Basics on Electric Fireplace Logs

Basics on Electric Fireplace Logs

For the homeowner looking for the beauty of a fire without the time spent chopping wood and cleaning ash, an electric fireplace is the perfect outlet. At Comfort Solutions, we have a wide range of electric fireplaces to fit your needs.
An important part of your new electric fireplace is the electric logs, which create a feeling of a real fire without some of the downsides. Here are all the basics you need to know about electric fireplace logs.

How Electric Logs Work

Electric log inserts come with detailed logs and glowing ember beds, all of which are easy to install. They’re wired with an electrical cord that plugs into a standard outlet. Realistic flames are created by a regular light bulb, plus technology that allows this light to be refracted in a three-dimensional pattern.
In most cases, these logs will also supply heat – in fact, you’ll generally have the choice between heat and no heat. Log sets contain metal coils that heat up when the unit is plugged in, plus a fan that blows heat into the room. But because heat is only generated in coils, the logs themselves stay cool to the touch.

Advantages

Electric fireplace logs offer several specific advantages. They’re inexpensive to install and operate, and completely portable – they’re even lightweight and easy to move. They have zero emissions associated with their use and require no home ventilation during use. You don’t need a fireplace screen, plus you won’t spend all sorts of time chopping wood and removing ash from your hearth and chimney. Essentially, electric logs offer all the benefits you want from fireplace logs, with almost none of the downsides.

Styles

There are a variety of sizes and styles available for electric fireplace logs and inserts. You can get a sleek, modern look, or you can return to your roots with a homey, traditional style with antique brass. You can also choose design elements of the logs and the fire – traditional options are most popular here, but you can even choose pebbles that look like coal for an authentic look.
For more on electric fireplace logs, or to find out about any of our other custom fireplace services, speak to the pros at Comfort Solutions today.

Preparing Fireplaces for the New Season

Preparing Fireplaces for the New Season

Fall is here, and that means the weather is turning colder. For many people, this means the fireplace in the home will start to get a lot more usage in the next few weeks or months.

At Comfort Solutions, we’re here to help you with all preparation elements for the colder season. Here are a few areas you should consider as you get things started in the fall.

Preparing for Use

Proper maintenance of the fireplace is always necessary. There are several things you can do, including keeping the chimneys clean and clear – this includes the flues, smoke chambers, dampers and vents. Ensuring this is done is the best way to make sure you’ll be ready to use the machine right away.

Professional chimney cleaners can help here, and the National Fire Protection Agency recommends that this is done annually and before you light the first fire of the season. It’s also recommended every 60 to 80 fires for people in a cold climate.

Wood Burning Tips

A wood-burning fireplace can be a very attractive feature, but it can carry risks if it’s not properly maintained. Before the first fire of the fall or winter season check for the following:

  • Creosote buildup: This is a toxic and highly flammable result of burning wood, and it should be cleared right out if discovered. Ignited creosote can become a fire that’s out of control in a hurry, and exposure to creosote smoke is dangerous to the lungs and other organs.
  • Cracks or loose bricks
  • Missing or damaged chimney cap: This piece prevents stray embers from igniting the home’s roof, and also deters birds from building nests while keeping other animals and debris out.
  • Trees: If there are tree branches blocking the chimney and sending smoke back into your home, you will need to trim these back.

Gas Burning Tips

A gas fireplace is generally easier to maintain than wood, but still does require annual maintenance. Ventilation is particularly important – carbon monoxide can enter the home if there are problems here. If you notice any of these signs, this could be an issue:

  • Dampness in the home, especially on the walls
  • Stains on the outside of the chimney, especially white stains
  • Erosion around mortar joints or crumbling bricks

Fireplace for Heating

Some homeowners rely on fireplaces for winter heating and comfort. If this is a priority, here are some tips:

  • Make sure the flue damper is in good shape to seal heat in the home.
  • Install a tempered glass door at the front of the firebox instead of a movable screen. This will seal the fireplace off more effectively.
  • For wood fireplaces, clean the inside of the firebox regularly to remove buildup and prime the area for future fires. This will allow for optimal space.

For more on prepping your fireplace for fall and winter, or for more on any of our custom fireplace options, speak to the pros at Comfort Solutions today.

Benefits of Fireplace Inserts in the Home

Benefits of Fireplace Inserts in the Home

Growing environmental awareness has impacted many fields, and fireplaces are among them. In particular, fireplace inserts have become not only a way to add style and aesthetics to your fireplace, but a great way to decrease your footprint.

At Comfort Solutions, we have a wide stock of various fireplace insert products. Let’s look at some of the benefits of these inserts, from their environmental positives to other cost-related areas.

Efficiency

Modern fireplace inserts are much more efficient than older fireplaces, which tend to have efficiency ratings hovering in the 5 to 10 percent range – very low. Open hearths cause heated room air to pull into the fire, which results in a fire that quickly burns heat and wastes energy.

Fireplace inserts, on the other hand, have a sealed, airtight system that allows more heat to be generated without any waste. Fireplace inserts can reach up to 80 percent efficiency, so nearly 10 times as efficient as many older systems.

Energy Bill

Due partially to what we just discussed, a fireplace insert can save you tons on your energy bill. It will use less gas, oil or electricity, and closed airtight doors will prevent heated air from escaping during hours when it’s not in use.

Emissions Reduction

EPA-certified fireplace inserts can reduce wood-burning emissions to practically zero. This means you’ll be leaving a far smaller footprint than you would with a traditional fireplace.

Remodeling Costs

Another key reason many homeowners have fireplace inserts installed is to save money on remodeling costs. A fireplace insert brings a whole new look without the traditional costs of a full remodel in a given room. Fireplace inserts are aesthetically pleasing and stylish, and give a room a very appealing focal point.

For more information on how fireplace inserts can benefit your home, or to find out about any of our new custom fireplace services, speak to the pros at Comfort Solutions today.

 

Differences Between Vented and Vent Free Fireplaces

Differences Between Vented and Vent Free Fireplaces

In general, gas fireplaces offer several advantages over other types. They allow easier use, with no need to chop firewood or find kindling, and they’re simpler to install. Best yet, they’re great for the environment compared to many other styles.

At Comfort Solutions, our gas fireplaces bring you all the benefits you’re looking for in an affordable, full-service package. One big decision you’ll have to make: Vented or vent free? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.

Vented Fireplaces

A vented fireplace contains a flue or ventilation pipe to help keep combustion byproducts away from the home. The ductwork is traditionally routed out a chimney, but for homes without a chimney, there are direct-vent fireplaces available that route negative particles out of the home via ducts in the walls.

There are a few distinct advantages to vented fireplaces:

  • Safety: This is the largest advantage. There’s no concern with sparks, hazardous particles or any combustion byproducts. This is an especially large benefit for people who have allergies or asthma, or who have children with these conditions.
  • Look: Vented fireplaces tend to have flames that look extremely natural.
  • Heating: Certain direct-vent models can provide some of the best in-home heating benefits.

There are also a few drawbacks to vented fireplaces compared with vent free:

  • Cost: Vented models are generally more expensive to install, given the additional parts.
  • Location: There isn’t always a great place in the house to run new venting, which can make installation tough in some cases.

Vent Free Fireplaces

Vent free fireplaces use no vents, and in certain existing homes, they’re the only gas option if new ducting can’t be supported by the home’s infrastructure. Some of the benefits of vent free fireplaces include:

  • Price: Vent free models are less expensive than vented fireplaces, since there are fewer parts to install.
  • Heating: Because no heat is leaving the house through a duct or a chimney, this style of fireplace makes for excellent heating.

With no vent to release fire byproducts, some people are concerned about health and related issues due to chemicals and water vapor in the living area. A window will need to be kept open, or separate ductwork may need to be installed. In some cases, the price benefits listed above can disappear through this necessity.

Want to learn more about the differences between vented and vent free fireplaces, or interested in any of our custom fireplace services? Speak to the experts at Comfort Solutions today.

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Signs, Causes and Remedies for Low Humidity

Signs, Causes and Remedies for Low Humidity

You know us best for our custom fireplace services, but at Comfort Solutions, we provide numerous other heating and air services as well. One such service that’s particularly important in a warm, dry Utah summer like the one upcoming: Humidifier services.

A humidifier in the home is one of your first lines of defense against low humidity, and the accompanying dryness issues it brings with it. What are the causes and signs of low humidity in the home, and how does a whole-house humidifier help address these issues?

Low Humidity Causes

Humidity refers to water vapor suspended in the air, and in general, warmer air holds more moisture than cooler air – this is why dryness is so common during the winter. When there isn’t enough vapor in the air, the little moisture that is present will be quickly sucked into the air, including moisture that leaves your body through areas like the skin, nose and throat. In these situations, there will be limited techniques available for adding more moisture inside the home, which can become drier and drier.

Signs of Low Humidity

There are several possible signs that the humidity in your home could be too low:

  • Static shock: When you’ve been touching carper for a while, then touch a new surface and receive (or give) a shock
  • Dry or itchy skin
  • Nose bleeds, especially during winter
  • Chapped lips, often even despite chapstick or other combatants
  • Persistent coughs
  • Flare-ups or new symptoms in allergies or asthma cases
  • Gaps or warping in wood flooring
  • Cracks or molding in wood furniture

Whole-House Humidifier

The best solution to low humidity is a whole-house humidifier, which mounts directly to the furnace and requires almost no maintenance. Humidity levels can be set and adjusted based on need. Whole-house humidifiers have their own water supply, which limits any confusion. In cases where chronic low humidity is an issue, a whole-house humidifier makes much more economic and practical sense than several separate, individual humidifiers.

Want to learn more about humidifiers, or interested in a beautiful new fireplace or any of our other heating and cooling services? Speak to the experts at Comfort Solutions today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Safety Tips for Outdoor Fireplaces

Safety Tips for Outdoor Fireplaces

At Comfort Solutions, we’re here to provide you and your family with custom fireplace services for any part of your home. For many people, the preferred location for an enclosed fire place might actually be outside.

All new fireplaces require a few safety considerations, especially if you have children in the home, and these change in certain subtle ways when the fireplace moves outdoors. Here are a few basic safety tips for an outdoor fireplace.

Ordinances

First and foremost, always observe any fire ordinances in your area, which can apply even for an enclosed outdoor fireplace. Various cities, towns or localities might have fire bans for certain parts of the year, and these can come with hefty penalties if they aren’t observed. They’re also typically for a sound reason, so observe these.

Extinguishing

If extinguishing doesn’t take place automatically with your new system, or if fire ever spreads and needs to be extinguished, practice the proper approach here. Use a prodding device to spread ashes throughout the surface area of open fire, then take a small container of water and gently pour it out over the ashes. Always make sure you have a water container present during a fire.

Distance

All fires should take place at least 10 feet away from any major structure or combustible surface, including chairs or tables. If the fire is larger in size or there are children around, consider adjusting this to 15 feet. Another tactic many parents take while children are present is the creation of a physical line or barrier – this will present a visible roadblock to them approaching the fire too closely, which can be enormously dangerous even if, once again, the fire is enclosed behind a glass barrier.

Wind and Debris

Many of our products have glass wind deflectors meant to improve operation during windy conditions, but during high-wind conditions, always be sure to keep a careful eye out for any embers that may blow around. Also always be sure to clean up leaves and any other flammable debris from the area near the fire, as these items could ignite if embers do happen to leave the pit area.

To learn more about outdoor fireplace safety, or to schedule installation for a new fireplace, speak to the pros at Comfort Solutions today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Steps for Cleaning a Gas BBQ

Steps for Cleaning a Gas BBQ

At Comfort Solutions, we’re your one-stop shop for all new and custom fireplaces. Our wide selection of modern indoor and outdoor fireplaces will fit any needs you and your family might have, and our expert technicians will get them installed with no hassle to you.

That’s not all we do, however. Comfort Solutions is also here to provide several other services, from inserts to gas firepits. One such service? Gas barbeques. As a primer on these products, here’s how you should go about cleaning one of our gas BBQs after you’ve purchased it from us.

Scrub Grates

The first step is to take a good grill brush and scrub each of your grates. This should be done after every use anyway, but during cleaning, take this time to make sure you really remove any extra chunks or meat flesh. If needed, use the metal scraper on the brush. Once this is done, take the grates out and scrape the bottom as well. Then, set them aside for the next step.

Burner Protectors

Burner protectors are thin, right-angled panels of metal meant to protect your burner mechanisms from grease and other clogs. It’s literally their job to get dirty. In most grills, they’re simply set in little ledges that you can pull right out for cleaning, which should be done with a bucket and soapy water.

Burners

Once this is done, you can wipe grime from the burners themselves. A damp sponge can work if you don’t want to remove the burners, or if removing them is easy, you can use the same methods as the protectors.

Bottom Gunk

After the burners, move to the plates underneath. These pull right out and are easy to clean with the grill brush. Mostly just worry about big chunks here, and scrape any of them into your tray. Finally, clean the tray itself with a mixture of a sponge and scraping.

To learn more about cleaning or maintaining a gas barbecue or any of our other services, speak to the experts at Comfort Solutions today.