The Cozy Flame's Blog

Choose a Wood-Burning Insert

There are many reasons to upgrade your fireplace. You might be new to the property, and would like a new, beautiful fireplace. Maybe your fireplace is damaged, needing a complete fireplace rebuild, or maybe your home has a stove, and you’d rather have the traditional feel of a wood fireplace.

Why Choose the Insert

Higher Efficiency—When you choose a wood-burning insert you increase efficiency by up to 90%! Because they aren’t drafty or open like a traditional fireplace, they still retain the ambiance of one, without the waste.

Lower Labor Cost—You don’t have to pay for an expensive and lengthy fireplace rebuild. A wood-burning insert can be retrofitted into the existing fireplace and connected with your flue liner, as long as it’s appropriately sized.

An Easy Fireplace Face-lift—Wood-burning inserts come in a variety of designs. Since they’re a good choice for a remodel, your fireplace can change the look of an entire room.

Tax Credit—All Regency wood fireplace inserts are EPA certified and qualify for the U.S. Biomass Tax Credit. This is a $300 tax credit!

Regency Wood-Burning Inserts

At The Cozy Flame we sell the best wood-burning inserts on the market. The Regency wood fireplace insert is designed for a range of styles and sizes. Also, they can be installed into an existing stone/brick or factory-built/zero-clearance fireplace. All Regency fireplace inserts are high efficiency—featuring the most premier technologies to meet the highest standards.

Professional Installation

Your experience will only be as good as your installation. Therefore, only a certified chimney sweep should install all of these products in your home. It’s imperative that inserts are professionally installed and that the system is thoroughly inspected to insure that the chimney is in the best working condition to support the new wood burning insert.

The Cozy Flame partners with Total Chimney Care for professional installation of all of our products. With the help of our fireplace experts at The Cozy Flame and the certified chimney sweeps at Total Chimney Care, you can have the fireplace of your dreams today. With a wood-burning insert the fireplace of your dreams can be more efficient, produce more heat, and burn less wood.

You can view our wood-burning insert products here. For beautiful products and professional services, contact The Cozy Flame today. A fireplace expert is standing by.

What is Zone Heating and How can it Save on Energy Bills?

What is Zone Heating and How Can It Save on Energy Bills - Fairfield New Haven CT - Total Chimney CareKeeping your home warm in the winter is a significant expense for most homeowners. However, because many people are not home all day or do not use every area of their home they feel as if they are throwing their money away to keep their whole home warm all winter.

One alternative solution to using your furnace to heat your whole house is zone heating. Zone heating is an excellent way to help you save on energy ills while still keeping you and your family comfortable and warm all winter long.

What is zone heating?

Zone heating “puts the heat where you need it” by warming only certain rooms or areas of a house at a time. While a traditional furnace cycles on and off throughout the day to heat the entire house, a zone heating system heats a few rooms at a time at selected times. This prevents rooms – like bedrooms – from being warmed when no one is using them. With a zone heating system, for example, you could heat your living or family room during the day before switching to the bedrooms at night, ensuring now unoccupied rooms are being unnecessarily warmed.

Benefits of zone heating

The primary benefit of zone heating is energy savings. When you use your furnace to heat your home, it is impossible to control what specific parts of your home are being heated. Because of this, parts of your home are being heated even when no one is using them; this is the same as throwing money away into the furnace.

Zone heating, on the other hand, lets you control which areas of you home are being heated at what times. This allows you to concentrate on only heating areas of your home when you are using them, allowing you to set the thermostat to a lower overall temperature. This can significantly reduce energy costs, especially during the increased rates that often occur in the winter.

Why use gas for zone heating?

While zone heating can be accomplished with a regular furnace, one of the best ways to heat your home in this way is with the use of a supplemental gas heater. There are a number of reasons why gas is the ideal choice for zone heating.

  • Convenience: Using a gas heating appliance is as easy as flipping a switch. This is much easier than the work and upkeep required when using a wood burning fireplace.
  • Dependability: If your home loses power in bad weather, you will not be left in the cold. During power outages, gas heating appliances will continue to work, keeping your family warm and comfortable until power is restored.
  • Economy: Gas is consistently one of the cheapest fuel sources. Likewise, gas appliances require very little regular maintenance, reducing upkeep fees.
  • Efficiency: Modern gas heaters are extremely efficient. This means that the fuel being burned goes directly to heating your home rather than being lost in the combustion process.

Zone heating is an excellent way to heat your home while also saving your family money. For more information on how a gas heating appliance can be used to create zone heating in your home, contact The Cozy Flame  today!

How to Care for Your Gas Fireplace

Gas fireplaces and inserts have grown in popularity in recent years due to their ease of use and maintenance. These heating appliances offer a number of benefits over traditional wood burning fireplaces. First, fires can be started with the simple flip of a switch, as opposed to the work needed to start and maintain a wood fire. Likewise, with gas fireplaces there is no need to chop, haul, season, and store firewood, saving both time and money. Finally, there is no need to sweep and remove ashes from a gas fireplace.

A few simple steps can help to ensure the longevity of your gas fireplace.

A few simple steps can help to ensure the longevity of your gas fireplace.

While there is no day to day cleanup of ashes with gas fireplaces, they still do require annual maintenance to continue performing at optimum levels. By completing these simple maintenance tasks and having an annual inspection, your gas fireplace will last for many years to come.

Cleaning

The exterior glass and metal finish of a gas fireplace can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. Homeowners should avoid using any abrasive or chemical cleaners, however, as these can damage the finish. This cleaning can be easily completed as needed.

The interior of your gas fireplace should also be carefully cleaned one to two times each year. Before cleaning, the gas valve should always be completely turned off. The burner and control compartment can be kept clean merely by brushing and vacuuming them. Because they are fragile, a soft, clean paintbrush should be used to prevent accidental damage. As with the exterior of the fireplace, abrasive chemicals should never be used, and the fireplace should never be cleaned while it is still hot.

Glass and log replacement

While gas fireplace components are made to last, they can sometimes become damaged. This can be the result of long term wear and tear or accidental breakage. The main concern when replacing either the glass or log of a gas fireplace is to make sure that the new parts are certified to be used with your particular unit. Likewise, improper positioning of a gas log can result in poor performance and an excessive buildup of carbon.

Working with a professional fireplace company may be the best way to ensure that the new parts are both licensed for use with your unit and installed correctly.

Vent maintenance

While the venting system of your fireplace will be checked during an annual inspection, homeowners should check their vents one to two additional times each year. This is especially important to do if the fireplace has not been used for a long period of time. The exterior vent should be free from signs of damage or obstruction, and should not have any rust signs or holes. If any damage is present, discontinue use and contact a fireplace company immediately.

Professional inspection

Just like a wood burning fireplace, a gas fireplace should be inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep each year. Doing this ensures that your appliance remains in excellent condition, has not been damaged, and can be used safely for another year.

If you have any questions about caring for your gas fireplace or need to schedule an annual inspection, contact The Cozy Flame today!

Alternative Heating Sources for Emergency Heating Backup

HamptonGCI60LargePelletInsert-MilfordCT-TheCozyFlameWhen the power goes off in the winter, the primary concern for most homeowners is how to stay warm until the power returns. With the devastating power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy still fresh in the mind of area residents, many are looking for alternative heating sources that can be used in the event of severe weather and other natural disasters that may disrupt traditional heating sources.

Appliances such as wood stoves, direct vent appliances, or pellet stoves are an excellent alternative energy source. In addition to being totally “off grid,” these heating sources still work even when the power is down.

Wood stoves 

Wood stoves may seem old fashioned, but these appliances have been modernized to meet the needs of the current consumer market. In addition to coming in a variety of styles and sizes to meet various budgets, wood stoves are considered to be a green, eco-friendly heat source due to their use of renewable materials as fuel and their low EPA-certified emissions.

While shopping for and purchasing firewood may seem like a waste of time and money, wood is a far less expensive fuel source than gas or electricity. As oil prices have risen in the recent years, so have the prices for propane and natural gas. Many homeowners are able to further increase their savings by harvesting, chopping, and storing their own firewood. Finally, as they use wood as their only fuel source, wood stoves are able to continue to heat a home even when the power if out.

Direct vent appliances 

While similar to traditional fireplaces in many ways, direct vent fireplaces differ in a few major ways. First, they do not use air from inside the home as part of the combustion process. Instead, outside air is brought in through the chimney, where smoke and fumes also exit. Because of this, there is virtually no risk of dangerous gasses flowing into the home.

The other major difference in direct vent fireplaces is that they are not connected to any other utilities. With many current models coming equipped with their own blowers, the fireplace’s convective heat can be used even when the power is out.

Pellet stoves 

The popularity of pellet stoves has increased dramatically in recent years. Many homeowners are drawn to them as a wood burning fireplace alternative. They replicate the look and real of a wood burning fire without the hassle of chopping, seasoning, and storing firewood; pellet bags can be easily bought, stacked, and stored in a variety of places. In addition, pellet stoves create very little ash, making them easier to clean maintain. They also burn up to 15% more efficiently than a traditional wood appliance.

Despite their many advantages, pellet stoves do require electricity to run. However, some models are equipped with battery packs that can be used in the event of a power outage. For homes with existing generators or for homeowners looking to purchase and install one, pellet stoves are still a viable heating source for use when the electricity is out.

Options for a Wood-Burning Stove

Knowing your options and their corresponding advantages can help ease the selection process. Call us now.

Knowing your options and their corresponding advantages can help ease the selection process. Call us now.

If you have a room without a fireplace and want to give it the warm, cozy atmosphere that burning wood provides, a wood-burning stove is a great economical and eco-friendly choice to help heat your home. However, these types of stoves are not what they used to be, and it can be overwhelming when you are shopping for a wood-burning stove, with all of the improvements and features available. At The Cozy Flame, we carry both Regency and Napoleon wood-burning stoves, and each brand features stoves with different options so you can find the perfect stove for your house. What are the options for a wood-burning stove? We would like to tell you more about the options of wood-burning stoves, with the help of the article “How to Buy the Right Wood Heat Stove” from Wood Heat Organization, Inc, a non-profit agency dedicated to the responsible use of burning wood to heat homes.

● material

You have two options in the materials used to build your wood-burning stove: cast iron or welded steel. In terms of durability and heating performance, there is not much difference between the two. The differences matter in looks and price. Only cast iron wood stoves feature graceful curves and artistic relief patterns; however, steel stoves are much more less expensive.

● emissions

All wood-burning stoves today emit less pollutants, and many are EPA-certified to be low in emissions. The Cozy Flame carries several models of these EPA-certified, eco-friendly wood stoves, if you are concerned about polluting the air.

● efficiency

Due to the EPA mandatory emission limits, wood-burning stoves are one-third more efficient today than the old box and pot belly stoves in the days past. Using clean burning technology, some wood stoves we carry at the Cozy Flame exceed environmental standards.

● heat output

For wood-burning stoves, heat output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), and the range of heat output for these types of stoves is 25,000 to 80,000. The larger the heat output, the larger the area the stove can heat.

● heat capacity

To make things simple, wood-burning stoves come in three sizes: small, medium, and large. With a firebox volume of less than 2 cubic feet, small stoves can heat a large room or a small camping cabin. Medium stoves have a firebox volume of 2 to 3 cubic feet and will heat a small to medium sized house. Able to heat a larger home as well as a leakier house, large stoves have a firebox volume greater than 3 cubic feet.

● burn time

Burn time actually depends more on wood species and moisture content as well as how much heat is needed during the burn. Medium and large stoves are capable of burning fires overnight; however, since small stoves cannot heat an entire house, they cannot burn a fire overnight.

Contact The Cozy Flame today to talk to our knowledgeable staff about more options for a wood-burning stove. We would be happy to show you our Regency and Napoleon wood-burning stoves and the different options and features they offer.

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