Themes for Spring Fireplace Mantel Design, Part 1

Themes for Spring Fireplace Mantel Design, Part 1

Spring is here, and for those who change up their home’s décor and aesthetics based on seasons, this is an exciting time. There are numerous areas of the home that can be transitioned into spring and summer themes, and one that’s especially versatile this time of year is the fireplace mantel.

At Comfort Solutions Fireplace, we’re proud to offer not only high-quality custom fireplace options, but also a wide variety of fireplace mantels to tie the entire room together. We’re also happy to offer tips and expertise on fireplace mantels and spring décor – there are numerous designs and themes available, but this two-part blog will narrow them down to a few of our favorites you might consider as we move into the warm part of the year.

Statement Foliage

Spring is a great season to emphasize flowers and related themes, and one great format here to kick things off is what we’d refer to as statement foliage. We’re talking a wreath, garland or some similar large item that will define much of the rest of the design – it will sit directly above the fireplace as the central piece on the mantel, and other designs within the room will be coordinated based on it.

In other cases, fireplace owners may choose to drape a simple evergreen garland over the front of the fireplace. This is a minimalist theme that emphasizes nature and the green color, also complementing neutral colors in other areas of the room.

Other Flowers and Blooms

If you use statement foliage as part of your mantel design, this leaves open numerous complementary avenues for other floral concepts. There are so many different color options when it comes to flowers in spring, from white and cream to pink, yellow, peach, blue, red, orange and more.

Even if you don’t go with statement foliage, flowers are a great way to touch off your mantel design. Early spring flowers that do well include lilacs, ranunculus, roses and peonies, with soft hues that help you transition over from winter into the warmer part of the year. Later on in spring, consider tulips, poppies and cornflower with bright colors and accents.

Spring Wall Colors

Another fantastic theme for the mantel and surrounding areas of the room is re-painting certain walls with complementary spring colors. If you’ve gone with foliage of any kind already, choose a color that’s in the same family or complements this foliage properly. Used as a backdrop, spring colors on the wall are an ideal contrast for the flowers and other bright designs you’ll be placing front and center.

For more on how to design a fireplace mantel with spring themes in mind, or to learn about any of our mantels or modern fireplace options, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions Fireplace today.

Primary Fuel Source Options for New Fireplaces

Primary Fuel Source Options for New Fireplaces

When it comes to a fireplace installation in your home, few elements are more important than the fuel source that will be utilized. Fire can be initiated and burned using several different sources, and which you choose for your fireplace plays a role in everything from the cost of regular fireplace use to environmental factors, maintenance needs and how involved you have to get in each individual fireplace use.

At Comfort Solutions Fireplace, we’re here to help if you’re unsure which fuel source to request for your new fireplace. We offer every major fuel option available on the modern fireplace market, from gas fireplace solutions to electric fireplaces and a wide variety of traditional wood-burning formats. Let’s take a quick look at each of these fuel sources and the characteristics that define them, plus what you can expect when going with any of them for your new fireplace installation.

Gas Fireplace

When it comes to convenience of use and general simplicity, you can’t do much better than a gas fireplace model. This format allows users to quickly and easily turn their fire on and off using nothing but a switch of a button, with most modern options also including features that allow for adjustment of flame size and overall heat output.

You’ll either receive a remote or an installed wall switch with a gas fireplace – or sometimes both. Gas fireplaces are also extremely efficient, with natural gas connecting to your home through a basic utility connection. Others may choose to utilize propane gas from an LP tank, which can be refilled by an LP provider as needed.

Electric Fireplace

For those looking to prioritize versatility and affordability for their fireplace, especially one they’ll use often, the electric option is increasingly popular today. This is largely because electric fireplaces don’t require any wood or gas for use, and they also don’t even require venting – this makes them easy to install anywhere in the home, as well.

Know that electric fireplaces do not produce real flames, but rather impressions of them. They can connect to any outlet or can be hardwired into the home. They create radiant heat that’s completely controlled by the user, with no need for fuel storage or replenishing.

Wood Fireplace

Finally, for those interested in the classic fireplace type that’s also renewable and low-cost, the wood fireplace is always available. Wood fireplaces offer powerful heating that often help reduce home energy costs significantly, and can be used with paper and kindling or fire-starting logs if desired.

Now, naturally, wood collection will be a minor concern for those who purchase wood fireplaces. However, there are numerous easy sources of wood cords, with oak and maple serving as some of the best options here.

For more on the fuel sources available for your new fireplace and their primary characteristics, or to learn about any of our custom fireplace options, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions Fireplace today.

Connection Between Fireplaces and Home Value

Connection Between Fireplaces and Home Value

When it comes to the kinds of remodeling projects or home additions that bring high ROI and add to your home’s value, many people rightfully look to common value-add areas like kitchens and bathrooms. But as recent data shows us, there’s a specific item you should be adding to this list if upping your home value is a major desire: A fireplace.

At Comfort Solutions Fireplace, we’ve helped numerous clients improve both their home value and their comfort and aesthetics with one of our modern fireplaces, with a variety of new fireplace options both inside and outside your home. Let’s look at some of the data when it comes to the way fireplaces add value to a home, plus some of the important areas to consider if this is your priority during fireplace installation.

Basic Data

For starters, there are numerous pieces of recent research that back up the idea that when you install a fireplace in your home, the home value goes up by an even greater amount than what you spent on the fireplace installation. One is from the National Center for Real Estate Research, who concluded recently that fireplaces have a “strong, positive” effect on home selling price before and after installation, tending to add an average of about 12% to home value.

Some of the other added home features that tend to provide strong value include:

  • Central air conditioning upgrade
  • In-ground swimming pool
  • Garage space
  • Nine-foot ceilings
  • Wood floors or carpet
  • Upgraded stone countertops, such as granite or quartz

When Fireplaces Come Up

While every home sale situation is different, many of them tend to go in somewhat standard order. First and foremost, prospective buyers will identify the neighborhood they want to be in and the general value range for homes they can afford, narrowing in on a few good choices based on these broad factors.

At this point, most buyers begin delving into the details more closely. They enjoy modern and updated kitchens with strong appliances, clean and classy bathroom spaces, and various upgraded features – fireplaces, pools, tall ceilings, wood floors and others of this nature.

Outdoor Spaces

Inviting outdoor spaces are also a major value-add on the real estate market, and you can kill two birds by one stone here by maintaining a great space plus considering one of our many outdoor heating options, including fire pits and tables. This combination will be extremely attractive to many homebuyers.

Maximizing Fireplace Value

Finally, if you’re showing the home and looking for the best possible return, it should go without saying that you want to make the fireplace and all other visible areas as pleasing as possible. Clear the fireplace of any debris or blockages and ensure it’s working properly if you have not turned it on for a few weeks or months, allowing it to serve as an eye-catcher just how it was designed.

For more on fireplaces and home value, or to learn about any of our custom fireplace options, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions Fireplace today.

Preventing Fire Spread Risk from Your Fireplace

Preventing Fire Spread Risk from Your Fireplace

Whether in the form of the devastating fires currently ravaging Australia or a recent fire in your area, reminder of the dangers of unchecked fire are constantly available to us in our daily lives. While fireplaces and home fire devices are great for everything from aesthetics to comfort, ensuring proper safety practices are kept at all times when utilizing these items is vital for keeping not only you and your family safe, but also the surrounding area.

At Comfort Solutions Fireplace, we offer a wide variety of contemporary fireplace options, including both gas and electric types plus many style alternatives. In addition to our fireplace products, our fireplace technicians will be happy to go over a number of different precautions you can take to ensure fire spreading is prevented at all times, plus to make sure those in your home are safe and do not risk injury while using or standing near the fireplace. Here are a few general tips to prevent fire spreading when using your fireplace.

Clear Fireplace Area

For starters, one of the simplest tasks out there when it comes to fireplace safety and preventing risks of spreading fire is ensuring the fireplace area itself is free of any potential debris or flammable objects. It’s important to realize that fireplaces reach extremely high temperatures, even during warm-up and cool-down phases – if any clothing, furniture, drapes or other flammable items are near it, they may not even need to make direct physical contact to be set on fire.

Once this happens, your ability to prevent the fire spreading is often limited. Avoid the issue altogether by creating a fire-safe area around the fireplace of at least several feet in every direction, ensuring no one stands there for long periods and no items are ever placed there, even when the fireplace isn’t in use.

Secure Barrier

Many of our fireplace products come with a secure safety barrier included, and it’s vital all fireplace owners utilize these properly. The barrier needs to be securely in place whenever the fireplace is operating, both to prevent fire risks and avoid burns to anyone in the area.

Children and Pets

Speaking of those barriers, it’s vital to explain to children what they are and that they should not be touched or approached – they can get very hot and will burn fingers. Young children should be supervised at all times when near an operating fireplace. In addition, if you have curious pets, we highly recommend sectioning off your fireplace so they cannot touch or access it – not only could their safety be at risk, they could also knock over the barrier or various elements inside the fireplace and risk a fire starting inside your home.

For more on preventing fires from spreading from your fireplace, or to learn about any of our custom fireplace models, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions Fireplace today.

Choosing the Best Fireplace Type for Your Home, Part 2

Choosing the Best Fireplace Type for Your Home, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over the major fuel type options at your disposal when you’re choosing a new fireplace for your home. This is one of several factors you’ll want to consider closely when you’re looking at your available selections, and will depend on your preference, warmth needs and other elements.

At Comfort Solutions Fireplace, we offer a huge variety of custom fireplace types for you to browse, from gas and outdoor fireplace options to electric fireplaces and many others. In today’s part two, we’ll go over the options you have when it comes to choosing your fireplace style once you’ve picked the fuel type, plus some basics on mantel and surround choices available.

Fireplace Style

Generally speaking, there are two broad fireplace styles available today:

  • Traditional: Still the most popular choice out there, the traditional fireplace is one that, in many ways, mimics the look and feel many of us remember from our childhood. A traditional fireplace includes real logs and an authentic, timeless masonry appearance that invokes comfort and warmth at all times. It gives many users a feeling of nostalgia and often brings back memories – plus helps make new ones for your family today. There are many varieties of traditional fireplace available, as well, so you aren’t stuck in a single style template.
  • Linear: For those looking to go a bit sleeker and more modern, whether as a stand-alone item or to match the design of surrounding areas of the home, the linear fireplace is the way to go. Linear fireplaces offer wide flame options, often behind illuminated glass that provides both great aesthetics and protection for children or pets. You can create linear fireplaces up to six feet in length, helping provide a centerpiece to any major room in the home.

Mantel and Surround Choices

Finally, it’s vital to take some time to consider proper mantel and surround installations along with your new fireplace. There are numerous mantel options available, and you should be thinking both about aesthetics and safety here – many of our mantels are designed to protect the fireplace area, meeting specific measurement and safety requirements.

The surround, meanwhile, refers to all the nearby areas of the fireplace. Many people choose granite, marble or slate for their fireplace surround, bringing a classy companion to the fireplace and allowing it to set the tone for the entire room. Speak to our fireplace professionals about the kind of wood or stone materials that tend to combine best with the fireplace type you’re installing.

For more on choosing the perfect fireplace for your home, or to learn about any of our custom fireplace or mantel options, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions Fireplace today.

Choosing the Best Fireplace Type for Your Home, Part 1

Choosing the Best Fireplace Type for Your Home, Part 1

A fireplace is often the central focus point of a given area or even the entire home it’s being installed in, and this means it’s important to choose a type that best fits your needs. Whether you prioritize warmth, comfort, ambiance or a variety of other fireplace characteristics, there are several good options available.

At Comfort Solutions, we offer a wide range of custom fireplace options, from our modern gas fireplaces to wood inserts, electrical options and numerous others. We also offer several choices in terms of style, surround and mantel selection. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over every factor to consider when thinking about installing a new fireplace – starting with today’s part one, featuring the different fuel style options available to you.

Gas Fireplace

Gas fireplaces are likely the most common options available today, and with good reason. Gas is an abundant resource that burns cleanly and easily, offering you convenient fire services with just the push of a button. There is no need to collect wood, and gas fireplaces are far more efficient than traditional wood burners can ever be.

In addition, gas fireplace installation is a breeze even if you’ve never had such a system in your home. As long as your home has any gas appliances – and virtually all modern homes do – you can have one of our technicians extend a gas line to your fireplace, and you’re all set. You can also use a liquid propane tank that’s outside the home to power the fireplace. These options provide warmth, ambiance and a level of control many homeowners love.

Electric Fireplace

Another highly convenient and simple option is the electric fireplace, which doesn’t even require venting of any kind. Rather, you just plug it into an outlet and switch it on, then enjoy the realistic flames without any of the traditional fireplace hassle. No chimney needed, no gas line, no cordwood.

Wood Fireplace

The most traditional fuel format for fireplaces is wood, and some people still enjoy this classic option. But despite wood being easily available and a great nostalgia option, it’s very inefficient and can create a sizable hassle in terms of venting, chimney maintenance and several other areas. You can get virtually all the same benefits of a wood fireplace using other technology that’s simpler and better for the environment.

Outdoor Options

Whether in the form of a fire pit or full-on fireplace, there are also outdoor options. These are great for improving the atmosphere and welcoming feel of your back yard, especially for those who regularly host social events. Our team will help you choose the perfect outdoor fire option if this is your desire.

For more on choosing the best fireplace type, or to learn about any of our custom fireplaces, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions today.

Steps for Cleaning and Maintaining Gas Fireplaces, Part 2

Steps for Cleaning and Maintaining Gas Fireplaces, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the initial steps that go into cleaning and maintaining a gas fireplace. While these models are incredibly easy and convenient to use, they do require just a bit of regular attention and upkeep to ensure they last and work optimally for years.

At Comfort Solutions, we’re proud to offer a wide range of gas fireplace installations and other services for your home. We can also offer broad expertise on several upkeep and maintenance areas related to these fine fireplace options, whether we’re talking about cleaning or otherwise maintaining the fireplace. Here are several additional areas to strongly consider on a regular basis to keep your fireplace functioning well.

Inspect Outdoor Vent Area

The fireplace vent is a vital piece in the equation, allowing for proper ventilation and airflow that maintains both safety and limitation of odors. But for it to work properly, you have to ensure the vent itself is clear and clean.

Most fireplaces vents are either on the side of your home or on the roof – your first step here will be locating yours. Once you do, ensure it’s free of leaves, grass, animal nests or any other debris that might block the proper flow of air.

Confirm Burner Ignition

Gas fireplaces turn on through standard burner ignition, and modern models are made with burners that are meant to last just as long as the fireplace itself. But it’s always possible for wear-and-tear issues to arise – if you ever notice that the burner is not lighting smoothly and immediately when you press it, contact our team to troubleshoot the issue and determine the problem.

Check Carbon Monoxide Protection

While this technically isn’t a piece of the fireplace itself, it’s a vital related consideration for any gas fireplace owner. A gas fireplace that’s malfunctioning could risk the spread of harmful carbon monoxide, so it’s very important that you have a carbon monoxide detector on every floor and are checking them regularly. These should be at least four or five feet off the floor or near the ceiling – do not place them directly over the fireplace.

Reassemble the Fireplace

When you’ve finished with all the areas we’ve listed here and in part one, it’s time to reassemble the fireplace. Place the glass back on the outside, turn the gas valve back on and reinstall the fireplace front. As you do so, confirm furniture and other flammable materials are safely placed far enough away from the fireplace.

Professional Assistance

In addition to all of the above, we recommend considering at least a once-yearly professional inspection of your gas fireplace. Fireplace experts will pick up on areas you may not notice, plus will help you identify small concerns before they grow into larger and costlier ones.

For more on how to maintain your gas fireplace, or to learn about any of our contemporary fireplace products, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions today.

Steps for Cleaning and Maintaining Gas Fireplaces, Part 1

Steps for Cleaning and Maintaining Gas Fireplaces, Part 1

When it comes to simplicity and convenience, gas fireplaces are some of the top options available today. In fact, gas fireplaces are so easy and convenient that it can be easy to forget that they do still need the occasional bit of upkeep and maintenance – though even these areas are about as simple as can be.

At Comfort Solutions, we offer a wide range of gas fireplace materials and installation services. Our expert technicians are also happy to provide you with some basic tips and expertise when it comes to caring for your gas fireplace – just a few very simple tasks performed every so often will bring you years of additional life and quality. This two-part blog will go over some of the basic steps that go into cleaning and otherwise maintaining a gas fireplace.

Safe Glass and Firebox Access

The number one priority during any and all gas fireplace maintenance: Safety, which begins with properly accessing the area to get started. To begin with, ensure the fireplace and gas valve have been turned off, and make sure there’s no active heat coming from the area whatsoever.

From here, remove the decorative front of the fireplace, including the safety barrier screen that’s present to stop you from making contact with any hot glass. Finally, carefully pull off the glass assembly following all instructions laid out in the owner’s manual. If latches are used to hold the glass in place, they should easily un-latch without any binding risks. Once glass is removed, lay it down on a soft, clean, level surface.

Cleaning Glass

Some basic tips when it comes to cleaning and assessing your fireplace glass:

  • Check the entire surface of the glass for any scratches, which can lead to losses in strength and even glass breaking during heating or cooling in the future. If you find any scratching or other significant damage, call our team for glass replacement and do not use the fireplace until this process is complete.
  • If glass is free of damage, wipe down both sides with a soft cloth and a dedicated fireplace glass cleaner. Never use non-approved products here, and avoid abrasive cloths or other materials that may scratch the glass.
  • Also check the gasketing on the glass assembly – if it’s worn down or damaged, it may require replacement to maintain a proper seal between the glass and the combustion chamber.

Cleaning and Inspecting Firebox

The simple steps involved with cleaning your firebox include:

  • Remove all dust and dirt from the inside of the firebox or logs. You can use either a vacuum or a soft paint brush.
  • Using these same items plus perhaps a soft cloth, clean the base and valve cavity area of the outside of the box to remove dust and limit odors.
  • While you’re performing these tasks, keep an eye out for rust, flaking or soot concerns, plus check the pilot assembly for any soot or flame blockages that may stop the burner from igniting.

For more on maintaining your gas fireplace, or to learn about any of our modern fireplace options, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions today.

Important Fire Safety Tips on Home Smoke Alarms

Important Fire Safety Tips on Home Smoke Alarms

At Comfort Solutions, our top priority for all our custom fireplace models is safety. From our gas fireplaces to every contemporary fireplace option we have in stock, we build in specific safety components that are meant to be simple, self-explanatory and easily maintained by all our clients.

No matter how many safety precautions we or you take for your fireplace, however, we strongly recommend you maintain an appropriate number of smoke alarms within your home or building at all times. This is not just for fireplace usage alone, but for other fire risks as well – a majority of fire deaths of all types take place in homes with no working smoke alarms. With this in mind, let’s go over several important areas you should be considering when it comes to your smoke alarms.

Installation and System Connections

Some general tips and themes to consider when it comes to choosing your smoke alarm system and installing it:

  • Interconnected system: If you’re purchasing an all-new smoke alarm system for a home or building, look for interconnected alarm systems. These are systems where one a single smoke alarm sounds, all of the alarms in the building sound simultaneously, allowing occupants of any area to evacuate safely.
  • Location: We highly recommend installing smoke alarms in every bedroom of a home, plus outside each sleeping area. Every level of a given home should have multiple alarms, including the basement.
  • For larger homes, a greater number of alarms may be necessary.
  • Placement: Generally speaking, smoke alarms should be placed on ceilings or high up on your walls. Kitchen placement is important – keep alarms at least 10 feet from the stove so no false alarms are triggered, but be sure the kitchen still has alarms in case of a fire.

Smoke Alarm System Options

There are several different alarm system options out there today, from traditional choices to more modern styles with advanced technology. Some are meant to detect both smoke and carbon monoxide all in one item, for instance. Other systems have built-in false alarm detectors, while still other new items on the market can respond to multiple fire conditions with different patterns. Finally, for anyone who struggles with hearing or is deaf, there are special alarm systems available that utilize strobe lights, bed shakers and other indicators to help assist you.

Testing and Replacement

You should be testing your smoke alarms at least once a month, generally using the test button located on all alarm systems. If you begin to notice regular issues during these tests that aren’t simply related to failing batteries, or if your alarm system is reaching 10 years of age or greater, you might consider replacing either individual alarms or even the entire system.

For more on smoke alarms in your home or building, or to learn about any of our modern fireplace systems and how to stay safe at all times around them, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions today.

Buyer’s Guide for First-Time Fireplace Owners

Buyer’s Guide for First-Time Fireplace Owners

Are you buying the first new fireplace of your entire life, or your first in many years? Are you worried about uncertainty with modern fireplace technology and choosing the wrong type to fit your home’s needs?

Never fear – the professionals at Comfort Solutions are here to help. We have a wide variety of modern fireplace options for you to choose from, plus experienced professionals who can walk you through every question you have while informing you of the benefits associated with our various choices. Let’s go over a general buyer’s guide with some tips and approaches for those looking to start their purchasing process from the ground up.

Choose Location

First and foremost, you want to choose the location of your fireplace. The first big decision here is inside or outside – we have a number of great outdoor fireplace options for you to browse, using both gas or wood options.

From here, select your specific location. Many indoor fireplaces are situated in central locations in the family room or communal areas, though some choose to install fireplaces in a master bedroom or another space. If you’re installing outdoors, be sure to consider any weather elements that might impact the operation of the fireplace.

Choose Fuel Type and Technology

Your next area of business will be looking into fuel type and the sort of technology used to power the fireplace. There are three broad options available here:

  • Gas fireplace: Perfect or those who want a mix of convenience and limited maintenance, gas fireplaces are turned on with a remote control or wall switch. They’re powered by propane or natural gas, meaning there’s no ash or soot to clean up after each use. These models, when placed indoors, draw air from the outdoors through combustion systems, sending all combustion byproducts back out so indoor air quality does not suffer.
  • Wood fireplace: If you enjoy the aroma and warmth from a traditional fire, and are willing to put in just a little more time for it, a wood fireplace is just the thing for you. While these options are not quite as efficient or low-maintenance as gas fireplaces, ash cleanup is very easy and this is the most authentic fire format out there.
  • Electric: For vent-free, highly safe options, the electric fireplace is a great way to go. They don’t require any venting, meaning installation is cheap and simple, and they can be placed in a variety of locations very easily.

Choose Fireplace Style

There are also a few distinct styles to choose between:

  • Traditional: Fireplaces meant to bring romance and traditional elements using realistic logs, flames and embers.
  • Modern: Contemporary options available in several minimalist styles, these options are highly varied.
  • Fireplace inserts: For older fireplace areas, you can transition the space into a heat creator with a gas fireplace insert. These inserts are meant to be installed directly into existing wood fireplaces, making them more efficient and aesthetically pleasing in one shot.

For more on a guide toward buying your first fireplace, or to learn about any of our modern or traditional fireplace options, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions today.