Tag: particulates

Help your Wood or Coal-Burning Stove live its best life!

Stove Life!

Now we’re into the final quarter of the year, it’s likely you’ll find yourself starting your wood-burning stove more often. Nothing beats the feeling of evading the outside in your lovely warm front room, listening to the crackling wood. As it’s getting more use, it’s incredibly important to make sure you’re using and maintaining your stoves correctly. That way, you can get the most out of your fuel and stove in terms of heat output and lifespan. Here are some quick and easy tips to make sure your stove stays pristine and performing properly.

Know your wood!

Firstly, it’s important to make sure you’re using the correct fuel in your wood-burning stove. Beech and ash logs burn the best especially when seasoned, so you should be harvesting your wood about a year in advance of when you actually plan to burn it. Both of these types of wood when dried out can produce quite a lot of heat output with a consistent flame. Burning hardwood is likely to give a stronger flame and appear to give out more heat than softer pinewoods. This is because they are likely to burn faster and cooler than hardwood because they have a lower calorific value.

Keep a clean stove!

Your stove door should fit snugly to keep the heat of the fire concentrated inside. If the door itself feels loose, you could be losing a lot of heat output. Keep an eye out on the Firemizer website for Maxseal – a new product that ensures your stove door is sealed and secure. Using a Firemizer will reduce creosote build-up in your chimney by 57%, keeping a clear flue. It will also make sure there are no unused clumps of fuel in your ash bed – Firemizer makes sure your fuel ins burned evenly, helping it last 38% longer.

Use the top-down method!

The way in which your start your fires could also improve stove life. Firstly, make sure your firewood is cut in a variety of sizes to fill all available space. Using the top-down method of starting a fire is a great way to start that perfect fire (especially when paired with a Firebuilder). Read our step-by-step guide on how to use the top-down method, as well as lots of other helpful tips and tricks here.

Money Back Guarantee!

Money Back Guarantee!

Now that the summer is winding down and the wonderful weather is becoming a distant memory, we look towards Christmas. The days are getting colder and the nights are getting longer, so naturally it’s time to plan ahead. The summers can get expensive – holidays, day trips, meals with friends, so it’s not unusual to start thinking about money. Therefore this week, the focus will be all about how Firemizer can help you start saving money right away.

How does it work?

Firstly, Firemizer boasts an exceptionally efficient nature that helps to save you over a third of your solid fuel source. By slowing down the airflow to the body of the fire, Firemizer reduces the burn-rate. Its stainless-steel-alloy mesh evenly distributes the heat across the entire base of your wood or coal-burning stove or fireplace. Simply place beneath your solid fuel and leave inside your stove or fireplace. Firemizer will help your fuel to burn more evenly, ensuring none of it is wasted. It immediately starts helping you save on energy bills from the second it’s placed under your fire until the end of its lifespan (around 500 burn hours, one season). Through the reduction of creosote tars, it also ensures that overall chimney maintenance will be far less extensive.

Are there any other benefits?

Firemizer is a helpful tool in the battle against climate change; non-catalytic, chemical-free has entirely recycled cardboard packaging. It reduces general air pollutants by 72%, meaning there is a significant reduction in gases emitted by solid fuel fires.

What if I’m still unsure?

Of course, Firemizer’s benefits seem too good to be true, which is why we offer a money-back guarantee – we’re that confident! If you haven’t seen any improvements, simply contact us (regional details found on respective websites). We can offer a replacement Firemizer or a full money-back refund, so there’s really nothing to lose.

 

Pick up a Firemizer today and start burning better fires and saving money this winter.

World Environment Day

The United Nations’ World Environment Day (held on June 5th) is a worldwide call to arms for environmental protection. Started in 1974, it has since gained global recognition and now involves the participation of over 100 countries. Instead of attempting legislative change in defence of the environment, World Environment Day is the ‘people’s day’ and encourages everyone to do something.

2018’s theme is concerned plastic pollution.

The recent ban on microbeads in toiletries and the plastic-bag charge are just some of the ways that the UK is contributing, whilst the US has announced a nationwide plan to reduce plastic straws. Microbeads (found in cosmetics and toothpastes) could slip through treatment plants and cause damage to the UKs rivers and lakes. The UK and US use around 550 million plastic straws a day (and they take 200 years to break down). Alternatives like paper, bamboo and reusable metal straws are available instead.

Collectively, we waste enough plastic every year to circle the earth four times. This means that recyclable and biodegradable products are more important than ever in the battle against plastics. Firemizer and Firebuilder are both completely plastic-free and entirely recycled products in cardboard packaging. Also, Firebuilder is even biodegradable too whilst Firemizer will reduce harmful air pollutants caused by burning fuel by up to 72%.

World Environment Day also has a different host country every year.

2018’s host is India. The country will engage in activities like local community plastic clean-up drives to national forest and beach cleaning. India sets a precedent for the world to follow. It takes the same time for Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya to bowl just one over for four rubbish trucks of plastic to be dumped into the ocean.

Organise a clean-up drive with your local community or simply pledge to cut out plastic straws for good. With everyone pitching in, we can make a significant difference in the fight for our planet’s health.

Earth Day 2018

Earth Day 2018

April 22nd is Earth Day, a day to celebrate the world’s largest environmental movement. Started in 1970, the Earth Day movement has mobilised over 200 million people worldwide since going global 20 years later. Over 1 billion people and 50,000 partners across nearly 195 countries all contribute to the yearly observation of this day. Moreover, it has influenced substantial change in approaches towards climate change and influenced that passing of acts such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

History:

Founded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, he sought to bring about change after witnessing a devastating oil spill in 1969. Done alongside the counter-culture movements and student-led anti-war protest in America, Nelson used this momentum to educated about climate change. Furthermore, after years of mounting success in educating and inspiring the world to confront and change our attitudes towards how we treat the planet, Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995.

A Billion Acts of Green:

In 2010, in the face of opposition from climate change deniers and oil-lobbyists, the Earth Day Network launched its most ambitious scheme yet – to get people across the world to commit 1 billion acts of environmental service. These acts ranged from small, personal commitments like Meat-Free Mondays, into global tree-planting initiatives like The Canopy Project. As it stands, we’ve reached over 2 and a half billion Green Acts, with a new goal of 3 billion. Find out how you can help reach this goal here. Equally, using a Firemizer reduces air pollutants by 72%, and Firebuilder is kerosene-free firebuilder that’s made of entirely recycled cardboard. Using these two products can drastically reduce your carbon footprint and inch us towards those 3 billion Acts of Green.

2018’s Theme

Additionally, the theme for this year Earth Day is ‘end plastic pollution’ – did you know that the UK and US throw away over 550 million plastic straws every day that eventually find their way to our oceans? These cause serious damage to natural ecosystems and tiny micro-particles find their way from our oceans to our tap water. This year, commit yourself to stop using disposable plastics and instead seek out environmentally friendly alternatives. Purchase a re-usable bag for shopping, acquire your own reusable water bottle instead of buying another, and wash-up metal cutlery instead of throwing away plastic knives and forks. End the needless use of disposable plastic products and make your contribution to Earth Day this April!

 

National Pet Month

National Pet Month

It’s National Pet Month! Between April 1st and May 7th, everyone across the country will be appreciating and showing off their fuzzy companions. The purpose of this month is to promote responsible ownership and celebrate the benefits that pets give our lives. Whether it’s working animals like guide dogs or the lazy family cat (who always steals your seat), they’re all appreciated! We know that our pets love the warmth of the fireplace so, in conjunction with this month, we’ve drawn up a list of fireplace safety tips to keep your their paws warm and toasty (but from a safe distance).

Tips:

Keep it closed off. – The first piece of advice is the most obvious; get yourself a fireguard or a baby-gate. Any kind of barrier will stop your inquisitive pet from getting too up-close-and-personal with the fire. This means no burnt paws (or tongues), wagging tails are protected and any spitting embers won’t catch them by surprise. Keep all fireplace tools behind the barrier as an extra precaution, and especially for cats, make sure there are no draping decorations around the fireplace they might want to play with and pull down.

Be mindful of the unseen threats. – The enticing fire isn’t the only immediate danger to your pets; Carbon Monoxide fumes can be just as fatal. Make sure your CO2 alarm is checked regularly and that your fireplace or stove is correctly ventilated to filter out carcinogens. An added Firemizer will even reduce those harmful pollutants by a further 72%. Also, monitor the time your pet has spent next to the fire – don’t allow them to become dehydrated or overheated. This could result in small, sun-burn-like burns (particularly in thicker-coated pets).

Get the right equipment. – Get your pet fire-retardant items to prevent any disasters; non-flammable toys, beds and clothing are just an extra safeguard. Some pet-stores even sell stickers for your windows that alert fire fighters that there’s a furry loved one in the house.

Act responsibly and set an example. – It goes without saying, but refrain from any kind of playtime when the fire is lit. A wagging tail can catch a flame without warning, and bouncing toys or a tossed treat could send a pet right into the mouth of a fire. It’s best to act calmly and responsibly when the fire is on, as you would with a child. This means never leaving them unsupervised and for super-curious younger pets, consider keeping them at distance (in a box or crate).

Follow these steps to ensure you and your pet(s) can safely enjoy each other’s company by the fireside this month.

5 common myths you’ve heard about fireplaces

Fireplaces:

This week’s topic is the alternative solid-fuel heating method for those without space for a log-burner – fireplaces! Fireplace always provide warmth and ambience to any room they’re in whether it’s your lounge, bedroom, or even the garden. They provide a great source of heat, a focal point in any room and with a range of styles both classic and modern to choose from, there’s a hearth out there for everyone. Fireplaces can actually add value to a property as they have become a highly sought feature for first-time buyers. Fireplaces can utilise various different types of solid fuels, ranging from pellets, coal, gas, propane and various types of wood.

The history of the fireplace dates back to prehistoric fire-pits and smoke-canopies in the middle ages. First introduced to Europe in the 11th century, the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Prince Rupert of the Rhine have contributed in shaping the hearth into its current state.

As such a popular home installation, there are many claims and figures out there about fireplace performance. Here are 5 commons myths you might encounter when purchasing or servicing a fireplace.

5 common myths you’ve heard:

  1. Chimneys do not need regular inspections and sweeping. Chimneys must be serviced every year as build-ups of soot and creosote are often the origin of chimney fires. Firemizer reduces the creosote levels by 57%, meaning that chimney inspections will be far less difficult and pricey. However, creosote isn’t the only reason for inspections; debris and nesting animals also affect the structural integrity of your chimney.
  2. Fireplaces are poor sources of heat. Fireplaces can be poor sources if the fire is not maintained properly. Some believe that fireplaces send their heat up the chimney, and wood fires need oxygen to burn. Use a cast-iron fireback to radiate heat back into the room, and opening the flue will dispose of dangerous toxins. Firemizer reduces harmful air pollutants emitted by solid fuels by up to 72%.
  3. Lighter fluid and kerosene will produce a better fire quickly. Though it’s true that it will produce a fire quickly, this will be using harmful and potentially dangerous chemicals. Instead of putting your home at risk, use balls of newspaper or an entirely kerosene-free Firebuilder.
  4. I don’t need to clean my fireplace or chimney more than once a year. How frequently you use your fireplace dictates how often it should be cleaned (ranging from yearly to fortnightly). Always clear ash from the fireplace before starting a new fire (keeping a small bed of ash on the bottom). Firemizer reduces clumps of fuel in your wood, turning your ash into fine powder making clean-up much easier.
  5. It’s ok to leave the fire burning while I’m out or asleep. Absolutely not, fires are unpredictable and there are a number of factors that could contribute to a larger incident. To make sure it’s safely exterminated, throw a cup of water, sand or baking soda on top.

Conclusion:

When properly serviced and maintained, a fireplace makes the perfect addition to any room in the house. Pair your hearth with Firemizer and Firebuilder and get the most out of your solid fuel source saving you time, effort and money.

Earth Hour

Earth Hour

Following on from last week’s commemorative International Day of Forests, this week we celebrate Earth Hour! Hosted by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), the event encourages everyone to show his or her commitment to the planet. It has not fixed date other than it takes place at the end of March – this year it’s March 24th. Between the hours of 8:30 – 9:30pm, from individuals to communities to business, everyone is encouraged to turn off non-essential lights. This is to display a unified message of solidarity, a symbol of commitment in protecting preserving our beautiful planet. It is not an exercise is reducing energy however, but rather a simply gesture that highlights the fight against pollution.

Earth Hour’s History:

The event originated in 2007 when Sydney turned off all the lights of their major landmarks. The following year saw 35 countries join in, and larger companies like Google shut down their websites. Over the succeeding ten years, various TV and Radio stations have joined the cause in going ‘dark’ for the hour. Last year, 187 countries and territories took part, from New York to New Zealand; over 3,100 landmarks turned their lights off, nearly 16,000 Facebook pages donated their feed, and #EarthHour trended in 30 countries.

Do Your Part:

Doing your part is as effortless as turning off lights at home, or as involved as hosting a candlelit dinner! Get your workplace involved and go ‘dark’ for the hour, or turn off your phone, grab a bunch of friends and go enjoy a walk in the park – it’s that easy to take part and spread awareness of the cause.

It is all in the name of showing solidarity and support for the protection of our planet. Firemizer and Firebuilder are both emission-reducing, recyclable products – Firemizer helps reduce your solid fuel consumption and amount of particulates produced by your fire, and Firebuilder is completely kerosene and chemical-free, meaning your fires stay clean and green.

Keep updated over at the Earth Hour blog and post your contributions using the hashtags #EarthHour and #togetherpossible.

International Day of Forests 2018

International Day of Forests 2018

The United Nations proclaim that the International Day of Forests will take place on 21st of March 2018. The purpose of this day is to highlight all the wonderful things that trees and forests provide for our planet, and raise awareness of what we can do to help protect and preserve them. Whether it’s on a local, national or international level, the aim is to participate in projects benefitting our fantastic greenery. This could be a small photo competition, art exhibition showcasing natural imagery, or mass tree-planting across communities; everything helps.

Each year, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests designates a particular theme or area to focus on with regards to sustainability. This year, the theme is Sustainable Cities, placing emphasis on the unprecedented urbanisation of the 21st century and subsequent pollution. With the implementation of inner-city parks and forests, we can reduce the vast levels of carbon emissions and pollution for the some 6 billion people living there.

 

The key messages for the International Day of Forests are simple. They are:

  • Trees store carbon, which helps with the reduction of climate change (particularly in areas of high-pollution like cities).
  • Trees and forests improve the local climate, reducing energy needed for heating by between 20%-50%.
  • The placement of trees within cities reduces air temperature by up to 8°C, further reducing energy used on air-conditioning. Trees also act as air filters, removing harmful particulates and pollutants.
  • They produce fruits, nuts, leaves and insects which are used in food and medicines, providing a source of income. Trees and forests also make for perfect animal habitats, keeping the ecosystem stable and helping to maintain biodiversity.
  • Wood from these urban landscapes can be later purposed as fuel, providing a source of renewable energy. This is important as it takes reliance off the burning and consumption of harmful fossil fuels.
  • Also, forests help to filter and regulate water systems and, by storing water in branches and soil, can prevent flooding.
  • The planting and maintaining of forests generates jobs and tourism within green economies, and encourages active and healthy lifestyles that results in better mental health, more sociability and stronger immunity to disease.

Furthermore, the benefits of increased greenery are continuous, and there are lots of parts we can play in the protection of our trees and forests. Do you bit for the planet – plant a tree in your garden, donate to your local park, or perhaps use sustainable, locally-sourced wood as your main heat source, helping it last up to 38% longer (and reducing harmful particulates by 72%) by purchasing a Firemizer today.

Follow the latest news and information over at the International Day of Forests 2018.

Still to come in 2018

Still to come in 2018! 

Now that it’s 2018, Microtex have lots of exciting things on the horizon for Firemizer and Firebuilder this year. From new offers and campaigns, to new partnerships and products, to more exhibitions and shows – there’s so much going on! 2018 is going to be Firemizer and Firebuilder’s biggest year yet.

New Website:

We saw a completely redesigned Firemizer website (courtesy of M360), so everything is optimised and revamped for the New Year. The new design includes a simpler layout, sleek design and much more content! This means that picking up a Firemizer or Firebuilder for your home has never been as straightforward or enjoyable. Try out the website and leave us your thoughts or your experiences using our products at https://www.firemizer.com/product/firemizer/. By doing this, you’ll automatically be entered in a competition that could win you a free Firemizer and Firebuilder combo!

Exhibitions and Shows:

2018 will be a bigger year for us in shows and exhibitions after such a great success at Grand Designs. We’ll be attending the Dispatch Home & Garden Show in Columbus, OH introducing Firebuilder to the U.S. this month! With the help of our partners over at Ribtec, we’re certain this show will be both educational and exciting. Back in the UK, the Firemizer team will be attending the Countryfile Live! show in August. Hosted at the beautiful Blenheim Castle, we’ll be amongst the best and most innovative products the countryside has to offer. If you’re attending either of the shows and have questions about the products (or just want to see why Firemizer and Firebuilder could be the perfect products for you), swing by and come say hi!

Finally, our partners at OPR have invited us up to Newcastle for some training in social media and website upkeep. These guys are professionals and will really help us get the most out of our online mediums to make sure you get the best content wherever you are and whatever platform you follow us on.

Stay tuned for more exciting developments and news as the year unfolds – this is only the beginning for us!

5 reasons why you should invest in a wood-burner

5 reasons why you should invest in a wood-burner:

Wood-burning is a popular trend that has escalated both in the UK and U.S. over the last decade or so. 1.5 million stoves are already fitted in Britain whilst 2.5 million American homes use wood as their primary heat source. The state of California in particular contributes 218,185 wood-burners to the 116 million total homes in the U.S. The reason for this rise in this popularity can be related to the environment, saving money or simply interior design preferences. Here are 5 reasons why you should invest in a wood-burning fire.

1. Wood is essentially carbon neutral. –

Though wood does release carbon dioxide when combusted, it can still be environmentally conscious. Unlike other fossil fuels, wood can be sustainable if bought from somewhere that ensures the replacement of every tree felled. This means that for every tree chopped down, another is planted, meaning the source can become entirely renewable. Wood-burning fires can however still release harmful pollutants and smoke if the wood hasn’t been dried or seasoned properly. Reduce harmful air pollutants by up to 72% if paired with a Firemizer.

2. They’re more efficient than hearths. –

Modern wood-burning stoves now come with efficiency ratings of somewhere between 80-85% whereas hearth will typically have around 20-25%. This means a wood-burning stove is about three times more efficient. Firemizer helps your fuel burn more slower and evenly, helping maintain this efficiency.

3. They can save you money. –

As the price of gas and electricity continues to rise, many houses are swapping to wood-powered heaters and boilers as a cheaper alternative. Again, locally-sourced wood is not only renewable but can also work out cheaper than your current energy provider. Also, gas or electricity services are often prone to power outages, whereas a well-maintained fire can burn all night. With Firemizer saving you 38% on solid fuel, you can reduce a third of the wood you burn too.

4. Wood-stoves are so versatile. –

Modern advancements haven’t just helped the efficiency of wood-stoves; they’ve also created a huge range to choose from. As long as there’s room to run a vent pipe to the outside, they can be fitted in any room of the house – from lounge to bedroom to kitchen. A Firemizer grid can easily be cut down to fit smaller stoves too.

5. They create a lovely scene. –

There’s no denying that wood-burning stoves have a certain romantic aesthetic to them. The sounds of crackling embers, the smell of firewood, the sight of roaring flames and the warmth they give off. A wood-burning stove or fire makes any room a domestic heaven we so often swoon over in the movies. With Firebuilder, the firelighter-kindling combo tool, starting your dream fire couldn’t be any easier – turning your home into a movie-set!

Contact your local Flue specialist or chimney sweep to get an expert opinion on what type and size of stove would best suit your home, and start reaping the benefits of the wood-burning fire (with a Firemizer and Firebuilder) as soon as possible!

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