EB Design Air Inc. Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Fireplaces’

Signs of Trouble with Your Fireplace

Monday, October 24th, 2016

We’ve already seen our share of chilly days here in the Northeast, which means that — if your home has a fireplace — you’ve likely had cause to use it at least once or twice. The fall makes an ideal time to check your fireplace for signs of trouble, and if an issue arises, you can summon a repair service before the temperature drops too low.

That will help your fireplace work as efficiently as it can later in the winter, and can often lower the cost of repairs, since sooner is always preferable to later when it comes to correcting a long-standing problem. Here’s a quick list of signs of trouble with your fireplace, which you should watch for when planning to build a fire this fall.

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The Benefits of an Electric Fireplace

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Who doesn’t love a wood-burning fireplace? The smell of the wood smoke, the pleasant crackling sounds as the log burns, everything about a wood burning fireplace gives rise to feelings of safety, warmth, and happiness. As lovely as wood-burning fireplaces are, however, they do have their own set of problems. Storage can be an issue, as most people don’t have the space to stack a lot of firewood. You need to have your chimney cleaned out on a pretty regular basis, as wood fireplaces put out a lot of creosote that can block air flow and cause a fire hazard. Fortunately, there’s hope for those who want to have a fireplace but don’t want to deal with wood fireplace maintenance. Let’s explore the benefits of an electric fireplace.

Maintenance

Electric fireplaces don’t burn fuel to create heat. Instead, they run an electric current through a metal coil to give off heat. This produces heat without any of the combustion byproducts that wood burning fireplace owners have to deal with. With electric fireplaces there’s no ash, no creosote, and no need for a chimney. Low maintenance is one of the biggest advantages to owning an electric fireplace.

Safety

Wood-burning fireplaces can actually be quite dangerous, if not treated properly. If the chimney is not professionally inspected and cleaned at least once a year, it can become so caked in creosote that it cracks, increasing the chance of a chimney fire. The flue can become damaged, causing it to stick shut and fill the house with smoke.

Electric fireplaces don’t need to worry about the safety issues that wood-burning fireplaces do. The lack of combustion byproducts not only makes electric fireplaces low maintenance, as mentioned above, but safer, as well.

Cost Savings

Though electricity is not normally the most efficient fuel type for heaters, electric fireplaces are a very economical way to heat a room compared to other fireplaces. They can be turned on and off at will, as opposed to wood-burning fireplaces that waste wood if put out too early. They’re usually portable, which means they can be placed right next to you instead of having to warm the entire room. Their more versatile nature makes electric furnaces more cost-effective than wood fireplaces in many ways.

If you’re interested in installing an electric fireplace, call Design Air Inc. We provide quality fireplaces and services in the New City.

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Do I Need a Chimney for Fireplace Installation?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Fireplaces add both extra heat and ambiance to just about any room they are in. A nice fireplace can be the focal point of any room, and these days it has never been easier to have one. Why? Because it’s no longer an absolute that you have to have a chimney in order to have a fireplace. So what are your options when it comes to non-chimney fireplaces in Spring Valley? Let’s take a look.

Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces work very similarly to electric furnaces, just on a much smaller scale. As with an electric furnace, an electric fireplace has a small heating element made of several tightly-wound metal coils. When the fireplace is turned on, electricity flows through these coils, making them very hot. When the air around the coils reaches the right temperature a small fan called a blower turns on and pushes the warmed air into your living space. One of the best things about an electric fireplace is that all the heat generated is blown into your living space; these types of fireplaces do not consume a fuel to operate, so there is no loss of heat. Electric fireplaces produce about 5000 BTUs of heat, so they can provide extra heat to a living space, but shouldn’t be counted on to heat an entire living space. The glass and surrounding material of electric fireplaces stay cool to the touch, so they are very safe. Electric fireplaces can have mantels or be inserts, so you also have a choice in style, and all come with decorative and realistic flame effects.

Direct Vent Fireplaces

If you love an authentic flame but not the ash and soot of a wood-burning fireplace, you may want to consider the installation of a direct vent fireplace. Direct vent fireplaces use natural gas or propane, but it isn’t necessary to install a full chimney with it (although you can if you want); a single horizontal vent, similar to that of a gas dryer, is installed in the exterior wall behind the fireplace. This vent has two chambers: one draws air into the fireplace from the outside, the other expels 100% of the toxic combustion byproducts. Direct vent fireplaces are very energy efficient, are cool to the touch (except for the glass), and allow you to enjoy a significant amount of supplemental heat.

If you have wanted to install a fireplace in your Spring Valley home, call Design Air today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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The Advantages of Heating with a Wood Stove

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

If you’re looking for a new way to heat your home, you may actually consider choosing an old reliable failsafe: a wood stove or fireplace. Wood burning is one of the oldest forms of heating, and homeowners who still rely on it continue to rave about its comforting effects.

What’s more is that many home heating experts say that wood burning is still one of the most efficient means of heating. Homeowners can choose between installing freestanding wood stoves and installing inserts in existing fireplaces. Learn more about the benefits of wood burning fixtures in this brief guide.

The Benefits of a Wood Burning Stove

Many people love wood stoves partly because they add a stylish, vintage feel to any home. But one of the main advantages of burning wood is the level of comfort it delivers to a room. Your wood stove or fireplace offers an advanced level of comfort because heat fills a room. With traditional forced-air heating, it only heats the air, which may not be an ideal way to distribute heat as it can quickly dissipate from the home. And if you’re worried that a new wood stove won’t have enough power to heat your home, a wood-burning stove or fireplace can actually have enough BTUs for an entire home.

Furthermore, a wood stove can be extremely efficient. Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces rely on an all-natural fuel source which is readily available and sometimes free. The energy return usually greatly exceeds the initial investment, particularly if you’re replacing a heater that used oil. It reduces your carbon footprint so that you can feel better about using it in your home.

Safety

Finally, in many ways, wood-burning is safe for your home and healthy for your family members. As long as you choose professionals for installation and have your unit maintained once a year (this is necessary with any type of heating system), any potential carbon monoxide emissions vent safely to the outdoors. And the risk of a chimney fire is practically eliminated so long as an expert takes the right safety precautions.

Visit our showroom at Design Air Inc to view our selection of available wood-burning stoves and fireplaces in Monsey and the surrounding areas, and consult with an heating expert before making a final decision.

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Why You Should Consider a Gas Fireplace Installation

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

If you’ve been looking for a way to supplement your home heating, you may want to consider the installation of a gas fireplace in Pomona. With a wide variety of styles to choose from, you can select a gas fireplace that complements your décor while also providing great supplemental heat. Because natural gas can be a hazardous fuel to work with, it’s very important to hire professionals for any gas fireplace installation. The experts at Design Air, Inc., have the training and certification to work on any type of heating installation, including gas fireplace inserts, so call us today!

What to Expect Before Installation

It’s important to make sure that your chimney and fireplace are equipped for usage with a gas fireplace insert. This is why, as part of our gas fireplace installation services, your Design Air, Inc. technician will thoroughly inspect your fireplace, chimney and flue before installation. If any problems are detected, you’ll be notified and given the suggestions for repairing the issues. Inspection is important so that there is no risk of backdrafting or the potential for carbon monoxide leaking into your home.

Advantages of a Gas Fireplace Installation

Once your fireplace and chimney are cleared for installation, you can see the following benefits from a gas fireplace:

  • Convenience – with the simple push of a button, you have a fire with a gas fireplace. There’s no need for wood or lighting it yourself.
  • Many options – as mentioned above, there are many options when it comes to choosing a type of gas fireplace. You may want a custom fireplace or pre-fabricated one; you may want masonry or something more modern; and you have a choice of vented or ventless.
  • Less combustion byproducts – gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, and is very clean when compared to burning wood. You’ll still need to have an annual inspection and chimney sweep, but the creosote build-up with a gas fireplace is considerably less than a wood burning one.

A gas fireplace in Pomona can offer you the ambiance of a burning fireplace with convenience, comfort and energy efficiency. If you are interested in a gas fireplace, call Design Air, Inc. today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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What Is a Pellet Stove and What Are Its Advantages?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Adding a supplemental heat source to your home, such as a fireplace or wood stove, can go a long way toward lowering your heating bills during the winter. Pellet stoves, relatively new to the residential market, have become very popular over the last few years. Using compressed pellets made of recycled wood materials, pellet stoves can help heat a room or a whole floor, depending on their size; it also isn’t necessary to have a fireplace in Springfield to install one. If you are looking for a way to significantly supplement your heating, you may want to consider the installation of a pellet stove by a specialist from Design Air, Inc.

How Does a Pellet Stove Work?

Pellet stoves heat via convection. Convection heat describes the way heat moves through gases, including air. Pellets stoves heat this way because they blow the hot air generated in the stove into your living space. Here are the main components in a pellet stove:

  • Hopper – space that holds the pellets
  • Auger – large turning device that looks like a screw
  • Burn pot – where the pellets land, ignite and burn
  • Ash pan – pan where the ash drops
  • Heat exchanger – metal tubes that conduct the heat energy from the flame; the insides of the tubes hold the toxic fumes that are exhausted outside
  • Combustion fan – draws in the cool air from your living space that helps ignite the pellets in the burn pot
  • Convection fan – blows the warm air into your living space from the heat exchanger

The cycle starts when the pellet stove is turned on either by its thermostat or via a button on the back of the stove; pellet stoves require a small amount of electricity to operate. The auger feeds a small amount of pellets into the burn pot while the combustion fan draws air into the stove to help with ignition. A small, hot electrical igniter warms the bottom of the pot until the pellets light. The auger continues to feed pellets into the burn pot until the flame reaches the correct temperature, as assessed by a small sensor that is attached to the rim of the burn pot. The heat exchanger warms with the rising temperature of the burn pot, and once the correct temperature is reached, the convection fan will blow the warm air into your home as the toxic fumes are exhausted from the system through your chimney.

Benefits of a Pellet Stove

  • Convenience – managing the bags of pellets can be easier for many people, and the average burning time for one bag is 8-10 hours. This means you only have to load the hopper twice a day.
  • No smoke – pellet stoves do not produce smoke, so you don’t have to deal with smoky rooms or a smoky smell.
  • Low ash – the ash content of a pellet stove is significantly lower than a wood stove, and can be easily cleaned with a vacuum.
  • Outside doesn’t get hot – unlike a wood stove, pellet stoves are insulated all the way around, making the stove itself (not the glass) safe to touch during operation.

If you have been looking for a supplemental heat source that is convenient and easy to use, a pellet stove for your fireplace in Spring Valley may be just what you need. Call Design Air, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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Repairs that Gas Log Fireplaces May Need

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Your gas log fireplace has a fairly simple construction, so it may be surprising when your fireplace needs repair. But when your fireplace won’t turn on, or if you notice any other problems, it’s time for immediate repairs. Fireplaces should last a long time, and generally don’t require many repairs, but here are a few of the most common repair needs for gas log fireplaces.

  • Gas Line Problems: A gas log fireplace must have a working gas line in order for it to work properly. Gas line problems could stop your fireplace from working altogether, or the worst case scenario is carbon monoxide leaking into your home. A carbon monoxide detector may catch such leaks, or you may smell a strange odor due to a substance that may be added upon installation to make leaks easier to detect. You may also discover that you need repairs if you hear strange noises or if your fireplace will not turn on. Fixing a gas line without the proper training is dangerous, so be sure to leave this job to the professionals.
  • Clogged Burner: If the burner will not turn on or struggles to light, there may be another cause. This may mean problems with the ignition system, or it may indicate a clogged burner. Burner jets may become dirty due to soot, dirt, or other debris, which will interfere with normal operation. A technician can clear dirt and debris and check for any indications of damage. You should call for maintenance once a year to check for both dirt and a faulty gas line.
  • Cracked Logs: Finally, you may choose to repair your gas log fireplace if the logs become cracked or otherwise damaged. Gas log fireplaces were mainly designed for aesthetic purposes because the appearance is more pleasant than a typical gas fireplace and imitates the look of real logs. You take pride in your gas log fireplace, so it’s perfectly understandable that you may want to replace the logs from time to time.

Your fireplace is an important part of your home comfort and design, so you should look out for these problems and others. For repairs, maintenance, installation, and questions about gas log fireplaces in Suffern, call the experts with over 25 years of experience at Design Air Inc today.

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Reasons to Consider an Electric Fireplace Insert

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Sometimes, a traditional wood-burning fireplace can turn into a white elephant: a luxury that has started to cost more for upkeep than it is worth. For a family that doesn’t often use their wood burning fireplace, an excellent option is to install a prefabricated electric fireplace insert. This way, the family can keep the attractive look of the fireplace (something too expensive and damaging to have removed) without the hassles of carrying and storing wood, cleaning out ash, or encounter dangers from gas logs.

If you think that your home’s hearth will benefit from an electric fireplace insert, call up our professionals at Design Air Inc. We’ve specialized in the installation of fireplaces in New City, NY, from gas logs to wood pellet and freestanding stoves. We have a Master Hearth Professional on staff who can help answer all your questions about the best way to improve your current fireplace so you will receive the most use from it, and at the best price.

Why an Electric Fireplace Insert?

Electrical fireplaces are much more advanced today than they were 20 years ago. If you think of electric fireplaces as cheap affairs powered by light bulbs, you’ll be surprised at how attractive and effective the modern models are. They can create an inviting illusion of flames and contain and heater with a blower fan to generate a cozy warmth.

Here are some reasons you should consider an electric insert for your fireplace:

  • Safety: There is no safer type of fireplace on the market today than an electric insert. They create no exhaust (you don’t technically need a chimney!), won’t make sparks that can fly out of the hearth, and do not use natural gas that can create a carbon monoxide hazard.
  • Inexpensive: Compared to gas logs and keeping up a wood-burning fireplace (especially if you need to purchase logs because you don’t have ready access to a lumber source), electric inserts do not cost much to purchase and install.
  • Convenience: In addition to never needing to load logs or clear out ash from electrical fireplaces, they have few other maintenance needs. (Imagine: no more chimney sweeping!) The fireplace can turn on as easily as a flick of a light switch.
  • Energy savings: Current electrical fireplace inserts have enough power to heat up a room, so if you only need heat for a single space, you can use an electric fireplace and give your furnace or boiler a break for a while.

Although an electric fireplace cannot capture the same old-fashioned sensation of a wood-burning one, they still make a room cozy and atmospheric—and without the extra work, expense, and hazards of other types of fireplaces.

Contact Design Air Inc today and speak to our professionals experienced with installing fireplaces in New City, NY today. They will assist you with finding the perfect electric fireplace insert to make your home warm and inviting.

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What Prevents Fireplaces from Filling a Home with Smoke?

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The first indoor hearths had a simple ventilation system: a hole cut into the roof where the smoke could waft away to the outside. Modern fireplaces have flues, which carry combustion gases out of your home. There are a few different types of flues used in homes today.

If you need service for fireplaces in Suffern, NY, contact Design Air Inc today. We can perform most maintenance on the spot so that you won’t have to worry about smoke getting into your home.

The most common type of flue is inside a chimney, which draws the hot, smokey air up via natural draft. You can have a lined or unlined flue, and you can also install a chimney cap to help with ventilation and prevent weather or animals from entering your chimney.  Chimneys operate from the basic principle of physics that hot air rises because it is less dense than cold air. The pressure difference created by the rising hot gas is called “draft,” and it draws the combustion up through the chimney. The chimney lining absorbs some of this heat to prevent the bricks from warming up too much and igniting flammable building material around it. The taller the chimney, the more draft it will produce at a given temperature difference. This is the reason that chimney design should be handled professionally, so it will not produce draft problems.

People are often curious about how freestanding fireplaces, like freestanding wood and pellet stoves, work. They don’t require chimneys, so how is the smoke ventilated? Most use a balanced flue, which is built directly into a wall and into a ventilation shaft. If the house already has a chimney, the stove can “tap in” to it through a wall.

Direct power flues are also available, which use a fan to suck combustion gases and vent them outside. Since these types of flues can be exteneded, it allows you to install a fireplace away from an external wall.

If you are planning to have a fireplace insert or a freestanding stove installed, make sure you go through professionals to have it done. You can purchase low-cost stoves and inserts through large merchandisers, but they rarely meet the EPA’s minimum standards and will have short service lives. Fireplace professionals have the best range of available models, and they will install them to meet EPA guidelines and provide you with long lasting heat.

Design Air Inc offers comprehensive fireplace installation and repair services for inserts, gas logs, and freestanding wood and pellet stoves. We have a Master Hearth Professional on staff to answer your questions. If you need help with your fireplace, or if you are interested in seeing the fireplaces in Suffern, NY that we offer, contact Design Air Inc today.

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