Frequently Asked Questions for the Cozy Grate
What, exactly, is a BTU anyway?
A BTU (British Thermal Unit) is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Generally speaking, typical home furnaces in the Midwest are 75,000 to 100,000 BTUs. The Grate Heater produces up to 40,000 BTUs each hour!
What keeps the inside of this thing from burning up? It�s sitting in the fireplace, for crying out loud!
The Original Grate Heater is self-cooling; it is constantly drawing cool room air through the motor compartment before pushing it through the Grate. Also, the wiring and motor are designed for high-heat environments.
What keeps the heater from blowing smoke (or ash) into the room, as well as the heat?
The Original Grate Heater draws its air from the room and forces that air into the tubular grate. If a leak ever occured, fresh air would be forced into the fireplace, not the reverse (smoke/ash sucked out of the fireplace) because it is a positive-pressure system, like blowing up a balloon.
Must I use the heater every time I have a fire?
Yes, the unit must always be plugged in and able to run (to cool itself). With the rheostat speed control on low, you can hardly hear it.
Does the unit ever need to be cleaned/washed down?
It is a good idea to vacuum the intake grate on the front bar of the grate. This is where the room air is entering the unit.
How long dare I run this at any one time? As long as I have a fire going, could I run it for, say, six hours straight?
There is no time limit.
How long do these last?
I have sold replacement units to people who have been using their original Grate Heater for the past twenty years and the design hasn't changed. These are very well built products!
Is this blown air safe to inhale? Isn't it sooty or otherwise unhealthful?
The first few hours you burn the unit, you may experience a smell from the manufacturing oils in the grate burning off, like the first use of a new kitchen oven. After that, the exhaust is as clean as the room air entering the unit.
Why hasn�t someone thought of this before?
The Grate Heater was designed and patented by Heat & Glo in 1977. Tens of thousands of them have been sold over the past 30 years. As the hearth industry began to convert over to gas products in the mid-90s, wood-burning products in general fell out of favor. The high heating-fuel costs of the new millenium brought renewed interest in wood, but most fireplace dealers would rather sell people a high-cost (and high-profit) fireplace insert at $3000+. The Grate Heater is a perfect, low-cost alternative to those expensive and oftentimes unattractive inserts.
How much money am I likely to save on my heating costs?
While there is no way to accurately predict the cost savings, we can tell you that the average home heating system for a 2,000-square-foot home in the Upper Midwest is 80,000 BTUs. With the Grate Heater producing up to 40,000 BTUs, that will relieve the furnace of a big chunk of its heating responsibility. Also, families generally spend their evenings in the fireplace room, often bundled up in blankets, sweatshirts, and socks! With the Grate Heater, you can keep the house thermostat cooler, yet have the fireplace room nice and cozy. And the leftover heat has to go somewhere so it wanders through the rest of your home.
Will my fireplace room be too hot?
Perhaps, but isn't that a nice problem to have? You can control the heat many ways:
- Use the blower speed control (rheostat) on the Grate Heater to lower the heat output.
- Use less wood.
- Simply use the continuous fan-on switch on the thermostat of your home's forced-air heating system.
- Turn on the blower-only function of your forced-air home furnace to help distribute the air around the house.
- Open an outside window or door to let in some cool, fresh air.
Can this be used in a two-sided see-through fireplace?
Yes. Please note, though, that the biggest units are only 22" deep. So, if your fireplace is, let's say, 33" deep, the back of the Grate Heater is going to be a long way back from the face of the other side and the heat output is only going to come out one side. You may even be able to use two Grate Heaters if your fireplace is deep enough to put them back to back.
Can I use the Grate Heater in a �Zero-Clearance" fireplace?
Generally speaking, no. Zero-Clearance fireplaces, also called �pre-fabs" or manufactured fireplaces, usually have a opening which is raised up higher than the hearth extension out front. The Grate Heater cannot compensate for that difference. The hearth extending out beyond the burn floor must be equal to, or higher than, the burn floor itself. Also, pre-fab doors usually can't be raised the required inch and three-eighths to sit up on top of the front bar of the Grate Heater. If you don't have doors on your fireplace and you could roll a golf ball from the front of your hearth to the back wall of your fireplace, then the Grate Heater may work for you. Please call if you need further clarification.
What if the inside of my fireplace drops down from the hearth extension out front?
You can simply use 1/2" bolts (not included) by however long you need to make up the difference. The Grate Heater has two nuts welded to the back bottom of it that those 1/2" bolts can screw into and become leveling legs (see instructions).
How long is the power cord?
The power cord is 8 feet long.