The Cozy Flame's Blog

What is the Most Efficient Fireplace Fuel

There are several fuels that can heat a home well, some better than others. With industrial advancements in manufacturing, technology, and fire science, every home can have an efficient fireplace no matter what type of fuel it burns. However, one fuel type stands above the rest.

Burning Natural Gas The Most Efficient Fireplace Fuel Image - Milford CT - The Cozy Flame

The most efficient fuel is natural gas, and the most efficient fireplace systems are those that burn natural gas.

  • Gas burns cleanly with little carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and soot
  • Requires less sweeps
  • Is more plentiful than other renewable sources of fuel
  • Is less dependent on electricity, offers the ability to use during a power outage
  • Has a convenient on/off switch and controls
  • Requires less maintenance, repairs, and wear and tear over time
  • Has many models, styles and installation options

When you choose to burn gas, you are releasing less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, less harmful gases in and around your home, and will require less maintenance due to a cleaner burn. Many models of gas fireplaces don’t even require chimney access, but can work together with a vent installed at the time of installation.

Gas Fireplaces at The Cozy Flame

The Cozy Flame wants all of our customers in Milford, Connecticut, and surrounding areas to be safe and warm each winter, but also to save money. The more efficient our customers are, the cleaner the air is in our neighborhoods. We live and work in Milford and our community is important to us. That is why we are happy to offer the best gas fireplace products on the market.

  • Gas Inserts – Both gas inserts and direct vent gas inserts are highly efficient, produce enough heat for adequate room heating, are closed units (not drawing heated air from the room) and are beautiful. You can choose a facing that matches your personality and your home decor, and keep your existing chimney with minor modifications.
  • Gas Stoves – Gas stoves offer all the benefits of a gas fireplace, but they can be installed anywhere that a wall is available to install a vent. These stoves have the classic look of traditional cast iron stoves and look realistic with ceramic logs and beautiful flames.
  • Gas Logs – Log sets are becoming a popular option in recent years because they are inserted directly into an existing firebox. You can choose vented and ventless log sets that are great for zone heating. Log sets come in different sizes according to space, ventilation, and heating needs, and even come in different tree types.

When you choose a gas fireplace, you are choosing the most efficient fuel type for your new fireplace. If you’re not satisfied with the performance of your wood burning fireplace or would like the convenience of gas, it’s not difficult to transition. We can help you decide what type of fireplace will work best for you at The Cozy Flame. Stop in or call today.

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Zone Heating

Many homeowners are utilizing fireplaces for added heat to cut down on utility cost, but older fireplaces actually add to the problem. A traditional, open fireplace loses up to 75 percent of its heated air, up the chimney. During the summer, unless the chimney is sealed tightly with doors or a top sealing damper, conditioned air is lost up the chimney the same way. The best, energy saving option to save on heating costs is to use a wood, pellet, or gas insert for zone heating. They are highly efficient, safe, and easy to install into an existing fireplace.

The best, energy saving option to save on heating costs is to use a wood, pellet, or gas insert for zone heating. They are highly efficient, safe, and easy to install into an existing fireplace.

Revitalize a Tired Fireplace With an Insert

If you think an insert is right for you, call a professional now. A fireplace expert at The Cozy Flame can lead you through the process from start to finish. Space should be measured accurately in order for the insert to fit properly. An insert is a pre-manufactured unit that is retrofitted into the existing firebox. Since the insert is a closed unit and is highly efficient, it uses the heat produced to heat the area, making it perfect for zone heating. If your fireplace is old, worn out, or has been neglected, an insert will revitalize it into an efficient source of heat for your household.

Types of Inserts

Wood Inserts – Wood inserts are a popular option among those who have access to their own wood supply. Wood offers a beautiful flame, stylish design, and transforms a wood fireplace into an efficient heat machine. To get the most out of your wood product, you should burn only properly seasoned wood. Fresh, or ‘green’ wood has a high moisture content and burns poorly and incompletely. This lowers efficiency, creating less heat, and causing you to burn more wood, and need more frequent chimney sweeps.

Pellet Inserts – Pellets are a green option because they burn efficiently, cleanly, and the pellets themselves are made of wood products, cutting down on wood waste. Pellet inserts produce high heat and are convenient because they utilize a pellet hopper that feeds the fire, keeping the flame and temperature consistent. You should only burn pellets in your pellet insert.

Gas Inserts – Gas inserts are the most efficient of the inserts. They offer a beautiful and realistic flame, even featuring realistic ceramic logs that give you the feel of a wood fire. Gas inserts are ideal for zone heating because they have a convenient on/off switch as well as temperature control.

Zone Heating

Zone heating allows a household to utilize central air and heat in areas of high traffic, while keeping temperatures low in other areas of the house, with less use. Using an insert in these rooms means that you can heat it at your convenience while entertaining guests, and save on utilities by utilizing other fuel sources. Your decision to install an insert will be an investment for a more efficient home and future.

The Cozy Flame sells wood, pellet, and gas inserts–all highly efficient, all top-of-the-line products that we are proud to offer. You can visit our show room for demonstrations and talk with an expert about your dream fireplace. We can even set you up with Total Chimney Care, our installation fireplace service sister company.

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How to Choose a Fireplace Insert

Fireplaces are more popular than ever in the housing market and among homeowners who are remodeling or constructing new homes. In today’s fireplace industry the possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to what is available, efficient, and safe.

Fuel Type

The first thing to consider when choosing a fireplace insert is what type of fuel you’d like to burn. Many homeowners prefer the ambiance of a wood fireplace, but today’s technologies allow for beautiful flames with other fuel options. At The Cozy Flame we offer pellet, wood, and gas inserts. They’re all beautiful, efficient, and versatile in design, function, and installation.How to Choose a Fireplace Insert Image - Milford, CT - The Cozy Flame

Location

When you choose an insert you have the option of retro-fitting it into an exiting masonry fireplace, or installing it in another place entirely. If you choose to install your insert in a room or location where there isn’t an existing fireplace you are limited to a direct-vent gas insert, but these inserts are beautiful and highly efficient.

You can choose a wood, pellet, or gas insert and the appliance will be attached to the existing chimney. The chimney should be thoroughly inspected by a certified chimney sweep for safe operation and the chimney liner should be appropriately-sized for the insert and should be rated for use with the fuel that you choose.

Size

When you’re choosing an insert for an existing fireplace, a fireplace expert from The Cozy Flame can walk you through the whole process starting with measuring your space. Any of our models can be appropriately fitted into an existing fireplace. Inserts come in small sizes, useful for zone heating and ambiance, large sizes, and everything in between. The important thing is to size the flue liner appropriately so that it vents properly.

Design

At The Cozy Flame we specialize in hearth design and fireplace aesthetics. Not only do we have an easy-to-find showroom just minutes off the I95 turnpike, but we also have online galleries of all of our best products. View our gas insert designs, our pellet inserts, and our wood-burning inserts. We proudly offer Regency products because of their warranty, customer satisfaction, and flawless designs.

If you’re ready to put together your dream fireplace, The Cozy Flame is ready to help. All of our fireplace experts are familiar with Regency inserts and specialize in hearth design and sales. We let our partners at Total Chimney Care focus on the installation, maintenance, and repairs so that we can focus on helping you find your dream fireplace.

Call 203-283-4459, contact us online, or stop by our show room Tuesday through Saturday 9am-4pm.

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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!

Don’t Get Bent Over a Barrel with Heating Costs

Thermostat with cash $100 bills behind itDuring the cold months of winter, most of us feel as if we are at the mercy of the utilities companies when it comes time to pay the heating bills each month. With volatile prices that fluctuate each month and seem to get worse and worse every year, keeping a home comfortable and warm has become a costly endeavor.

Because of that, some homeowners who are fed up with getting “bent over a barrel” by big oil companies have turned to alternative fuel sources to heat their homes. Some low cost heating solutions include being completely off grid with wood stoves, the affordable and renewable fuel of pellet stoves, and the efficient zone heating from gas inserts.

Go Off-Grid with Wood Stoves 

Wood burning stoves aren’t just for rustic cabins anymore. These heating appliances now come in a variety of styles to fit into homes with both traditional and modern décor. Because of new EPA regulations, new wood stoves are now more efficient than ever and contribute very little – if any – particle pollution into the air.

The major benefit of wood stoves is that they can heat a home using only firewood and run entirely without an additional power source. This allows these wood stoves to be considered “off-grid,” as they require no electricity or gas and can run even during power outages from winter storms.

Go Green with Pellet Stoves 

Pellet stoves have begun rapidly increasing in popularity in recent years. These heating appliances can replicate the look and feel of a wood burning stove without the hassle and mess associated with chopping, hauling, seasoning, and storing firewood. Likewise, pellet stoves can be up to 15% more efficient than their wood burning counterparts.

Pellets are considered by some to be a green energy source because they are made of recycled materials such as sawdust and other small wood pieces that are normally discarded. While pellet stoves do need a small amount of electricity to operate their fans and hoppers, this monthly expense is relatively small, often averaging as little as $8 per month depending on the size of the stove and area it is heating.

Get Efficient Zone Heating from Gas Inserts 

Zone heating is an excellent choice for homeowners who are tired of paying extremely high energy bills in the winter months. Rather than heating the whole house, zone heating allows you to control which rooms are being heated at certain times, creating significant savings by making sure only occupied rooms are receiving heat.

According to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbeque Association, “Studies indicate that zone heating solutions can provide energy savings of 20-40 percent.” Unlike a space heater, which are often clunky eyesores around the house and may pose as fire risks, gas inserts provide both warmth and ambiance to a room. With easy installation and little annual maintenance, they are an excellent option for homeowners looking to boost their monthly energy savings.

If you’re tired of being taken advantage of by the big oil and electricity companies, contact The Cozy Flame today to find out how a new heating appliance can save you money.

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