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How to Use Wood Ashes in the Garden

Now that winter is over, and we’re on our way to summer. You need to have your fireplace cleaned and closed out for the season, and move your extra firewood outside. You also should clean the fireplace of ashes and debris for the summer—but, what do you do with all the ashes?

Properly Removing and Storing Ashes

You should use a long-handled shovel to remove ashes from the fireplace whether it is hot or not. It’s best to keep ashes from getting into your hair, clothes, and skin. Many professionals recommend wearing a mask when removing ashes or working with ashes for household projects. We want our customers to keep the fireplace clean, maintain it properly, and put the ashes to good use, but doing it safely! Your ash bin should be kept away from your home to prevent accidental fire during burn season. A metal container with a lid is the best, and it will also keep your ashes dry so that you can put them to use!

Ashes in the Garden

Did you know you can use your ashes in landscaping? Whether it’s a vegetable garden, herb garden, flower garden, or your grass, ashes deter certain insects and tiny critters from damaging your plants. Ashes also become a nuisance and change the pH level in your soil. Green thumbs swear that ashes in the soil beneath tomato plants produce plumper, juicier tomatoes. Ashes contain calcium, potassium, and many minerals that promote plant health. Adding them to your soil will change the soil rapidly, so you want to add it sparingly. You also should test your soil before attempting to change it. You can usually find free soil testing through a local university.

Do not use ashes around acid-loving plants such as blueberries, rhododendrons, azaleas, and holly. You can add up to 20 pounds of ashes to soil with a pH level of 6 to 6.5, and it is easy to do. Choose a day that isn’t windy, and mix the ashes into the soil. Do not leave ashes on top of already-growing plants. A little rinse with a water sprinkler should do the trick.

You can use ashes around the perimeter of your garden if you don’t want to mix it into the soil, and this will actually repel slugs. This will only work until it is rinsed away by rain or sprinkler water.

Other Ways to Use Ash

Many homeowners use ashes to clean around the house. Mixing ashes with a little bit of water can shine silver, clean glass, and lift gummy grease from stovetops. It’s best to use gloves when working with ashes to avoid burns and skin irritation. You can also sprinkle ashes onto oil spills in the garage and sweep it up as if it were never there. Dusting a little into your dog’s fur will neutralize nasty odors, and it also helps to deter ticks and mites.

Do you have an ash problem? Perhaps an ash dump that hasn’t been emptied in some time? Maybe you are tired of ashes altogether! The Cozy Flame can help, whether arranging a cleaning or exchanging your wood fireplace for gas. Call a Comfort Consultant at 203-283-4459 today!

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

End-of-year Savings on Wood Stoves

At The Cozy Flame, our goal is warming your world, indoors and out. In the summer when many homeowners are moving outdoors for entertainment and recreation, we move indoors, installing heat units that will work for you winter after winter for years to come. One of our customer favorites is the wood stove. They are beautiful, fit any space, and economical. We sell wood stove units that are more efficient than ever and designed and manufactured by the top brands in the industry.

stack of circular dry wood peices

Why Choose Wood?

Wood stoves are no longer the inefficient stove tops of generations before. While there are many rustic-looking models, the technology powering these new wood stoves is far from rustic. You can have all the wonder of a traditional wood fire and all the convenience of a high-efficiency appliance.

  • Wood burns with a natural yellow flame that crackles and dances, offering the ambiance homeowners desire.
  • It has a high heat-output compared to other fire appliances.
  • Wood is eco-friendly, renewable, and maybe in your own backyard.
  • Wood is economical, easy to harvest, and can be bought locally.
  • Preparing the wood for burning is good physical activity.
  • Wood fires burn whether or not the home has gas or electricity and are ideal for use during an outage.
  • Wood stoves come in all shapes and sizes and can match your style and décor perfectly.

Types of Wood Stoves for the Home

Depending on your need, you may opt for a catalytic or non-catalytic
wood stove. A catalytic wood stove is necessary if your wood stove will be the primary heat source. Catalytic stoves are more efficient and have the cleanest burn. With this type of technology, the wood burns slowly without smoldering, allowing the wood to burn for many hours while producing a consistent temperature to help heat the home.

If you depend on your central heating unit to heat your home, you may only want a wood stove for the looks and ambiance of a wood fire. Perhaps you enjoy relaxing by a fire on cool evenings through the fall and using it as a backdrop for holiday festivities in the winter. If the fire will be supplementary heat for your home, you can choose a non-catalytic wood stove. They are more affordable, require less maintenance, and come in the same styles and sizes as catalytic stoves.

End-Of-Year Savings

Spring is a great time to add a new fire unit to your home. At The Cozy Flame, we offer savings to celebrate the end of burn season, and you can benefit. We sell wood stoves with and without blowers, and now through June 30 all of our woodstoves will come with a free blower attachment valued up to $400. That means your new wood stove, whether you choose a catalytic or non-catalytic stove, can benefit you more. Your new stove can be a heat machine. Just start with a Comfort Consultant at The Cozy Flame and find out the best wood stove for you. Call us at 203-283-4459.

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

We Also Offer Expert Services and Installations

It is officially off-season for chimney and fireplace. Homeowners are taking a break from hauling firewood and lighting stoves and fireplaces. Chimney professionals have a break from emergency calls and end-of-season maintenance. Now is the time that we get busy with installations, repairs, and routine service calls. Our customers trust us with their chimney systems year-round, and now is the perfect time to prepare your system for burn season with our expert services and professional installations.

The Cozy Flame and Total Chimney Care

We strive to offer our customers in Milford, Connecticut with the best care and brands in the industry. For fireplace and chimney services and installations, we look to our sister company, Total Chimney Care. Total Chimney Care employs CSIA certified chimney sweeps with extensive experience and training in the classroom and the field.

Comprehensive Chimney Care

If you reside in or around Milford, you can count on us for your chimney care. With over 20 years of expert service in the area, we are proud to offer preventative care, repairs, installations, and upgrades.

  • Preventative Care – We agree with the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The safest and most efficient chimney systems are those that are swept regularly and inspected annually. We offer services year-round and allow advanced scheduling for routine services. A chimney sweep keeps the air flowing properly and clear of dangerous creosote buildup. A chimney inspection allows the chimney expert to assess the entire system—interior and exterior. It gives us the chance to catch issues before damage or injury occur.
  • Repairs – Whether your chimney needs masonry repairs or other repairs, we can get the work done right now. Total Chimney Care dispatches expert masons to get your masonry work done promptly and correctly. We also reline chimneys, replace parts, and make minor repairs to prevent major damage.
  • Installations – Only an expert should install fire units, chimneys, parts, and flashing. Hiring an amateur to install components to the chimney system can be a devastating decision resulting in accidental fires, damage, and costing you more money in repairs down the road.
  • Upgrades – If your home has an old, inefficient, or outdated fireplace, we can give it a face-lift and save you money in the process! Whether your firebox needs a repair, a rebuild, or a replacement, we can help. Total Chimney Care installs chimney inserts, gas log sets, stoves, and more. We can replace your old hearth with a new one that matches your home and personality perfectly. Check out our showroom at The Cozy Flame to find the contemporary, traditional, sleek, and rustic models on the market.

Call The Cozy Flame

Before you close out and forget about your fireplace and chimney, it’s time to call the professionals. Call on The Cozy Flame and Total Chimney Care, and rest assured that your system is ready for fires again this fall. Call us at 203-283-4459!

What Fireplace is Right For Me?

Are you using the spring and summer to plan a new fireplace system for your home? Many homeowners use the off-season to upgrade, update, and repair their fireplace. Maybe you’d like to use the spring and summer to find and install your dream fireplace? If so, we can help. At The Cozy Flame, we have the best products and manufacturers on the market. We also have a team of experts who can can’t wait to help you pick the best appliance for your space and personality.

Types of Fuel

Before committing to a style or type of fire appliance, it’s important to choose the fuel type that works best for you. The fuel type you choose will continue to be your fuel source for the life of your system unless you decide to change it. Choose wisely, because your fuel may determine efficiency, carbon footprint, and ease of use.

  • Gas Fires – Growing in popularity, the gas fire is quite common among homeowners. Gas fireplaces can be installed anywhere, with very little space. Some can even be installed in places with no ventilation. Gas fires burn with most efficiently and is also the most convenience. A gas fireplace often has a remote control, instant ignition, precise temperature control, and emergency shut off.
  • Pellet Fires – With the convenience of a gas appliance, but pellet fires come with beautiful, natural flame of wood. Pellet stove is the best of both worlds. These units feature a hopper which feeds the fire at a steady rate keeping a consistent temperature. They also have an instant ignition with a burner at the base of the firebox. Pellets are eco-friendly, as they are made from recycled wood waste, to burn cleanly and affordably.
  • Wood Fires – Wood fires produce the most heat, can be fueled by specific types of wood that you may prefer and can be fueled by a supply of wood that you have on hand. They create the most beautiful flame, with the look, sound, and feel that every homeowner wants. Wood creates creosote as it burns, however, more than pellets, and will require more maintenance to maintain safety and efficiency.

The Type of Fireplace

Once you pick a fuel for your fire, you can select the best fireplace for your home. There are plenty of options. We offer direct inserts, which can be installed anywhere and has the look of a fireplace. We also have stoves, which can also be installed anywhere and is freestanding. They also come in a standard fireplace insert, which can be installed directly into an existing firebox. We also have gas logs that can be installed into the firebox.

No matter what you desire, we have the means to make it happen. Check out our showroom to see some of the appliances in action. Drop by 116-Q Research Dr. in Milford, Connecticut, or call to schedule a consultation at 203-283-4459. At The Cozy Flame, we have everything you need for your new dream hearth.

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

Close Your Fireplace for the Season

Spring is the time that many homeowners tend to stop using the fireplace. By spring, it’s often warm enough so we do not have to mess with the fireplace and chimney. However, this does not mean we should neglect the essential maintenance of closing out the system properly for the season. What should you do to close out your fireplace? At The Cozy Flame, we know exactly goes into the process of properly closing out your fireplace for season. We are here to help you learn all about it!

Clean It

gas fireplace Your chimney needs to be cleaned after a season of regular use. With each fire you burn inside your fireplace, creosote and soot are produced and deposited on the interior. These materials can corrode the liner and the masonry, and it can clog your chimney and cause foul odors. Cleaning the system yourself can lead to respiratory issues and a mess in your home. Only a professional has the proper equipment to clean your fireplace and chimney system properly, while keeping your home clean and safe. Another benefit of hiring a certified chimney sweep is that we also can inspect your chimney for damages or issues.

Inspect It

Many chimney sweep companies include a standard level one inspection during a routine sweep. You should talk to the chimney sweep company about what is included in your service appointment, as only an expert can determine what kind of inspection to schedule. If your chimney has worked well all season, you’ll only need a level one inspection. When your chimney system is inspected by a professional, you can rest assured your system is safe and efficient for fall.

Close It

Once your system is cleaned and inspected, it’s time to close it out for the season. If you have glass doors on your fireplace, you can close these tightly for the off-season to prevent drafts and loss of conditioned air. However, if there are no fireplace doors, closing the damper can also prevent drafts and keep animals out of the house. If your fireplace is a gas fireplace, stove, or insert, you can close it out by shutting off the pilot light and the gas valve.

If you reside in or around Milford, Connecticut and own a home or business with a fireplace, now is the time to schedule your end-of-season services. At The Cozy Flame, we have great Spring Discounts on routine services such as inspections and sweeps for gas, pellet, and wood fire units. Find out how our services and discounts can benefit you today. Contact a Cozy Flame fireplace expert today at 203-283-4459!

Come See Us!

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