Spring Cleaning: A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Awning

homeowner outside on their deck cleaning their retractable awning before the Spring and warm months

Get Your Awning Spring Cleaned in 5 Easy Steps

Spring is finally here! After the long, cold Winter months, many homeowners are looking forward to getting the most out of the warm weather by spending time on their decks and patios. To enjoy the weather without worrying about the harsh rays of the sun, awnings provide an affordable and efficient solution. After being closed up all Winter, though, awnings can accumulate a lot of dust and dirt. In this blog, you’ll learn the best steps and products for cleaning your awning before the start of the season.

Benefits of Installing a Retractable Awning on a Porch or Deck

Before we jump into the steps for cleaning awnings, let’s talk about why you should consider installing one on your deck or porch. Retractable awnings are popular for many reasons, but here are just a few of the main benefits:

Protect Yourself from UV Rays

By offering shade and protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, retractable awnings are a great way to enjoy the outdoors without having to worry about sunburns or skin damage.

Lower Energy Costs

Retractable awnings can also help you save money on energy bills. The shade they provide can help keep your home cool during the hot Summer months, which may result in less need to use air conditioning.

Prevent Fading on Outdoor Furniture

The Sun can pose a threat to more than just your skin. It’s also a major cause of fading on outdoor furniture, such as couches, tables, and deck railings. Installing a retractable awning can provide an extra layer of protection from UV rays and help maintain the color of your outdoor furniture.

Catch Falling Leaves, Rain, & Airborne Debris

Awnings also act as a barrier that can prevent rain, snow, and wind from entering your deck or patio. They also catch debris, such as leaves and branches, before they make their way into your home.

5 Steps To Clean Awnings This Spring

To be able to enjoy the benefits of an awning, you first need to make sure that it’s clean. To help you with this task, here are five steps for cleaning awnings this Spring:

1. Purchase the Proper Cleaners

Most awnings are made of fabric, so you’ll need a cleaning solution that is designed for fabric and won’t cause any damage. Look for products that are designed to be gentle on fabrics and won’t leave any residue. Some good options are Simple Green® All-Purpose Cleaner, 303 Fabric Guard®, and Star Brite® Mildew Stain Remover.

2. Gather Ladders & Other Supplies

You’ll also need to gather supplies, such as a ladder and a soft brush. The ladder will help you reach the higher parts of the awning, and the brush will make it easier to scrub away stubborn dirt or debris.

3. Prepare the Awning for Cleaning

Before you start cleaning the awning, it’s best to take some time to prepare. Make sure that all of the cords and fasteners are secured so that they don’t move during the cleaning process.

4. Apply Cleaning Solution

Once you have everything ready to go, you can start applying the cleaning solution. You can spray or pour the solution directly onto the awning, but make sure to use gentle pressure so that you don’t damage the fabric. Depending on the cleaner you are using, it is important to read all directions to allow for the proper time to pass before you start scrubbing.

5. Rinse & Dry

After the cleaning solution has had a chance to work its magic, it’s time to rinse off the awning. You can use a hose or bucket of water, but make sure that you get rid of all of the suds. Once rinsed, open up the awning and let it dry completely before storing or using it again.

Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Your Porch Awning

When cleaning an awning, it’s important to know what mistakes you should avoid. Most importantly, never use bleach or other harsh chemicals on the fabric, as this can cause discoloration or damage. Additionally, make sure to always read the manufacturer’s instructions before use and avoid using too much pressure when scrubbing. Lastly, never leave the awning open while it is wet as this can cause damage to the fabric or frame.

Contact New England Hearth & Home in Canton, MA for Professional Awning Installations & Maintenance Services

If you’re interested in getting a new awning installed on your porch or deck, or if your current awning is in need of repair, contact the experts at New England Hearth & Home in Canton, MA. Our team will help fit your home with the perfect awning, and we offer repair and maintenance services to keep your awning looking its best. To learn more, visit our website or give us a call today at 781-562-0771.

Learn More About Our Retractable Awnings Contact Us Today!

How to Get Your Gas Fireplace Ready for Spring

professional fireplace expert cleaning out and inspecting a gas fireplace to prepare the appliance for the spring and summer warm months

Prepare Your Gas Fireplace for Warmer Weather With These Spring Maintenance Tips

The weather is finally starting to warm up and it’s time to start thinking about how you can prepare your gas fireplace for the months of not being used. Although a gas fireplace is designed to be used year-round, many homeowners choose to wait until it gets colder again before lighting their fireplace. If you plan to do this, then you need to make sure that your gas fireplace is properly maintained before the long months of inactivity. In this blog, we will share with you some important tips for spring maintenance of your gas fireplace.

Importance of Preparing Your Gas Fireplace for Spring & Summer

As the temperatures continue to rise, many homeowners no longer are looking for a way to stay warm. Gas fireplaces become less and less necessary as the weather gets warmer, but it is essential to take the proper steps before leaving it idle for months. By skipping out on the proper maintenance, you are running the risk of needing more expensive repairs in the future. Additionally, if your fireplace is not properly maintained for the months of inactivity, you could be facing issues when it does come time to turn your fireplace back on.

Do You Need to Shut Off Your Gas Fireplace for the Spring & Summer?

The answer to this question depends on your individual situation. Some manufacturers recommend that homeowners shut off their gas fireplaces when they are not being used, and if it is not being used for an extended period of time. This will help keep your gas fireplace running in top shape, and ensure that it won’t need any expensive repairs in the future. If you are unsure about shutting yours off, contact your manufacturer for more information.

How to Prepare to Shut Off Your Gas Fireplace in the Spring

If you decide to shut off your gas fireplace for the warmer months, there are a few steps that you will need to follow.

Turn Off the Gas

The first step is to turn off the gas that powers your fireplace. This will help ensure that no gas leaks are occurring while it is not being used. You will also be able to conserve energy by not using up any gas while your fireplace is off.

Clean the Entire Fireplace & All Components

As you have been using your fireplace throughout the Winter, soot and debris may have accumulated on your fireplace and its components. Before shutting off the gas for the warm seasons, you should clean all parts of your fireplace to ensure that it is free of dirt and debris.

Schedule a Professional Cleaning or Inspection

A professional eye can catch any areas that need attention before you shut off your gas fireplace. Scheduling a professional cleaning and inspection will also help protect against future repairs, as any issues can be addressed before the long months of inactivity.

Don’t Forget to Remove Any Remaining Ashes

Before shutting down your gas fireplace for the warmer months, you should make sure to remove any ashes from the fireplace. This will help keep your fireplace clean and free of debris before it is not used for a long time.

Properly Secure the Fireplace

To ensure that your fireplace is completely shut off and that no gas is leaking, make sure to properly secure the fireplace. This can include closing flue dampers, turning off the control valve, and making sure the pilot light is off.

Routine Cleaning & Maintenance Will Still Be Needed for Gas Fireplaces Without Regular Use

Even if you are not planning on igniting your fireplace for months, you should still make sure to do regular maintenance and cleaning. This includes checking the gas lines and components, as well as cleaning the hearth. Doing these routine checks will help ensure that your gas fireplace is in proper working order when the colder months come back around.

Contact New England Hearth & Home in Canton, MA for Professional Gas Fireplace Servicing, Cleaning, & Inspections

At New England Hearth & Home, we are equipped to properly clean and inspect your gas fireplace to make sure it is in proper working order. We will check all components of your gas fireplace, ensuring that no repairs are needed before the colder months come back around. We specialize in servicing the top brands in gas fireplaces, so you can rest assured that your fireplace is in good hands. To learn more, and to schedule your annual cleaning or inspection, visit our website or give us a call today at 781-562-0771.

Learn More About Our Gas Fireplace Services Contact Us Today!

Everything You Need to Know Before Mounting a TV Above Your Fireplace

Is it Safe to Place Your TV Above a Fireplace?: Things to Consider Before Mounting

Many homeowners consider mounting their TVs above their fireplaces for a fun and entertaining environment in their living room, bedroom, basement and more. Not only does it look aesthetically pleasing, but it also helps to free up floor space and allows everyone to watch their favorite shows or movies in comfort. One question on many people’s minds is whether or not it is safe to place their TV above the fireplace. In this blog, we will answer this question along with the top things to consider before mounting your TV above the fireplace.

Fireplaces Create a Center of Entertainment, Comfort, & Safety

During the coldest of winter months, a fireplace can be the perfect place for friends and family to gather around for conversation, entertainment, and warmth. With its built-in heat source, it’s the perfect place to watch a movie or show on your television. Whether you own a gas, electric, or wood-burning fireplace, there are many benefits to adding a hearth into your home.

Benefits of Mounting a TV Above a Fireplace

Mounting your television above the fireplace allows you to take advantage of two great features in one place. You can enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a cozy fire while watching your favorite shows in comfort. Additionally, it adds a unique design element to the room that other wall-mounted TVs won’t have.

Things to Consider Before Mounting a TV Above the Fireplace

Before you mount your television above the fireplace, there are a few factors you need to consider in order to ensure your safety and the protection of your home.

Heat Can Warp & Damage Your TV

Heat rises, so if you have a gas or wood-burning fireplace that gets hot, the heat can travel up to the TV and cause warping or damage. This is especially true if the TV is close to the fireplace. To prevent this from happening, you should use a heat shield or fireproof material between the TV and the fireplace. Additionally, make sure that the TV is mounted at least a few feet away from the fireplace to allow for proper airflow.

Temperature Can Affect Picture Quality

The temperature of the room can also have an effect on your television’s picture quality. If the room is too hot, it can cause distortion in the picture. To make sure that your TV is getting enough air to keep it cool, you should leave a few inches between the fireplace and the TV. This will also ensure that heat from the fireplace does not warp or damage your television.

Smoke & Ash Can Cause Television Damage

In some cases, smoke and ash can enter the room and settle on your television. This not only affects the picture quality of your TV, but it can also cause permanent damage. To help prevent this from building up, you should consider installing a smoke and ash detector. This can help alert you to any potentially hazardous conditions in the room.

How to Safely Mount Your TV

Once you’ve considered the potential risks of mounting your TV above the fireplace, it’s time to begin installation. Before choosing to mount your television alone, it is always a good idea to consider calling a professional before proceeding. For an extra layer of safety, you may also want to consider using a tilting or swiveling mount that can easily adjust the angle of your TV when needed. This will give you the freedom to watch from different angles and locations in the room.

Keep Your Television at Least 12 Inches Above the Fireplace

When choosing where you would like to mount your TV, it is important to keep it at least 12 inches above the mantle. This will give you enough space for proper air circulation and will help protect it from potential fire hazards.

Install a Heat Shield

Heat shields are a great way to protect your TV from any potential heat damage. These shields are made of fire-rated materials, such as sheet metal or ceramic tile. When installed properly, they can help reflect the heat away from your television and prevent it from warping or becoming damaged.

Consider Purchasing a TV Made from Heat-Resistant Materials

Certain television models are designed with heat-resistant materials, such as aluminum or stainless steel. These kinds of TVs can handle higher temperatures and are less likely to be damaged by the heat from the fireplace.

Conclusion: Is it Safe to Mount a TV Above the Fireplace?

If you are thinking about mounting your TV above the fireplace, it is important that you consider all of the potential risks. By taking the proper safety precautions, such as installing a heat shield and keeping your TV at least 12 inches above the mantel, you can help ensure that your television is properly protected. With proper preparation, you can enjoy a safe and entertaining environment in your home.

Contact New England Hearth & Home in Canton, MA for All Your Fireplace Needs & Questions

For more tips and information about proper fireplace usage, contact New England Hearth & Home in Canton, MA. Our experienced professionals can help provide you with all the advice and tools you need to create a safe and comfortable environment in your home. Our experts can also help you make any necessary repairs or adjustments, ensuring that your fireplace is running properly and efficiently. Visit our website to learn more, or contact us today with any questions or concerns. We look forward to hearing from you!

Fireplaces vs. Fireplace Inserts: The Main Differences

brick wood fireplace insert using red and brown brick and a black metal frame

When it comes to adding a fireplace to your home, there are two main options: fireplaces and fireplace inserts. Both have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. In this blog post, we will outline the main differences between fireplaces and fireplace inserts. We will also discuss the benefits of each option so that you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your home.

If you’re located in or near Canton, MA, and need help deciding which type of fireplace is right for you, contact New England Hearth & Home!

What is a Fireplace Insert?

A fireplace insert, sometimes called a wood stove insert, is an appliance designed to be retrofitted into an existing traditional masonry or factory-built fireplace. It is a self-contained unit that includes a firebox, flue collar, and blower system. The insert is typically made of metal and is placed inside an existing fireplace, providing a more efficient and easy-to-maintain heating solution.

How Is a Fireplace Insert Different from a Fireplace?

If you are looking to add warmth to your home, both literally and in terms of aesthetics, fireplaces and inserts offer two distinct options. Determining which one is right for you depends on the size of your home, how big your budget is, the timeline you would like to complete the project, and many other factors.

Fireplace Inserts Are More Efficient for Heating Your Home

For many homeowners, the primary difference between a fireplace and an insert is efficiency. Fireplace inserts are designed to be much more efficient than traditional fireplaces, meaning they use less energy to generate the same amount of heat. The insert’s sealed combustion chamber and blower system help keep as much heated air in your home as possible.

Fireplace Inserts Are Easier to Maintain Than Fireplaces

Another significant difference between fireplaces and inserts is the level of maintenance required. Fireplace inserts require less ongoing maintenance because the combustion chamber keeps out debris and other materials that can cause fires or reduce efficiency. Fireplaces, on the other hand, need to be manually cleaned and serviced regularly.

Fireplace Inserts Can Be More Affordable Than Fireplaces

When it comes to cost, fireplace inserts are typically more affordable than fireplaces. On average, fireplace inserts can be purchased for much less than the cost of a traditional fireplace. Plus, since inserts are more efficient and require less maintenance than fireplaces, the savings can be even greater over time.

Fireplaces Offer an Aesthetic Appeal That Inserts Don’t

When it comes to aesthetic appeal, fireplaces create an environment that inserts cannot. Fireplaces are usually the focal point of a room, providing a cozy and inviting atmosphere. The flames dancing in a fireplace are often mesmerizing and can be quite beautiful.

Fireplaces Are Often More Durable & Long-Lasting

Fireplaces are typically more durable than inserts, meaning they can stand up to wear and tear better over time. The materials used to construct fireplaces are often more robust and longer-lasting than those used in inserts.

How to Determine Which Option Is Right for Your Home

When it comes to adding a fireplace or insert to your home, there are many factors to consider. Efficiency, maintenance requirements, cost, and aesthetics all come into play when making the decision. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully before making a purchase.

Although fireplaces are usually more durable and provide a beautiful atmosphere, fireplace inserts are typically more efficient, require less maintenance, and cost less. If you are looking for an option that is both cost-effective and aesthetically appealing, an insert may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a fireplace that will stand the test of time and create an atmosphere you can enjoy for years to come, a traditional fireplace may be your best option.

Contact New England Hearth & Home for Fireplace & Fireplace Insert Services in Canton, MA

At New England Hearth & Home, we offer a range of fireplace and fireplace insert services, including installation, maintenance, repair, and replacements. Our experienced team can help you determine which option is best for your home and budget, as well as help you find the perfect fireplace or insert to fit your needs. To learn more about our services, or schedule a consultation with us, visit our website or give us a call at 781-562-0771 to get started!