How To: Clean your Valor Gas Fireplace

Our friends over at Valor Fireplaces created a handy guide to understand how to clean their gas fireplaces. Read on to learn more!

From time to time, you will need to clean your Valor fireplace in order to maintain maximum performance and appeal. We have put together the following guidelines that will assist our customers and dealer network with optimizing and cleaning their gas fireplace:

Note: Fireplace surfaces, in particular the glass viewing window, are extremely hot during operation and will remain hot for a period of time after the fireplace is turned off. Contact with the hot glass can cause severe burns. Close adult supervision is required if there are young children, or at-risk individuals in the house.

  • Glass Fireplace Window – Clean the glass regularly as soon as you notice the a white film build up. NEVER use an abrasive cleaner on the ceramic glass, an emulsion type cleaner is recommended (Brasso, Polish Plus by Kelkem, Cook Top Clean Creme by Elco, White Off by Rutland, Turtle Wax). Use a soft damp cloth to apply the cleaner.
  • Barrier Screen – Our barrier screens are easy to clean, simply use a soft brush to get rid of dust and grime.
  • Cast Iron Stove Body, Front Trim, Fret – The matte cast iron parts can be brushed clean. The enameled cast iron parts can be cleaned with mild soap and water then dried with a lint-free soft cloth.
  • Firebox, Ceramics and Burner – Dust can be brushed from the ceramic logs/rocks and firebox walls after removing the front unit and opening the window. When cleaning, make sure that no particles are brushed into the slots of the burner.
  • Steel Surrounds and Trims – Clean steel surrounds and trims with mild soap and warm water on cooled surfaces only. Any alcohol/solvent base cleaner will weaken the coating and damage it.

For more information on cleaning your fireplace, click here.

Solace Home Comfort - Maintaining Your Fireplace

Advice & Tips: Maintaining Your Fireplace

Every year brings its new challenges, and if you’re a homeowner, the list of TO DO’s can be long. If you own a fireplace, we want to ensure that you are in the know when it comes to fireplace maintenance.

Maintaining a fireplace every year can add years to its life. By scheduling routine maintenance, you ensure a safe, warm and efficient fireplace for your family and your home.

One of the product lines we are very proud to represent is VALOR FIREPLACES. Here are some helpful tips from Vancouver’s very own, local brand.

Maintaining Your Fireplace

A fireplace surface, especially the glass viewing window, become extremely hot during operation. At full capacity a Valor gas fireplace can get over 500°F and will remain hot even after the fireplace is turned off for a period of time. All Valor models now come equipped with safety screens, but for an even safer approach we would suggest an aftermarket safety gate to keep toddlers and young children away from the fireplace.

  • First and foremost– Read your owner’s manual and follow all instructions and warnings.
  • If your fireplace has been on recently– Do not touch any part of the fireplace while it is hot! Let the fireplace cool before cleaning it.
  • Mineral white film on glass– Clean the glass regularly if this occurs, if it is left you risk it being etched into the glass. Note that you should NEVER use an abrasive cleaner on the ceramic glass. Use a soft damp cloth to apply the cleaner (recommended cleaners: Brasso, Polish Plus by Kelkem, Cook Top Clean Creme by Elco, White Off by Rutland, Turtle Wax).
  • Barrier Screens– All barrier screens can be dusted off with a soft brush.
  • Cast Iron– Cast iron parts can be brushed clean, while enamelled cast iron parts can be cleaned with mild soap and water.
  • Fireboxes & Burner– Any dust can be brushed from the ceramic logs/rocks and firebox walls after removing the front unit and opening the window. Ensure no particles are brushed into the slots of the burner.
  • Glass Beads– Dishwasher safe! Ensure they completely dry when putting back.
  • Steel Surrounds & Trims– Mild soap and warm water on cooled surfaces only. Any alcohol/solvent base cleaner will weaken the coating and damage it.

For more information on fireplace safety, maintenance and more please visit the Valor Fireplace Safety page.

 

Solace Home Comfort - Outdoor Lighting Tips

Outdoor Lighting Options and Tips

Those of us living on the West Coast wait all year for the weather to warm up because it means one thing: Patio Season! Nothing says summer quite like a warm night watching the sunset in a wooden adirondack chair or enjoying something cool and refreshing in the open air. When the sun goes down and you’re not quite ready to turn in, the right kind of lighting optimizes the time you get to spend outdoors.

Having your friend over for a BBQ doesn’t haven’t to be moved indoors when you have enough lighting to see one another or find the cooler with ease. If it’s just a romantic evening for two, forgo the candles and opt for the glow of string lights or glow-in-the-dark potted planters.

Coming soon from Valor is a new outdoor fireplace, sure to wow guests and keep them warm as the summer months turn to fall. Pioneered by a local North Vancouver company because here on the West Coast, we never want patio season to end. In the mean time, here are so inexpensive ways to decorate your yard, balcony, patio or deck  beautifully and effectively-with light!

Solace Home Comfort - Outdoor Lighting Tips

  • UP-CYCLED CAN LANTERNS: hold onto those canned vegetable, paint or soup cans! Start of by washing them thoroughly. The next step is to paint them any colour or colours you like, be as bold as you like. Next, use a nail and hammer or drill to make small holes (randomly or in a pattern) around the can, be sure to do all around and two holes on opposite sides of the cans, right near the top lid. Then add wire for a handle (optional). Lastly, place a battery operated candle inside and place around your outdoor space. If you using a real candle, be sure to blow them out at the end of the evening, and never leave candles unattended.

Solace Home Comfort - Outdoor Lighting Tips

  • GLOW-THE-DARK PLANTERS: This one is easy! Simply buy the glow in the dark paint at your craft store and follow the instructions for how many coats. Leave to dry and in the sun all day, by night fall you have a natural, solar-powered light source!

Solace Home Comfort - Outdoor Lighting Tips

  • DECORATIVE TWIGS: These delicate string lights can be found at hardware and craft stores, usually around Christmas time. If you have your own twigs, simply wrap the wires around the branches. Otherwise, decorative branches can be found in craft or home decor stores as well!

Solace Home Comfort - Outdoor Lighting Tips

  • LANTERN STRING LIGHTS: Most of know how effective simple, white outdoor string lights can be in making a space look romantic and stylish. For a unique look, make sure you have a few extra yards. Drill a hole through a lid to a mason jar, string the lights through the hole and let them bunch up in the jar. String the lights back through, and close the lid up!
Solace Home Comfort - Fireplace Terms and Words

Guide to Understanding Fireplace Terminology

Ever find yourself scratching your head and thinking, “What the?” when it comes to understanding all the lingo and terms around fireplaces? You’re not alone.

Unless you’ve been working within the fireplace industry there are a lot of words, phrases, and terminology associated that can make any outsider stumped. To help you better understand just what we are talking about throughout our website, manuals and catalogues we’ve created this page.

B

B VENT – Listed, factory-built, double wall metal pipe for venting gas appliances with draft hoods and other appliances listed for use with Type B Gas Vent.

BLOWER – An electric, motor driven fan used to circulate air at an increased pace and velocity through the fireplace convection air chamber.

BTU OR BRITISH THERMAL UNIT – A unit for measuring energy, equal to the amount of energy needed to increase the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
C

CLEARANCES – Minimum distance, composed only of an air space, which must be maintained between a heat source such as a fireplace or vent and combustible surfaces. Distance required by building and fire codes between stove, fireplace, or chimney and combustible materials such as wood furniture or carpets. Clearances must be obeyed even if the combustible materials covered by noncombustible plaster or other masonry materials.

CO-AXIAL DIRECT VENT – A Direct Vent system consisting of a length of sealed, exhaust pipe inside a same length of a larger diameter combustion air pipe. Basically a pipe within another pipe – center is exhaust and outer donut area is fresh air.

CO-LINEAR DIRECT VENT – A Direct Vent system consisting of two separate pipes of the same diameter. One pipe for exhaust and the other for combustion air.

COMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL – Material made of, or surfaced with, wood, compressed paper, plant fibers, or other material that will ignite and burn, as applied to materials adjacent to or in contact with heat-producing appliances, chimney connectors, steam and hot water pipes and warm air ducts. Such material shall be considered as combustible even though flame proofed, fire retardant treated, or plastered.
D

DIRECT VENT – Method of venting appliance whereby all air for combustion is derived directly from the outside atmosphere and all flue gases are discharged directly to the outside atmosphere. Exhaust system for gas fireplaces that is gravity induced. No chimney is required.
E

EFFICIENCY – The percentage of heat that goes into the room instead of up the chimney.
F

FIREBOX – The inner-most compartment of a fireplace designed to support the combustion of fuel.

FLUE – The passageway in a chimney for conveying flue gases to the outside atmosphere.
G

GAS FIREPLACE INSERT – A gas appliance designed to be installed within an existing masonry fireplace opening or a metal factory-built firebox. It offers superior efficiency.

GAS VENT – A factory made, listed venting system designed to remove flue gases to the outside atmosphere. Please also see Direct Vent, Type B vent or Flexible Chimney Liner.
M

MANTEL – Shelf over and above the fireplace opening. Stone, brick or wood may be used.

MODULATING CONTROL – The ability to control the fuel input to the gas fire automatically – similar to the cruise control on an automobile. Available with Valor’s standard ValorStat Control System.
N

NATURAL GAS – Clean-burning fossil fuel available in vast quantities throughout North America and delivered to homes via an extensive pipeline network. Colorless, highly flammable gas found in porous geologic formations beneath the earth’s surface. Consists mainly of methane.
P

PILOT – A small flame used to ignite the gas at the main burner.
R

RADIANT HEAT – Heat that moves out in waves from a central point and heats objects in its path. The invisible and harmless radiation emitted by a hot object. This radiation is converted into heat when it is absorbed.
T

THERMOSTAT – An automatic device for regulating the temperature in a building by controlling the heating or cooling source. Acts strictly as an on/off switch – does not modulate the heating or cooling source.
V

VALORSTAT – A wireless handheld remote control system which allows the user complete control of the fire from anywhere in the room. Standard equipment on most Valor models – controls the comfort, convenience and aesthetics you want from your Valor gas fireplace. See Modulating Control.
Z

ZERO CLEARANCE FIREPLACE – A factory-built metal fireplace with multi-layer construction providing enough insulation and/or air cooling so that the base, back, and in some cases sides, can safely be placed in direct contact (zero clearance) with combustible floors and walls.

Solace Home Comfort - Valor Barrier Screens - 01

Why Do You Need Barrier Screens for Fireplaces?

Bringing a fireplace into your home is a great way to add style and warmth to any room. First and foremost, however, is safety. Barrier screens provide protection to the fingertips from hot glass and help prevent the glass from being scratched or cracked.

With every Valor fireplace, a Valor Barrier screen is equipped. When CSA standards required barriers on all fireplaces by 2015, Valor was ahead of the game having including them on all models since 2013. Valuing safety above all else, without compromising on aesthetic.

Solace Home Comfort - Valor Barrier Screens

Will the screens affect the flames or heat performance?

By using a fine wire mesh for the barriers Valor was able to implement safety without hindering the radiant heat or blocking the visibility of the flames. That way every log, timber, flame and brick remains properly showcased.

Always remember that fireplace surfaces, especially the glass window are extremely hot both during use and for some time after. While Valor barrier screens protect you and the fireplace itself, heat can still escape! Supervision is recommended around young children, and at-risk individuals in your home.

To learn more about fireplace safety, barrier screens and other safety measures you can take, click the button below.

Benefits of a Direct Fireplace

With the cost of living becoming an increasingly scary topic, everyone should take time to consider how much money they’re spending on monthly heating bills.

Take advantage of your homes ability to be a safe haven of comfort, convenience, and entertainment by installing a natural gas fireplace. With the cost of natural gas being low, its ability to fuel an efficient fireplace truly makes sense. I’ve yet to meet a single customer who doesn’t want to be comfortable & warm. Here are a few reasons why any homeowner should consider having a natural gas fireplace in their home.

A zero clearance, high efficient gas fireplace is not only an upgrade to a home’s value, but a complete boost to the homeowner’s quality of life. Whether you’re watching a movie, reading a book, or having friends over for glass of wine, having the fireplace turned down in the background makes the space magical.

By zone heating, the home is burning less fuel, cutting costs on monthly bills, and keeping everyone comfortable.  When the power goes out, or your furnace blows up in the dead of some winter’s night, the Valor [for instance] doesn’t require power and will keep the home warm. With direct vent technology, anyone can plunk a brand new zero clearance on an outside wall, and vent it straight out the side of the house.

With a small amount of framing and finishing, the fireplace will look incredible and the finished product will be a transformative one. Most importantly, zone heating saves you money, cuts back on excessive energy consumption, and makes the home more comfortable. It’s also incredibly convenient. The modulating valve allows the homeowner to turn the flame up or down depending on what he/she wants. To boot, they’re incredibly easy to use because they can be operated with a remote, or a simple wall switch. Yes, installing a natural gas fireplace makes you comfortable, wealthier, environmentally conscious and awesome.

Give it a go…..Here’s a BEFORE & AFTER example of a few of our wonderful customers’ homes.

Click on the images below to enlarge.

 

Solace Home Comfort - Valor Natural Gas Fireplace

Why You Should Switch to Natural Gas Fireplaces

Natural gas fireplaces in British Columbia can not only keep you warm and cozy, it can give you big savings in the long run!

Let’s face it, heating your home and water consumes an incredible 78% of the total energy used in your home. According to FortisBC, natural gas space heating units and equipment can give you up to 98 percent more efficiency. Check out the bar graph below to see how natural gas compares with other types of fuels and energy choices:

Annual fuel cost – space heating2, 3
Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast

Solace Home Comfort - Natural Gas Heating - FortisBC

Graph courtesy of FortisBC

Can I save more with common rates? Yes you can!

FortisBC began phasing in common rates for natural gas on January 1, 2015. Customers living on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and Powell River saw a rate decrease of 13 per cent. Going forward, you’ll see additional decreases to your rate for the next two years (2016 to 2018).  Learn more.

The benefits of switching

Beyond the cost savings of natural gas, you’ll also enjoy the benefits that natural gas appliances offer:

  • instant, cozy heat at a flick of a switch
  • an abundance of hot water, when you need it
  • cozy fireplace ambiance – perfect for relaxing or entertaining
  • convenience of direct heat and temperature control for cooking

Do you need help with switching? Our passionate and courteous service team can do it for you! Contact us at either one of our locations below:

Contact Info

Burnaby:
4025 Hastings St
Burnaby, BC, V5C 2J1
Phone: 604.291.0342
Store Hours: Mon to Fri: 9AM-5PM, Sat 9AM-4pm

Port Coquitlam:
#109 – 1320 Kingsway Ave
Port Coquitlam, V3C 6P4
Phone: 604.475.2645
Store Hours: Tues to Sat: 10AM-4PM

Solace Home Comfort - Draft Proofing

Preparing Your Home for Winter Part 4: Draft Proofing

It might not seem like much, but 2% of air leakage is through electrical outlets and switch plates in your home, which can cause considerable heat loss for your home.

Solace Home Comfort - Draft Proofing 01As the clouds roll in and the temperature drops, the cozier your home is, the better. Keep it warmer by insulating outlets, an easy and inexpensive project you can do yourself.

Pop by your local hardware store for outlet (or insulation) gaskets. Check the gaskets around the windows and exterior doors of your home, seeing that they are not torn or weathered with age. This small gesture can be done now in preparation for the chilly months to come.

You can call our experts with questions about draft proofing your home at our Burnaby location at 604.291.0342  or our Port Coquitlam location at 604.475.2645

Solace Home Comfort - Winter Furnace Service

Preparing Your Home for Winter Part III: Furnace Service

As the leaves start to change colour many of us know it’s about time to pull the rake out of the shed, but another step in preparation is to make an appointment for your furnace’s annual check-up.

Solace Home Comfort - Winter Furnace Service 01Filters must be change for effective air flow-which alleviates stress on your furnace’s blower system. The condensate tubes are in need of inspection insuring that they are functioning properly. The heat exchanger will be checked for cracks and leaks by one of our friendly maintenance experts. Before the leaves pile up, take this preventive measure to insure your equipment is running efficiently. If your furnace is older than 20 years, it’s talk to us about a replacement options.

There are lots of things that we do to prepare for fall and winter, we take our rainboots out from the back of the closet, we sharpen our skates and wax our skis, and we stock the cupboards with hot chocolate. Being prepared to go outside is one thing, but ensuring you have a cozy, warm and welcoming home to return to and protect you from the elements is your best way to get you through the winter months!

The Solace Home Comfort Team

Solace Home Comfort - Smoke Detectors

Preparing Your Home for Winter Part II: Detectors

With winter around the corner Vancouverites will be spending more time indoors with their friends and family. Risk of house fires increase in the wintertime so it’s important to keep your family and home safe with smoke, heat and fire detectors.

The Red Cross recommends replacing the batteries in smoke alarms no less than twice a year. If you have an alarm that is between 5 and 10 years old replace it with a new one.

Risk of house fires increase in wintertime so it’s important to keep your family and home safe with heat, smoke and fire detectors.

Solace Home Comfort - Smoke Detectors

Replace your fire, heat and smoke detectors at least 2 times a year.

Having at least one smoke alarm on every level of your house and one in or near each bedroom provides the best protection. Additionally, safety experts advice similar placement for carbon monoxide detectors. They should be installed high on the walls of your home, on every level and near bedrooms. This is vitally important if your present gas appliances are not direct vent.

Remember, the most important thing to protect in the case of a fire or gas leak are lives. Protect your loved ones with installation of detectors and regular maintenance.

The Solace Home Comfort Team