Hand aims FiAir at the heart of the charcoal fire which glows bright orange

FiAir FAQ

Burning Questions

Here are the questions that come up most — along with Frequently Unasked Questions we think you should know about.

If you have a question we missed, please let us know and we’ll do our best to answer it and possibly add it to this list.

 

Does FiAir come with batteries?
Sorry — batteries NOT included. In order to make FiAIr powerful yet small and portable, we chose 3 AAA batteries for the power supply. However, to keep FiAIr affordable, we cannot include batteries.
What kind of batteries should I use?
For best performance and longest life, we recommend a name brand single-use alkaline battery i.e. Energizer, Duracell. These are rated at 1.5 volts each.

Rechargeable Batteries? OK for Wood Fires.
Check the rating and you’ll see rechargeables top out at 1.2 volts. That’s -.3v X 3 batteries = .9 less. Almost 1 full volt less than single-use. You may have success with RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES on wood fires since wood is far less demanding and ignites and spreads much faster than charcoal. We have many reports of people getting great results in their fireplaces and wood stoves. You’ll be going through rechargeables more quickly than single-use batteries, but they’re rechargeable! So, enjoy the savings.

Can I put FiAir's tip directly into the flame?
It is NEVER necessary — or advisable — to place FiAir in DIRECT CONTACT with flames.

FiAir’s tiny, yet powerful motor, fan blades and tapered tip allow you to direct airflow with pinpoint accuracy from a safe distance. That distance may be as little as an inch when kindling a fresh fire — or up to 3-5 feet when stoking a full blaze.

Your hand will feel the heat before FiAir

FiAir is made from ABS Plastic which can withstand temperatures up to 221°F / 105 °C before beginning to melt. So, as long as you don’t put the tip directly INTO FLAMES or keep it too close for too long, FiAir won’t feel the heat. In all our tests and 5+ years of use, FiAir’s tip has never felt more than slightly warm.

If it seems FiAir is not producing enough airflow, it’s probably time to change batteries — or check to make sure you are using name brand alkaline batteries and not rechargeables. If airflow starts out weakly, check to make sure the batteries are installed in the correct orientation.

Can I use Charcoal Lighter Fluid with FiAir on my grill?
You can, but if you must, please use it sparingly.

All a fire really needs to grow is oxygen and FiAir delivers that at the push of a button.

Since petroleum accelerants can be harmful to the environment and leave a nasty taste on your food, you may want to try some other starter alternatives. There are many fine fire starters on the market today that are environmentally safe and don’t mess with the flavor of your food.

But, again, if you do use charcoal lighting fluid, use just enough to get the coals lit and let FiAir do the rest. Using FiAir on lit wood or charcoal is the most eco-friendly and fastest way to get charcoal to cooking temp and wood to full blaze.

Can I also to use FiAir with a charcoal chimney?
Absolutely. In fact, it’s the perfect combo! Chimneys are great for getting charcoal going fast.

Crumble up some newspaper or put a paraffin cube underneath a chimney full of charcoal, light it up & walk away and your chimney will have your coals ready in about 20 minutes. We couldn’t help trying FiAir with a chimney to see if it could make fast even faster. It did. We waited a few minutes to get it going the usual way and then shot some long bursts of FiAir through the holes in the bottom and side of the chimney. Wow — what a difference! Instant activity. Toward the end you can aim straight down the top of the chimney and create some neat fireworks as the temperature climbs.

You should be ready to dump the chimney in about 7.5 minutes if you’re in a real hurry. It’s your show. It isn’t always necessary to rush things when you’re grilling. The nice thing about FiAir, especially when using a chimney, is the flexibility and control you have over your fire. Timing is everything. Sometimes you want to get a fire going fast just for fun. Other times, you’re just not in a hurry, perhaps because the food isn’t ready for the grill or you’re still waiting for everyone to show. Other times (could be just after your guests arrive and are hungry NOW), speed is of the essence. You just got home and the kids are wondering “when do we eat?” FiAir gets the fire ready for cooking when YOU decide.

How you use your chimney depends on how many you’re cooking for. Some people dump a chimney onto the fuel grate and are ready to cook. When you dump the coals, spread them out and put on the grilling grate to heat up. Just aim right down through the grate give them another hit of FiAir to bring the coals up to searing temperature, if that’s what you need. But most people know that a chimney full of burning coals won’t be enough to cook more than a couple of steaks, dogs or burgers. If you’re cooking for a lot of people, the chimney is just the beginning. You need to add more charcoal on top of the burning coals to have enough fuel to cook for everyone. Use FiAir again to catch the new coals and be ready to cook in another 10-15 minutes. You’ll find some videos about using FiAir with a chimney here on our site under Using FiAir/Charcoal Fires

How will heat from the fire affect FiAir?
Not at all, unless you :            

drop it into the fire
keep it too close to the heat for too long

We mentioned this above, but it’s a common question. The entire unit, including the tip, is made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic — a strong, durable production-grade thermoplastic used in many industries for products that require superior hardness, toughness and ability to accept a variety of finishes. Most of the plastic products you handle every day are made from ABS. Technically, ABS has no true melting point, but its glass transition temperature is approximately 221°F or 105 °C.

In practical terms, that means, unless you have a high pain threshold or you’re wearing gloves, your hand will feel the heat first and you’ll reflexively pull your hand away well before the fire becomes hot enough to affect FiAir. If you should happen to melt the tip, we can provide a replacement for a nominal cost. Just contact us at info@fiair.net or 412 687 5700.

Note to Gloved Users: If you wear a glove while using FiAir, you won’t be able to feel the heat on your hand. So, please use special caution to avoid holding it too close to the heat for too long!

How many fires will FiAir feed with each set of batteries?
FiAir should kindle and stoke about 8-10 fires before requiring fresh batteries.

Extensive battery tests say you’ll get about 50 minutes of good use before the batteries become too weak to drive sufficient airflow. Our estimate of 8-10 fires is based on a cumulative total of about 5 minutes of FiAir per fire and at least one overnight rest for the batteries to recover. Batteries work very hard to get so much airflow through such a small device. Your results will vary depending on:

  • how often you use FiAir
  • the type of fuel you’re using (charcoal is more demanding than wood)
  • how long you need to keep the fire going
  • the type and amount of food you’re cooking
  • outside temperature (chemical reactions happen more slowly in cold temperatures)

FiAir is fun and very easy to over use!

It’s kinda like Miles Per Gallon in your car. If you have a heavy foot and peel out from every stop light, your MPG won’t be so good. With FiAir, if you have a heavy thumb and want to keep adding air to the fire just for the fun of it, you’ll get shorter battery life (and use more fuel). So, take the time to learn how YOU need use FiAir for your purposes and adjust accordingly. FiAir is a serious tool meant to add ease and enjoyment to the task of fire making. So Enjoy!

What is the most common problem people have with FiAir?
FiAir is a simple, low-tech device.

Almost all problems are related to Batteries.

People will say “it’s not very powerful,” “there’s not much airflow,” “not enough air.”
As much as people are certain they put the batteries in the proper orientation, installing batteries incorrectly is the single most common reason for poor airflow. 

  • If you install all 3 batteries backwards, the fan will run enthusiastically in the wrong direction (which is useless).
  • If you install 1 or 2 batteries in the wrong direction the fan motor will run extremely weakly or won’t run at all (also useless).

Simple tip: always make sure the FLAT END of the battery goes AGAINST THE SPRING — can’t go wrong! The second most common problem is using underpowered batteries. These would include batteries from the junk drawer that “probably still have some power left” and using Rechargeable Batteries with charcoal. Rechargeables MAY work well with wood fires.

Do you ship to both U.S. and international addresses?
Yes. In fact, FiAir has shipped to users in 54 Countries. Please see next question for details…
When can I expect my package once it ships?
Once your order ships, you will receive a Shipping Alert email with a Tracking Number

If you place an order within the Continental US, you can expect the following shipping timelines: Continental US Street – Standard USPS Shipping (3 – 5 business days) Continental US PO Box – Standard USPS Shipping (3 – 5 business days)

If you are a resident of the United States but located outside of the Continental US, you can expect the following delivery times: Alaska and Hawaii – Standard USPS Shipping (3 – 7 business days) US Protectorates – Standard USPS Shipping (4 – 8 business days) APO/FPO – Standard USPS Shipping (18 – 32 business days)

If you are a resident of Canada, you can expect the following delivery times: Canada · Standard · (5 – 10 business days)

If you reside outside of the United States and Canada, you can expect the following delivery times: Europe – Standard International Shipping (10 – 20 business days) Asia – Standard International Shipping  (10 – 16 business days) Outside US, Eur., CA, Asia – Standard International Shipping  (10 – 25 business days)

Is FiAir covered by any kind of warranty?
Absolutely

Our Limited Warranty guarantees FiAir to be free from all defects in material and workmanship in normal use for one (1) year from date of purchase by the end-user.

Save your original sales receipt as proof of purchase to validate the start of the warranty period.