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Frequently Asked Questions and Topics

The Benefits of Zone Heat

"Zone Heating" puts the heat where and when you need it, adding to your home's comfort and ambiance, while also reducing household fuel consumption, conserving energy, and saving you money. A central furnace cycles on and off several times an hour and heats your entire house, even unoccupied rooms, wasting money. Using a supplemental hearth appliance to heat only the rooms your family occupies most allows you to turn down the thermostat for the central furnace, decreasing your fuel bill. Studies indicate that zone heating solutions can provide energy savings of 20-40 percent.

The energy savings a hearth product provides depends on the type of fuel, fuel cost, the efficiency of the appliance, your use of the product, and the layout and efficiency of your home. The following calculator can assist you in determining the cost saving benefits of the hearth product that you are considering purchasing versus your current heat source.

Fuel Cost Calculator

Calculate your annual savings with the Fuel Cost Calculator by visiting the following site:

What is a Fireplace Insert?

Inserts are heating units that retrofit into an existing fireplace (masonry or factory-built). They burn wood, gas, or wood pellets and offer superior efficiency over an open burning wood fire.

What does the term Direct Vent mean?

Direct vent refers to a gas appliance with a specifically designed venting system that draws combustion air from outdoors and exhausts its by-products to the outdoors, eliminating the need for a standard masonry chimney system. The glass panel in a direct vent fireplace is critical to keeping the combustion system sealed from the home.

What does the term Unvented or Vent-Free mean?

Unvented appliances, also referred to as vent-free appliances, draw combustion air from inside the home. The appliance is designed to burn so efficiently that it eliminates the need for venting. Although clean burning, vent-free appliances exhaust by-products into the room so they should be used with caution around people with respiratory conditions and operated for just four to five hours without venting the room.

Gas Logs - Vented or Vent-Free??

Gas logs can be purchased as either vented or vent-free.

Vented gas logs, which must be burned with the fireplace damper wide open, are typically purchased for their beauty and convenience. They have the most realistic look, however most of the heat they produce escapes up the chimney. Don't purchase vented gas logs for a secondary heat source as you will likely be disappointed.

Vent-free gas logs, when burned with the fireplace damper closed, can provide additional warmth in cool areas and be a source of back-up heat in emergencies. Although clean burning, vent-free appliances exhaust by-products into the room so they should be used with caution around people with respiratory conditions. Moisture, clearances to combustibles, log positioning, and annual service are all important for homeowners to understand to ensure the proper operation of any vent-free gas log system.

What is a Pellet Stove/Insert?

A pellet stove is an appliance that burns compressed wood pellets. Pellet stoves can be either free-standing stoves or fireplace inserts. Most pellet stoves are self-igniting and cycle themselves on and off controlled by a thermostat. Pellet stoves use a small amount of electricity to power the auger and blowers and some stoves are able to heat over 2,000 square feet.

To determine if pellet heat is right for you, utilize the Fuel Cost Calculator at the following site

Heating with a Wood Stove or Insert?

Heating with wood offers many benefits, but it's important to look for wood-burning solutions that save you money and help protect the environment. Burning wood in an open fireplace is very inefficient. About 80% of the heat produced escapes through the chimney. One option is to install a wood stove or insert that has been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These "approved" appliances, whether freestanding stoves, fireplace inserts, or actual built-in fireplaces, are the most efficient ways to enjoy the benefits of a wood fire, provide efficent heat, and protect air quality.

It is important to burn well-seasoned wood in your fireplace, stove or insert. Well-seasoned wood lights easier, burns cleaner and produces much more heat. A moisture reader is a useful tool in determining if your wood is well-seasoned.

Replacing your old Gas Fireplace?

It may be time to replace your older gas fireplace if it is no longer working properly, produces a cold draft around the unit, or no longer matches the décor of your room.

Launch Focal Point Article »

Thinking about an Electric Fireplace?

Do you want the feel of a real fireplace without the hassle or cost of installation? Do you live in a condo or apartment where there is no option for a vented fireplace or gas line? Perhaps an electric fireplace would be a good solution.

Electric fireplaces are less expensive, produce zero emissions, are easy to install, and provide ambiance. Electric fireplaces do not provide significant heat, will not work during a power outage, and less expensive models can be unrealistic looking, but are a great option for many homes.

Stop by the Hearth and Home Shoppe today to see some electric fireplace options for your home.

Some facts about Vent Piping?

Vented fireplaces, stoves and inserts, whether they be gas, wood or pellet, all require a specialized vent pipe. The type of pipe varies depending on the fuel type, stove type, application, and local building codes. Please speak with an expert at the Shoppe to better understand the venting requirements for your application.

Fireplace Doors, Enclosures, Screens and Tool Sets?

Hearth and Home Shoppe offers a variety of Fireplace Doors and Enclosures. Our manufacturers of glass doors and custom screens offer a myriad of finishes: solid and antique black, satin finished nickel, hammered iron, antique and polished brass, vintage iron and others. And, the glass within a set of doors can be clear, smoked, beveled, mirrored or etched. Stop by the Shoppe to see a wide selection of fireplace doors, enclosures and screens.

Mantels and Surrounds

A fireplace mantel is the shelf on the wall placed directly above the fireplace. It can be made of any material, usually wood, and may also have legs. A fireplace surround is the material that immediately surrounds the fireplace and is typically made from marble, polished granite, slate, tile or stone.

A popular feature today is stacked stone used either on the entire wall of the fireplace or as a surround. Hearth and Home Shoppe offers a variety of stacked stone options as well as installation, visit Our Work

page to get an idea of what this could look like in your home.

Outdoor Fireplaces

Outdoor fireplaces, permanently installed on your patio or outdoor room, bring the same kind of charm and ambiance to the outside of your home as on the inside. Usually made of 100 percent stainless steel, outdoor fireplaces can be surrounded by granite, tile, stone, or any other material that complements your home's architecture and style. Outdoor fireplaces usually don't require a chimney and can use either natural gas, propane, or wood.

Every Room Needs A Focal Point.

Is your gas fireplace not working? Is your gas fireplace cold and drafty? Does your fireplace no longer match the décor of your room?

It may be time to replace your gas fireplace!

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Get a Fireplace Makeover Today!

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8151 Mechanicsville Turnpike
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Next to Cold Harbor Restaurant and Cold Harbor Antiques