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  • A Guide to the 4 Types of Electric Fireplace

    Electric Fireplace Buying Guide Header

    Quick Summary:

    Electric fireplaces have become increasingly popular due to the convenience and simplicity they provide - they're easy to install and don't present the same challenging installation difficulties wood or gas units impose. Electric units offer cost savings in lieu of running a gas line or refurbishing an outdated wood burning unit and simply plug into a standard 110 volt household outlet. Many units feature a built in heater rated up to 5,000 BTU while the flexible design options allow for several different installation opportunities.

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  • The 5 Common Features on Fireplace Remote Controls

    A Guide to the Different Types of Millivolt Valve Remote Controls:

    Fireplace remote controls provide a wonderful convenience for a gas fireplace. With all of the options available today, it can be confusing as to what type may be best for your needs.

    We've put together a comprehensive guide to the different types of remote controls that are designed for standard millivolt valves.

    As discussed in our What Remote Control Works for You article, the easiest way to determine your fireplace's remote compatibility is by finding the Wiring Diagram in your fireplace Installation & Operation manual. For a standard millivolt valve, it should look something like this:

    Once you've determined your fireplace has a standard millivolt, you'll have plenty of remote control options - most remote options have the option to include a battery powered receiver box or a 110V AC receiver box suite your preference, so let's take a look at them.

    Types of Standard Fireplace Remote Controls:

    1. On/Off

    The most simple of all the remote control functions, this remote is as simple as it is convenient - just on and off. On/Off remotes offer reliable control in a compact design - and just like all millivolt valve remotes, they're easy to install.

    2. Timer

    In addition to the On/Off function, Timer remote controls provide an additional countdown timer function to your remote system in order to allow you to set your fireplace to run for a certain period of time. The timer function is easy to use and offers versatility in controlling your appliance - especially if you have the habit of accidentally leaving it on.

    3. Thermostat

    Similar to the Timer remote controls, Thermostatic remote controls allow On/Off control with a thermostat function in place of a countdown timer. The thermostat control works just like a regular thermostat would but from the convenience of your remote control.

    *Note - you can also get a remote with both Timer and Thermostat functions in one unit, like the SKY-3301 .

    4. Programmable

    The upper echelon of fireplace remotes, Programmable units allow the ultimate control for your fireplace. They include the Timer, Thermostat, and simple On/Off controls in addition to a programmable function to have those features operate automatically based on the temperature, time of day, or day of the week - it's your choice.

    5. Fan Control

    For those of you with a fireplace blower/fan, a special remote is available to provide control of the fan in addition to normal fireplace control. This remote is similar to the 3301-P in that it provides complete thermostat, timer, and programmable control of your fireplace, with the added benefit of simple On/Off fan control.

    6. Wall Mount Remotes

    A wall switch has several advantages over a remote control. Namely, you'll never have to worry about losing a wall switch. Basic on/off units, timer switches, and thermostatic control options are available.

    7. Smart Home Remotes

    Smart home automation is a relatively new development in the hearth industry. As a result, the number of home automation products designed to work with fireplaces is rapidly growing. Products like the iFlame IF-20 can help bring your home into the 21st century by allowing you to control your fireplace directly from your smartphone.

    • Smart Home Control: IF-20

    The Conclusion:

    Hopefully this helps you understand what type of gas valve your fireplace operates with and leads you to the correct remote control choice. As always, if you have any further questions or you're still having trouble figuring out what remote works for you, feel free to contact us.

  • Why Everyone Should Own a Vacuum Sealer

  • PolyScience's 3 Best Immersion Circulators for Sous Vide Cooking

    Sous Vide Buying Guide Header

    Quick Summary:

    If you're looking to get into Sous Vide cooking, or you've just checked out our Intro to Sous Vide Cooking and you're not sure which circulator would be best to get you going - this is the place to be. PolyScience has been at the forefront of Sous Vide cooking, providing high quality circulators to restaurant and home kitchens alike.

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  • The Top 3 Types of BBQ Grills that everyone needs to know

    The Different Types of Grills

    Cooking outdoors is a timeless American tradition, a throwback to the iconoclastic 1950's era backyard barbecues where friends, family, and neighbors would gather to enjoy each other's company and some really good food—there's nothing quite like the taste of a steak, hot dog, or anything fresh off the grill, it's ineffable.

    Nowadays, there's so many different types of grills to fulfill your grilling fancy, but if you're unfamiliar with any of them, how can you decide which is best for you? Well look no further—we've condensed what we believe are the most popular and common types of grills to compare and contrast the benefits of each type.

    We've broken the grills down into (3) simple categories based on their fuel type: Gas, Charcoal, and Electric. Within each of these three fuel types there are several different styles, so let's take a look.

    1. Gas Grills


    Whether propane or natural gas, gas grills provide the convenience and affordability most of us are familiar with nowadays. Most gas grills are designed to run off of a portable 20 pound propane tank but also feature natural gas models to run off of a house gas line.

    Benefits of a Gas Grill:

    • Convenience – Gas grills ignite quickly, heat up quickly, and are ready to use quickly.
    • Affordable – Whether propane or natural gas, this fuel type burns clean and efficient and is typically cheaper to use than charcoal
    • Easy to Use – With simple control knobs, gas grills allow a wide variety of temperature ranges with control right at your fingertips
    • Versatile – Different types of gas grills include different features like side burners, rotisserie kits, or outdoor storage to offer high end utility

    Freestanding Gas Grills:

    The most popular variety of gas grills are freestanding units that usually feature wheels for mobility and access doors/drawers for storage.

    Our Favorite Freestanding Gas Grills

    Built-In Gas Grills:

    Perfect for building the ultimate outdoor kitchen, most built-in grills are the centerpiece of a custom grill island and provide high end convenience and entertainment.

    Our Favorite Built In Gas Grills

    Portable Gas Grills:

    Designed for convenience and reliability for the adventurous griller, portable grill models run off of smaller portable propane tanks and are easy to transport.

    Our Favorite Portable Grills

    Infrared Gas Grills:

    Making use of infrared technology, infrared grills are extremely efficient and has high heat performance which make them some of the most popular gas grills on the market today.

    Our Favorite Infrared Grills
    • TEC Sterling Patio 2 FR Infrared Gas Grill On Cabinet, 44-Inches

      List: $6,099.00 Starting At: $5,489.00
    • Smart Grill by Lynx SMART36F 36-Inch Freestanding with Rotisserie

      List: $11,099.00 Starting At: $10,089.00

    2. Charcoal Grills

    Charcoal grills are a classic, the original grills. These grills burn charcoal briquettes, natural hardwood, wood chips, or some combination of the three in order to produce the familiar smokey flavor we all love from good BBQ.

    Benefits of a Charcoal Grill:

    • Flavor – The classic smokey flavor produced when using a charcoal grill is unmatched by any other fuel type, plus different types of charcoal and wood can provide wide ranges of flavors
    • Versatility – With innovations to classic models, charcoal grills offer added versatility for both grilling and smoking
    • Natural – Use natural hardwood lump charcoal to ensure a natural cooking process with no additives or chemicals for clean, delicious BBQ

    Traditional Charcoal Grills:

    Whether Built-In or Freestanding , the classic charcoal grill is simple: it has a firebox to store the charcoal fire right below the grill grates. Some of the higher end models feature maneuverable fireboxes to adjust the distance between the fire and grill grates.

    Our Favorite Charcoal Grills

    Charcoal Smokers:

    Designed to locate the firebox away from the main grilling/smoking area, smokers allow true "indirect" cooking to slowly smoke food with a gentle heat to produce traditional BBQ fare like ribs, pulled pork, or brisket.

Our Favorite Smoker Grills

Kamado Charcoal Grills:

Named after the traditional Japanese style ceramic grill, Kamado grills are known for their excellent insulation and highly efficient heat distribution making them extremely versatile for both high heat grilling and low steady smoking.

Our Favorite Kamado Grills
  • Primo Oval 200 Junior

    Primo Oval JR 200 Ceramic Kamado Grill

    List: $1,173.75 Starting At: $899.00
  • Primo Oval XL 400

    Primo Oval XL 400 Ceramic Kamado Grill

    List: $1,811.25 Starting At: $1,449.00
  • Blaze BLZ-20-KAMADO Cast Aluminum Kamado Grill

    Blaze BLZ-20-KAMADO Cast Aluminum Kamado Grill

    List: $2,249.99 Starting At: $1,799.99

3. Electric Grills

Generally compact in design and sleek in appearance, electric grills run off of electricity to provide a high heat alternative to gas and charcoal.

Benefits of Electric Grills:

  • Alternative Fuel – Great for locations where gas or charcoal are prohibited
  • Efficient – Turns electricity into a high heat source perfect for searing
  • Indoor Use – Some electric grills are designed for indoor or outdoor use

Our Favorite Electric Grills

The Conclusion:

With the various types of grills available today, it's hard to know which type is right for you—use this guide to pinpoint the benefits of each grill and decide which seem right for your situation. Try to figure out how these benefits align with typical grilling concerns like, how many people will you cook for? What type of foods do you want to grill? How much time do you have to spend grilling? Using these guidelines will help you determine what type of grill is best for you.

This entry was posted in Buying Guides on October 6, 2016 by Adam S.

  • A Buying Guide to the Different Types of Fire Glass

    Fire Glass Buying Guide


    A more contemporary choice for fire media, fire glass offers a modern decorative media for use with your gas fire pit or fireplace. You can use any style or size fire glass with any approved gas fire feature, so it comes down to which kind you like the best - and there's a lot of different styles, shapes, sizes, and colors of fire glass.

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  • The 6 Types of Fire Pits to Know

    Fire Pit Buying Guide Header

    The Different Types of Fire Pits & Fire Features

    Fire pits are a great addition to any outdoor living space to enhance the atmosphere of your backyard, patio, or deck and bring friends and family closer together. The classic campfire style ambiance will create a unique outdoor experience that provides warmth and comfort but there are many styles to choose from so we've put together a fire pit buying guide to explore the different types of fire features to help you find the right product for your needs.

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  • Product Review: Napoleon Prestige Pro 665

    A High-End Grill without the High-End Price Tag

    A Canadian based company, Napoleon has rewritten the norm for gas grills with its innovative blend of high quality and superior performance - all without a price tag to break the bank. Coming in at just under $3,300, the Napoleon Prestige Pro 665 offers all of the high end features you'd want from a grill backed by the President's Limited Lifetime Warranty to ensure this grill stays in top grilling shape for years to come. Speaking of shape, the aesthetic design offers a refined elegance enhanced by the sleek chrome accents and low-profile form - so let's take a look at the standout features.

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  • How to Fix Fire Pit Whistling Noise

    Eliminate Whistling Noise Header

    What is that annoying whistling noise, and what causes it?

    We receive a fair share of customer feedback showing their frustration that the gas fire pit they worked so hard to build is now making an annoying "whistling" sound when operating. We understand. Fortunately, it's almost always the result of two common culprits: flex lines, or gas supply.

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