Category: Blog

Can Home Air Cleaners Stop Corona Virus?

March 19th, 2020 // Blog

Can Home Air Cleaners Stop Corona Virus?

Basic status update, a few tips as well as one big myth to dispel

Currently there is a very large amount of information circulating about the Corona Virus. Instead of rehashing what you probably already know, we wanted to address items not generally focused on and provide some updates for our customers.

Image of a sign saying "yes, we're open" for now we have not closed. We will keep you posted.

Status Update

Currently McNamara Heating & Air Conditioning, Fireplace & Stove is open and operating at full capacity. This may change and if it does we will post another update to keep you informed. If you are concerned please call before we arrive to address any concerns, preferably a minimum 48 hours prior to your appointment.

One Safety Tip Rarely Mentioned in Corona Virus Statements

While remaining home an often overlooked health protocol is air-exchanges per hour. There was a piece written by Benjamin Franklin long ago where he basically discusses this even in his time. This is not a new concept but for whatever reason it is often forgotten. He found that he got sick more often after making his home perfectly air-tight. After realizing this he allowed his home to leak a little bit of air in and his health improved.

a photo of a woman breathing fresh air. Fresh air has been found in countless studies to help with overall health. While staying home during corona virus lock down, be sure to keep track of fresh air in your home.

Fresh air helps

We made a big push as a society to create high levels of energy efficiency, which resulted in the air-tight homes Ben Franklin warned about. If you’re home with your family for extended periods of time, and you don’t have a fresh air system built into your central air, just remember to get some fresh air often throughout the day. The ASHRAE Standard for the average residential home is .35 ACPH (air changes per hour If you have allergies and unfiltered air is an issue, installing a fresh air system would make sense, feel free to message us below. Remember, though, that simply airing out your home each day makes a huge difference.

Photo of a path of air as it passes through an air filter. While whole home air filtration is an excellent way to improve health it is not a guarantee for stopping COVID-19 commonly referred to as Corona Virus.

Home Air Cleaners/Scrubbers are not guaranteed protection

We’ve gotten a lot of requests for air filtration and fresh air systems in the past week. What we can say with confidence is that installing these systems will make your home healthier. Air Filtration is a great way to eliminate a large variety of mold, bacteria, allergens and even viruses. We have units, especially Air Scrubbers, that are impressive. They’re capable of attacking Swine Flue (H1N1) Avian Bird Flu (H5N8) Hepatitis A, MS2 bacteriophage and more.

Currently, however, we don’t know of any completed tests done for any air filtration system proving it is effective against COVID-19. If you want air filtration to improve the overall health of your home, great, we can help. If you’re looking for COVID-19 guarantees, we cannot provide them and as far we know, no one can, at least for now. So keep that in mind and as always you can call us with any questions or concerns you have.

For information on what we know about limiting the spread of Covid-19 see this link:

We hope this helps keep you cool and calm, safe and cozy, and we’ll keep you updated on our situation as things develop.

Thank you for being the best customers around, stay safe and healthy.

Bob & Debbie McNamara,

McNamara Heating & Air Conditioning, Fireplace & Stove

83 East Central Ave

Pearl River NY 10965


Big Sale on Mendota Gas Fireplaces

July 1st, 2019 // Blog

We’re offering big money back on Mendota, the biggest name in gas fireplaces.

Complete your dream renovation and save with the Cadillac of fire: Mendota Gas Fireplaces.

Save $400 on gas fireplaces or Get a free liner kit with gas inserts (up to $500 value) offer ends July 31st, 2019.

Get a free liner kit with this Mendota 33i Gas Insert

The possibilities are endless, we can help you narrow things down.

There are a wide variety of styles to choose from. In our showroom we can spec-out different gas fireplaces and inserts virtually on our big-screen computer display. This will give you the ability to decide with certainty what combination of options and looks suit your personal style best.

Save $400 on Mendota Luxury Linear Gas Fireplaces, Ends 7/31/19

Book Now, Schedule For Later

We’re currently booking installs into mid August. Things will ramp-up quickly as we approach the Fall. The best way to secure your dream fireplace at an affordable rate, without getting pushed out to an inconvenient date, is to book now. You can schedule your install out to whatever available date works for you. This reduces stress and ensures you get your fireplace in before the holidays.

$400 off Mendota gas fireplaces offer ends 7/31/19
Save $400 on all Mendota gas fireplaces, shown here FV42 Gas Fireplace with Grace Front

To see live-burn samples and to have us create a virtual mock-up of your next fireplace, stop into our showroom and mention this ad.

Can’t make it out to us? We can get you started via email and then set you up with an in-home evaluation to work out the details. Use the form below for details on the sale or to discuss your next project.

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Save Up to $400 on Mitsubishi Ductless

April 19th, 2019 // Blog

Save $100, $200, $300 or $400 on Mitsubishi Ductless Air Conditioning, or Mitsubishi Hyper Heat heating & cooling units. Offer ends June 7th, 2019

From now until June 7th, 2019 you can save big when you install Mitsubishi Ductless air conditioning and heating systems.

Note: Discounts are only available to customers using a Mitsubishi Diamond Certified Installer. Here at McNamara Heating & Air Conditioning, we are Diamond Certified Installers and Service Specialists.

McNamara Services Ductless Heating and Cooling

$100 Off Each Single Zone Heat Pumps

$200 Off Each Single Zone Hyper Heat System

$300 Off Multi-Zone Standard Heat Pumps

$400 Off Multi-Zone Hyper Heat System

Quick-Book Your Free In-Home Estimate here, or read on to learn more to see if Mitsubishi Ductless Systems and McNamara are right for you.

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Photo showing minimalist design and small footprint of Mitsubishi Ductless Systems

What is Ductless?

Ductless systems, as the name suggests, are systems that do not require you to run ducts through your home. Units can provide air conditioning, or air conditioning and heating from the same unit.

Is Ductless Right For Me?

In certain instances ductless is your best option. Below are several scenarios where ductless is your best choice for heating and cooling.

Ductless is great when you need cooling or heating in a certain area and want it installed quickly and easily. When you don’t want to deal with drywall dust, construction, tons of noise and long install days that can be associated with traditional HVAC systems, choose ductless systems.

In some instances, you simply can’t run ducts to an area of your home. The construction prevents you from cutting the needed holes and running the ducting. In cases like this, ductless is your best your option.

If efficiency and energy savings are high on your list, choose ductless.

If the environment matters to you, ductless systems are cleaner, more efficient and have a reduced carbon footprint over other systems types.

Mitsubishi Ductless units are whisper quiet and more attractive than window units.

Pro Tip: Don’t like the look of traditional ductless heads? We also have options for integrated grills similar to traditional HVAC vents if desired.

Is there any reason I wouldn’t want Ductless?

Ductless can be an investment. We’re a very transparent company so our customers know what to expect when budgeting. If you’re completely knew to the ductless world, you may want to contact us for an initial rough estimate for budget planning. Then we can come out to your home and take measurements, calculate your needs and give you a finalized estimate.

Why Mitsubishi Ductless Over Other Brands?

To put it simply, Mitsubishi Ductless is the top rated ductless system in America. They are more efficient, their proprietary Hyper Heat technology allows their heat units to operate in colder temperatures where other brands would stop working.

From the service side of things, we’ve noticed that Mitsubishi Ductless requires far less repairs and has a longer lifespan than traditional HVAC systems and other brands of Ductless systems.

Bob McNamara, owner and lead technician ensures all installs are performed to his high standards
Bob McNamara: Owner and Lead Technician/Installer

Why Choose McNamara as Your Installer?

Here at McNamara, our dream is help you feel cool and calm, safe and cozy. As a Diamond Level installer not only can we do that, we can save you money and get you extended warranties, too.

There’s something even more important than that: you.

Beyond the hard numbers and the equipment, there’s the people. Our focus is on relationship building, lasting connections, and family. Our google reviews speaks to our level of integrity, our willingness to go above and beyond for our customers, and the fact that at the end of the day: we care.

Well spoken, clean, respectful, easy to talk to, honest, how else can you feel cool and calm, safe and cozy?

To schedule your free ductless estimate with McNamara, use the contact form below. Tell us a little about your home and needs. Include your preferred contact method to get started.

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Save Up to $600|Ends 3/31/19

March 23rd, 2019 // Blog

Our Luck of the Irish Sale Saves You Up to $600 on Fireplaces, Wood Stoves, Gas Stoves, Gas Fireplaces, Gas Fireplace Inserts and More.

We’re having a celebratory Luck of the Irish sale from now until the end of the month, 3/31/19.

The spring is the best time to perform hearth installs. In most cases you won’t have to deal with hectic scheduling. (In the busy season we are often booked out 2 months or more) You’ll save money with our sale.

Perhaps more importantly, it’s much less stressful when you don’t have to rush to get your fireplace in before the holidays. Best of all, sale prices are secured with only a partial deposit so you don’t have to pay in full up front. We even have 12 month interest free payment options available!

See below for details on the sale.

Save Up to $600 on Venting for Wood & Gas Burning Fireplaces & Stoves

Save up to $600 on venting. Types of appliances that use venting include wood stoves like our world famous Jotul line of wood stoves.

Photo showing an example of Jotul Woodstoves, the oldest and most trusted brand in the world, installed by McNamara Fireplace & Stove
Save $600 on Venting For New Installs of Jotul Wood & Gas Stoves

Venting also includes gas fireplaces. Gas fireplaces are closed systems that produce serious heat in your home. An example of a gas fireplace would be our Mendota line of Gas Fireplaces.

Save up to $600 on Venting for Gas Fireplaces

Free Liner Kits with Wood Burning & Gas Burning Inserts

Inserts are appliances that are inserted into your existing masonry fireplace. They greatly improve the efficiency of your existing fireplace while making it easier to operate, cleaner and safer since you don’t have to physically start the fire.

Gas Fireplace Inserts differ from gas log sets both visually and in terms of heat output. Gas inserts will come with a free liner kit to celebrate the Luck of the Irish Sale. Free liner kits can equate to a $485 savings. A great example of our gas inserts are the Travis & Fireplace Xtrordinaire gas inserts. Wood stove insert liner kits equate to $585 in savings.

Free Liner Kit With Installation of Gas Inserts

Save 10% On Gas Log Sets

Gas log sets differ from gas inserts in that they are not closed systems. They preserve the look of an open hearth fireplace, while eliminating the need to start and stoke a wood fire. They’re cleaner and considered safer since you’re not handling the fire the way you would with wood. Gas log sets will behave similar to regular open hearth fireplaces and won’t have the heat output of a gas insert. For some people, the aesthetics is more important than the heat output and gas log sets fit their needs better.

An example of gas log set would be our top selling Hargrove Rustic Timbers log set.

Save 10% on New Installations of Gas Log Sets

Additional Items on Sale

Other sale items include 10% off fireplace doors. Our fireplace doors have been one of our most popular items lately. Stoll Industries is a family owned, 5th generation company that hand-makes doors, metal wall panels, cabinets and more.

10% Off on Fireplace Doors, Mantle Shelf and Tool Sets – All Handmade by Stoll Craftsmen

Stoll Industries also makes beautiful wall panel systems. These systems are great because they can renovate the look of a fireplace without requiring costly construction. The perfect example is the fireplace above, and the photo below, they’re the same fireplace. What a transformation! It only took our head installer a few hours to install. Save 10% on wall panels and tool sets as well.

Save 10% on Doors, Walls and Too Sets

Our Luck of the Irish Sale ends March 31st, 2019. If you have any questions or want to know more about a particular model, send us a message below. For more information, to book service and inspections or to set up an in-showroom consultation, use the form below to get started.

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From our family to yours: we want to thank you for your dedicated patronage for the past 26 years. The past 2 years have been tremendous and we are already putting plans in motion to make our service to you even better.

~The McNamara Family

McNamara Fireplace & Stove, Heating & Air Conditioning
83 East Central Ave
Pearl River NY 10965

Serving Rockland, Westchester, Bergen and Orange Counties. Soon we will also be serving Putnam County as well! Message to see if we service your area.


Top 5 Reasons to Service Your Fireplace This Spring

February 13th, 2019 // Blog

Top 5 Reasons to Service Your Fireplace This Spring.

We all know the importance of wood fireplace service. We already know it should be done annually and should include video-scanning of the flue interior. Do we know when the best time of year is to get our fireplace service done?

Believe it or not, the best time for fireplace service is at the end of the season, not the beginning.

Most people get their fireplace serviced right before the season starts. Over the many years we have found that this is not what’s best for your fireplace, or for you. Once you know you’re finished with your fireplace for the season: have it serviced and inspected. Sometime in March, April, or May makes the most sense.

Why? Read on to see our top 5 reasons.

Top 5 Reasons to Do Your Fireplace Service This Spring.

A photo of a woman answering multiple phones at once. It can get that hectic here. Sometimes we're scheduled out three months in advance. Book your fireplace service in the spring to avoid the rush. Schedule for when is convenient for you.

5: Availability & Convenience:

As many of you know, we are often booked two months or more in advance for many of our services. We want to get to everyone. We operate at a high quality standard and need to give our customers the time needed to give them the excellent service they deserve.

Note: When you book your appointment in the Spring we still recommend that you call a month in advance to make sure you get a date and time convenient for you.

This is also a preferred time for booking your evaluation for install. Many fireplace installs are part of full renovations of rooms or entire homes. With all those overlapping contractors it can get a little hectic. When you start your projects earlier in the year you ensure that any adjustments to plans are smooth. With extra time you can ensure nothing stops you from having a beautiful fire for the holidays.

In fact, the same holds true for other services we offer as well. If you are able to, book your air conditioning install in the winter, your heating in the summer. That way everything is ready before you need it. When you address things proactively, it also reduces stress because you don’t need to rush.

Photo of a jar of coins with a small plant growing out of it. When you do your fireplace service in the spring, you reduce corrosion and damage. This saves you money over time due to reduced repair needs.

4: Save Money Thanks to Reduced Repair Costs:

Soot, when left unchecked, can obliterate your fireplace and result in thousands of dollars in repairs. Why? Soot is corrosive.

When soot from a wood fire mixes with moisture it becomes acidic. Those acids can slowly eat away at your fireplace. When soot is left to sit most of the year it can speed up corrosion to damper frames, steel fireboxes and even eat away at mortar and masonry. Any cracks, open mortar joints or rotted fireboxes result in a failure of the fireplace inspection. These issues can pose the potential for fire hazards. In some cases issues can even allow water to penetrate into your home. Help lengthen the time between necessary repairs. Reduce overall costs of home maintenance. Service your fireplace in the spring.

Note: Spring service won’t eliminate the possibility of deterioration, but it does help prolong the life of your fireplace.

Photo of a boy making a stinky face. Fireplace service in the Spring reduces odors when the fireplace is not in use.

3: Reduce Odor in Your Home:

Soot smells. A nice wood fire smell for the holidays can bring back delightful memories and create a quaint environment for celebration. For many fireplaces that odor can get pungent and downright overwhelming on a hot humid day. The odors can sink into your clothing and create odors you carry with you even when you leave your home. Clean out that odor causing soot as soon as you know you’re done using the fireplace.

Note: Certain fireplaces produce more odors than others due to natural draft issues. We can’t guarantee service will completely remove odors, but service does help to significantly reduce them.

Picture of a woman wearing a face mask to cope with fireplace odors and reduced air quality. Prolonged exposure to fireplace soot smells reduces air quality and health. Get your fireplace service done in the spring to reduce your total exposure time.

2: Improve air quality and health:

The basic rule is: if you can smell it that means you’re breathing it. That’s great for fresh baked cookies. With fireplaces it’s okay in small doses. If you smell it during the season that’s fine, all year long? Maybe not so good. Soot can be carcinogenic with prolonged exposure, and can be harmful to people suffering from asthma.

Servicing your fireplace in the spring will reduce your exposure greatly, and help you breathe easy in the off season.

Picture of a happy family that rests easy knowing their fireplace was serviced and repaired as needed. Have your fireplace service done in the Spring to ensure you know ahead of time about any repairs you may need. This will give you time to tackle them at your own convenience. Service also removes creosote from the flue, reducing the chance of a chimney fire.

1: Help Prevent Chimney Fires and Protect Your Family

Damage can occur to your flue at any moment, even when it’s not in use if temperatures change drastically enough. A fireplace service with camera scan shows us if there are any safety concerns in your flue. Things we find concerning include glazed creosote, cracks and open mortar joints in your flue.

Glazed creosote is a type of buildup that cannot be removed with a traditional brushing. Many chimney fires occur because the glazed creosote buildup ignites in the flue.

Cracks and open mortar joints in your flue allow heat, gasses and buildup to enter areas not intended designed to handle that kind of abuse. These defects have the potential to be a fire hazard.

Getting an Inspection in the Spring ensures you know the state of your fireplace flue well in advance of needing it.

If your camera scan uncovers any of the above defects it’s better to know sooner than later. You can prepare yourself, repair it on your terms and remain in control every step of the way. You can rest easy knowing with certainty that you’re ready for the season.

Service Your Fireplace in the Spring

With health, safety, comfort and convenience in mind, it really makes the most sense to service your fireplace in the Spring.

Those are our Top 5 reasons to service your fireplace in the spring. Can you think of any others? Message us your thoughts and we may update this article thanks to your input!

We hope this helps you better care for your home with proactive planning and stress saving techniques. Our goal is to help you feel cool and calm, safe and cozy in every way we can.

Thanks for reading,

The McNamara Fireplace and Stove Family

Contact Us For Service

If you’re in Rockland, Westchester, Orange or Bergen county, use the contact form below to message us. We’re located in Pearl River, NY. Highly rated on Google reviews.

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When is the Best Time to Install a Fireplace?

May 30th, 2018 // Blog

When is the Best Time to Install a Fireplace?

Why summer is the best time

When is the best time to install a fireplace? While it’s very common for people to install a fireplace in November, right before Thanksgiving, it can be a bit of a stressful project when you wait until late in the year. Typically “off seasons” are the best time to install seasonal units. Install your fireplace in the summer, your air conditioning in the winter. This way you avoid down-to-the-wire rushing for deadlines, which helps to reduce stress. There are more reasons to have your fireplace, stove, log set or other hearth appliance installed in the summer, though.


Easy Scheduling

As winter approaches, most trusted hearth stores are booked through the fall season. Last year by September we were already beginning to book through December. When you begin your project early in the year, you have plenty of time to have a technician evaluate your project in your home, review all available models, decide on what combinations of options you want, schedule the install on a day that works for you, and finalize the whole process so it’s ready for the days you need it.


New Models

New models usually get released at the start of the year, when you start your project early you end up ahead of others. This is especially important for our Professional Interior Design customers, but also plays a big part in home pride for owners who like to be trend setters in their neighborhood.


Typically there are sales and promotions available from most companies in the off season, this includes any factory rebates manufacturers may offer. Sometimes you just need the fireplace when you need it, and there’s nothing that can be done about it. If you can plan ahead you’ll save time, aggravation, and money.

Beat Price Increases

Manufacturers typically issue their price-increases in April. Scheduling and securing your unit earlier in the year ensures you get the best price without sacrificing quality.

Ensure the Best Final Design

Sometimes it can be difficult to visualize your project until everything is finished. In the case of a gas fireplace, home owners typically install granite/marble/tile/stone around the fireplace, install a mantel and then paint the wall around it to compliment the finished project. If you have it installed earlier in the year, have the finishing work completed and you realize that you want a different color of paint for the surrounding wall, you can change or tweak any aspect of the final design without needing to rush. This way when the holidays hit and guests are in your home, you can rest easy. Feeling confident you have the best final design possible for your home means you can focus on your guests and eliminate any back-of-your-mind worries about the finished piece.

So, when is the best time to install a fireplace? As early in the year as you can manage.

If you have any questions about installing a gas or wood fireplace, gas or wood stove, gas log set in your existing fireplace, fireplace doors and more, feel free to contact us. We can answer your questions via email, or come into our show room and see working units you can turn on and get to know.

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Mid Winter Sale on Top Fireplace Brands

January 23rd, 2018 // Blog

Sale: Mid Winter Sale on Top Fireplace Brands

From now until February 3rd, 2018, save on our entire stock, plus parts and labor.

Start a Fireplace Project Now?

Why start your project now? Starting early allows you to take control of your install by allowing you to book ahead for a time convenient for you.

photo of a gas fireplace that resembles an 1800s style coal fireplace, perfect for historic homes, available and installed by McNamara Fireplace and Stove in Pearl River NY

Why does that matter? Here at McNamara Fireplace and Stove, we have been booked out 2 months for about 8 months now. Don’t fall into the trap of a last minute project before the holidays that doesn’t get done until after New Years. Start now.

More Control, More Savings

If you start your project early, you can book it for a time that is convenient for you, even in the middle of August if you need to, while still getting the sale prices offered right now. Reduce stress, take your time, get your project done exactly the way you want it, and save while you do it.

Also, with the start of the new year, manufacturers will be releasing their price increases shortly. Taking advantage of our Mid Winter Sale not only helps you save on initial costs, but locks you in for current pricing before the increase as well.

photo showcasing modern and industrial style fireplaces available at McNamara Fireplace and Stove

Save on Mendota, Travis, Fireplace Xtrordinair, Lopi, Majestic, Valor, Jotul, Stoll and more. Gas fireplaces, inserts, wood stoves and inserts, high efficiency fireplaces, traditional fireplaces, custom fireplace doors, zero clearance fireplace refacing renovation kits, mantles and more.

McNamara Fireplace and Stove is both a dealer, and an installer, we service and repair all of our units and offer a 2 year workmanship warranty, twice the competition.

Start your project now, save big, and rest easy knowing it will all get done with plenty of time to spare, with our Mid Winter Sale Event.

Schedule an appointment to view live burn models now:

Check out our google reviews

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Sale Ends 2/3/18

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Save Big During Open House Event, New Styles On Display!

September 5th, 2017 // Blog

a photo of a woman relaxing in front of a beautiful fire, enjoying all she saved attending our open house event, and how confident she felt going with the bestSave big at our Open House Event Saturday, 9/16/17 – Sunday, 9/17/17

It’s that time of year again! The most exciting part of this year’s Open House Event? All the new styles! We’ve got a gargantuan gas fireplace that you can use right in our showroom. We’ve also embraced the Modern Industrial styles coming in from NYC.

The brushed finishes bring a rustic, yet modern look to fireplace doors and metal wall panels. They offer just enough balance to fit into our homes that have a traditional feel, while adding a very high end feel to any room. Get a close look at these stunning custom wall panels when you come to our Open House Event:

a photo of custom metal wall panels from McNamara Services in Pearl River NY. These panels are used in place of traditional marble and mantle. The panels can be custom made for a variety of scenarios such as accenting the wall at the head of your bed, or as a 3 dimensional wall panel as an accent

These custom metal wall panels can be used around a fireplace, to accent the header of a bed, or create a 3-dimensional feel as an accent wall and virtually anything else you can imagine

Experience the best brands and the newest styles

At our Open House Event you’ll be able to touch and feel the amazing quality and experience elegance destined for your home. We will also have sales and discounts on all hearth appliances, wood stoves, fireplaces, gas inserts, log sets and more.

Save on Mendota, Fireplace Xtrordinair, Hargrove, Lopi, Majestic, Valor, Jotul, Travis Stoll and more. Save on the associated parts, vent, and labor as well.

Touch and interact with dozens of displays. New this year are these amazing fireplace doors from Stoll. Come by and feel the smooth gliding motion of these high end fireplace doors that can transform an entire room:

In addition you’ll get extended store-hours and access to our technicians, installers and showroom consultants to help you bring your project to life. Get all of your questions answered and have fun all day with our knowledgeable staff.

For the First Time Save on Even More

Our recent research has shown that your home heating, air conditioning and air filtration systems can impact your health. Our goal is to ensure you are always cool and calm, safe and cozy, all year long. It’s because of this we have decided for the first time ever to offer the same big discounts on any of our HVAC products and services. These include Aprilaire air cleaners and disinfection units, ultimate efficiency Mitsubishi as well as Trane unstoppable heating and air conditioning systems and more. Get a fighting chance this flue season and ask about our fresh air, filtration and disinfection systems discounts.

-Open Saturday and Sunday, September 16th and 17th, 2017

-Extended Hours

-Sales staff, technicians and installers available to answer questions and help you make your dream project come true

-Big Discounts on all inventory and installation labor

-Also, if you have an interior designer, we would be happy to work with them on your project, bring them by!

Hurry while supplies last, message for details and to set up a consultation. Can’t make it to the event, but still want to save? Set up an in-home consult using the form below and leave a deposit on your project by September 17th, 2017 to secure the sale prices!

Stay in Touch

Another great way to stay up to date with the newest and hottest is to like and follow us on Facebook. First of all, you’ll get the best in tips, tricks and trade secrets to make your hearth season the best yet. Secondly, we post special deals and discounts on Facebook most frequently.

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Is This Crazy Weather Making You Sick?

August 18th, 2017 // Blog

a picture of a woman sneezing because she slept in a dry house last night

Is This Crazy Weather Making You Sick?

It just might be, and you can do a lot at home to safeguard yourself and your family. 

Just the other day it was 93 degrees here in Pearl River, NY. In spite of that, I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few weeks we had 40 degree weather, a blizzard, or for it to start raining Billy Goats or something. I think we’ve all noticed that the weather is downright bizarre these days. Have you ever felt like the constant roller-coaster of weather change is making you sick? Recent research says you are probably right.


a picture of a baby feeling very blah because it's so stuffy in his home, poor little guy

If you’ve felt ill, achy or irritable, it might be more than just “the usual” draining you. Research indicates that fluctuating weather can and does have many different negative impacts on your health.


Picture of a woman with a bad headache from weather and pollen issues infiltrating her home


Severe headaches can occur when there’s a high pressure system in place. Many studies have associated pressure changes with triggering migraines.

Changing seasons and hot weather can exacerbate asthma and allergy symptoms. This is especially true in the springtime. According to the Weather Channel, the weather’s impact on your body is so varied, there’s a whole scientific study devoted to it called Biometeorology.

These circumstances can align against you, possibly triggering migraines, headaches, sinus pressure and more.

Another finding even shows low pressure systems can cause our blood-pressure to drop. This can make you feel like your energy is being drained from you. Even how your blood sugar is controlled is impacted on low pressure days which can also affect diabetics.


a photo of a woman with sinus pain, aggravated by allergens in her home

Sickness/Dry Nasal Passages/Restlessness

The weather also can have indirect influences on our health. One myth that has been dispelled by medical professionals is that cold weather causes illness. Those same medical professionals do agree that incidental situations caused by cold weather do cause illness.

The big culprit these days are air tight homes, poor air filtration and disinfection, as well as dry air.

During very hot and cold weather, people mostly stay inside. Newly constructed homes have a tendency to be very airtight. This is excellent for energy conservation, but has been linked to many health issues. Locking yourself in with essentially the same air all day long bombards you with whatever illnesses people bring into that space. Exposure alone isn’t a guarantee you’ll get sick.

“Moist mucus membranes can protect us from many of the germs we encounter. Especially in the winter when the air is already dry. Things like heating systems, fireplaces or even our furnace can dry out our mucus membranes. Dry membranes can allow for the transmission of germs back and forth,” UPMC physician Dr. Hutzel said. “Also, in cold weather, most of us are indoors so you are exposed to more people and again there are holes in our mucus membranes because of the dryness.”

To help stop the frequency of colds this winter season, Hutzel suggests washing your hands frequently and using a whole home humidifier to counteract some of that dryness in the air. There are humidifiers, air cleaners and UV disinfection units available for most central air systems. These can reduce bacteria, viruses and mold.


a photo of a woman thinking about what to do to make her home air quality better

What can you do?

While there’s little you can do to control the weather, you can stay ahead of it and be prepared to limit bad experiences. Tracking the weather weekly and daily takes only a few moments and can give you valuable information.

Fresh air systems for the more air-tight homes allow the removal of stale, infected air from your home without really damaging your energy conservation. Humidifiers can be integrated into your air system as well as UV disinfection units.

The weather has certainly been crazy, and it probably won’t let up any time soon. You take care of your family, but make sure to take care of yourself as well this season.

Is your home properly filtered? What about fresh air? Do you have a UV cleaner? Is the bulb still good? What’s your home-humidity level on the driest days? Message us below to find out. If you notice any patterns such as getting headaches on high pollen-count days even when you’ve been inside mostly, or waking up with dry nasal passages, let us know what’s going on with you below. We can use that information to help us determine which products and services will help you the most.

Thanks for reading,
Bob McNamara

We want to help you stay cool and calm, safe and cozy all year long.

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Fixing Water Leaks in Your Home: Part 1

May 17th, 2017 // Blog

Water Leaks in Your Home: What to Do (Part One)

Fixing water leaks can be confusing. We hope this multi-part series simplifies the process for you.

Eek! A leak! You see the drywall sagging, the paint peeling or any of the hundreds of ways water can get into your home. Where is it coming from? What should you do? Who should you call? We recommend a professional do the investigating, but these tips can help you recognize what needs to be done, and if it’s being done right.

The basic process

Step 1: locate the source of the leak. Step 2: Determine who to call to get an estimate Step 3: Have the repairs completed correctly. Step 4: Follow through and monitoring.

In this article we will focus on step 1: Locating the leak. This would seem like an obvious thing to locate. In some cases it is, but water can be elusive and tricky. To help us determine where to start looking, we should first identify the type of leak we’re dealing with.

Is it constant or intermittent?

Constant leaks can be difficult to find, isolating them by cutting off water to different areas can help

Constant leaks: A constant leak can be any size from a drip to a shower that never stops. This makes locating its source a bit easier, albeit more frantic.

While there is a time sensitive nature to a constant leak, it’s important to remain calm. Start with all the simple things. Ensure no water is running either inside or outside the home. After that, check the water meter as well to see if water is still flowing somewhere.

If water leaks continue after this investigate other types of water sources. As an example; there is a feed line bringing water to the whole home humidifier which can leak. An air conditioning specialist can check for condensation on air conditioning ducts causing a slow leak. Cracked condensate pans can also leak.

Either way the goal is isolate the leak. We need to eliminate the need to cut open random areas in search of the source. Once it’s known which line is bringing the water to the leak source, that pipe can be followed and less intrusive investigation methods can be used. A plumber is advised for repair. Later in this series we’ll discuss who to call, how to pick the best company and tips for avoiding problems throughout the entire process. Remember to check our Facebook page for updates.

Chimney leaks are often intermittent leaks

Intermittent leaks: Water leaks that only occur during certain conditions are considered intermittent. They are far more difficult to diagnose than constant ones. If a leak only forms during heaving rains, but not during light rain: that tells us something. Driving rain can get into places calm vertical rains cannot. Ice and snow can also do things that other types of water cannot. It’s important to remember some slow moving leaks can last even a few hours after the source has stopped.

A real life example of the investigation process for an intermittent leak

Recently a customer called us about a leak in their ceiling. It was dripping from their recessed lights during heavy rains. Its location in the middle of the room on the ground floor was odd.

We noted their masonry chimney integrated into the adjacent wall of the kitchen. Since we go from low to high, we checked rooms above and found no water damage. At that point we headed onto the roof.

There we found a gutter leaning in the wrong direction. Leaves and debris were causing overflow, but only during heavy rains.

We also noted a four inch long crack in the shoulder/wash of the chimney. We added water to the gutter and confirmed that when the water overflowed it trickled into the crack.

This crack had been caulked with clear silicone. The caulk peeled away, but even when it stays it only locks moisture in, which is worse for masonry chimneys.

Here is where it gets interesting.

After entering the crack the water managed to contact a beam inside the exterior wall of the home. It trickled its way down the beam until it pooled on the top of the drywall covering the kitchen ceiling. It traveled over the top of the ceiling until contacting the recessed light fixture. There it began to drip onto the countertop.

This was two floors down and fifteen feet away from the leak source!

In this case, the leak was solved by performing a basic masonry repair and water protection. It also prompted the customer to look into having their gutters addressed. Not to mention opening their walls and ceiling to check for black mold.

They discovered a large amount of black mold in their home. It became clear that the leak was occurring other times as well. It only reached the light during the heavier rains.

The important thing to remember in this unfortunate case is that someone did notice the leak. This damage could have been avoided. The leak was not repaired properly, nor was it monitored after the fact.

Locating the source of water leaks can be tricky. Knowing what to look for and how to find it can save you time. It will also limit aggravation, and potentially thousands in future repair costs. Be sure to hire the correct professional to investigate your leak and you’ll be worry free. In the next article in this series we’ll cover tips on choosing a professional. Feel free to email us with questions about your specific leak.

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-Bob McNamara

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