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What Are Direct Vent Fireplaces?

When you’re shopping for a new fireplace you might hear the term “direct-vent”. These fireplaces with no chimney may seem absurd, but they are a fabulous addition to any home. Investing in a fireplace will add value and comfort to your home for years to come. Investing in a direct vent fireplace will mean efficiency and safety to boot.

How Direct Vent Fireplaces Work

In order for a fire to burn, three things are required, oxygen, heat, and fuel. Most gas appliances draw air from the home and then vent the byproducts from the fire by a flue. A direct vent fireplace neither uses air from the house nor requires a flue to vent. Instead, the direct vent fireplace is a closed unit, independent from the house. There is one pipe in which air is drawn into the unit from outdoors, and another pipe where the fire is vented outdoors. This means the unit can be installed anywhere that has access to an outside wall. The only disturbance of the air inside the home is due to blowers pulling the air into the space around the unit to heat it and then push it back into the home.

Advantages of a Direct Vent Fireplace

It’s downright difficult to determine the biggest advantage of a direct vent fireplace. They can install anywhere, so you can have a fireplace in any room, big or small, as long as there is outer wall access. That’s not all, though. There are many reasons to invest in a direct vent fireplace.

Closed Unit – Unlike a traditional open fireplace that can lose up to 75 percent of the heat out the chimney, a closed direct vent fireplace doesn’t lose any heat. In fact, all the heat generated with a direct vent fireplace is used for the home and the unit has precise heat control that allows you to regulate it.

Efficiency – Because it is a closed unit, the direct vent fireplace looks just like a standard fireplace, but works like a stove. Designed to burn natural gas, these units burn the most efficient fuel in the most efficient way possible.

Safety – Direct vent fireplaces need no flue so they don’t have the risk factors that a flue has. There is no creosote buildup in a direct vent fireplace, very little carbon buildup, and no backdraft. These units, when installed correctly by a licensed professional, are safer than many similar products.

Versatile Installation – If you don’t have space on a wall, the direct vent fireplace can be vented through the roof. They also come in big and small models that allow for any space to accommodate a beautiful new fireplace.

Versatile Style – Just as every home has a personality and style, there are many styles of direct vent fireplaces. You can choose a traditional style that complements a traditional and homey décor or a simple and sleek design that complements a contemporary or minimalist home. You can choose a direct vent fireplace because of the price or the size and then have a mantel and hearth designed to your specifications.

Converting to Gas

Installing a direct vent fireplace is a great way to convert an inefficient gas or wood fireplace into a heat machine. You can choose a direct vent gas insert that is retrofitted directly into an existing firebox and insulated properly to prevent heat transfer. The vent is then piped up through an existing chimney, bypassing tired and damaged flues altogether.

Getting Started

You don’t want to do this sort of work on your own or order these appliances online. In fact, showrooms across the country are filled with returns from improperly measured units that arrived, only to be cast aside because it was the wrong size, the wrong setup, or more. When you’re ready to get started, make sure you start and finish with a professional. A certified dealer like The Cozy Flame can have a technician out to your home to measure the space properly, to make sure the unit is the capacity you need and the style that you want. When you trust The Cozy Flame with your home hearth needs, we trust your home with our sister company Total Chimney Care.

Total Chimney Care employs only the best sweeps certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Our team of trusted professionals will arrive at the appointed time, in company uniforms, and treat your home with the respect and courtesy we would our own. When we do a service or installation we protect your flooring and furniture with drop cloths and use high powered vacuuming systems for cleaning to ensure your home stays clean and mess-free every time.

If you’re looking to add a direct vent fireplace to your space, big or small, look no further than The Cozy Flame. We carry Hampton Direct Vent Fireplaces, carefully crafted from cast iron with incredible attention to detail and timeless style. Hampton brings together the classic look of traditional cast iron and the efficiency and technology of the future. Still on the fence about a direct vent fireplace? Regency and Hampton have all the information you need, and our experts can help you choose.

Call or stop by our showroom at 116-Q Research Dr in Milford, Connecticut.

By Steve Sobczak | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

Why You Should Invest in a New Gas Stove or Insert

Are you already tired of your heating bill this winter? The sad news is we have several weeks left of winter and many of us raise our eyebrows at those bills. What if we told you there is a nice way to cut down on costs—you’ll enjoy it AND it’ll bring up the value of your home. When making a change around your house, make sure it’s one that pays. You can invest in a new gas stove or insert and start reaping the benefits right away.

Why Choose Gas

Many homeowners are choosing a new gas fireplace because of the many benefits they offer. When you choose gas it’s truly an investment into the value of your home and your daily life.
Easy to Use – Gas fire units are easy to use and convenient. Gas fires light automatically with an ignition switch or button. The flame and temperature can be controlled by a precise control knob, and feature automatic shut-off. Some models even come with a remote control so not only do you not have to build and light a fire as you would with a wood fireplace, but you can light your gas fireplace without ever leaving your couch or bed.
Affordable Installation – Gas units are affordable for purchase. You may pay more for the specific model you choose, but the labor cost of the installation will be lower than other units because gas stoves and inserts are generally faster and easier to install. They are lighter and many of them don’t require a flue or chimney.
High Efficiency – Your new gas stove or insert will burn more efficiently than a wood or pellet unit. Gas units are designed specifically for one thing—natural gas. While efficiency can vary with other units that burn other fuels, gas units are designed to burn natural gas, which happens to be the cleanest burning fuel source. When installed properly by a certified professional your gas stove or insert will be efficient and safe, adding to the value of your home instead of putting it at risk.
Money-Saving – Your new gas stove or insert will save you money immediately. Install it in a high traffic area, and you can keep that space warmer using zone heating while keeping the thermostat for the rest of the house cooler. This stops you from wasting heat on unused rooms in the house and means you will enjoy the heat and the ambiance of a beautiful fireplace in the room you do use.
Versatility in Style – You don’t have to have the fake-looking fire of yesteryear. Gas fireplaces of today have many features that make them look realistic and beautiful. You can opt for an insert or stove with removable and rearrangeable ceramic logs. The logs are detailed to look realistic, right down to the species of tree! Besides the fire itself, you can choose among many models and styles ranging from contemporary to rustic and everything in between.

A Fireplace for Every Room

When you choose gas fires, you can have a fireplace in every room in the house! Gas stoves and inserts are often smaller than traditional wood-burning fireplaces. Gas stoves are so convenient, affordable, and efficient, that even the hospitality industry has caught on. You can find gas stoves and inserts in hotel rooms, condos, and apartments, as well as second stories of homes, and more. When you choose a vent-free unit, it doesn’t even need a flue to vent the fire, but will still heat your space as much as you need. Just make sure you speak with an expert while you’re designing your space so that we can match you with the best unit, size, and model for your home.

Converting From Wood to Gas

Even if you’ve used a wood-burning fireplace, insert, or stove for years, you can switch to gas and start saving now! An open fireplace can lose up to 75 percent of your home’s heat year-round. That’s not just during winter months that an inefficient fireplace is costing you, but summer too. You can convert an inefficient wood fireplace into a highly efficient heat machine by switching to gas now.

A Comfort Consultant at The Cozy Flame can convert your fireplace without a hitch with a gas insert. An insert is retrofitting into an existing masonry firebox and piped up the chimney if a vent is needed. This utilizes the space already constructed but prevents drafts from coming down the chimney and affecting your fire or your home’s temperature.

Are you interested in converting to gas this season or next? Maybe you don’t have a fireplace at all and want to install one now to enjoy or to raise your property value for a sale or refinance. Whatever your reason, we have what you need to bring it to life. It is our goal to bring quality products and expert services to homeowners in and around Milford, Connecticut. Call a Comfort Consultant today at 203-283-4459 or stop by our showroom today.

By Steve Sobczak | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

Keep Your New Year Warm and Toasty

New Year’s Eve may be over, but the new year has just begun! Make sure your family and home are safe and cozy for 2020 by insuring your fireplace and chimney are properly used and properly maintained.

woman in front of fireplace

What are You Burning?

Whether your fireplace burns gas, pellets, or firewood, it should be used properly, according to manufacturer user regulations and instructions. Fire safety rules should be followed by everyone in the home, and basic maintenance completed regularly to keep the system in property working order.

  • Wood – If you have a wood-burning appliance or fireplace, it should be cleaned of soot and creosote regularly to avoid elevated fire risk. In order to prevent excessive creosote buildup, make sure you only burn properly seasoned firewood in your fireplace. Never burn trash, clothing, or any other materials inside your wood-burning system. These materials can burn incompletely, creating more particulate pollution than necessary and some light materials like paper and leaves can rise up the flue while ignited.
  • Pellets – Pellets are a manufactured product that is made of recycled wood products. These pellets must be purchased and used properly according to your model. You should not burn any wood, trash, clothing, or any other items in your pellet appliance. Only use manufactured pellets and do not attempt to make your own.
  • Gas – Your gas fire appliance should be professionally installed and gas connected by your local gas company. It is important to determine whether your gas fireplace is vented or vent-free and that vented gas logs are properly vented. Do not burn anything in your gas fireplace and keep the logs and fire area clean.

Fire Safety Tips for a Safer Winter

A fireplace is a great addition to your home but can turn disastrous at any moment. Most of America’s residential house fires occur in January and almost all of them can be prevented by proper use and maintenance. In order to prevent other fire accidents such as burns and damage, make sure you follow fire safety rules no matter how often you light your fire.

  • Only burn the proper fuel in your fireplace. Burning other items can contribute to flue obstruction and buildup, raise fire risk, and drop efficiency (which drops safety).
  • Use special long-handled fire tools when stirring your logs, shoveling and disposing of ashes, and cleaning up after your fire.
  • Never leave a fire unattended. Many house fires occur while the family is out or asleep. You cannot control a fire left unattended, so make sure it is properly extinguished before leaving or going to bed.
  • Make sure the damper is open when the fireplace is in use and left open until the fire is completely extinguished.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms on every level of the home. Check these devices monthly and change the batteries twice per year.
  • Set rules for the fireplace and make sure everyone in the home knows them. Do not allow children to work with the fire.
  • Plan two escape routes from the home and practice them as a family. Use these resources to help children understand the importance of fire safety and how valuable time is during a fire emergency.
  • Maintain the chimney system properly by scheduling routine services with a certified professional.

Chimney Sweeps, Inspections, and Installations in Milford, CT

Whether you’re looking to service your existing fire system or hoping to install a new one altogether, look no further than the professionals at Total Chimney Care. Our sister company services all of our customers with the utmost professionalism, experience, and know-how. Total Chimney Care sweeps are CSIA certified and take our quality products and install them with expertise and beauty so that they are long-lasting and properly functioning.

Are you giving yourself a new fireplace for New Year’s? You can find the best of pellet, gas, and wood fire appliances at The Cozy Flame.

By partnering with the industry’s top manufacturers like Regency, Hargrove, and Thermo-Rite, our customers can choose from a broad range of capacities, full types, and styles. Whether your home décor leans toward simple and contemporary or traditional and rustic—or anywhere in between—we can match you with an appliance exactly.

Don’t hesitate to call the professionals when you’re ready to upgrade your hearth. The Cozy Flame is a comprehensive hearth and patio store located in Milford, Connecticut and is a retail company founded by the expert chimney sweep company, Total Chimney Care. Depend on us for all your total chimney care as well as all your hearth, patio, and grilling supplies. Start now and don’t stop with your winter fireplace. At The Cozy Flame, we’ve spent years warming your world, indoors and out. Talk with one of our experts today to plan your summer fire pit, outdoor kitchen, and more. Ask about patio heating and fire accessories and forward schedule all your inspections and service appointments today.

Call The Cozy Flame at 203-283-4459, stop by, or contact us online.

Go Custom for Christmas

The holiday season is the time for your fireplace to shine, but why not also enjoy an outdoor fire this season. When you have guests and family over for holiday gatherings, your house can feel cramped, too warm, and uncomfortable. By installing a custom gas firepit now, you can transform your outdoor space into a holiday oasis for all of your winter festivities. Whether you have a patio, poolside, or garden, there is a custom gas fire pit that will fit your needs and warm your guests. Enjoy eggnog, coffee, wine, or cider by a beautiful fire surrounded by friends and family this winter.

Turn Your Patio Into a Dream Space

Maybe you have a fire pit already, but it burns wood and you’re tired of storing and handling firewood. Maybe you’re tired of the lighting, feeding, and cleaning up after your wood fire. Maybe your guests are tired of breathing in the smoke of a wood fire. Essentially, the best way to eliminate the mess and smoke of a fire pit is to convert to a gas fire pit. When you choose a gas firepit you will experience real ease, convenience, beauty, and the ambiance you look for in a fire.

  • Gas burns cleanly – No more smoke, no ash, no more firewood to store or cut. Your gas firepit burns the most efficient fuel, burns less of it, and still reaches the desired temperature.
  • Gas is convenient – Your gas fire pit is easy to use. Instead of fumbling with fire-building, kindling, and matches, you can have flames at the touch of a button or flip of a switch. The fire is easy to maintain and you’ll have precise control over flame and temperature as well as a hard stop when you’re ready to put it out. Some firepit models even come with remote control for the most convenience of all.
  • Gas is easy to install – Your gas fire pit is easier to install than a fireplace. They are affordable depending on the style and model and are safer because they are factory-built.
  • Gas is safer – Your gas fire pit is incredibly safe for your family and your guests. There are fewer accidental fires and burns associated with outdoor gas firepits than wood. You can also choose a model that stands higher than most wood firepits in order to decrease the likelihood of falls into the fire.
  • Gas firepits are versatile – You can choose a gas firepit that is none other than a firepit or you can choose one that doubles as a tabletop, giving your guests a place to put their food and drinks. Save space by choosing a gas fire build-in that brings light and life to your patio or garden’s edge. A gas firepit can be installed using materials that accentuate your landscape and your home exterior. You can also find models with ceramic logs, stones, and reflective materials.

Staying Warm In Winter

It may not be common for your family to invite guests outside during winter, but who says we have to waist our outdoor spaces during the colder months? That would mean you can’t enjoy your yard, patio, or garden area for half the year. At The Cozy Flame, we make it our priority to help our customers find comfort indoors and outdoors this year. Give yourself the gift of a cozy space outside this Christmas. Stargaze the winter sky with the kids, pray or meditate near to a warm fire, use the barbecue grill to help prepare Christmas or Hanukah dinners. You can do all these things and more with a little outdoor heat source like a gas firepit. Depending on your region and climate, you may need a more specific model of gas fire unit to heat your space. The Comfort Consultants at The Cozy Flame can help you choose a model that will also be a heat machine. We can use reflective materials in your setup to send heat to your guests, and when all else fails, you can look at other sources of patio heating such as wall heaters.

When it comes to keeping your guests comfortable, the science of the fire is just that—science. When your guests have a fire to stand or sit beside, their brain makes their body feel warmer. Other ways to help your guests and yourself to feel more comfortable enjoying your outdoor space this fall and winter is to:

  • Add cushioned seating and blankets
  • Add a basket of blankets, mittens, and hats
  • Put down comfy rugs whether on tile, concrete, or earth
  • Install radiant heat beneath porch decking and even fire-safe furniture (this is an extreme and sometimes expensive option, but is gaining popularity in some extreme climates)

Whether you’re looking to use your patio through fall only, or all winter long, we can help you stay warm and cozy by installing a custom gas firepit from The Cozy Flame. If you’re looking to improve your experience at home and add value to your property, find out how we can help you today. Chat with a Comfort Consultant on our website, call 203-283-4459, or stop by our retail store today

Operating and Troubleshooting Your Gas Fireplace

Many homeowners are choosing gas fireplaces because of the safety, convenience, and low-cost of using gas. They are efficient, are great for zone heating, and are low-maintenance. However, low maintenance doesn’t mean NO maintenance and many consumers experience problems with their gas fireplaces because routine services are neglected. It may be a minor problem that is causing an issue with your gas fire or it may be a major one. Here are our tips to operate and troubleshoot your gas fireplace properly so that you can rest assured it is safe while in use.

The Benefits of Gas Fires

Whether you live in a condo or a 5 bedroom historic colonial, a gas fireplace can add value and style to your home. Many homeowners choose gas as a source of zone heating, to save money on the central heating bill, and to even bypass an old masonry fireplace and chimney. Gas fireplaces may take the form of log sets, inserts, stoves, and factory-made fireplaces. Whether they are a closed unit, vented, or vent-free, they all work the same way. Gas is piped into your home by a local gas company, and this gas fuels the burners that are hidden in your gas logs. The gases produced by your gas fireplace rise up a chimney or move into your home (if your gas fireplace is designed to be vent-free). Gas is the cleanest-burning fuel and offers many benefits besides being great for the environment.

  • Gas is eco-friendly. It produces fewer greenhouse emissions and particulate pollution. This means less harm to the environment.
  • Gas burns cleaner, leaving less soot in the flue than wood fires and producing none of the creosote that organic materials create. This means less maintenance.
  • Gas fits anywhere. You can choose a gas fireplace unit to fit in any space, big or small. The hospitality industry is even moving toward gas for in-room heat and lower utility costs.
  • Gas is convenient with automatic ignition and even remote control in many models. Your fire can be crackling with just the press of a button or turn of a knob. Experience precise temperature control and immediate shut-off as well.
  • Gas is as realistic as ever. Even vent-free units that were once boring blue flames have come to life in recent years with realistic, dancing flames and detailed and moveable ceramic logs.

Drawbacks to Gas

The same things that are often a drawback to gas fires are also the problems that many homeowners experience, not realizing that there may be an easy fix.
Too much moisture in the home
Your wallpaper may be curling, paint buckling, and wood warping. These are all signs of too much moisture in the house. Condensation is a common problem when gas is burned in the hearth because water vapor is a byproduct of a gas fire. The condensation may rise up the chimney, or it may move into the house if you have a vent-free log set.
Quick fix: vent your vent-free fireplace either by a damper or cracking a window. You can also avoid water damage by using a dehumidifier while the fire burns.
Incomplete combustion
Due to the high efficiency of a gas fire, nearly all the heat produced is used for heating the home, leaving very little to rise up the flue, creating a draft. When a draft is not moving through the flue, there is not enough oxygen to sustain the fire, dropping efficiency and creating a carbon monoxide risk.
Quick fix: have the system maintained regularly by a professional for optimum efficiency. Crack a window in another part of the house to allow the fire to draw oxygen from the home and help create a draft.

When to Call a Professional

You cannot always troubleshoot or fix your gas fireplace problems. It is important to contact a fire expert as soon as you notice a problem with your fireplace that isn’t easily resolved. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off despite venting your fire, it’s time to call a professional. You must not risk carbon monoxide exposure. You may not notice symptoms right away, but carbon monoxide poisoning can often be slow or go unnoticed because symptoms are similar to the common cold and seasonal flu.

Your ventilation problem may be due to improper installation. The flue may be the wrong size, the conversion from wood to gas may have been done without a conversion kit and by a professional. There are a million reasons why your gas fire is burning inefficiently or unsafely. Your chimney and fireplace professional knows exactly what to look for and will focus diagnostics on the likely culprit.

Routine Maintenance

It is important to schedule routine services for your gas fireplace even when there is not a problem. Gas services and chimney sweeps and inspections make the safest and most efficient fire systems. These routine services also maintain your manufacturer’s warranty and may be required by your homeowner’s insurance.

Call 203-283-4459 and ask about scheduling a gas service with our sister company Total Chimney Care.

Are you looking to invest in a gas fireplace? We can help. The Cozy Flame carries the best models from the industry’s top brands, including Regency and Hargrove.

Come See Us!

The Cozy Flame | 116 Research Dr. Suite Q, Milford, Connecticut 06460