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Heating Tips For The Environmentally Conscious

When you think of going green, what comes to mind? Most of us think of ideas like turning off electronics when they aren’t in use, recycling, or lowering water consumption. However, few people realize that it is possible to be more “green” when you are heating your home!Heating Tips For The Environmentally Conscious - Milford CT - The Cozy Flame

Advances in efficiency in the fireplace industry – as well as a better understanding of how to conserve energy and avoid polluting – has made it more possible than ever to keep your home warm and welcoming without hurting the environment. The following four tips can help you heat your home in an environmentally conscious way.

1. Purchase a new high efficiency heating appliance

In recent years, fireplaces, inserts, and stoves have become more efficient than ever; many new appliances can provide the same amount of heat while maximizing the amount of fuel that is burned and minimizing the amount of air pollution created. Because of this, if you have a heating appliance that is more than a few years old, you may want to investigate purchasing a new, high efficiency  model.

Buying a high efficiency stove may also be able to help you on your taxes. Homeowners who purchase a qualifying high efficiency wood stove can receive up to a $300 tax credit as well as enjoy the benefits of a new, more efficient heat source in their home.

2. Burn a renewable fuel source

While propane and gas create extremely efficient heat, they are also non-renewable fuel sources. Instead, consider switching to a heating appliance that burns a biomass fuel, or a fuel source that is derived from a renewable and sustainable source. Examples of renewable biomass fuels include wood, corn, and pellets; pellets are often considered the most “green” fuel source because they are made from small pieces of wood and sawdust that would normally be discarded.

3. Burn wood wisely

If you have a wood burning heating appliance, the firewood you choose and how you burn it can have an impact on your fireplace’s environmental impact. To reduce air pollutants burn only seasoned firewood; green or freshly cut wood can create significantly more smoke – and affect the air quality more – than seasoned wood. Likewise, avoid burning plastics, Styrofoam, paper products, or other trash in your fireplace or stove. While it may seem like an easy way to get rid of garbage, even burning small amounts can release toxic chemicals into the air – as well as cause damage to your fireplace, stove, or chimney.

4. Zone heat your home

Most people use less than 40% of their homes on a daily basis; if you are turning up your thermostat to heat the whole house, you may be spending too much for heating! Instead of heating rooms that no one is in, consider using a fireplace or stove for zone heating. Zone heating allows you to turn down your central thermostat for the entire home while the fireplace heats the rooms that are being used. Zone heating can help reduce energy bills by as much as 20-40%!

By being more environmentally conscious in how we heat our homes, we can reduce pollution and improve air quality – as well as save money! Contact The Cozy Flame today to learn more about our EPA certified high efficiency heating appliances as well as other ways you can “go green” with your fireplace or stove.

Get a $300 Tax Credit for Qualifying Wood Stoves

Did you purchase a new wood stove during 2015? Are you planning on buying one now that 2016 has arrived? If so, you may qualify for a $300 tax credit!

Qualifying purchases of new wood and pellet stoves are now eligible for a $300 tax credit. The tax credit has been extended through December 31st, 2016 and includes all purchases made during 2015 and 2016.

What is the biomass tax credit?

For several years, the US government has offered the biomass tax credit to encourage homeowners to make responsible decisions when purchasing new heating appliances. In this case, homeowners who buy a qualifying high efficiency biomass – meaning burns wood or pellets – stove can qualify for a $300 credit on their federal income taxes.

Does my new stove qualify? Qualifying Wood Stoves Get A $300 Tax Credit - The Cozy Flame - Milford, CT

In order to qualify for the tax credit, new stove purchases must meet certain criteria.

  • A new biomass (wood or pellet) stove purchased during 2015 or 2016. If the stove was purchased in 2014 but not installed until 2015, it will still qualify for the tax credit.

 

  • Must have an EPA certification of operating with at least 75% efficiency.

 

  • Previous sales outside the qualifying dates or stoves that have already been used for an exemption do not qualify a second time.

 

How do I claim it on my tax return?

The biomass tax credit can be claimed by filling out IRS Form 5695. The qualifying credit on the form, which covers residential energy credits, is typically found on line 22A. However, it is extremely important to check to make sure the right credit is applied before filing.

If you fill out your tax forms online or with tax filing software, look for the biomass tax credit under the “Credits” section of the national form; it may be listed under the subcategory for “Home ownership”.

No matter how you file, if you claimed a new stove in year’s past, the credit cannot be applied again.

 

Benefits of biomass stoves

The tax credit isn’t the only reason to choose a biomass stove!

 

  • Green energy. Because biomass stoves use a renewable resource for fuel, they are often considered a green source of energy. Likewise, burning pellets – which are often made of compressed wood scraps and remnants – is a way to be ever more environmentally friendly.

 

  • Efficient. Energy Star and EPA certified biomass stoves are required to operate with at least 75% efficiency. This is much higher than open hearth wood fireplaces.

 

  • Low cost. In addition to being a renewable resource, biomass stoves are have extremely low operating costs. Pellet stoves, for example, have heating costs that are lower than oil, electricity, propane, and kerosene. Wood is even less expensive than pellets; with a little bit of elbow grease and a day spent chopping wood, many homeowners are able to get firewood for the year at little to no out of pocket expense.

If you’re looking for a way to more efficiently heat your home – while also saving money on your taxes – let The Cozy Flame help you find your next biomass stove. Stop by our showroom today and let our expert staff show you some of our high efficiency, tax credit qualifying biomass stoves!

Give Your Fireplace a Facelift

Fireplace Facelifts - Milford CT - The Cozy FlameAs the cold months of winter finally draw to a close, now is the perfect time to think about a makeover for your fireplace. Rather than sitting idle all summer, use the months when your fireplace will not be in use to have a fireplace facelift!

A fireplace facelift is an excellent way to completely makeover not just your fireplace, but your entire living space. Whether you want to take on a complete fireplace overhaul or merely make a few minor changes, below are some reasons why you should consider investing in a fireplace facelift this summer.

Add value to your home

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, buyers are willing to spend as much as $1,400 more for a home with a fireplace. In addition, 46% of buyers stated that looks was the most important aspect of a fireplace; only 31% listed quality as a fireplace’s most important trait.

Because the looks of your fireplace can influence your home’s value, considering updating it with a facelift. A clean, new, and modern fireplace is an excellent way for your fireplace to stop fading into the background and reclaim its spot as the focal point of your living space.

Reflect your personal style

Whether your interior design style is French country, sleek and modern, or vintage chic, your fireplace may not be reflecting that style. Rather than trying to dress up an average or ordinary fireplace with decorations, give your entire fireplace facade a facelift. Fireplace facelifts are completely custom and can be designed to reflect your personal style.

Make big – or small – changes

Deciding to invest in a fireplace facelift doesn’t have to automatically mean breaking the bank on a major remodeling project. Instead, there are a number of small ways that homeowners can update the look and feel of their fireplace without spending a fortune or committing to major construction.

Replacing old, stained, or warped glass fireplace doors is one way to easily update the look of a fireplace. Likewise, more modern glass doors are designed to be more safe and efficient than their older counterparts. Likewise, adding a new mantel is another way to easily update the look of your fireplace without a complete fireplace overhaul. Small changes such as this can refresh not only the look of your fireplace, but of your entire room.

Upgrade with an insert

Homeowners with open hearths may want to consider upgrading to a more efficient insert. Because inserts operate using closed system combustion, very little heat is lost up the chimney. This allows inserts to more efficiently heat your home, often using less fuel and therefore costing less money. Inserts are also available in a wide variety of aesthetic styles and fuel sources – including gas, pellets, and even wood – to fit your family’s needs, style, and budget.

Having a fireplace facelift done over the summer will leave your fireplace refreshed and ready to use again this fall. For more information about how a fireplace facelift can transform the look of your home, stop by the showroom at The Cozy Flame today!

What Are Direct Vent Fireplaces and Direct Vent Gas Inserts?

Fire places add to a home’s comfort. They can make your home more appealing to your family, friends, and future buyers. Unfortunately, traditional fireplaces are often a lot of work. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way! Direct vent fireplaces and gas inserts are the best selling fireplaces today; but what exactly is the difference between these and traditional fireplaces? The major difference is that all of the gasses produced by the fireplace are vented directly outside with a venting system that is specific to the unit. However, there is an array of other benefits that go with direct vent fireplaces and gas inserts.

Hampton H15 Small Direct Vent Stove

Hampton H15 Small Direct Vent Stove

Efficiency- Direct vent technology is about five times more efficient than traditional fireplaces—which is a lot of savings!

Health- When wood burns in a traditional fireplace, carbon monoxide and particulates from the fire are released into the surrounding area. In high concentrations, carbon monoxide is poisonous. Because direct vent fireplaces vent the air from the fire directly outside, no harmful byproducts are released into the building. This makes direct vent technology a much more healthful option in comparison to traditional options.

Those benefits apply to either direct vent fireplaces or direct vent gas inserts; however, there are further benefits to choosing a direct vent gas insert.

Direct Vent Gas Insert Benefits

  • Ease and Convenience- With gas inserts, there is no need to cut, haul, stack, or stock fire wood. There is no need to clean between fires or wait for your fire to die out before going to bed. A simple flip of the switch will generate the heat and ambiance of a fire, and another flip will put an end to the fire.
  • Clean Burning- Although wood burning fireplaces have come a long way in efficiency and emission reduction over the years, gas is still more efficient than wood. As a result, there is less pollution, less clean up, and less wasted energy.
  • Realistic Wood and Fire- You may be wary about gas inserts because of realism. There’s just something about a real fire. Fortunately, getting a gas insert doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the feeling of a traditional fire. Gas inserts have been getting more and more realistic looking and you can enjoy them with the flick of a switch!Aesthetic Variety- Our gas inserts come in a wide variety of style options. Rest assured, no matter what look you’re going for, we probably have a gas insert that will match your needs.

If you are unsure what option is right for your family and need help deciding, our Comfort Consultants are available to answer any questions you may have and help you decide. We want you to walk away with the best fit possible. Just call us at 203-283-4459 or stop by and see us! We’ll be more than happy to help. If you already know what option you prefer, click here to start shopping now!

Transforming Your Old Fireplace

You’ve reached the inevitable point when the charm in your fireplace is waning. Have no fear; there's hope for you yet!

Your fireplace’s charm is waning. There are practical alternatives out there to revamp the look and feel of your fireplace and add functionality to boot.

Have you ever looked at your fireplace and wondered what you could do to spruce it up? You’ve reached the inevitable point when the charm in your fireplace is waning. So what options are available to you then? Do you need to spend thousands of dollars to get a new one just because your old fireplace doesn’t look that appealing anymore?

Replacement isn’t the only solution for your type of dilemma. There are other more practical alternatives out there, one of which is the installation of accessories that not only revamp the look and feel of your fireplace, but also has a lot of added functionality to boot. Luckily, we here at The Cozy Flame decided to make a short checklist to help you in selecting the right accessory for you.

Direct Vent Gas Inserts

These are one of the most popular accessories on the market because of the advantages you would be able to get from this insert. Not only is the Direct Vent Gas Insert efficient, but it assures a clean burn and a secure containment of the combustion byproducts and residues. To sum it up, you are guaranteed both a clean and safe burn and at the same time not compromising its ability to create heat.

Gas Inserts

If you’re looking to change your good old Wood Burning Fireplace into something more convenient for you, like a Gas Burning Fireplace, then having a Gas Insert installed is the answer. This would transform your old fireplace into something completely new in an instant. And not only will it provide you with the convenience and ease that you’ve been looking for, but it also guarantees a safe and clean burn.

Wood Burning Inserts

Having a Wood Burning Insert installed in your old fireplace is the definite go-to for that easy, hassle-free and beautiful transformation that a lot of homeowners are looking for. These inserts are designed to retrofit directly into your old fireplace, thus giving you an entirely new look without the added hassle and cost of a complete rebuild.

These are only some of the many other accessories you can opt to install to help revamp your old fireplace and transform it not only in aesthetics, but also in functionality, without having to sacrifice its main function of course. So go on and select the perfect accessory for you!

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