Harvest Season on the Grill!

Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association Offers Nine Tips to Put a Little Barbecue Flame on Your Fruits and Veggies This Fall

Harvest season has arrived, which means it’s time for grilled fruits and vegetables! From grilled sweet corn to delicious mushroom burgers to fresh grilled peaches, there’s almost no produce you can’t take to the next level by throwing it on the grill. The Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association has 9 great tips to spice up your fall grilling and make the most of your lovely fresh produce. Check it out after the jump:

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Introducing Orion Coolers!

Orion cooler2

Click for larger image

Whether you’re tailgating, camping, or just enjoying a day at the park (with, say, your Kamado Joe Jr. Smoker), the Orion Cooler, now available at Wooden Sun, has you covered!  The Orion’s impressive features include:

  • 35% more insulation than comparable coolers, holds ice longer (check out Orion’s field notes page for user experiences)
  • Standing Pad
  • 6 Tie Down Points
  • 4 Aluminum Bottle Opener Corners
  • Lockable/Certified Bear Resistant (seriously, this cooler doubles as a Bear Box on camping trips!)
  • Low Profile Camming Latches
  • Motorcycle Grip Carry Handles
  • Camo Colors (6 standard colors, plus the Home Team custom series)
  • Rugged Rotomolded Shell
  • 
Made in the USA
  • Smart, Real-World Sizing (25- to 85-qt)
  • 
Drain Plug
  • YakAttack Tracks / RAM Integration for easy
  • 
Highly Functional Tray System
  • Sectional Divider/Cutting Board (optional)

Add in a Wetterlings axe or hatchet, and you’re set for anything from an afternoon of rafting to a week in the backwoods.

Check Out Our New Masonry Stove!!

Soapstone new

Buck Stove model 21, Soapstone wrap by Alberene Soapstone

We’re very excited about our newest offering, a compact masonry heater! One of the masons from Alberene Soapstone brought all the soapstone blocks up to our showroom, and he and Kim spent a couple of hours getting those into place all around the stove.

Soapstone is a wonderful material for a heating appliance. A very dense stone, it retains a lot of heat, and releases it slowly over time. While the stove heats up more slowly than a steel or a cast iron stove would, it retains that heat longer, and therefore continues to heat the room long after the fire has gone out.

 

The narrower blocks create visual interest.

The narrower blocks create visual interest.

Unfortunately, the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having lately means that we haven’t had very many chances to fire it up, but we’ve been able to have one or two small fires, and can report excellent heat retention! The time it takes for the soapstone to fully heat up means that this heater isn’t the best option for occasional fires, or if you need to warm up a room quickly, but if you want to maintain cozy, even heat over several hours, consider the beauty and practicality of soapstone!

We’ve Applied for a Small Business Grant, But We Can’t Do It without You!

Chase Mission:Main Street is offering 20 $100,000 small business grants, and Wooden Sun hopes to receive one of them! The money would be used to invest in new products and administrative tools, as well as the hiring of new employees to enable us to more effectively help you “Bask in the Warmth”! We need 250 votes before June 19th to be considered for this grant, so please follow the link below to put us in the running for this fantastic opportunity. We can’t do it without you!

https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/b/68081

Wooden Sun Receives Super Service Award!

Wooden Sun is pleased to have received the Angie’s List Super Service Award for the 2nd year in a row! We pride ourselves on our courteous, professional service, performed by fully-certified technicians. We strive to treat your home as well as (if not better than) we would treat our own. Our customers are the most important part of our business, and we appreciate your confidence and feedback!

Wooden Sun Angie's List Service Award

2014 was a great year for Wooden Sun. 2015’s been good to us so far, and with your help, we hope to make it our best year yet!

Zone Heat Your Home to Save Fuel and $!

Running your central heating all winter can get expensive, as well as putting a great deal of pressure on your heat pump. Why waste money heating unoccupied space? Zone heating is the practice of using a heating appliance to heat only a few rooms at a time while keeping the rest of your house fairly chilly, letting you focus all of your heating money and energy on the parts of your home you’re actually using. Central furnaces can be very inefficient, and constant use can overtax even the best heat pump (the worst heat pump, on the other hand, is likely to start making terrible noises, and eventually just refuse to keep your house as warm as you’d like it).

G3 gas insert zone heating

The G3 gas insert, from Valor Fireplaces.

Prefer your living room kept at a toasty 75 degrees, but don’t want to break the bank? Using a stove, fireplace, or fireplace insert to zone heat just part of your home can save 20-40% on your heating bills*, as well as providing a cozy ambiance for the space you choose to heat. Put an efficient wood stove or gas fireplace insert in your living room, turn down your thermostat, and give your central heat a bit of a break!

*ACEE 1990 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. Proceedings. Vol. 9

Company Road Trip!

Dear Friends,

As part of our commitment to ongoing education, Wooden Sun will be closed the afternoon of Tuesday, 3/3 through Friday, 3/6, while we attend the Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association Expo in Nashville.

This annual event provides training and certification courses, as well as opportunities for us to meet with our vendors, investigate new industry products and technologies, and remain up-to-date with the latest industry standards and practices.

When we return, we’ll respond to your phone and email inquiries; in the meantime, we’re looking forward to spending a few days with other hearth professionals, increasing our own knowledge base, and coming back more confident than ever in our ability to help you “bask in the warmth!”

Fall fireplace checklist

fireI can’t believe it’s August already! We’ll be having Labor Day cookouts soon, and then, before you know it, it’ll be fireplace season. Winter happens every year, but it somehow always manages to sneak up on most of us. With that in mind, here’s a brief “fireplace checklist” to help you make sure you’re ready for that first chilly evening:

  • Annual chimney cleaning. The Chimney Sweep Institute of America recommends having your chimney cleaned and inspected once a year by a certified technician. If you use your wood stove, fireplace, or insert only a few times a season, you may only need to have your chimney cleaned every couple of years; if you use it almost daily during the season, you may need to get it cleaned more often, sometimes multiple times over the course of a winter. If you have a gas-burning appliance, we also recommend having it cleaned and inspected by a certified technician once a year. Note: our fall schedule is already filling up, so fill out our online service form and avoid the weeks-long wait time during our busiest season.
  • Check your firewood supply. Using properly seasoned firewood is CRITICALLY important. In short, it is the difference between failure and success at heating your home with a high efficiency wood-burning appliance. Seasoned firewood is firewood that has been cut, split and stacked in a way that air can circulate around the wood (cross hatch pattern, covered loosely and open on the sides) for one year or more.  A moisture content between 15 and 20% is ideal; a moisture meter will tell you if your wood is ready to burn, or if you need to let it dry out for a while longer. Before getting a firewood delivery (for those of us not lucky enough to live on several acres of timber), read some reviews of suppliers in your area; tree removal and service companies often split and sell the trees they take down, reducing the strain on forests and tree lots.
  • horizontal pipeglazedcreosoteThe pictures to the right show a significant buildup of creosote, which is usually the result of burning improperly seasoned firewood. Wet wood makes for a colder, smokier fire, and that smokes condenses on the inside of your chimney as creosote (the shiny picture is actually creosote which has hardened into a glass-like substance. It’s pretty, but very dangerous). These large buildups of creosote, at the very least, can make your chimney draft less effectively, and at worst, are very prone to catching fire.
  • Hearth tools. Do you have everything you need for maintenance of your fire and appliance? If you need thermometers, fireplace gloves, hearth protector pads, (metal) ash buckets, or anything else, make sure you have it before you need it. There’s nothing more annoying than gathering around the fireplace for a nice warming fire, then realizing that you don’t have fireplace gloves or a metal bucket for wood ash.

Winter is coming, and with it, the joy of a hearth fire. With just a little bit of planning, you can be ready to “bask in the warmth” this fireplace season!

The Benefits of Interior & Exterior Solar Shades

Eclipse Interior Shade

Interior solar shade by Eclipse

It’s true that an awning keeps your house cool and lowers your heating bills, but maybe you don’t want to shade your yard or garden.  Or perhaps you enjoy the look of your interior blinds or curtains, but want to be able to open your windows without the wind blowing your window treatments around.  Available in a variety of fabrics, solar shades, which lie flush against your window frame, can provide excellent sun protection, and are heavier and more durable than most interior shades.  Fine mesh shades, in UV-resistant material, block the majority of the sun’s heat without impairing your view of the outdoors, while heavier fabrics give you privacy at the touch of a button. They can be either motorized or not.

Eclipse Exterior Shade

Exterior Shade by Eclipse

If you’re looking to prevent as much solar heat as possible from entering your home (without investing in blackout curtains), an exterior solar shade may be the most effective option for you.  Since these shades are mounted on the outside of your home, the sunlight never has a chance to reach your windows and heat the glass; interior window treatments prevent the sun’s radiant heat from entering your home, but a small amount of convection heat will still be transmitted from the warmed glass.

Zippered exterior shade

E-Zip Exterior Shade

Like the drop screens which are often attached to awnings, exterior solar screens can also be used as an effective barrier against both insect life and low-angled sun.  These zippered screens can be motorized, just like their awning and canopy counterparts, and can be raised or lowered with a wall switch or remote control.  Transform your open porch into a screened veranda within seconds!