A fireplace can make a wonderful addition to your Seattle home, but there are some notable drawbacks to a conventional fireplace that might give you pause. Fireplaces are notoriously wasteful, as most of the heat they generate is lost through the chimney. They can also be cumbersome and expensive to operate, which means that many homeowners don’t end up actually using their fireplaces as often as they had expected. They also require a great deal of maintenance and regular cleaning.
If you want to be able to enjoy the warmth and comfort of a traditional fireplace without any of the associated mess, expense, and inefficiency, you may want to think about a fireplace insert . Fireplace inserts are highly efficient, so they allow you to enjoy the heat they produce. They are easy to operate, and they can also be stylish and aesthetically appealing, making them an especially attractive option for today’s homeowners.
If you want to enhance the value of your Seattle home before you sell it, one of the smartest things you can do is to add a fireplace insert . Fireplace inserts have many advantages over traditional fireplaces that can make them irresistible for home buyers. Unlike fireplaces, fireplace inserts are energy-efficient and won’t contribute to heat loss through the chimney. Fireplace inserts are simple and easy to use, and you can switch them on and off whenever you feel like enjoying the warmth of a fire. They are also stylish and trendy, making them a terrific choice if you want to give your home a more up-to-date look and feel. When you want the benefits of a fireplace without any of the drawbacks, a fireplace insert is an excellent investment. Once you’ve converted your old-fashioned fireplace into a setting for your fireplace insert, you may be surprised how much more appealing your home looks to potential buyers.
Olson Energy Service recently celebrated its 90 th year in Seattle, where our family owned and operated company continues to offer exceptional HVAC services every day of the year. Our motto is “We Are Here to Serve,” and we take pride in providing our customers with quality work by certified and factory-trained technicians. We are also a preferred Diamond Contractor, a title awarded by Mitsubishi Electric to its most expert contractors. Being a Diamond Contractor signifies that we adhere to the highest standards of training and expertise, and that we provide our customers with an outstanding level of customer service. Every technician on our staff has been licensed, bonded, and insured, and our team offers emergency service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for your convenience. When you’re in need of professional HVAC service at your Seattle home, you can always count on our skilled technicians to give you the state-of-the-art care you deserve.
In the ever-evolving world of home heating and indoor comfort, one technology continues to stand out: fireplace inserts. Fireplace inserts combine traditional aesthetics and charm with modern convenience and efficiency, offering numerous benefits to homeowners who make this upgrade. Explore the top fireplace inserts to consider and the many benefits they offer.
How Do Fireplace Inserts Work?
If you already have a wood-burning fireplace, you may wonder why you should install an enclosed combustion system in the existing fireplace opening. Consider that with traditional open fireplaces, much of the generated heat escapes up the chimney.
In contrast, a fireplace insert captures more heat and directs it into your living space, making your home warmer and more energy-efficient. Many inserts even come with a blower for better heat distribution. You can use a fireplace insert to convert your open, wood-burning fireplace into an enclosed system or upgrade to a gas or electric heat source. This makes inserts one of the most affordable ways to add a modern, convenient fireplace to your home.
Types of Fireplace Inserts
You have three main types of fireplace inserts to choose from:
Wood fireplace inserts are the perfect fit for those who want the authentic experience of a wood-burning fire. They provide a crackling, glowing ambiance while significantly improving heat efficiency and reducing emissions compared to open wood fireplaces.
Gas fireplace inserts are known for their convenience and ease of use. Operating on either natural gas or propane, these inserts provide a steady source of heat with the flick of a switch. The flame effect closely imitates the visual allure of a real wood fire, appealing to homeowners who prefer a traditional aesthetic.
Electric fireplace inserts are the epitome of ease and versatility. They do not require venting or a dedicated fuel source beyond an electrical outlet. These inserts offer a variety of modern flame effects and often come with convenient features like remote controls, timers, and thermostats.
Benefits of Installing a Fireplace Insert
If you’re trying to decide if installing a fireplace insert is worth it, consider these numerous advantages:
- Reduced heat loss: The ability to heat your home more efficiently is the primary reason most people install fireplace inserts. This makes it possible to heat your home in a traditional way but with far lower energy bills and more even heat distribution.
- Updated aesthetics: Fireplace inserts provide a fresh, updated look to your hearth without the need for extensive renovation. This, in turn, upgrades the aesthetics of the entire room with a beautiful new focal point.
- Ease of use: With simple controls and minimal maintenance, fireplace inserts are designed for convenient operation. Wood and gas inserts can even be used during power outages, keeping your home warm and lit until the power is restored.
- Health and safety: Fireplace inserts are safer and healthier than traditional open fireplaces. They produce fewer emissions and particulates, improving your home’s indoor air quality, and are much less likely to ignite a chimney fire.
- Design versatility: Whether you’re drawn to the charming wood-burning look, the convenience of a gas flame, or the sleek lines of a modern electric fireplace, you can find an insert to match your style.
Designing Around Your Fireplace Insert
A fireplace insert transforms your hearth completely. With surrounds ranging from classic black to embellished cast iron or nickel, the visual impact hinges on the size of the insert relative to the existing firebox. Depending on your chosen style, you can tailor your decor to highlight the insert’s unique qualities.
If you’re considering an electric fireplace insert, consider that freestanding versions lack a surround, leaving visible space between the insert and the firebox walls for a unique look. The design considerations for electric inserts extend to the power outlet location. Plug-in models may display visible cords running to a nearby outlet, although they offer the flexibility of burning wood in the original firebox during power outages. Alternatively, hard-wired electric inserts provide a cleaner look but permanently alter the fireplace’s functionality, which impacts heating capabilities during power outages.
Choosing the Right Fireplace Dealer
When considering a fireplace insert, it’s crucial to consult a trusted local dealer to ensure compatibility with your existing fireplace opening. That’s where Olson Energy Service comes in. As a family-owned and operated business serving Seattle since 1926, we are committed to your safety and comfort. Our decades of experience, dedication to quality, and personalized service make us the go-to option for all your fireplace insert needs.
Call us today at 206.782.5522 or contact us online to schedule a fireplace insert installation estimate in Seattle, WA. We’re here to serve, and we’re excited to help you discover the perfect fireplace insert for your home!
When the weather starts to warm up, you’ll be grateful for having air conditioning in your Seattle home. If you aren’t careful to take the time to keep up maintenance on your air conditioner, however, you may find that it will not provide you with the level of service you deserve. Having your air conditioner routinely serviced by a maintenance professional will help to ensure that it stays efficient and effective. Here are some other steps you can take to keep your central AC system in excellent condition:
Install a ductless AC. If you simply want a certain area of your house to stay consistently cool throughout the day, you can avoid relying too much on your central AC by having a ductless mini-split system installed there. Ductless AC systems are extremely energy-efficient, and they operate unobtrusively since the compressor is located outside. Installing a ductless system may even qualify you for a federal tax credit.
Change your air filters regularly. Without a clean air filter, your air conditioner’s vents can become contaminated with dust, debris, pollen, and various pollutants. Along with harming the quality of your indoor air, this can make it harder for your air conditioner to cool efficiently as well. Check your air conditioner’s air filter regularly, and change it out for a new one when needed. During periods of heavy AC use, you’ll want to replace the filter at least once a month.
Buy a programmable thermostat. Running your air conditioner when nobody is home is wasteful, and it can also contribute to your high utility bills. If you purchase a programmable thermostat, you can schedule your AC to stop running while your house is unoccupied—or late at night, when everybody is asleep. Exercising more control over your temperature settings can help you conserve your air conditioner’s power for times when you really need it.
Many homeowners love the thought of warming themselves before a cozy fireplace on a cold winter’s evening. Unfortunately, fireplaces are extremely wasteful of energy. When you use your furnace to warm up the rooms in your house that don’t have a fireplace, you may discover that much of that warm air goes right up the chimney. In addition, the pollutant-heavy wood smoke emitted by older fireplaces isn’t good for the environment.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of a fireplace without the drawbacks, you might consider a fireplace insert . Watch this video from The New York Times to hear the story of one couple who decided to opt for a fireplace insert for their house. If you’re trying to decide whether to have a fireplace insert installed in your Seattle home, the video may help you make your decision.
In order to protect yourself and your loved ones against the dangers of a household fire, it is critical to install smoke detectors throughout your home. A contractor that repairs boilers and air conditioners serving Seattle can also provide you with a new smoke detector installation. To improve the safety and reliability of your smoke detectors, it may also be a good idea to talk to your HVAC contractors about the possibility of choosing a hardwired smoke detector.
A hardwired smoke detector offers many benefits to your household. Unlike battery-powered smoke detectors, which will cease to function if their batteries run out of power, hardwired smoke detectors are connected to the main electrical grid of your property. Whether your fire has been caused by a furnace problem or another type of emergency, your hardwired smoke detector will immediately alert you to the presence of fire dangers. Since hardwired smoke detectors also contain battery backups, they will function properly with or without power from your home’s electrical system.
If you want to boost the heating power of your heat pump or furnace, you may want to consider installing a fireplace insert. In this video from This Old House, you will take a look at how the professionals install fireplace inserts. After the original fireplace has been prepared, your technicians will carefully run a vent pipe through the damper. A company that repairs your heat pump near Seattle can also assist you with a fireplace insert installation.
If you have questions about whether a fireplace insert will work for your home, be sure to consult a team of experienced HVAC technicians. Your professional contractors can evaluate your current fireplace and determine whether an insert can be safely installed.
Is your air conditioner as efficient as it could be? Most Seattle homeowners may not be sure whether their air conditioning system is up to modern standards of efficiency. If you’re concerned that your bills are too high or that you are needing to run your air conditioner for long hours to keep your house cool, it may be time to contact an HVAC professional to talk about having your system replaced with a new one. If you want to better understand how air conditioner efficiency is measured, here is a guide to some of the most commonly used terms.
BTU. BTU is a term that stands for British Thermal Unit, and it represents the amount of heat that is required to increase the temperature of a pound of water by exactly 1 degree Fahrenheit. If you strike a single match and let it burn down, you have used up approximately 1 BTU.
Horsepower. This is a common unit of power with a number of distinct meanings. In terms of your air conditioner’s efficiency, horsepower is used to measure cooling capacity—or the amount of heat your air conditioner is able to remove from a room.
COP. COP stands for Coefficient of Performance. In terms of your HVAC system, the COP is the ratio of the amount of work you put into your system to the amount of heating or cooling you get out of it. The higher your COP is, the more reasonable your utility bills will be.
EER. EER stands for energy efficiency ratio. For the purposes of your air conditioner, it is the ratio of every BTU of energy your system uses to every watt of electrical energy it produces. The EER is used to measure the efficiency of room air conditioners, while a different ratio called the SEER—the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio—is used to describe central air conditioners.
Energy Star. Energy Star is a program in the United States that certifies the most energy-efficient products on the market, helping consumers to make the best decisions for their budget and the environment. In order to be labeled with the Energy Star symbol, a product such as an air conditioner must meet the minimum requirements of the EPA.
According to The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, more than 120,000 annual deaths in the United States are attributed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a term used to describe a group of health conditions characterized by breathing difficulty. These include severe asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. Unfortunately, many people who have COPD do not even realize that they have it. COPD can be worsened by a number of invisible pollutants in the air inside a home, including mold spores, dust mites, chemical fumes, and pollen. The quality of your indoor air has a significant effect on your quality of life, particularly if you have COPD. If you’re concerned about your indoor air quality, a professional air duct cleaning by an HVAC company in Seattle is the perfect place to start.
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