Preparing Your Fireplace For Fall

feet next to a fireplace

It’s about to be Fall in a month! Heaters across Massachusetts will be turned on for the season, and fireplaces will be full of spark and light. Along with the rest of your essential winter items, fireplaces should be prepped and ready for the season. Here are four easy steps to prepare your fireplace for Fall weather:

Remove Debris and Ash

The first step is to clean out any ash and any other debris out of the fireplace. Remove the log grate and completely clean it as well. It 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 cracked or loose firebrick and repair anything that needs it. To fix them, take the loose mortar out with a scoring tool and clean it with a vacuum or brush. After that, brush water into the brick joints.

Check The Chimney and Flue

Check your chimney and flue for any obstructions – leaves, sticks, etc, and remove them. Professionals recommend that you have a chimney inspected every year by a certified chimney sweep to figure out if there is a large amount of creosote buildup. If a layer of over 1/8 has built up, it should be removed to lessen the chance of a chimney fire. 

Get Rid Of Extra Moisture

Start a small fire to dry out and get rid of any extra moisture, which can make the firebrick become damaged or form creosote, along with other damages to the fireplace. If you think that your fireplace has a lot of moisture or if you are planning on using a brand new new fireplace, do these steps to help dry it out:

  • Get two logs and use only 1/3 of one log
  • Wait between 2-4 days and then use the remainder of that log
  • Wait between another 2-4 days and use the whole second log
  • Give it another few days, and the fireplace will be ready to use

After all of these steps, you’ll be all set to use your fireplace all fall and winter long. Make sure you use dry and seasoned wood (wood that should be cut and dried for about 6-12 months) to burn and to remember to clean out the ash regularly. You should clean it when the ash gets to the bottom of the fireplace 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. Before you stop by 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

A significant benefits of a gas grill is that there is no need to wait for the charcoal to ignite. A lot of people who use gas grills like them for convenience reasons. It is ready to be used right after you turn it on, so it’s great for some quick grilling. As well as the efficiency of using a gas grill, here are some other benefits of gas grills:

  • Gas is usually a cheaper option than charcoal
  • Gas grills are easier to clean than charcoal grills
  • Gas grills can be hooked up to the gas line in your home 
  • Some gas grills come with extras which can include burners or a smoke box. 
  • Gas grills give off steam and it can give off good moisture to the meat you are cooking

Gas grills are very easy and simple grills to be able to use. Some gas grills are produced to use both gas and charcoal so that you can switch between the two depending on what you’re feeling that day. Just remember these grills are usually on the more expensive side. 

Benefits of Using Charcoal Grills

Charcoal grills are a lot less expensive than gas grills are. Charcoal grills can be as cheap as under $100 if you get a standard model. Besides the cost, here are some more advantages to buying a charcoal grill:

  • Heated coals will cook your food without using much of a flame
  • Charcoal grills are a more portable than gas grills. This makes them great for camping trips or weekend getaways where you want to do some grilling.
  • Charcoal can become hotter than gas
  • You can’t turn the heat down on a charcoal grill, but you can leave some areas without the briquettes in order to control the heat
  • Many people like the smokey flavor a charcoal grill gives their grilled food, so they are a popular option for those who do.

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 and our professionals can help you choose the right one. 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 Any Ash

It is super essential to make sure you clean out remaining ash and soot that is in the fireplace. It keeps the air quality in good shape and keep the fireplace looking its best. Make sure to close the damper after you clean the ask out. By doing this, it stops air from getting into your house and stops any extra ask from blowing around from wind.

Closing the Damper

Most people do not need to use their fireplace after April or so, especially in Massachusetts. That being said, you don’t need the damper to stay open. Shutting the damper will help stop drafts, water leaking on rainy days and will keep away backyard animals. This can also save on energy costs by avoiding any air-conditioning from leaking out.

Scheduling a Chimney Cleaning or Fireplace Inspection 

A lot of people are unaware that the prime time to schedule a chimney cleaning is during the Spring. It is usually more convenient because there are fewer appointments for the professionals in the spring. Getting your chimney cleaned gets rid of a lot soot buildup that’s in the flue. When a professional comes to your home for the inspection, they’ll check the flue and chimney and to look for any leaks or cracks. They’ll also make sure that damper and chimney cap are all set.

Gas Fireplace

Clean the Glass Panel

If you have a fireplace with a glass panels, you should be cleaning it regularly. Remove the glass, then use a cleaner that is recommended for fireplace glass. For gas fireplace owners with glass doors, the same type of thing recommended. Use a cloth and use a cleaner that doesn’t have ammonia in it. 

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! 

Contact Us

Contact New England Hearth & Home about questions involving your fireplace. We are happy to provide you with answers on how to make your fireplace ready to go through the spring and summer seasons. Give us a call or fill out our contact form!

7 Reasons to Have an Outdoor Kitchen

grilling chicken

In the Mediterranean, it is widespread for families to be cooking outdoors. This style of cooking has become a trendy thing to do in the US. Homeowners are embracing the joys of using an outdoor kitchen in their backyards during the warmer summer months. If you’re building a new house, or adding to your current space, creating a place to cook outdoors can be a great investment for your home.

Great for Entertaining

A huge benefit of adding an outdoor kitchen to your yard is that they’re the best for backyard entertaining. When food is prepared outside, your guests can hangout around the grill and enjoy the company as the meal is cooking. It tends to get stuffy in an indoor kitchen when everyone spends time around the stove, but outside there’s much more open space and fresh air. You can add some comfort for your guests by adding patio heaters, outdoor seating, lighting, and more personal touches.

Improves Your Home Value

Home buyers are always looking for unique and useful additions to homes. Having an outdoor kitchen can attract buyers when you are looking to sell – especially if they were looking to add one to whatever home they ended up purchasing. Having this already in place can drive up the selling price for convenience and looks.

Save on Utility Bills

As you cook outside in the summer, your air conditioner be on as high to keep you home cool while cooking hot foods. The temperature in your house goes up a  few degrees from using the over and stove. When you cook outside, you will save on some energy.

Keeps Cooking Smells Outdoors

There are a lot of foods that smell great while being cooked, some other foods couldn’t smell worse. When you cook, strong-smelling meals such fried foods or fish, those smells can linger around your house for days. When you cook those same foods outside, you won’t be smelling any of it inside.

Expanding Your Living Space

You can build your kitchen on any existing space that already in your backyard. This can open up your living space to make it seem bigger and newer. In the outdoor cooking area, you and your friends and family can have celebrations or just take in the beautiful weather.

Save Money on Restaurant Meals

Having an outdoor kitchen can feel like a whole new dining experience. Skip the restaurants and overpriced food, and instead cook at home in your outdoor oasis. You’ll save some money and you’ll be able to enjoy the amazing space you created.

Contact us

Contact New England Hearth & Home for all of your outdoor kitchen needs! Give us a call at 781-562-0071 or fill out our contact form.