Maintenance

7 Reasons Why a Traditional Fireplace Provides Outstanding Value for Your Home

 

fireplace

In this day and age homeowners are going to great lengths to add the most unique and high-tech equipment to their homes to provide a more comfortable living environment. Most of these additions are very costly, expensive to maintain, and mostly go unused shortly after installation. A traditional fireplace is the type of addition that has been popular for centuries, and continue to be popular for homeowners and families alike. Additionally, traditional fireplaces are affordable to install, easy to maintain, and provide a unique experience for everyone in the family. Here are 7 reasons why a traditional fireplace provides an outstanding value for your home.

 

 

1.  Warmth at All Times

This may be an obvious reason to owning a traditional fireplace, but it is one that can be overlooked at crucial times of the year. While it is very clear that a fireplace can bring warmth to your home, it needs to be noted how influential this heat can be taken for granted until you are left without it. When the electricity goes out, a fireplace will more than likely be the only source of heat for your home. Therefore, the warmth that a fireplace can provide when all else fails a very important reason for installing for the return on investment it can bring your family and your home.

 

2.  Fire for Cooking

More likely than not your fireplace is located in your living room where you and your family spend the majority amount of time together while at home. Instead of having to run back and forth to the kitchen while cooking, take advantage of the cooking convenience and location of your fireplace when trying to make a meal. Additionally, if your fireplace is indoors cooking marshmallows and hotdogs on a stick can bring the fun indoors for everyone to enjoy!

  

3.  Ecofriendly

In this day and age, it is very important to provide an ecofriendly environment to all parts of your life.  Owning and using a fireplace for wood burning uses less fossil-fueled energy supply which is a great way to live ecofriendly. Furthermore, using your fireplace and burning wood uses a source that has a zero carbon footprint so you can be assured you are living comfortable and giving back to your living environment!

4.  Budget of Owning One

As electricity prices continue to rise, you can be rest assured that the price of maintaining an operating a natural fireplace will remain cheap and affordable for many years to come. There is no price for fire other than the time/effort you put into starting it. Following this further, while most home utilities require a qualified technician, most fireplace repairs and maintenance can be done by the owner which saves a lot for the wallet and the hassle of hiring someone. The main cost for a fireplace is wood, which will save you a lot of money in comparison to a growing utility bill.   

 

5.  Added Ambiance

Many homeowners go to far and expensive lengths to add additional ambiance to their home or living area. A project such as sun roof, or landscape lighting can run a homeowner upwards of two thousand dollars, let alone the time to hire a contractor and for installation. If you’re planning on owning your current or future home for at least five years, a traditional fireplace is a very affordable return on investment to own.

 

6.  Little Maintenance

Rarely do fireplaces require repairs, and if they do, the maintenance repair cost is low and affordable. Other than simple repairs, most of your maintenance will consist of replacing wood, and regular cleaning of ash and soot buildup. Fireplaces needed to be cleaned regularly, just as often as you clean your stove or floors overtime when they become dirty.   

7.  Provides Romance & Scent

Along with ambiance, a traditional wood burning fireplace provides the classic fire scent and extra romance to the home. Whether your curled up next to that special someone watching a movie or simply watching the flames of the fire in front of you. A traditional fireplace adds a touch of love and romance to home or living area. The scent of a wood burning has been replicated through candles, fragrances, and perfumes, but owning a traditional fireplace gives that unique smell that cannot be easily replicated.

 

Whether you’re preparing for the cold winter ahead, thinking about adding an addition onto your home, or simply looking for something to spark up your life, adding a traditional fireplace to your home provides the best return on investment for your living area and family. Make sure to check out Aspen Fireplaces large selection of traditional fireplaces to get yours today! For more information related to this topic, check out these other articles listed below.

 

https://www.ctsweep.com/blog/top-sweep-stories/benefits-of-fireplace/

http://www.weekendsonly.com/blogs/5-reasons-every-home-should-have-a-fireplace.aspx#.V9hkv5grK70

 

Outdoor Furniture Maintenance

Outdoor Furniture Maintenance Tips and Guidelines

After spending a few seasons on your porch, the furnishings you have may begin to show their age with mildew, rust marks, stains and more. Use the following general care tips to ensure you have your tables, cushions, chairs and more looking good as time goes by. Outdoors furniture with woven fabrics will generally have undergone a chemical treatment allowing them better stain and moisture resistance, regardless of material, but you would still do well to protect them anyway.

  • Maintaining wicker furniture

The pliable weave of wicker furniture is made from split reed, rattan, coated paper and other similar solutions. Coated in paint, varnish and even a combination of both, they are pretty resistant to the elements apart from sunlight for the most part. You would still do well to cover the furniture pieces if you are leaving them for extended periods of time. Make sure you also vacuum it to get rid of dirt and debris, using a dust brush attachment or even a dry paintbrush. Clean up the surfaces using a mild soap solution, scrub and rinse and you will have solid results. Avoid the use of way too much water as it may easily weaken the fabrics. Dry off well before using.

Outdoor Furniture Maintenance Tips and Guidelines2

  • Wooden furniture care

Most of the lumber used for outdoor furniture has its own naturally resistance to decay and the elements. Even though the sealants used will help prevent color loss and wear and tear, they are not always necessary. Wood will often form its own patina and will require little to no maintenance and the ability to last for a long time. Deep cleaning of this type of furniture on the other hand requires a bit more care. If you want to do some serious cleaning of mildew stains, then you will need to mix a gallon of hot water with some powdered oxygen bleach following instructions accordingly. Scrub the affected area with a soft brush and rinse well. If you have any rust stains or bird droppings, then you will need to sand the area with fine grit sandpaper, rinsing it afterward. If your area is way too large to sand effectively, then you will need to mix hot water with some oxalic acid crystals, commonly known as wood bleach for easier cleaning. Apply it with a soft brush and then rinse well. Never use chlorine bleach or it will damage the wood fibers.

Outdoor Furniture Maintenance Tips and Guidelines3

  • Metal furniture care

Iron, steel, aluminum as well as other metals can be wrought into amazing shapes, cast from molds or even formed into hollow tubing. A lot of the metals used however are suffering from rust, making metal furniture painted with clear varnish, paint or even a powder coating for increased durability. Deep cleaning for these materials requires a mild soap, scrubbing and rinsing in most cases. If you have mold or rust stains then it will be an entirely new game altogether, prompting the use of fine grit sandpaper. Wipe the area clean, apply a touch up of paint as needed over several thin layers and let the area dry between coats. Humidity may affect the paint, so make sure you work on a dry day at all times.

 

If your outdoor furniture is beyond repair, then you probably bought it at a big box retailer! Aspen Fireplace and Patio carries only high-quality outdoor furniture that is manufactured to withstand the elements and last for a long time.

Fireplace Maintenance Tips Aspen Fireplace & Patio Columbus Ohio

Fireplace Maintenance Tips

What better way to make your nights more welcoming than by making use of a nice, roaring fire in your fireplace? If you haven’t worked on fireplace maintenance and cleaning however, this will be the best time to handle it before it becomes a fire hazard. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your fireplace is a necessary step if you want to keep warm on your cold winter nights. Here are some tips on making it happen:

  • Start your fireplace maintenance by checking out the chimney damper

Grab a good flashlight and see whether anything is blocking your chimney damper. Animals will sometimes take up residence in the warm confines of the chimney for months on end. Falling leaves can also take up place inside the chimney, so if you see a blockage you would do well to arrange for a chimney cleaning.

  • Fireplace maintenance cleaning

You would need to clean your firebox from dirt, debris and ashes. This simple routine will remove the detritus that could easily become a fire hazard in the right circumstances. Once that is done you will be ready to light fires again when the cleaning is done.

  • Aries 1 - Lennox Hearth Fireplace aspen fireplace columbus ohioContaining Air Pollutants

The warm fire in your hearth makes smoke that contains carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and other volatile organic compounds that need to disappear from your home. These toxins can serious affect anyone who suffers asthma attacks and breathing issues, not to mention it can also hurt healthy individuals as well. The best way you can avoid this is to switch from a wood burning fireplace to a gas one if you can. Wood burning fireplaces inserts certified by the EPA or other agencies across the world are available in different styles and sizes so they can fit in with already existing masonry. Their fire is visible right through the screen for aesthetics and it will have good output without the need for constant cleaning you would need to handle otherwise.

  • Light your fire to keep smoke to a minimum

All firewood is not the same of course, so it pays well to know it before you move on with your wood burning. Dry wood will burn more efficiently and it will cause less smoke. Firewood needs to be seasoned and dry, from 6 to 12 months after splitting it. Hardwood such as orchard, oak and more will burn slower and dry slower than softwood such as pine and fir, so it may take longer for it to dry out completely.

Firewood stored outside your home should be placed on a higher ground. If you store firewood outside, you should make sure it is only a foot away from the ground at the very minimum. Cover the top of it to keep rain and dew out, but leave the sides open to allow for air drying. Choose a cord of wood with cracked, dark colored ends when possible. They should be lighter as this shows the moisture inside the wood is gone.

Now is the Perfect Time for your Annual Fireplace Inspection

outdoor-fireplace

The fall is a great time of year in Ohio and a nice change of pace after the hot summer. You might not be thinking about getting your fireplace started quite yet, but the time is coming soon. While it is in this period of disuse, it is a good idea to get your fireplace inspected.

An important aspect of maintaining the safety and quality of your wood-burning fireplace is to get your chimney swept. A chimney sweep will remove soot, blockages, and built-up creosote from your chimney. Without a proper inspection and cleaning, these materials can become hazardous. Creosote is a substance that builds up inside your chimney or liner as a result of burning wood and is highly flammable. If you do not regularly have your chimney swept, you may have a dangerous build-up of creosote that requires treatment. It is recommended that you get your chimney swept once every year. Now is the perfect time to get your chimney swept before the cold months set in and you start to use your fireplace. If you need an inspection, just contact us and we will be happy to help.

You may be thinking that if you have a gas fireplace you are off the hook, but not so fast. Gas fireplaces need regular inspection too. Gas fireplaces also run the risk of debris building up. A full inspection is important because over time, valves and connections can develop leaks that can become very dangerous. Just like wood-burning fireplaces, it is recommended that gas fireplaces are inspected annually. This will insure that your fireplace is functioning properly and operating safely. The experts at Aspen Fireplace are ready to service you if you need a fireplace inspection – all you have to do is contact us!

Resist the Rust: Replacing the Chimney Chase Cover

Being a stand out feature in many homes as well as a means of staying cozy during the harsh Columbus, Ohio winter months, a fireplace and its working conditions are often forgotten about when not in use. The hot summer months are the ideal time to inspect your fireplace and make improvements before putting it back to work in the winter.

One of the most important components to check is the chimney chase cover. The chimney chase cover is the flat metal cover located at the top of the chimney that covers the opening of the chimney. Its main job is to provide an water-tight seal over the opening of the chimney. The condition of the chimney chase cover is the key indicator of the state of the fireplace and chimney. The most common sign of a faulty chimney chase cover is rusting on the top or sides of the steel. Because it is meant to provide protection from water and other elements from entering the chimney, rust shows that the cover is not doing its job.

rust-chase-cover-columbus-ohio

Most chimney chase covers are made of a lower grade galvanized steel. The problem with galvanized steel is that the moisture from the smoke exhaust causes staining and rust deteriorates the metal, both of which let water leak down into the chimney and the fireplace. Water inside the chimney can decompose the framing and lead to even greater structural damage.

To ensure your fireplace structure is in top working condition, we recommend using a stainless steel chimney chase cover. Stainless steel resists rust and deterioration from climate change, making the investment a greater payoff in the long run.

stainless-steel-chase-cover-columbus-ohio

Another benefit of using a stainless steel chimney chase cover is that these are custom-made. With custom measurements you can ensure the cover fits perfectly over the opening of the chimney providing the best protection. To install a new stainless steel chimney chase cover, expect approximately half a day’s work, depending on ease of access to the top of the chimney and the size of the cover. Having the model number of the fireplace is extremely helpful when making a custom cover as well.

The chimney is the gateway into the home, so if there is damage to the chase cover or into the interior of the chimney, chances are, the damages aren’t stopping there. Visit Aspen Fireplace for your custom chimney chase and fireplace needs. The fireplace experts at Aspen Fireplace will help you decide what is best for your home.

Don’t have a chimney chase cover? Check out our blog on Chimney Crown Deterioration.

Annual Gas Inspection

Imagine the first cold night of fall – you throw a heavier blanket on the bed, curl up in some flannel pajamas and turn on your fireplace, but something is wrong. What do you do? You probably pick up your phone to call your fireplace repairman, only to hear a busy dial tone on the other end because everyone else is in the cold, too. It is likely you’ll spend the next 2-6 weeks without a working fireplace, freezing, while you wait for an appointment to have it fixed.

Now, imagine curling up in your flannel pajamas, blanket and hot cocoa on hand in front of a well-working fireplace. The key to enjoying your fireplace on that first cold night is being proactive and having an annual gas inspection in the off-season to ensure your fireplace works when you turn it on in the fall.

There are many advantages to getting your inspection done in the spring and summer:

  • New installations aren’t being done so appointments are easier to schedule and wait time is shorter.
  • Discounted rates to encourage summer inspections and avoid fall inspections when it is busier.
  • Shorter wait time – in the summer you might wait 1 week while in the fall you could be waiting 2-6 weeks

Having your annual gas inspection is easy, just call (614) 423-4255 to set up an appointment. The service appointment itself takes about an hour and includes cleaning, testing of electrical parts for functionality, putting new embers in the burner and a multiple point test of your fireplace to ensure everything is in working order when you finally turn it on that first cold night. Don’t delay your inspection until the busy season, be proactive and contact us today.