5 Ways to Refresh Your Fireplace Mantel

Just because the holidays are over, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your fireplace mantel a beautiful focal point. Here are some tips that you can use year-round to create gorgeous displays that complement your style and show off your passions.

 

Hang Up a Mirror

Hanging a mirror over your mantel offers an elegant touch and adds symmetry to the room. Additionally, depending on the amount of windows in the room, mirrors help bounce natural light throughout the room.

 

Showcase Art or Photos

Display your favorite pieces of art or figurines on your mantel. You can even place photographs of loved ones for guests to see every time they visit.

 

Bouquet of Flowers

Typically, it is not advised to have plants or flowers above your fireplace, but when the fireplace is not in use, the mantel is perfectly safe for your flora babies. Placing a vase of fresh, or artificial, flowers adds a natural element to your living space. Plus, it allows for more color in the decor.

 

Display Fragile Collections

Want to show off your newly acquired China or antique dishes passed onto you by a relative? Now you can by using small plate stands or easels to display your favorite fragile dish collection on your fireplace mantel.

 

Lights

For a fresh mantel, place candles or even sconces on the wall above mantel. This brightens up the room and draws more attention to your hearth.

 

At The Energy House, our professionals can match you with the perfect fireplace for your home. Contact us today for more details!

Outdoor Fireplace Benefits

A backyard patio or deck is a great place for an outdoor fireplace or fire table! If you are thinking of having a wood burning or gas fireplace added to your California home, here are some of the top benefits of an outdoor fireplace.

 

Added ambiance- Sitting by the fire and cozying up with a loved one can be romantic. Listening to the natural sound of crackling wood logs burning can also be relaxing.

 

Outdoor entertainment – An outdoor fireplace is a great way to enhance your outdoor living area and spend time with friends and family.

 

Cook outdoors – If you like to host cookouts and barbeques with friends, an outdoor fireplace or fire table is a great addition to your backyard. It’s also great to toast marshmallows with the kids.

 

Stay warm on cool nights or during winter – You can extend your spring, fall, and even winter entertaining seasons by staying warm on those chilly evenings with your outdoor fireplace. Many models of wood burning and gas fireplaces offer brick and stainless steel features built to withstand the elements when not in use.

 

Safety tips

Do not leave fires unattended, make sure you watch it go out. Keep small children supervised near the fire.

It is very important to clean out any ash and soot left inside the fireplace because it restores the beauty of your hearth.  After cleaning out the ash, close the damper. Doing this prevents any remnant ash and soot in the fireplace from blowing out during a breeze.

If you own a direct vent fireplace with a glass panel, you should regularly clean the glass. First, remove the glass, then use the manufacturer’s suggested cleaner. For gas fireplace owners with glass doors, the same is recommended; use a soft cloth and the cleaner suggested by the manufacturer. Do not use any cleaning products that contain ammonia!

Energy House has the perfect outdoor wood or gas fireplace to complement your outdoor living area. We offer beautifully designed models that are easy to install and built to last. Contact us today for more information!

Preparing your Fireplace for Spring Season

Before planning to spend warm days outdoors, it is important for homeowners to prepare their fireplaces for the season change. The Energy House can recommend the proper fireplace maintenance to welcome the Spring Season, which will save you time and money, as well as help keep your family safe. The type of fireplace you own, either wood burning or gas, will determine what needs to be done to prepare for Spring.

 

Wood Burning Fireplace

Clean Up Ash- It is very important to clean out any ash and soot left inside the fireplace because it keeps the air quality fresh, and it restores the beauty of your hearth.  After cleaning out the ash, close the damper. Doing this reduces air from entering your home and prevents any remnant ash and soot in the fireplace from blowing in during a breeze.

 

Close the Damper- Typically, the fireplace is not in use during warmer months and there is no need for the damper to remain open. Closing the damper will help prevent drafts, water leakage during rainy days, and will keep out animals, such as birds, squirrels and raccoons. This also helps save on energy costs, by preventing any air-conditioned air from leaking out of the house during the summer months.

 

Schedule a Chimney Cleaning and/or Fireplace Inspection – Many homeowners are unaware that the best time to schedule a chimney cleaning is in Spring. It is typically more convenient because there are less appointments for the professionals during this season.  Having your chimney cleaned reduces the amount of soot and creosote buildup in the flue. When one of our professionals visits your home for an inspection, he will check the chimney and flue for cracks or leaks, as well as check that the damper and chimney cap are working properly.

 

Gas Fireplace

Clean the Glass Panel- If you own a direct vent fireplace with a glass panel, you should regularly clean the glass. First, remove the glass, then use the manufacturer’s suggested cleaner. For gas fireplace owners with glass doors, the same is recommended; use a soft cloth and the cleaner suggested by the manufacturer. Do not use any cleaning products that contain ammonia!

Brush off Soot – For any soot that has remained on your logs or the inside of your fireplace, you can use a dry paint brush to clean it off.

 

Schedule a Gas Fireplace Inspection- One of our professionals will take a look at the burner and other components of the unit.  Regular maintenance can increase  the lifespan of your gas fireplace and reduce the amount of money spent on repairs.

 

Turn off Pilot Light- For gas fireplaces with a standing pilot, you can turn it off during Spring and Summer. Turning off the pilot can save you money in utilities. If you do not feel comfortable or know how to turn off your pilot light, one of our professionals can do it for you during your appointment.

 

Choose Energy House for all of your fireplace maintenance needs and repairs.  Our experts can help keep your fireplace operating effectively throughout the year.  Contact us today for more information!

 

Benefits Of A Recessed Electric Fireplace

Are you looking for a way to add modernity and appeal to your home? Maybe you should consider the advantages of a modern electric recessed fireplace. This take on home-warming is a visually appealing and maintenance-free addition to your home.

 

New Technology

Modern electric fireplaces are a great way to warm up the home. These newer electric fireplaces feature a large number of innovations and style selections which make them better than earlier models. Today’s electric fireplaces are built with ambiance in mind and feature technology to resemble traditional wood-burning or gas fireplaces.

 

Focal Point of the Room

Recessed fireplaces are the centers of attention in the home and a topic of conversation in the room. Among the many benefits of a recessed fireplace is its location versatility. It can be mounted on any wall and can complement the décor of any room.

 

Low Maintenance

They are low maintenance and smoke-free, getting rid of the hassles of having a wood-burning fireplace.. Also, they do not require the use of a chimney. Recessed fireplaces also have the power of central control. You can conveniently turn them on with a touch of a button on a remote.

 

Easy to Install

The electric recessed fireplace fits flush within the wall giving your home a clean, modern look. While traditional fireplaces can be expensive to install and maintain, electric fireplaces can be purchased as stand-alone pieces that are easily installed.

 

Style for Every Home

Purchasing a recessed electric fireplace does not mean that you are compromising on style. In fact, it is the opposite! Electric fireplaces open more opportunities for different styles within your home. There are a number of great selections of recessed fireplaces that provide comfort and warmth to any space. Modern recessed fireplaces come in a variety of styles, making it easy to find the perfect electric fireplace to match any homeowner’s taste. You have the ability to choose from six surround options to compliment your décor, including granite, limestone, and stainless steel.

At The Energy House, our professionals can match you with the perfect electric fireplace for your home. Check out our selection of Electric Fireplaces or contact us today for more details. The Energy House has installed over 100,000 fireplaces in the Bay Area and is one of the most trusted fireplace companies in Northern California.

 

How to Clean the Glass on Your Gas Fireplace

Did you know you that you should clean the glass of your gas fireplace at least twice a year? You will have an optimal performing gas fireplace by routinely cleaning the glass doors or window. This will ensure that your fireplace lasts for many years. You may notice a white-grey buildup or a film on the glass, but do not worry.

 

During the first 10 hours of operating a new gas fireplace, particulates will mix with the products of combustion and deposit on the glass as condensation when the fireplace cools. For an older fireplace, film may build up through the natural venting processes. It should only be necessary to clean the glass twice per year.

 

Minerals in the fuel, such as sulfur and calcium, can cause film to build up and deposit on the glass, or it can come from minerals in the outside air that are brought in through the venting system. Cleaning the glass will be based on how often you use your fireplace, and should be cleaned at the first sight of any type of buildup on the glass.

 

How to clean the glass of your Direct Vent Gas Fireplace

  1. Turn off the fireplace, including the pilot light, and open the glass front.
  2. Leave the glass front on its hinges if on hinges. If not, remove the glass to a soft surface like a drop cloth, towel, or your carpet.
  3. Use a cream fireplace glass cleaner. Pour about 2 tablespoons directly onto the glass.
  4. Using a soft cloth – preferably cotton- spread the cleaner. Leave the cleaner to sit on the glass until completely dry. This takes roughly 15 minutes.
  5. Buff the cleaner off using a soft clean cloth in circular motions.
  6. Clean the front of the glass in the same way, using strokes in the opposite direction than you used on the other side. This will help you figure out which side has streaks if the cleaner is not buffed off.

 

Beware! Before cleaning, make sure not to use an ammonia-based cleaner, do not use an abrasive cleaner and do not use a paper towel.

For any cleaning questions or concerns, contact us today. The professionals at The Energy House can guide you on how to properly care for your gas fireplace.

 

wood burning stove, wood stove, fireplace safety

Tips for Wood Stove Safety

Wood stoves are often a more efficient way to heat your home than traditional fireplaces. Many wood stoves can even provide warmth for more than one room. Yet, more than 4,000 residential fires each year are started by wood stoves. To keep your wood stove operating safely, consider these tips:

  • Check with your local fire department about solid fuel burning appliances before buying a stove unit.
  • Be sure the unit has been tested and is listed with a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Pay attention to manufacturer’s clearance requirements and follow directions. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises 36” or 1 meter clearances away from any flammable items, such as curtains or flooring.
  • Install a floor protector that meets the heating appliance manufacturer’s requirements, and extends at least 18 inches on all sides of the heater, unless the manufacturer states otherwise.
  • Yearly, have the chimney and stovepipe cleaned and inspected.
  • Burn only seasoned hardwood or wood pellets in the stove.
  • Wait until ashes have cooled before removing them. Transfer ashes in a covered metal container to an outside location 10 feet or more away from the home, and douse them with water.

At The Energy House, our professionals can match you with the perfect wood stove or fireplace for your home. Check out our selection of Wood Burning Stoves or contact us today for more details. The Energy House has installed over 100,000 fireplaces in the Bay Area and is one of the most trusted fireplace companies in Northern California.

wood ash uses and benefits around home and yard

Wood Ash Use and Benefits

Do you have a wood burning fireplace but don’t know what to do with the messy ash? Don’t throw it away!  Wood ash has many practical uses around the home and even in the garden/yard. Here are some benefits of using wood ash outside of the fireplace.

HOUSEHOLD CLEANER AND SILVER POLISH

White wood ash can be used to clean and maintain your home. Using ash is a good alternative to some cleaning products. Test a small area that is hidden before using on or near fabrics and furniture. If you want to get rid of dirt and grime on glass, stainless steel or frying pans, dry ash can help. You can clean the glass window of your oven or even the fireplace door by dipping a damp sponge in ash and scrub the glass gently. For a homemade silver polish that’s nontoxic, make a paste of ash and water, then rub with a cloth.

DRIVEWAY STAIN REMOVER

Ash has the power of melting ice on driveways and front walkways. You can sprinkle ash on icy spots and the ice will melt within a day, without hurting the soil or concrete underneath. You can also combine white ash with water to form a paste, which can remove stains from driveways. Gently buff the paste into the surface and then wipe it off with a soft cloth. You can also use dry ash to remove wet paint on cement. Sprinkle ash directly on the wet paint splatters and it will be absorbed by the ash.

GARDEN AND YARD

Other than sunlight and water, plants need elements that can be found in ash, such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium and boron. Ash is very alkaline and raises pH levels in garden soil, which is a great environment for seeds to grow. Ash also acts as a pest repellent. It gets rid of slugs and snails when spread evenly around garden beds.

FRIDGE AND PET ODOR REMOVER

Ash is a great odor remover. Place a small bowl of ash in the fridge and change it every two days until the bad smell is gone. For pet odors, you can sprinkle ash in cat litter boxes to neutralize the smell.

Beware, after using the ash, store it in a fireproof container with the lid shut to choke any embers.

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Benefits of Electric Fireplaces

Installing a fireplace to your home will give your home a more comfortable and cozy feel to any home. There are typically three different types of fireplaces to choose from including wood fireplaces, gas fireplaces, and electric fireplaces which The Energy House has. Picking the right type of fireplace for your home may be often times a difficult decision. There are pros and cons of the three fireplace types however installing an electric fireplace to your home is often a popular decision now and here are some of the reasons why. Read more

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Wood vs. Electric: Eco-Friendly Fireplaces

Wood-burning stoves and traditional fireplaces have kept families warm for centuries. But natural-gas fireplaces have gained popularity because of their simplicity and minimal maintenance. In today’s environmentally conscious world, which fireplace is truly more eco-friendly? Read more

Refaced Cabinet Maintenance Tips To Help Keep Them Looking Like New (3)

Should You Add Another Fireplace To Your Home?

There are always questions that must considered before improving your home, especially when it comes to the addition of a fireplace. Where might you put it?  Next to the current one?  Along another adjacent wall suitable for a second full-size chimney?  Is the process going to require a huge renovation? Fortunately, enhancing your home with the elegance and convenience of a second fireplace isn’t much more complicated than adding a stove to your kitchen!

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