The Cozy Flame's Blog

Choosing Gas Stove or Gas Logs

If you are in the middle of a new construction, remodel, or upgrade, consider gas. Gas stoves and log sets are a great option for home fireplaces, each offering their own set of benefits and function.

Gas Is Convenient

When you choose gas, you don’t have to worry about the wood, ashes, and dust associated with wood fireplaces. You also have the benefit of an on/off button or switch. Some models even come with a knob for flame control. No more do you have to fumble around with kindling and matches. No more do you have to stoke a fire with additional accessories or shovel ashes. The convenience of gas fireplace appliances is second to no other.

Gas is Green

Unlike wood fireplaces which release microscopic particle pollution into the air and lose up to 75 percent of their heat, gas products are the most efficient appliances on the market. Gas burns cleanly, meaning less pollution, less residue, and also less necessary maintenance. There are many models of gas fireplaces that don’t require electricity. This means you can even use your gas fireplace during an electrical outage.

Gas Offers Beauty and Versatility

You can give your tired fireplace a facelift with a stove insert or log set. You can transform your living room with a freestanding gas stove. Whether you’re seeking a traditional cast-iron feel or a contemporary, sleek design, there is a gas stove that will do the trick. A fireplace expert from The Cozy Flame can walk you through the process from start to finish. We sell the best of Regency Fireplace Products and Hargrove Gas Logs to offer our customers the very best in gas fireplace products.

Gas Stoves

Gas stoves are convenient and easy to install. They require almost no maintenance other than regular inspections and cleanings, and they can be installed anywhere.
Vent-Free Stoves – Are designed for complete combustion requiring no vent, but have smaller flames, and the logs can’t be rearranged. Since there is no need for ventilation or piping, these can be moved around, which many homeowners prefer. However, they do release some fumes that can aggravate respiratory illnesses.
Direct-Vent Stoves – These stoves are designed to be installed according to manufacturer’s instructions, with one pipe to carry air in, and one to vent it back out. These pipes can be run through wall or floor, so the homeowner has some freedom of location, but they are stationary. The flame is beautiful and the logs can be rearranged just like a real wood fire.

Gas Log Sets

Like stoves, there are vent-free and vented gas log sets. Both can be installed into an existing fireplace to convert from wood to gas, or simply to repurpose an ancient or unsound chimney system. Gas logs are designed to look like real wood, even down to the species of tree. The blue flames of the vent-free logs are not as realistic as some homeowners desire. The vented log sets offer the realistic yellow flame but requires ventilation either by way of a new vent, or the existing chimney.

Part of the planning process is determining chimney soundness. Find out about gas appliances and your masonry chimney here or call The Cozy Flame at 203-283-4459.

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Are Gas Stoves Expensive to Run?

Some of the most popular fireplace products on the market today are gas. They are highly efficient and great for zone heating. Many homeowners enjoy the convenience of a push-button start and a fast turn-off, as opposed to letting a wood fire burn out. Gas stoves are available in beautiful designs that retain the classic look of the traditional wood stove. However, they have fewer emissions, higher efficiency, and versatility in installation and design.

Upfront Costs

Compared with similar products, gas stoves are competitively priced. The installation cost depends on what is required for the product you choose and the space in which it’s installed. Vent free stoves don’t require ventilation access as part of installation. Of course, they’ll still need to be professionally installed, connected with gas line, and tested. Direct-vent stoves require an exterior wall. This is so that a vent can be installed to draw air in and vent it out. This limits where the stove can be located, and adds to the overall cost of installation. However, the benefits of the gas stove make it quite cost-effective.

Gas Stoves and Low Emissions

Gas burns cleaner than any available fuel. Therefore, it produces fewer emissions and in many cases may qualify you for a federal tax credit. It may not amount to much, but it would mean a $300 annual credit.

Gas Stoves are Highly Efficient

Once your gas stove is installed, you are able to control it with a simple switch or remote. The flame lights and turns off at your command, wasting no extra fuel to die down or burn while you’re away. Gas stoves are some of the most efficient home heating products on the market. They burn the fuel almost completely while producing consistent, high heat output. You can compare costs of your gas heat with other appliances in your home using this calculator.

Gas Stoves Cut Costs in Half

Gas stoves cost half as much as an electric heater would to create the same amount of heat. These savings add up annually! Even if your gas stove is just for entertaining and is supplemental to your central air and heat, the savings are substantial. If you live in an area that gets ice storms through the winter, you can run your gas stove to heat your home, saving money that you might have spent running a generator. The only product that maintains high-heat like a gas stove is a wood-burning one. However, burning wood means using a chimney or stovepipe, paying for annual maintenance for the chimney system, and for wood or the equipment to cut your own wood. When you factor in all of the added costs that are often overlooked, the gas stove wins out every time.

Are you looking to add a gas stove to your living space? You can find out all about gas stoves by calling The Cozy Flame today or by visiting our retail location in Milford, CT.

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Tips on Using Your Gas Fireplace This Holiday

Gas Fireplace Holiday Image - Milford CT - The Cozy FlameYou have found your dream fireplace. You chose a gas fireplace and a CSIA certified chimney sweep to bring it together, bring it in, and set it up. A gas fireplace is low maintenance, but it cannot be confused with no maintenance! In order to get the most out of your fireplace this holiday season you should remember to schedule important preventative maintenance appointments such as chimney sweeps and inspections to insure your system is operating at its safest and most efficient.

There are other factors to consider while using your gas fireplace this season to get the most out of your holiday fireplace.

Remember Fire Safety

Your gas fireplace is still an open flame. Although it is contained within a fireplace and may have a glass door, the radiant heat can still be extreme and can cause injury. You should always assume that when the fireplace is lit that all parts of the fireplace are hot and should not be touched. It’s best to practice fire safety habits at all times and make sure they’re understood by house guests visiting for the holidays.

Smelling Gas

If you or your house guests smell gas check the valve on your gas fireplace. If the smell persists you should find the gas shut-off that brings gas to the fireplace. The valve is usually on the wall or near the floor. Follow your instincts. Guests who come for the holidays and aren’t familiar with your gas fireplace may think they smell a gas leak when they’re actually just smelling a gas fireplace.

Read The Manual

If you haven’t already, you should read the User Guide that came with your gas fireplace when it was installed. This booklet will give you all of the information for care and maintenance of your appliance. This is the best way to insure a properly working fireplace this season. The manual is also useful for troubleshooting.

Pay Attention Between Maintenance Appointments

There are many signs that can indicate an issue with your gas fireplace. Damp patches, peeling wallpaper, blistered paint, stains on the ceiling, white stains on the masonry, eroded mortar joints, and crumbling bricks are all signs of condensation in the chimney system. If you’re experiencing something like this in your home you may have an incomplete combustion problem. Call a certified chimney sweep to have your system checked by the experts. It may be an easy fix.

You can have the holiday fireplace of your dreams, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about it this season. Remember to maintain your gas fireplace during the holidays so everyone can enjoy its beauty and warmth.

Learn More About The Efficiency Of Wood Burning Inserts

Wood Burning Efficient Insert Image - Milford CT - The Cozy Flame Nothing beats the look and feel of a real wood burning fire; however, open hearth fireplaces are one of the most inefficient ways to heat your home. Most wood burning fires lose as much as 90% of their heat up the chimney and have efficiency ratings as low as 5-10%. This extremely low efficiency also means that it costs more to heat your home as more wood is needed to create less heat.

If you still want a wood burning fireplace – but hate losing heat and money up the chimney – then a wood burning insert might be right for you. Inserts are extremely efficient and give homeowners the benefits of a real wood burning fire – with the added bonus of better efficiency and lower fuel costs.

The efficiency of wood burning inserts

Inserts are some of the most efficient heating appliances on the market today. In fact, most wood burning inserts operate with as much as 85% efficiency – significantly higher than even the best open hearth fireplace. According to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbeque Association, inserts that are used as a supplemental heat source can help reduce energy bills by as much as 40%.

Inserts maintain this efficiency by using closed system combustion; instead of taking oxygen for the fire from the room, the air needed to keep the fire burning is drawn in from the outside. This unique venting system also eliminates the need for a traditional chimney. This offers homeowners greater flexibility when it comes to fireplace placement in their homes.

Modern inserts are also better for the environment than open hearth fireplaces. The closed system combustion process allows the wood to burn more completely, both reducing particulate emissions and saving you money in fuel costs. All wood burning fireplace inserts are certified by the EPA. In order to earn this certification, inserts must meet minimum standards for the amount of air pollution, including smoke and particulate emissions, they create.

Our favorite inserts

Two of our favorite inserts are the Regency I2400 and the Hampton HI300. Both of these inserts can be installed directly into your existing hearth; this can transform your drafty and inefficient fireplace into an easy to use and maintain home heater.

What about wood stoves?

There is a myth that wood burning stoves are old fashioned and too difficult to use. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Modern wood stoves are safe, efficient heating appliances that can create enough energy to heat some or all of your home.

In addition to being used as a primary heater in your home, stoves can also be used in place of a regular open fireplace. With glass specially formulated to stay clean it is easy to sit back, relax, and enjoy watching the fire burn. Likewise, with doors that easily and securely close you can spend less time worrying about flying sparks and embers and more time enjoying your fire; this safety feature is especially important in homes with small children or pets.

Come see us today!

If you’re interested in upgrading your inefficient open hearth fireplace to a safe, efficient wood burning insert or stove, come visit the showroom at The Cozy Flame today. Our highly trained and knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect wood burning heating appliance for your home and help keep you warm and cozy all winter long!

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How do Old Stoves Compare to Modern EPA Stoves?

Stoves can be an excellent primary or supplementary heating source during the cold months of winter. These appliances may seem old fashioned to some, but now come in a variety of contemporary styles. Likewise, many cabins and homes continue to use old stoves that have lasted for several decades or more.

Napoleon 1100PL EPA Rated Wood Stove - Milford CT - The Cozy Flame

Napoleon 1100PL Leg Model (EPA Certified)

Some homeowners may not see the difference between more modern stoves and their older, well used models. However, despite the fact that they still produce heat and warmth, many old stoves are severely lacking in one area: efficiency.

Modern stoves are certified by the EPA, giving homeowners peace of mind that they have purchased an appliance that has a minimal impact on the environment. While they might seem indistinguishable, like this Napoleon 1100PL model, there are several major differences between old stoves and modern, EPA certified stoves.

What are EPA certifications?

To help improve air quality and minimize pollution, the EPA has created regulatory emission requirements for heating appliances. This includes stoves, fireplaces, and inserts that burn a variety of fuel sources.

Currently, only stoves that burn wood or pellets are required to receive EPA certifications. New versions of these appliances are required to be EPA certified because it is easy to measure the amount of smoke and particulate emissions they create.

Other heating appliances such as fireplaces or outdoor boilers cannot be EPA certified because their emissions are harder to measure. Instead, fireplaces and outdoor boilers can receive EPA qualifications. An EPA qualified appliance has voluntarily met emissions standards set by the EPA. EPA qualified appliances will burn more efficiently than their non-qualified counterparts.

How do I know if my stove is EPA certified?

If your home has an existing wood burning stove, you may be wondering if it is EPA certified. EPA certified wood burning stoves will be labeled with a tag, usually on the back of the stove, which indicates it has met certification standards. The EPA has also compiled a list of certified stoves to allow homeowners who cannot find their appliance’s certification label to check the status of their stove.

Likewise, homeowners should check to see if their stove has received any additional efficiency or safety certifications. Groups such as Underwriters Laboratories will provide certifications to stoves that meet or exceed their safety requirements. Stoves with safety certifications may be more ideal heating appliances for families with small children or pets who may come in contact with the stove.

What are the benefits of an EPA certified stove?

Homeowners that own existing stoves that still function well may not see the benefit in spending the money to upgrade to a newer, EPA certified appliance. The main benefit of upgrading to an EPA certified stove is efficiency. Non-certified stoves can produce as much as 30 grams of smoke per hour, whereas new certified models produce as little as 2 grams. Certified stoves also produce less smoke and particulate emission, improving air quality for you, your family, and your community.

If you are ready to upgrade your old stove to a modern, EPA certified model, contact The Cozy Flame today. Our expert staff will help you find the stove that meets your family’s budget, style, and heating needs.

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Come See Us!

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