Tips for Maintaining Your Outdoor Fireplace

An outdoor fireplace is a great way to extend your entertaining space and enjoy your backyard year round. Regardless of the material, an outdoor fireplace will give your yard a touch of beauty and ambiance. But if you plan on enjoying the fireplace for years to come, you’ll need to keep it clean and maintained. Read on for some simple ways to keep it in working order.

Wood-burning fireplaces

  • It’s important to trim any surrounding plants or shrubs and to move planters away from the fireplace. These are all potential fire hazards if you’re not careful. Also, plants growing on the fireplace could weaken the structure and cause cracks.
  • Make sure to keep your fireplace free of ash and debris. You can use creosote sweeping logs along with clearing it after every use will also help reduce any build up over time.
  • When it comes to cleaning the chimney, it’s best to have a professional come out and evaluate the structure.

Gas fireplaces

  • Before you start any kind of cleaning or maintenance, you should always make sure the gas is completely turned off.
  • Check the fireplace’s vent and exhaust fan to make sure everything is ventilating properly. 
  • You should also use a soft-bristle brush or cloth to remove any soot from the burners. Look at the manual for more information on what cleansers are acceptable for your fireplace.

Whether you use a wood-burning or gas fireplace, you should have a professional come out and inspect it at least once a year. They will make sure everything is in working order and that there are no serious fire hazards. 

Our knowledgeable staff at Energy House would love to help you with all of your fireplace needs. Contact us today and learn more about the services we offer in the Bay Area. 

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.

Best Time For Purchasing A Gas Fireplace

Days are getting longer and nights are finally warmer. Spring is one of the best times to have a gas fireplace installed – before cold weather arrives and fireplace installers get busy. Whether you’re building your dream home or want to make your current home a little cozier, consider a gas fireplace. Create opportunities of gathering your family and friends in the warm indoors and save on a fireplace or gas insert. Read more

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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

Simple Tips to Keep Your Electric Fireplace Clean and Beautiful

Electric fireplaces are often chosen for their convenience and relatively low maintenance design. They offer unmatched convenience for homeowners who want the aesthetic appeal and heat of a fireplace without having to worry about monitoring gas or traditional fireplace cleanliness and function. However, there are still a few important elements of electric fireplaces that merit attention and occasional maintenance.


Changing Bulbs

Electric fireplaces won’t develop residue or particulate buildup inside the firebox, but there is something in the firebox that will eventually degrade in quality over time: the light bulbs! If you notice your fire becoming dimmer or less consistently bright, it might be time to replace your bulbs. Luckily, the process is simple for most models. First, it is imperative to turn off the fireplace and let it sit and cool off before you interact with it. It is typical for electric fireplaces to have removable maintenance panels on the back, but you may need to take out some screws or other fastening mechanisms to access the bulbs. The bulbs should be easy to spot inside the firebox. Consult your unit’s manual to determine what bulb will be a suitable replacement. If halogen bulbs are required, make sure to handle them with gloves! Natural skin oils can cause halogen bulbs to decay more quickly than usual. Some fireplaces use LED bulbs, in which case you shouldn’t need to replace them at all within the lifespan of the fireplace. How convenient!


Cleaning the Glass

The glass panel on the front of your unit is the most important element of your fireplace, aesthetically speaking. To ensure it is clean and shows off your fireplace perfectly, clean it with a lint-free cloth and warm, soapy water. Gently wipe and buff the exterior of the glass, and make sure that by the end it is completely dry to avoid water spots. Make sure you don’t use glass cleaners or other abrasive cleaners, as these can contain flammable chemicals and can reduce the lifespan of your fireplace.


Cleaning the Fan

The fan is the most important part of your fireplace when it comes to actually providing heat to the room. To determine if your fan requires cleaning, examine its spin pattern. Fans should spin easily with no resistance or hitching. If you decide to clean your fan, a vacuum with a thin nozzle attachment will be ideal. Simply take off the grille covering and brush and vacuum off any dust and debris you see on the blades and axle of the fan.

To learn more about Energy House and the fireplace products and services we provide, call 1-800-660-1496 or contact us online today!

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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