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Mountain Home Blog

Summer Is The Best Time to Inspect & Sweep Your Wood Appliance

You’re celebrating the beginning of summer right now. After the year we’ve all had, we’re looking forward to a few great months of beautiful weather. In between getting a tan at the beach and enjoying a scrumptious afternoon BBQ with your loved ones, take a moment to remember the importance of performing an annual inspection and sweeping of your wood chimney vent. 

So, why is it so important to schedule your annual inspection and sweep this summer? Read on as we delve into all the benefits. 

Sweep Now, Enjoy Later

Whenever warmer weather approaches, it’s hard to redirect your focus from summer activities to the upcoming fall season. However, it’s always a smart idea to think ahead – and that includes ensuring your wood chimney vent is properly inspected and swept, so it’s ready to roll when colder days stream in.

Why should you sweep your wood appliance? And why should you do it now? 

While it’s easy to put the task off until colder weather arrives, if you delay getting it done until fall, you could run into operational issues when it’s time to light the first fire. Also, our labor rates will be increasing August 1  – be safe and save some money, sweep now! 

From avoiding back-drafting of smoke into the house and potential chimney fires to protecting your health and removing any clogs, prepping your wood appliance in advance of the fall season will ensure it functionals at an optimal level. 

Wood burning fireplace

A scheduled sweep will also look out for any problems that may be lingering – such as unwanted leaks or weakened parts that could threaten the integrity of the structure. 

Industry experts state that you should have your chimney inspected once a year. If you are the proud owner of a wood appliance, your chimney can develop sooty buildup during colder months, leading to potentially hazardous situations if not addressed by a professional.  

Getting your chimney swept before fall arrives is a vital part of ensuring you’ll be able to safely enjoy your wood appliance once the weather gets chilly.

How Does the Sweeping Process Work?

When you make an appointment for an annual sweep at Mountain Home Stove and Fireplace, one of our experts will perform a comprehensive inspection of your appliance.

Our certified professionals will assess the gaskets, liner material, clearances, and the condition of the cap and flashing/masonry cap. During the course of the process, our specialist will explain their findings and perform any repairs that may be needed – with your approval, of course. Any findings will be written up in the event that you wish to wait to have repairs done. 

It’s important to get your chimney swept as soon as you can – not only so you can enjoy the rest of your summer without worrying about the winter, but also because our labor rates will increase after August 1st.

Bookings for annual appointments are filling up fast! Give us a call today to schedule your inspection and sweeping, and you’ll enjoy our special summer prices. We want you to be safe and happy this upcoming fall season and that starts with a clean wood appliance.

Mountain Home Stove & Fireplace staff

Break Out the Grill! It’s Summer Time

Perhaps the tastiest time of the year is upon us — grilling season! Time to rev up that beautiful grill of yours, gather round the backyard, and serve some delicious food. 

The grill marks, the smokey flavor, the aroma that makes your whole family hungry — Our mouths are watering just thinking about it. 

Ready to mix things up this summer?

Three BBQ Marinade Combos to Make You Salivate

1. Fajita & Chicken

Make sure your grill is set to 350°F and remember that chicken should always be at least 165 °F inside. Chicken cooks anywhere in between 6 to 8 minutes and can take up to 30 minutes to grill the whole chicken. 

We know a great fajita marinade will liven up the party. This marinade is oh so tasty.

Recipe adapted from Once Upon a Chef.

Chicken

  • 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pounds chicken tenderloins or boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest, from 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8-12 small soft flour tortillas

Fajita Peppers

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

2. Honey Balsamic & Vegetables

Cut up your veggies big enough to not fall through the grill grates, and heat your grill to 350-400°F. This mild marinade brings out the natural taste of the vegetables and gives a kiss of sweet and tangy.

Recipe adapted from Garlic and Zest.

Vegetables

  • 1 medium zucchini cut into 1/2″ half moons
  • 1 medium yellow squash cut into 1/2″ half moons
  • 1 sweet bell pepper cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 cups assorted cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella packed in water cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1/4 cup basil thinly sliced into chiffonade

Dressing

  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • grind black pepper

3. Fish & Curry

Get creative with a mild curry marinade that will make your tastebuds sing!

Preheat the grill 400 – 450°F and cook on top of a bed of lemons to help avoid sticking. 

Recipe adapted from Chatelaine.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 4 firm fish fillets , such as catfish or haddock
  • 2-Jan English cucumber
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • pinches salt

And while you’re out enjoying the warm weather…

Give your fireplace some TLC. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, schedule a sweep and inspection. If you have gas appliances, schedule a cleaning and testing. 

Annual maintenance on wood-burning appliances in the off-season saves money — and potentially lives! Keep your home safe and make sure your fireplace or stove is ready for fall.

Why It’s Important to Sweep Your Chimney and Inspect Your Wood Stove During the Summer

While the weather remains chilly, you still get to enjoy the cozy blaze of your wood stove and fireplace. When summer comes, you’ll be moving your fireside gatherings backyards, of course. Don’t forget to give your indoor fireplace some summertime love! This is the season to sweep your chimneys and wood stoves before getting into seasonal use again.

Let’s talk about how to get your chimney and wood stove ready in the summer for seasonal use. 

Why is sweeping your chimney and inspecting your wood stove so important during the summer?

Sweeping your chimney and taking a careful look at your wood stove or fireplace during the summer in preparation for the colder seasons is important for several reasons. We know that it’s only April, but with our chimney sweeping specials coming this June, you’ll want to start thinking about it now. Avoid waiting in line in the fall and save money too!

The biggest reason you should sweep – prevent chimney fires 

The biggest reason is safety. Sweeping your chimney removes any combustion residues from operating your stove in the low emission mode or low-burn. Over time, a chimney gets clogged with something called creosote – a tar-like substance that forms as a result of burning wood. This becomes very combustible and only a small amount can become flammable. Removing creosote build up is important as a preventive measure, as it protects your home from potential danger that may arise if there are highly combustible products left in the chimney.

By not sweeping, you’re running the risk of a chimney fire. No one wants this to happen, as it can be dangerous and expensive to repair if you even have a house left standing. 

Keep in mind that chimney fires can spread very fast.

What about health problems?

Cleaning the chimney also reduces restrictions in the venting that could reduce the efficiency of your stove or, in the worst case, cause back-drafting of smoke into the house when you feed the fire. If your stove back-drafts, you are breathing in the fumes from the burning wood. This compromises your oxygen supply to the brain, which in the worst case scenario can be fatal. It can also cause nausea, dizziness, fainting, and headaches. 

Prevents Smoke Damage

Another product of inefficient wood burning can be soot. Back-drafting of wood smoke into the room can leave black soot anywhere it goes. Walls, carpet, furniture. All could have permanent stains as a result of not cleaning your chimney. 

Wood Stove Efficiency

When our certified chimney sweep cleans your chimney, he will also inspect the gaskets, lining and internal bits of your stove or fireplace and let you know if something needs to be replaced or repaired. If we don’t stock the necessary materials on our trucks, our service department will provide a prompt estimate of repair cost and material availability. When gaskets degrade, combustion air will come from around the glass or door, causing sooting on the glass and uncontrolled air to the combustion chamber, effectively reducing the efficiency of your wood appliance. Broken bricks, lining or other internal pieces of your appliance also impact the performance of your wood-burning stove or fireplace.

To find out more about chimney and wood stove sweeping, call now and ask! Reserve your appointment for peace and mind before seasonal use. 

10 Reasons to Opt for an Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces serve as an excellent alternative to traditional gas or wood fireplaces. Think about it: they require minimal maintenance, are cost-effective to install and don’t call for any chimney cleaning or wood chopping.

Customers often ask our experts why they should opt to purchase an electric fireplace.

Here are 10 reasons an electric fireplace is a beneficial addition to your cozy home. 

They’re Incredibly Realistic

Over the years, electric fireplaces have undergone an impressive evolution. The first few iterations of electric fireplaces on the market were – well, let’s just say less-than-impressive. 

The artificial “flames” and glowing embers looked completely unrealistic. Some models even used red ribbons blown by a fan to simulate the sparking, dancing flames! 

Today, however, advancements in technology and electrics have completely transformed the look and feel of electric fireplaces. 

Most use a technology that includes LED lights reflecting off rotating metal strips for incredible and colorful 3D effects. The realism is so sophisticated, making for a gorgeous addition to any home. 

Powerful Heating Abilities

Unbeknownst to many, an electric fireplace has the ability to adequately heat most rooms up to 400 square feet. If you have an area in your home that could use a little supplemental heat, an electric fireplace is a cost-effective and visually appealing solution. 

Just keep in mind, there are several variables that ultimately impact the amount of heat needed to create a snug and comfortable space – including factors like the age of the home, type of construction, what condition the home is in, the size of windows and doors, insulation levels, orientation to the south, prevailing winter wind direction and geographic location. 

The heating element in most electric fireplaces is up to 1800 watts or 5000 BTU of heat, enough for a small or moderately sized area while still able to use a standard 110 volt/20 amp circuit.

Low Operational Costs

The costs associated with operating an electric fireplace are very reasonable and affordable.  

With the heat turned off, an electric fireplace can operate for mere pennies per day. When the heating element is turned on, costs will be contingent upon elements like how many hours you operate your fireplace daily and what you’re paying for electricity. 

A dime a day, without the heating element on is fairly common. With the heat turned on, you can anticipate paying somewhere between $1.00 — $2.50/day.

No Pipes, Maintenance or Safety Concerns

Unlike gas fireplaces, which require a vent pipe, and wood fireplaces/stoves, which require a chimney, no venting is needed with an electric fireplace. 

Without vents or chimney pipes in the picture, you’ll enjoy lower up-front equipment costs as well as a wider range of installation options to choose from. 

What’s more, there’s virtually no maintenance required, apart from occasionally cleaning the glass. 

The glass on wood and gas equipment can get dangerously hot – which may be hazardous with toddlers in the house. With an electric fireplace, however, the glass does not get exceptionally hot. 

Multiple Media Options Available

Media options refer to the materials that enhance the flames and lighting effects of the fireplace. In the past, this feature was limited to choosing the aesthetic of the logs used. 

Today, however, there’s a myriad of visually-appealing options available to customize the look of your electric fireplace. 

Glimmering fire glass, for example, comes in a diverse selection of colors, transforming the fireplace into a contemporary work of art. 

When it comes to log varieties, birch, oak, driftwood, or charred logs can be leveraged to achieve a more traditional look. You also have the option of mixing together different colors and logs to create a truly unique, one-of-a-kind appearance.

Dozens of Shapes & Sizes

There are countless options to select from when it comes to the size and shape of your ideal electric fireplace. 

From traditional sizes that’ll add a touch of style to your living room to dimensions that are designed for an insert into an open wood-burning fireplace, there are a plethora of options at your disposal. Corner, see-through, and free-standing stove models are all available for specialized projects too.

Easy Remote Control Access

With an easy-to-use remote control, operating an electric fireplace is effortless. If you can change channels, mute and adjust the volume on your TV, you’ll find it simple to navigate these types of remote controls. 

The remote is utilized for turning the heat on and off, increasing or decreasing the brightness of the lighting effects or the liveliness of the flame pattern and adjusting the spectrum of color emitted.

Appealing Special Effects

If you’re seeking to create a more contemporary look, the special effects of today’s electric fireplaces are truly outstanding. 

The spectrum of colors available for the glistening fire glass is mesmerizing to watch – especially when treating yourself to a little R&R. Remember, you can simply turn off the heat with a click of the remote and enjoy your “moving wall art” year-round!

They Can Be Used Year-Round

One benefit that homeowners enjoy, is the fact that an electric fireplace can be used at any time of year – including the summer months. 

You can create an alluring ambiance and beautiful effects by simply switching the heat off on your remote control. This will allow you to enjoy that special feeling and atmosphere created by your electric fireplace year-round, not just during the chilly winter season.

Unsurpassed Versatility

The ease and versatility of installation one of the many reasons homeowners opt to purchase an electric fireplace. 

With no fuel to burn, no chimney upkeep and no need for a vent pipe, an electric fireplace can be installed anywhere throughout your home. What’s more, electric fireplaces can be mounted, hung from a wall or recessed into a wall – depending on your unique design preferences. 

From the bathroom to the dining room to the master bedroom, there’s no shortage of opportunities to add style and value to your home. All that’s required to get up and running is an appropriately-sized electrical supply. 

Have a design in mind for installing an electric fireplace?

We’d love to help bring your vision to life! Call us today to get started: 970-879-7962

7 Ways to Ignite Your Inspiration & Update Your Fireplace

Do you feel like your fireplace is a bit outdated with its retro-style design? Does it need a little facelift to freshen up its visual appeal? There’s a multitude of options available for updating and modernizing your fireplace – regardless of your budget. All you need is a bit of ingenuity and creativity. 

Here are 7 ideas to help ignite your inspiration when it comes to upgrading the look of your fireplace.

1 | Spark a New Flame With a Fireplace Insert

If your old, open wood-burning fireplace is in bad shape, a torrent of cold air is streaming through the hearth, or you simply want to improve its overall efficiency, an insert is a perfect solution. .

Modern inserts improve efficiency by an estimated 50 to 70 percent and furnish your masonry fireplace with an appealing and modern touch. They’re installed inside your fireplace’s firebox, and exhaust vent is installed inside your existing chimney. Gas, electric and pellet-fueled inserts can be remote-controlled for optimal functionality and safety.

2 | Find Your Perfect Match: Fire Screen Style

Changing your fire screen is not only simple, but it can completely transform the look and feel of your fireplace. 

With plenty of versatility available, you can opt for a basic, cost-effective model, or elect to customize your fire screen by adding your own personal touch. When it comes to style and coloring, there are endless options for designing an aesthetic that accommodates your taste preferences and lifestyle. 

3 | Burn Brightly By Upgrading Your Mantel and Hearth

The mantel and hearth can greatly contribute to the final look of your fireplace. And the good news? There’s plenty of room to exercise creativity when it comes to selecting the design materials. 

Choose from a concrete hearth for a contemporary style, a metal one for an industrial feel, or a wooden one for a more rustic and traditional style. Also, mantels are no longer made only of wood – cast concrete, textured and painted to look amazingly like wood, or contemporary metal – can safely add a design feature to your room’s main focus and still be able to have a TV or artwork above.

Always double-check your municipality’s security regulations regarding fireplaces, especially if you are using flammable materials, such as wood, to build your hearth or mantel. Many experts specialize in building fireplace mantels, but if you’re good with your hands, there’s nothing preventing you from taking on a little DIY project of your own. 

4 | De-light-full Decorating for Your Fiery Friend

The simple act of adding or changing up the decor around your fireplace is enough to furnish the space with a whole new look. From hanging a few vibrant paintings above the mantel to switching up the decor sitting atop or around the fireplace are effective ways to create visual appeal and spruce up the overall feel of your living area. 

5 | Rekindle the Flame Surrounding the Unit

Sometimes, it’s not the fireplace itself that needs a little makeover, but rather, it’s the space surrounding it. An easy place to start? Consider repainting the wall behind your fireplace using a modern or vibrant shade – ultimately serving as an accent wall for your space. 

If your fireplace and its vent are behind the wall, you can utilize wood or ceramic tiling to refurbish the area. Additionally, adding a shelf (or several shelves adjacent to the mantle) is a smart and stylish way to introduce some depth to your space. 

Another idea to consider is installing a built-in bookcase that resides on each side of your fireplace. Opt for a custom-built design or a more wallet-friendly option that’ll create the illusion of sprawling shelves lined with books. For the DIYers, you can also accomplish this look by installing two prefabricated bookcases that use moldings to seal the pieces to the wall and ceiling. 

This technique will make it appear as if the bookcases were built directly off of the wall. If you have existing moldings on the ceiling, use the same kind to “connect” the top of the bookcases to the ceiling, making the illusion all the more perfect.

6 | Achieve New Fahrenheits: The Fireplace Façade 

Switch up your fireplace façade to invoke a more modernized and clean design. A popular and painless solution for brick and stone exteriors is to simply repaint the surface area. As a best practice, make sure to thoroughly clean the surface before grabbing a paintbrush and diving in. 

We recommend using a wire brush to dispose of any filth or grime that’s weaseled its way into the smaller nooks and crannies of the exterior. Once clean, apply a suitable primer to the brick or stone before applying a few coats of heat resistant paint.

Another option to consider is covering up a brick fireplace with decorative stone. These fake stones can easily be installed directly over brick using tile cement, and they have the capacity to create a number of different design aesthetics. 

If your gas fireplace has a gold façade that doesn’t blend in with your decor, sand it down with fine-grit sandpaper and apply heat resistant paint. Consult with a specialist before taking on such a project to make sure the products you use are appropriate and safe for a fireplace.

7 | Fuel Your Chimney Wall Creativity

Consider the wall above your fire as a blank canvas on which you can let your creativity run free. Use unique ceramic tiles to give it a particular style, or wood to give it a more rustic feel. Note that all fireplaces have clearance to combustible requirements that you need to research before adding wood above it.

Venture off the beaten track and match two materials for a unique, one-of-a-kind look. For example, install a few rows of black tile, followed by a few rows of wood, and so on. Let your imagination run wild, or hit the internet to find inspiration online.

Exercise Safety When Embarking on a New Project

No matter what method you ultimately use to update your fireplace, it’s always best to consult with an expert before you begin working on or around your unit. Why? It serves as a preventative measure to ensure you’re approaching the project using the right materials and techniques, while also complying with your area’s safety regulations. Once you have the green light, the floor is yours to get creative and design a look that satisfies your desired aesthetic.

Why choose us?

“Whether you are looking for a contemporary gas fireplace or rustic wood stove, we have plenty of options for you to choose from. With over 18 years of experience under my belt, I can confidently guide you in selecting the right fireplace for your home or business.” –Wolf Bennett, Owner

About Us

A family-owned and operated local business, Mountain Home Stove & Fireplace has been keeping the Yampa Valley warm and happy since 2002. Our mission is to be the Steamboat Springs area’s go-to resource for safe, quality products and services, with a personal touch.

Our Location

Address: 2620 S. Copper Frontage Rd Unit 6b, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(Between Kitchen Perfection &
Granite Haus off highway 129/Elk River Rd.)

E-Mail: mountainhomestove@gmail.com

Phone: 970-879-7962


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