Top 5 Tips to Reduce & Control Outdoor Fire Pit Smoke

outdoor fire pit in backyard and control smoke using tips for reducing bellows

Installing an outdoor fire pit in your backyard is a great way to add warmth and ambiance to your outdoor living space. They not only create a gathering spot for your friends and family, but they also provide a cozy atmosphere for chilly evenings. However, one common problem that many fire pit owners struggle with is excessive smoke. As the fire builds, the smoke can become overwhelming and uncomfortable for those sitting nearby. By using the right type of wood, routinely cleaning your fire pit, and checking for damage, you can significantly reduce and control outdoor fire pit smoke. In this blog, we will discuss the best tips for minimizing smoke and getting the most out of our backyard fire pit. To learn more about their benefits and how to keep them under control, contact New England Hearth & Home in Canton, Massachusetts.

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Dangers of Excessive Fire Pit Smoke

While fire pits can be a great addition to your backyard, excessive smoke can be dangerous for both your health and the environment. The smoke emitted from burning wood contains pollutants that can get into your lungs and cause respiratory issues. Over time, exposure to large amounts of smoke can lead to serious health concerns. The smoke produced by fire pits can also contribute to air pollution and impact the air quality in your area. By taking precautions to control your fire’s smoke can prevent these harmful effects and ensure a safe experience with every use.

Best Methods for Controlling Fire Pit Smoke

As mentioned, by using the right type of wood, regularly cleaning your fire pit, and other simple techniques, you can significantly reduce and control the smoke from your fire pit. Some of the best methods include:

Choosing the Right Type of Wood

The wood you burn has a significant impact on the amount of smoke produced. Hardwoods, such as oak, hickory, and maple, are the best choices for fire pits because they burn cleaner and produce less smoke. Seasoned wood, which is specifically cured for burning, can also produce less smoke compared to less efficient logs. Avoid using softwoods, like pine and cedar, as they burn unevenly and let off more pollution.

Regular Maintenance

Regularly cleaning out your fire pit can prevent the buildup of ash and debris, which can contribute to excess smoke. Make sure to remove any leftover ashes before starting a new fire. Additionally, clean out any debris or leaves from around the perimeter of your fire pit to ensure air can flow freely.

Check for Any Damage Before Each Use

If your fire pit has cracks or damage, it can affect how it burns and potentially produce more smoke. Before starting a fire, always check for any signs of damage and make necessary repairs before use. If you notice any severe risks, contact a professional to find out if a replacement is needed.

Place Your Fire Pit in a Location Without Wind

Wind can cause the smoke from your fire pit to pick up and spread, making it harder to control. The oxygen in the wind can also cause your fire to burn hotter and produce more smoke. To avoid this, consider placing your fire pit in a location with minimal wind or use a wind guard to block any gusts. Some of the best options for a wind-free location include an enclosed patio or a backyard with tall trees blocking the wind.

Use a Fire Pit Cover

A fire pit cover can help control the amount of oxygen that reaches the fire, leading to a more controlled burn and less smoke. When choosing a cover, make sure to find one that can withstand high temperatures and properly fit the size and shape of your fire pit. For professional help finding the right cover, contact New England Hearth & Home.

Schedule a Professional Outdoor Fire Pit Replacement or Installation with New England Hearth & Home in Southeast Massachusetts

If you constantly struggle with controlling the smoke from your outdoor fire pit, replacing or installing a new one can sometimes be an encompassing solution. At New England Hearth & Home, we offer professional outdoor fire pit services, including installation and replacement across the Southeast of Massachusetts. Based in Canton, our showroom is home to a wide selection of high-quality fire pits and tables made to make your outdoor living space more comfortable and enjoyable. To learn more about our services and schedule a consultation, call us at 781-562-0771 or submit an online service request!

How Much Do Awnings Provide UV Sun Protection for Skin?

awnings installed on home in massachusetts to block sun harmful uv rays and prevent skin exposure and damage

Installing an awning onto your porch, deck, or patio can enhance the overall appearance of your outdoor space and provide much-needed shade and protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Depending on the type and material of your awning, it can block a significant amount of UV radiation, making your time spent outdoors more enjoyable and safer for your skin. In this blog, we will discuss the benefits of installing an awning for your home and how they can prevent UV exposure.

To learn more about how to get started on protecting your skin with an awning in Southeast Massachusetts, contact New England Heath & Home for professional services.

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Dangers of UV Exposure

Although sitting outside is a relaxing and enjoyable time, it can also be a hidden danger to your skin. In Massachusetts, summers are hot and sunny, perfect for outdoor activities and backyard barbecues. While grilling on your deck or reading a book on your patio, you are unknowingly putting your skin at risk by exposing it to UV rays. These UV rays are invisible to the naked eye and can cause serious skin damage, including sunburns, premature aging, and even skin cancer. It is important to take precautions and protect your skin using multiple methods, such as wearing sunscreen and staying in the shade.

Top Benefits of Installing an Awning On a Deck, Porch, or Patio in Massachusetts

As mentioned, installing an awning on your porch, deck, or patio can provide many benefits for both you and your home. Some of the top benefits of installing an awning include:

Adding Personal Style to Your Home

awnings installed on home in massachusetts to block sun harmful uv rays and prevent skin exposure and damage

Awnings are available in a variety of colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes. This allows you to find one that matches your style and complements your home’s exterior features.

Increase Property Value

Not only do awnings enhance the appearance of your home, but they can also increase its overall value. When you decide to list your home on the market, potential buyers will be looking for added features that make the property more efficient and comfortable. Awnings provide both of these benefits and can help make a quicker sale.

Energy Efficient

Awnings provide shade and protection from the sun’s heat, which can significantly reduce energy costs. By blocking direct sunlight from entering your home, you can add an extra layer of insulation and keep your home cooler during the hot summer months. As a result, you will not need to run the air conditioning as high or for as long.

Awnings Can Block Up to 98% of Harmful Ultraviolet Rays

One of the top benefits of installing an awning is the protection it provides against harmful ultraviolet rays. They can cover anywhere from a portion of your deck up to the entire space, depending on the size you install. By using the full coverage, you can block up to 98% of UV rays, keeping your skin and your home safe from sun damage. This amount can vary depending on the material it is made of, but any amount of protection combined with sunscreen can greatly reduce the exposure.

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Schedule a Professional Awning Installation or Replacement with New England Hearth & Home Based in Canton, Massachusetts

For homeowners living in Canton and the Southeast of Massachusetts, New England Hearth & Home provides professional awning installation and replacement services. We carry Summer Space awnings and screen systems, which are designed to provide comfort, style, and protection all year long. Our team of professionals can help select the perfect awning that fits your home and budget and provide durable installation to make it last for years to come. To learn more and schedule your appointment before the Summer, call us at 781-562-0771 or submit an online service request!

What to Do If Your Fireplace Gets Flooded

muddy fireplace doors from flooded hearth creating soot and ash build up

If your home has recently suffered a flood and your fireplace has filled with water, it can be a stressful and challenging situation to navigate. When water enters your hearth, it can cause damage to the structure and potentially lead to mold growth. It is important to try to drain as much of it as you can as soon as possible. To empty your fireplace of water and prevent further damage, it is important to have the right tools on hand and to call an expert for professional repairs. In this blog, we will discuss the best equipment to use and the steps to take when dealing with a flooded fireplace.

muddy fireplace doors from flooded hearth creating soot and ash build up

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Flooded Fireplaces Can Grow Mold, Lead to Air Pollution, & Lead to Further Home Damage

Floods can be devastating to a home, especially when it affects fireplaces. As water fills your mantle, any leftover ash can quickly turn into a thick sludge. This mixture can cause smells and air pollution that can lead to mold growth if it is not cleaned up quickly and properly. Mold can develop in as little as 24 hours after exposure to moisture, so it is important to start draining your fireplace as soon as possible. Additionally, the longer water sits in your fireplace, the more likely it is to damage the structure and potentially create a bigger problem for you and your home.

Tools Needed to Drain a Fireplace Filled with Flood Water

Using the right tools is essential when draining a flooded fireplace. Some of the best equipment to use are:

Wet/Dry Vacuum

Wet/dry vacuums are designed to handle both dry and wet materials, making them the perfect tool for removing water from your fireplace. Most models include a hose that can be attached to reach into tighter spaces, making it easier to remove water from hard-to-reach areas within your hearth. Remember to empty the vacuum tank regularly to prevent it from becoming too heavy and difficult to move.


After removing the majority of the water with a wet/dry vacuum, it is important to use a dehumidifier to help dry out the remaining moisture. This will prevent mold growth and further damage to your fireplace. Place the dehumidifier near the fireplace and allow it to run for several hours or even days, depending on how much water is present.

How to Quickly Dry a Flooded Fireplace

After removing the water with a wet/dry vacuum and using a dehumidifier, the next step is to completely dry your fireplace. Using towels or a mop, soak up any remaining water and wipe down all surfaces. Make sure to thoroughly dry the interior of your fireplace as well, including the flue and chimney. Commercial fans or portable heaters can also be used to help speed up the drying process as long as they are not placed too close. Continue to monitor the fireplace for any signs of moisture and repeat the drying process if necessary.

Contact a Fireplace Professional to Repair Any Flood Damage

In the case that your fireplace has suffered damage due to the water build-up, it is best to contact a professional to properly assess and repair the damage. An expert in gas, electric, or wood-burning fireplaces will be able to fully inspect each part to ensure it is functioning correctly and safely. If any safety hazards are found, they will be able to order the exact parts and perform the repairs. It is important not to attempt any repairs yourself, as this can be dangerous and may result in further damage.

Submit a Service Request for a Fireplace Repair Consultation in the South Shore Region of Massachusetts

Floods can be unpredictable and cause significant damage to your home, including your fireplace. If you live in the South Shore region of Massachusetts and have experienced flooding, New England Hearth & Home is here to help. Our team of trained professionals specializes in fireplace repairs for all models, making us a trusted choice for all of your fireplace needs. We also provide hearth replacements if the damage is beyond repair. To learn more about our services and schedule a free consultation, call us at 781-562-0771 or submit an online service request!

How to Choose Between a Motorized or Manual Retractable Awning for Your Home

retractable awnings on outside of home providing shade and comfort to patios and decks for homeowners in massachusetts

Retractable awnings are the perfect addition to any outdoor living space, from patios, decks, and porches to sunrooms and pergolas. They provide shade and protection from the sun’s harsh rays while still allowing you to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. Additionally, retractable awnings can help reduce your energy costs by reducing the heat that enters your home through windows and doors. When choosing the right awning for your home, there are two main options: motorized and manual. Depending on the size of your patio, your budget, and your style preferences, you might find that one option is better for your home than the other. In this blog, we will discuss the main differences between motorized and manual retractable awnings and how to choose the right one for you.

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What is a Motorized Retractable Awning?

As their name suggests, an electric motor motor operates a motorized awning. By using a remote or switch, you can easily extend or retract the awning with just a push of a button. They are typically installed with a motorized arm that allows the awning to be extended and retracted smoothly and evenly. Motorized retractable awnings can also come equipped with additional features such as wind sensors, sun sensors, and timers for even more convenience.

What is a Manual Patio or Deck Awning?

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Manual awnings require homeowners to open and close the shade by hand. They are usually operated using a crank located on the awning’s side. Manual awnings tend to be less expensive than motorized ones, making them a popular choice for those on a budget. However, they do require some physical effort to operate and may not be suitable for larger or heavier awnings.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Between a Motorized or Manual Awning for Your Home

Depending on your needs and preferences, both motorized and manual awnings can be a great addition to your home. If you are trying to decide between a manual or motorized option, there are a few factors to consider such as:

Size of the Deck or Patio You Want to Cover

Larger decks require more space to cover, meaning you will need a wider shade. For larger outdoor spaces, a motorized awning may be the better option, as it can be easier on your arms and back compared to constantly cranking a manual awning. If your deck is on the smaller side, a manual awning may be a better fit and, overall, more cost-effective.

Initial Price & Maintenance Costs

When considering any type of home improvement project, money is always a deciding factor for homeowners. While manual awnings may have a lower price tag, they do require more manual labor and may have higher maintenance costs in the long run. Motorized awnings may cost more than traditional styles, but they do not require as many repairs due to the fact that they are operated and tested for their motor to last.

Level of Ease to Open & Close the Awning Shade

When choosing the right awning for your home, consider the level of labor you are willing to put in. Manual awnings require the user to crank it each time they want to open or close it. If your patio gets a lot of use, this can add up to a lot of work over time. On the other hand, motorized awnings can be opened and closed with just the push of a button, making it more convenient for frequent use.

Schedule a Free Consultation for SummerSpace Retractable Awning Installation or Replacement in the South Shore Area of Massachusetts

At New England Hearth & Home, we offer a wide variety of SummerSpace Retractable Awnings to suit any deck or patio size. With SummerSpace awnings, you can reduce energy costs, protect your outdoor furniture from sun damage, and enhance the overall look of your home.  We provide at-home consultations where our team of professionals can help measure, customize, and install the perfect awning for your outdoor space.  To learn more about our services and get a free estimate, submit an online service request or call us at 781-562-0771!