Hearth Insight
October 2020
2021 NWHPBA Membership Renewal
"This industry can feel really secluded and alone. Maintaining my membership has allowed me to build relationships and really get to know the other members. This has opened doors and encouraged brainstorming to solve industry wide issues as well as internal ones within my business that someone had already been through and knew a great solution for."

-Ryann Blake, Chimney Techniques
It is NWHPBA Membership Renewal Time! 

Your membership allows us to continue to advocate for the health of our industry. While 2020 was full of unprecedented events, we are thankful for our NWHPBA community. With the help of one another, we were able to support each other and share our successes through tough times.

Renewing your membership is easy and we have a lot of options for your convenience!
  • Renew online and pay via card or check
  • If you select pay by check, you will be directly invoiced and can mail us a check
  • Call us directly at NWHPBA and we can renew over the phone with you
  • 253-525-5153 (Due to COVID, if you do not connect with us, please leave a voicemail and Amy, our Executive Director, will return your call within 24-48 hours)

Northwest Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association Member Benefits:
  • Keeps business owners on the top of important ever-changing industry issues, trends, legislation-both regionally and nationally.
  • This year we provided our members with weekly COVID support calls, led by our wonderful Lobbyist Carolyn Logue. We brought in important speakers who assisted in loan applications, unemployment, construction regulations, and more to navigate the day to day changes of COVID-19
  • A full time Legislative Consultant advocating on our industry's behalf.
  • This upcoming year will be critical for our industry. We have joined a Natural Gas Coalition called Partnership for Energy Progress. Your dues help us stay at the forefront of protecting our industry in the NW, from Washington to Montana to Idaho and Alaska.
  • Networking and camaraderie opportunities
  • We are looking forward to resuming in-person events again when we can. We have plans to offer NWHPBA some smaller meetings this year accessible to members who live east of the Cascades!
  • Affiliate annual meetings
  • This year we were proud to offer for the first time a virtual educational webinar as we were unable to host our typical in person Annual Meeting. It went great! We will be looking to add even more opportunities for education virtually through the year, and can't wait to be back in person as well!
  • National Trade Show
  • HPBExpo registration is now open, renew your dues and get your passes today because they come with your membership! We are looking forward to Nashville in March!
  • Affinity Program Benefits
  • These included with your NWHPBA Membership.
  • For more info, click here

We are looking forward to an amazing 2021!
Questions? Contact (253)525-5153 or nwhpba@aminc.org
Member Spotlight:
Warmstone Fireplaces and Design
Livingston, Montana
By Ron Pihl, Tulikivi Distributor
Company Name:

Company Birthdate/Year: 

NWHPBA Member Type:

Number of employees/installers/service techs/sales/sweep:
  • What do you do to separate your business from others? We sell and install Tulikivi Soapstone Masonry Heaters, soapstone countertops and provide design services in addition to standard wood and gas stove offerings.
  • What diversifies your business, product wise? Tulikivi Fireplaces and soapstone countertops.
  • What are customers telling you when they come in the shop? More customers are asking for wood burning products this year and many customers that have been delaying large purchasers are moving a head with their projects.
  • What trends do you see the next year? More of the same – customers are looking for security in uncertain times.

Personal Info:
  • How long have you been in the hearth business? Since 1982.
  • What got you started in hearth business? As a mason, I prepared hearths for clients with wood burning stoves in the early 80’s – this led to researching and getting training on building Masonry Heaters out of brick and stone. In 1991 I became a dealer for the Finnish Company Tulikivi – being a Nordic country the Finns had historical knowledge and experience with masonry heaters, which they prefer to make out of their native soapstone deposits. Soapstone has superior heater retaining properties and is suitable for mass production of their products and easy installations.
  • What has kept you in the hearth business? Customer satisfaction with masonry heaters.
  • Why are you a member of NWHPBA? I enjoy meeting and collaborating with others in the industry and keeping up with regulations and interacting with regulators.
  • Have you attended NWHPBA/HPBA Events? Yes, many times - catching up with old friends, seeing new products and, sick as this may sound, Government Affairs updates.
October is National Fireplace Month
Press Release from HPBA:

Twelve Tips for Preparing Your Fireplace During #NationalFireplaceMonth
Staying Home More This Winter? The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association Helps Make the Most of Your Time By the Fire

ARLINGTON, VA (Sept. 16, 2020) – Temperatures are dropping and leaves are changing. It must be fireplace season. Now through the fall and into the winter, it’s likely we’ll be spending more time around our fireplaces than any year prior.

“The hearth is the heart of our homes, and the fireplace is a symbol of safety in an ever-changing world. It can provide warmth, ambiance and a feeling of security,” said Jack Goldman, President and CEO of Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA). “Especially this year, our fireplace will be a near constant companion as we stay at home more through working remotely, distant learning, binging TV, reading books, celebrating holidays and making new memories.”

October is #NationalFireplaceMonth, the ideal time to ensure your fireplace is in tip-top shape as you prepare for the great indoors over the next several months. HPBA encourages homeowners to have their fireplaces, vents and chimneys inspected each year by a specialist. Contact your local specialty retailer for recommendations. Meantime, consider these tips to make the most of your time by the fire:

Wood fireplace? Be sure to:

  1. Hire a professional chimney sweep to clean out soot and debris from last season.
  2. Check the chimney to ensure the structure is sound. Any cracks? Bricks coming loose? Loose mortar? Grab a ladder if you are able and do a proper inspection.
  3. Does your fireplace have a door? Be sure the gasket sealing the door is properly attached to regulate oxygen.
  4. Before you light that first fire, check that your chimney damper is open.

Gas fireplace? Be sure to:

  1. Check your outside vents to ensure they are free of debris. Otherwise, a buildup of carbon monoxide could occur inside. Also, ensure your vent screens are properly attached to keep the critters out.
  2. Check the glass. Be sure there are no chips or cracks or other signs of distress to prevent CO2 seepage.
  3. Clean the rocks and logs. Dust can build up over spring and summer. It keeps your fireplace beautiful and prevents odd smells when you start the fire.
  4. Clean the blower. Once a month, unplug your blower, brush its dust, then vacuum the residue.

Gas or wood, be sure to:

  1. Check the chimney cap to be sure it’s clear of debris and damage free to keep the outside from coming in.

Electric fireplace? Be sure to:

  1. Keep all combustible materials – pillows, curtains, furniture, etc. – at least three feet away from the unit.
  2. Remove any obstructions to the fresh air intake and hot air discharge vent for easy air flow.

For all fireplaces, be sure to:

  1. Create your favorite playlist of your favorite fireside songs – tunes that help you chill out while you warm up. Consider HPBA’s 2020 “Official Playlist for Fireplace Season.”

About the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)
The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), based in Arlington, Va., is the North American industry association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms and allied associates for all types of barbecue, patio and hearth appliances, fuels and accessories. The association provides professional member services and industry support in education, statistics, government relations, marketing, advertising and consumer education.
# # #
Media Contact: Eric Davis, FLM Harvest, 612-202-9407, eric@flmharvest.com
HPBExpo is moving to Louisville:
June 2021
Mark your calendars: HPBExpo 2021 has been moved to June 23-26th, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. With the current COVID-19 conditions, the March dates for Expo have been postponed and relocated to Louisville. If you have Expo questions, please email nwhpba@aminc.org .
Legislative Update:
Olympia Update
By Carolyn Logue, NWHPBA Lobbyist


The elections are around the corner (November 3) and it is expected to be a wild year. Contemporary wisdom is saying that we may not know the outcome of many elections until the end of November or possibly December – depending on how close the votes are. 

For hearth issues, we haven’t had any significant votes over the past two years which makes it hard to do endorsements. However, as small businesses, we do urge you to look at how legislators have voted on business issues. Here is a link to the Small Business Candidates endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business for Washington and Idaho. This will give you a good look at which candidates support the growth of small business in those two states. Montana and Alaska did not put out a list of endorsed candidates this year.

We expect to see a lot of action on issues such as natural gas and woodstove changes outs this year and next. This will give us a strong “hearth industry” voting record over the next two years.


The Washington State Department of Ecology released its proposed budget requests for the next biennium. So far there is no mention of an increase in woodstove education fees or changes in standards but on a positive note they are asking for $4 million in woodstove changeout fees in the 2021/23 Capital Budget. This is an increase of $2 million that could help consumers and retailers with the recent EPA woodstove standards changes. Getting this extra money could be a heavy lift considering the current budget crisis so we will have to work hard to get this money approved.  It is possible that this request may drive some in the Legislature to tie it to an increase in the woodstove education fee. NWHPBA will be meeting with the Department in a few weeks to discuss.

The state of Montana looks to possibly have a number of Clean Energy or Renewable Energy related bills this session. Senator Jennifer “JP” Pominichowski (D) has requested seven bills be drafted for the 2021 session that related to revising state energy and renewable energy laws. While no drafts are available at this point in time on the public sites, NWHPBA will be watching these bills closely to see what impact they might have on the hearth products industry.


The Spokane Clean Air Authority updated its air quality regulations to bring them in line with changes to federal and state regulations. This includes updates to language surrounding air emissions and updating references to state states. You can read the updates by clicking HERE.


The Washington State Energy Code updates are scheduled to take effect on February 1, 2021 – delayed from the original effective date of July 1, 2020. This additional time has allowed greater scrutiny that usual of what the impact the code changes will be. Of greatest concern to NWHPBA is the impact of the “point system” to establish energy efficiency and reduction of carbon use. With builders needed to maintain a certain number of points, there is worry that they will not utilize natural gas appliances in an attempt to reach their points requirement – because natural gas appliances do not count as much as electric appliances, such as heat pumps. If a builder chooses not to use natural gas on large, residential projects, that might cause significant problems when it comes to the installation of natural gas fireplaces in residential spec projects. With these code updates under scrutiny and significant impacts to the cost of housing predicted, there is more attention being paid by legislators to reports such as THIS ONE that clearly outlines concerns with the new codes in terms of impacts to housing costs and also the fact that the current 50 year life cycle cost review exceeds the life expectancy of most products – even though it states the energy reductions required by state law are on target.

Remember, this energy code update also includes the ban on continuously burning pilot lights for gas fireplaces and sets a standard equivalent to the British Columbia standard for efficiency in heating gas fireplaces. Decorative fireplaces must be labeled as such.

For an interesting opinion editorial by architect on the new energy code’s impact – read HERE.

The Washington State Energy Strategy Committee will be discussing a draft Energy Strategy Proposal on November 6 during that all day meeting. Although the draft has not been released, NWPBA allied groups who serve on the committee say it is being drafted without their input and are concerned about what the report will say when it comes to natural gas strategy. NWHPBA will be listening to this committee meeting and will provide comment if we are able to see the strategy beforehand.

NWHPBA Washington State members will be needed for a show of force during the public hearing scheduled for December 7. It will be virtual. We will provide talking points and specific concerns within the draft beforehand.
We want to hear from you!!!
The NWHPBA Communications Committee publishes the Hearth Insight monthly. If you have a story or article you would like to have shared, please email us to be included in our upcoming editions!!!
Northwest HPBA | Website | Email