesn’t stick to the inside.

Use A Dutch Oven.

Ideal for soups or stews, to cook with a Dutch oven over your outdoor fireplace, you’ll want to invest in a fireplace crane. This holds the pot above the flames and ensures even cooking. Most Dutch ovens are made of cast iron, which retains and distributes heat incredibly well. Essentially, you can use a Dutch oven the same way you would use a large pot on your stove; make soup, braise meat, even scramble eggs. The biggest issue in cooking with Dutch ovens is they’re heavy and you will need a fireplace crane to properly cook with one.

Try something new this summer and surprise your family with a truly outdoor dining experience. If you’re looking for an outdoor fireplace or have questions about whether one would work on your property, stop by one of our Fireside Home Solutions locations.