The Cozy Flame's Blog

Don’t Let Winter Pass You by Without a Hearth

It’s halfway through winter, and there is still plenty of cold weather until spring. You can save money on heating costs for these last few weeks by adding a hearth to your home. Not only will it save you money, but it will add to your property value and transform your room into your dream space.

The Value of a Hearth

Homeowners love fireplaces. Adding a beautiful hearth is a great way to bring up the value of a property for refinancing or selling. It will also enhance your experience of your own home! Relax in the evenings next to a crackling fireplace, and benefit month after month, and year after year.
Save Money—Utilize a fireplace for zone heating and save money on utilities. Lower your thermostat and heat the most-used rooms with a hearth, then watch the electricity bills drop.
Save the Environment—Adding a gas fireplace appliance will burn cleanly and is generally better for the environment than other methods of heating. You can be environmentally-conscious and still enjoy a new hearth.

Your Dream Hearth is Possible

You can choose a new hearth that matches your personality, lifestyle, home décor, and budget. When you start your hearth search with an expert, you can find a product that’s best for you, and have it installed before winter is over!
Fireplaces—Gas fireplaces are a great addition to any home and any room. You can have a gas fireplace in every room of your house, or select rooms, as long as you have access to natural gas. Gas fireplaces are the cleanest-burning fireplaces on the market, and many can be installed anywhere, no matter the amount of space. Vent-free gas log sets don’t even need to be ventilated. They are rated for indoor use and safety, and are an affordable addition to any hearth.
Direct Vent Fireplaces and Stoves—Direct vent appliances are a closed unit that vents through a wall or ceiling. They are safe, affordable, highly efficient, and are available as wood-burning or gas-burning. If you have readily available firewood, a wood-burning direct vent fireplace would be a great option. No need to construct an expensive chimney, no need to remodel the home. Similarly, stoves are freestanding and can be installed anywhere as long as a ventilation system is installed.

Hire a Professional for the Job

You should start your hearth search with a professional. The Cozy Flame sells fireplaces, direct vent fireplaces, wood burning stoves, gas stoves, direct vent stoves, vent free stoves, pellet stoves, electric stoves, wood burning inserts, gas inserts, direct vent gas inserts, gas logs, and a variety of doors, mantels, and fireplace accessories. Our Comfort Consultants are available at our show room at 116-Q Research Drive in Milford, Connecticut. We can get you started on this journey. When it’s time for installation, choose none other than our licensed, insured, and certified sister company, Total Chimney Care. We’ll help you take care of the decision-making, and they’ll take care of the installation!
Call The Cozy Flame at 203-283-4459 today.

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

Be Warm and Cozy (and Save Money) With an Insert

Homeowners love fireplaces! Unfortunately, not every home has one, not every family has the money for a huge remodel, and not everyone has access to wood to burn. There is a solution. You can enjoy a beautiful fire in a safe and stylish fire appliance, and it won’t break the bank (or break your house) to install. In fact, you’ll end up saving money. Turn down the thermostat and enjoy a new direct vent insert.

What is a Direct Vent Insert?

Standard inserts are retro-fitted into an existing firebox. A direct vent insert can be installed anywhere because they don’t need a chimney at all. The term “direct vent” means they are vented to the outdoors through a wall. The unit pulls air from the outside, and vents outside, never using or wasting heated air from the house. In fact, a direct vent insert never affects the inside of the house (except to heat it!). It’s a highly efficient, closed unit, equipped with a blower that pushes the heat into your house even more.

Why Choose a Direct Vent Insert?

  1. Save money – You will start saving money immediately when your direct vent insert is installed. Turn down your thermostat and turn on your fireplace. It doesn’t even use electricity unless you use the blower.
  2. Heat during outages – Your direct vent insert will continue to heat despite a power outage. The blower requires electricity, but the convection heat will continue to provide adequate heat with no electricity whatsoever.
  3. Eco-friendly – Direct vent inserts benefit the environment as much as they do you. They burn natural gas, which is the cleanest fossil fuel. It produces less harmful chemicals into the air, and direct vents are highly efficient without the problems that traditional gas fireplaces have.
  4. Hassle-free – You don’t have to cut, split, or carry firewood to have a beautiful fire. You won’t have to open your fireplace to adjust your logs or feed it, so there will never be soot, smoke, or ash in your house caused by your insert.
  5. Stylish and beautiful – Direct gas inserts come in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes. You can choose an insert that is contemporary or traditional, and everything in between. Choose decorative doors that complement your home décor. There are sizes big and small for all of your spaces and to meet all your needs.

Where to Put Your Insert?

You can have your direct vent insert installed anywhere that a vent can be installed to the outside of the house. If you’re considering a new fire appliance like an insert, contact a professional now. At The Cozy Flame, our Comfort Consultants can help you decide where to install your insert, what size will work best for your needs, and we’ll show you the styles to match your tastes. Our fireplace experts can tell you how to save even more money by using your insert for zone heating. There is no drawback to a direct vent insert. Raise your property value before a sale, save on heating costs, or “go green”—whatever your reasoning, you can’t go wrong with a direct vent insert. Come by The Cozy Flame at 116-Q Research Dr., or call us at 203-283-4459.

Benefits of a Wood-Burning Stove Over a Fireplace

If you’re like most homeowners, you want a fireplace for both ambiance and for heat. What you may not know is that a wood-burning stove can benefit you in the same ways, and do a better job at it!

Wood-Burning Stoves Are Beautiful

Not only do wood-burning stoves now come with beautiful flame-viewing doors, but they also come in a variety of styles from contemporary to rustic/traditional. Once you get to know your new stove and learn to use it properly, you will also have more beautiful flames than with a traditional open fireplace.

Wood-Burning Stoves are More Efficient

You will use less wood to reach the desired temperature when you use a stove. An open fireplace is built to burn a fire, but a wood stove is designed to heat. Catalytic wood stoves are designed to be primary heat sources, and non-catalytic stoves are designed for supplementary heat, but they all heat well. Because the stove burns more efficiently, you can expect less soot and creosote on the flue walls, and less wear and tear on the system as a whole. That means you will need less frequent chimney maintenance.

Wood-Burning Stoves Save You Money

The initial cost of a wood-burning stove is nothing when compared with the money you save. Your stove will burn less wood than an open fireplace, so you will spend less time cutting, hauling, and stacking firewood. If you buy your firewood, you will save money when you burn less. Using a wood stove instead of an open fireplace also saves money in utilities. You’ll use less central heat, and you’ll lose less of the heat out the chimney. Many homeowners who switch from a traditional fireplace to a stove save up to 30 percent on their annual utility costs!

Wood-Burning Stoves Are Versatile

You can choose the shape, size, and style of a wood-burning stove that best suits your home and your personality. When you trust your installation to a professional, it can also be installed anywhere in your home. The Cozy Flame can match you with the best appliance for your space. Our sister company, Total Chimney Care, can install it with all the care and professionalism you’d expect from a company celebrating 20 years of excellent service. Total Chimney Care can install your new stove anywhere (even corners) using refractory materials. These materials protect your walls from heat. They can even install a stove pipe for ventilation.

Visit Us Today

If you aren’t convinced that a stove is right for you, talk to an expert now when you stop by The Cozy Flame. We are located at 116 –Q Research Drive in Milford, Connecticut. If you already have a fireplace, you can get all the benefits of a stove while using your existing firebox. We sell wood, gas, and pellet inserts.

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

Perks of Having a Gas Fireplace

Fireplaces are in! Realtors, property managers, and developers know that homeowners want fireplaces, and none are more popular than the gas fireplace. Gas fireplaces come with a whole host of perks for the homeowner/renter, but they’re also great for the environment.

Gas is Versatile

Once you decide to use gas as your fuel, it’s time to choose the type of gas fireplace that works best for you.

  • Gas inserts are retro-fitted directly into an existing fireplace and are a great way to convert from wood to gas.
  • Direct gas inserts are a closed unit that can be installed anywhere and are vented through wall or ceiling.
  • Gas stoves can be installed anywhere and can be free-standing, vented, or vent-free.
  • Gas logs are growing in popularity, but do not produce as much heat as other gas options. They can be vented or vent-free, and are generally installed in an existing fireplace.

Whether you choose an insert, stove, or log set, gas fire appliances offer many benefits that make the shopping and installation completely worth it. Masonry fireplaces are built to be permanent. Once they’re constructed, it can be difficult and costly to change them. Installing a gas insert is the perfect way to give your tired hearth a facelift. Your gas fireplace can be replaced or moved, and in many models, you can even rearrange the ceramic wood logs to make it more realistic. You may even be able to purchase logs that look like a certain species of tree.

Environmentally Friendly

Gas fireplaces burn cleanly. They produce no ash and only minimal soot. Natural gas is the cleanest fuel, producing less carbon dioxide than all other fuels, and still makes enough heat to be an affective heat source.

User Friendly

Your gas fireplace will be convenient. They are easily installed and convenient to operate. Most modern models light and extinguish with the push of a button or flip of a switch. Many have a remote control and easy flame control so that you can adjust the heat, flame size, and shut it off instantly.

Low-Maintenance

Gas fireplaces are not only easy to operate, but they need almost no maintenance. Dusting your gas fireplace with a dry rag during your regular cleaning routine is enough cleaning between your professional service appointments. Since a gas fire only produces minimal chemical byproducts, you won’t need to schedule as many chimney sweeps as you would for a wood-burning fireplace or appliance. Just make sure that it’s professionally installed, and you shouldn’t have to worry about regular operation between service appointments. Ask your technician when to schedule your first service appointment. It may be that your warranty is only valid if it’s serviced at certain intervals.

Are you still on the fence about choosing gas? Learn more about gas fireplace appliances here and call The Cozy Flame to get started looking for your gas fireplace today. Call 203-283-4459.

Fire Building Tips for Your Wood Burning Insert

Your wood burning insert is the perfect addition to your home. It will make your holidays warmer, your favorite room cozier, and your heating bills less painful. Save money this winter by having the best fire possible in your wood-burning insert.

Burning the Right Wood

It doesn’t matter how well you build your fire, it won’t burn well if it isn’t appropriate for burning. You should only burn properly seasoned firewood in your wood burning insert. Wood that is too wet is called “green” and burns incompletely, producing more pollution, leaving more creosote in the flue, and bringing down the chimney’s efficiency in general.

Lighting the Fire

You should never use ignition fuels like gasoline in your wood-burning insert. It is not designed to withstand that kind of concentrated heat, nor has it been tested for safety for use in that way. The best way to light your fire every time is to keep kindling on hand as well as some small bits of paper or lint to light.

The Top-Down Method

The top-down method may be a new idea in America, but it has been used in Europe for hundreds of years in masonry heaters. It also works in stoves, fireplaces, and inserts and is a more efficient way to build and burn a fire. First, you place your largest pieces of wood on the bottom of the fireplace—ends at front and back. Next, place 4-5 smaller levels of wood on top until that stack fills about ½ the height of the fireplace. The kindling will be on top, and can begin as sticks, and end with wood shavings and crumbled bits of paper. The entire stack should stay below the fireplace opening so that air circulates properly. As the smaller fuel burns, it falls below, igniting the wood on the next level. Building your fire in this way allows for a cleaner, hotter burn that uses less fuel. In addition, the chimney that vents the smoke better than you’ve ever seen.

Keep it Clean

Your wood burning insert works as well as it’s cared for. Professionally instal and regularly service your insert to ensure the safety and efficiency of the system. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend regular chimney maintenance in order to burn a safe and efficient fire this winter. Chimney sweeps keep the flue clear of debris, soot, and creosote. Chimney inspections assess the safety and function of the system so that your fire will be beautiful, warm, and easy on the environment.

The best way to build a fire in your wood burning insert is to consistently use the insert properly. Do not burn trash, clothes, or anything else that is not wood. Keep the doors closed when a fire is burning. Utilize the vents and flue damper to allow air to circulate your fire. While you’re at it, make sure you brush up on fireplace safety and discuss fireplace safety with your family. Find a trusted chimney sweep company for all of your comprehensive chimney needs, and call The Cozy Flame for all of your hearth needs.

Call The Cozy Flame at 203-283-4459 today!

Come See Us!

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