Tips For Keeping Your Electric Fireplace Clean & Functional

electric fireplace

Electric fireplaces are popular because of their convenience and low-maintenance design. They offer a lot of comfort for homeowners who want the aesthetic appeal and heat of a fireplace without worrying about monitoring gas or cleaning a traditional fireplace. However, there are still a few essential elements of electric fireplaces that need attention and certain maintenance from time to time.

Changing Bulbs in The Fireplace

Electric fireplaces won’t become covered in residue or have build-up inside the firebox, but light bulbs will deteriorate eventually. If your fires are not very bright anymore or are dimming fast, you should consider replacing the bulbs. Luckily, this is an easy process for most. First, it is essential to turn off the fireplace to let it sit and cool off before doing anything with it. It is common for electric fireplaces to have detachable maintenance panels on the back, but you may need to take some screws to reach the bulbs. Check your unit’s manual to decide what bulb will be good replacement. If you need halogen bulbs, make sure to on handle them while wearing gloves. The oils that come from your skin can cause halogen bulbs to wear out faster than usual. LED bulbs are used in some fireplaces, and you don’t have to replace them within the fireplace’s lifespan.

Cleaning the Glass Door

The glass panel on the front of the fireplace is the most crucial aesthetic element of your fireplace. To make sure it is clean and shows off the style of your fireplace, clean it with soap and water on a lint-free cloth. You just have to gently wipe and buff the exterior of the glass and make sure that it is completely dry to avoid and water spots to dry. Make sure you don’t use glass cleaners or any other cleaners with harsh chemicals because they can end up being flammable and aren’t meant for fireplaces.

Cleaning the Fan in Your Fireplace

The fan in your fireplace is essential to providing heat in the room it’s in. To figure out if your fan needs to be cleaned you should check its spin pattern. Fans should spin smoothly with no resistance. If you want to wash your fan, a vacuum with a thin nozzle accessory is the best choice. Take off the grille covering and brush and vacuum off any dust you can see on the fan’s blades.

Contact Us

The experts at New England Hearth & Home can help you find the perfect fireplace to fit your home and style. We are proud to offer a wide variety of electric fireplaces in Canton, MA. Contact us to learn more about our products! Give us a call or fill out our contact form for more information.

Preparing Your Fireplace For Fall

feet next to a fireplace

It’s about to be Fall in a month! Heaters across Massachusetts will be kicking on for the season, and fireplaces will be sparking to life. Along with the rest of your cold-weather essentials, fireplaces should be prepped and ready for the season. Here are four easy steps to prepare your fireplace for Fall weather:

Remove Ashes & Debrisf

The first step is to clean out any old ash and take any other debris out of the fireplace. Remove the log grate and completely clean it as well. This isn’t something you’re going to want to do, but it will help you to start the season with a beautiful, clean space.

Check The Firebrick

Search the fireplace for any loose or cracked firebrick and repairs it as needed. To fix them, scrape out the loose mortar with a scoring tool and clean it with a brush or vacuum. After that, brush water into the joints and onto the surrounding brick faces (mortar doesn’t adhere well to dry brick).

Check The Chimney and Flue

Check your flue and chimney and remove any obstructions – fallen sticks, leaves, etc. It is recommended that you have a chimney inspection every year by a certified chimney sweep to determine if there is a large amount of creosote buildup. If a layer of over 1/8 has built up, it should be removed to reduce the risk of a chimney fire. 

Get Rid Of Extra Moisture

Set a small fire (i.e., one Duraflame log) to help dry out and remove any extra moisture, which can cause the firebrick to become damaged or form creosote, as well as other damages to the fireplace. If you think that your fireplace has a lot of moisture or if you are planning on burning a fire in a brand new fireplace, follow these steps to dry it out:

  • Get two logs and burn 1/3 of the first log
  • Wait 2-4 days and then burn the rest of the first log
  • Wait another 2-4 days and burn the whole second log
  • Wait another few days, and the fireplace will be ready for regular wood-burning use 

After all of these steps, you’ll be all set to enjoy your fireplace the season long. Make sure you use seasoned, dry wood (wood that has been cut and dry for around 6-12 months) for burning and continue to clear out the ash regularly. The smart idea is to clean when the ash reaches the bottom of the grate.

Contact New England Hearth & Home

New England Hearth & Home can help you get ready for Fall. Whether you are looking to get a new fireplace installed, or need help getting your existing one ready for the season, we can be here for you! Give us a call at 781-562-0771 for more information.

Choosing Between a Charcoal or Gas Grill

grill with flames

While there’s no right or wrong way to cook your food, there are certain reasons to choose either a gas or a charcoal grill depending on your preference. So, before you visit your local hearth and home store, you should consider a few things about each type of grill when purchasing your next one.

Benefits to Using a Gas Grill

One of the most significant benefits of a gas grill is that you don’t have to wait for the charcoal to ignite. Many people who use gas grills enjoy it for convenience reasons. They can come home, turn it on, and it’s ready to go for some grilling. Along with the efficiency of using a gas grill, here are some other benefits you can expect from your purchase:

  • Gas usually tends to be cheaper than charcoal.
  • It can be easier to clean than charcoal.
  • You can hook your gas grill up to the gas line in your home for endless cooking fuel.
  • Some gas grills come with accessories such as side burners or smoke boxes. Using a smoke box can help you get a charcoal flavor from using a gas grill.
  • When cooking, gas grills give off steam, which some cooks say adds moisture to any meat you’re preparing.

Gas grills are simple and easy to use. As long as you make sure to turn off the gas after use, cooking on them can be a breeze. Some gas grills are produced to use gas fuel and charcoal so that you can switch between the two depending on what you’re feeling that day. Keep in mind these grills tend to be more expensive. 

Benefits of Using Charcoal Grills

One of the most notable benefits of using a charcoal grill is that they’re significantly less costly than gas grills. Most of the time, you can pick up a small charcoal grill for under $100. Aside from the cost, here are a few more advantages to buying a charcoal grill:

  • When heated, the coals provide the heat for cooking and generally don’t flare up like open flame gas grills. (This doesn’t mean they’re safer, though.) If you want to be safe while grilling, check out these safety tips.
  • Charcoal grills are usually more portable than gas grills. This makes them great for camping trips or weekend getaways.
  • Charcoal burns hotter than gas does.
  • Since you can’t turn down the heat, you can leave areas without briquettes to control the temperature. 
  • Many people prefer the smoke flavor a charcoal grill provides on their food.

Contact Us

New England Hearth & Home can help you choose a grill that is the right fit for you! Contact us to learn more about our grill options. Give us a call or fill out our contact form for more information.

Preparing Your Fireplace for the Spring

Fireplaces need to properly be taken care of when shutting them down for the warmer months. Whether you have a wood burning fireplace or gas, there are steps you need to take to keep yours last longer and staying in good condition!

Wood Burning Fireplace

Clean Up Ash

It is super important to clean out remaining ash and soot left inside the fireplace. It keeps the air quality nice and fresh, as well as restoring the beauty of your hearth. After cleaning out the ash, make sure to close the damper. By doing this, it stops air from entering your home and prevents any remnant ash and soot in the fireplace from blowing in when it’s windy.

Close the Damper

Most people do not need to use their fireplace after April or so, especially in Massachusetts. That being said, there is no need for the damper on staying open. Shutting the damper will help prevent drafts, water leakage during rainy days and will keep out backyard animals. This can also save on energy costs by avoiding any air-conditioning from leaking out.

Scheduling a Chimney Cleaning or Fireplace Inspection 

Many homeowners are not aware that the best time to schedule a chimney cleaning is during the Spring. It is usually more convenient because there are fewer appointments for the professionals during this season. Getting your chimney cleaned reduces the amount of soot buildup in the flue. When a professional visits your home for an inspection, they’ll check the chimney and flue to see if there are any cracks or leaks, as well as check that the damper and chimney cap is working correctly.

Gas Fireplace

Clean the Glass Panel

If you have a direct vent fireplace with a glass panel, the glass should be regularly cleaned. Remove the glass, then use the manufacturer’s suggested cleaner. For gas fireplace owners with glass doors, the same is recommended; use a soft cloth and the cleaner suggested by the manufacturer. Do not use any cleaning products that contain ammonia!

Brush off Soot 

Brushing off soot with a clean and dry paintbrush is an easy way to get rid of any remaining. Get as much as you can out!

Schedule a Gas Fireplace Inspection

One of our professionals will take a look at the burner and other components of the unit. Regular maintenance can increase the lifespan of your gas fireplace and reduce the amount of money spent on repairs.

Turn off Pilot Light

For gas fireplaces that have a standing pilot, you can turn it off for the Spring and Summer. Turning it off can save you money in utilities. If you don’t feel comfortable or know how to turn off your pilot light, have a professional do it for you.

Contact Us

Contact New England Hearth & Home about questions involving your fireplace. Give us a call or fill out our contact form!