Archive for the ‘Spring Cleaning’ Category

Back to the importance of maintenance!

Monday, July 16th, 2012

The popularity of gas fireplaces has risen over the years, which has increased the need for inspection and maintenance of these units. Many don’t know much about their gas fireplace other than it can heat their home, so looking for a qualified professional can often be difficult. Knowing the reasons behind a gas fireplace inspection is the first step towards understanding how to properly utilize this important home appliance.

Direct vent gas

Basic gas fireplace diagram

 

The Affordability Of A Gas Fireplace

Overall, a gas fireplace is more economical than a typical wood burning fireplace. A large portion of the heat generated by a wood fireplace is wasted and sent out of your house through the chimney. This is one of the main reasons why a gas fireplace or insert is more affordable. So, is it more affordable to have it inspected frequently?

Unfortunately, it’s not cheaper to have a gas fireplace inspected. A gas fireplace has a more complicated inner framework then does a wood burning fireplace. Vents, outlets, combustion chambers, pipes and other mechanisms make up its structure, when all that makes up a wood burning fireplace is the hearth and the chimney. However, you can make up for the cost of inspection when it comes down to the money you save out of the unit’s efficiency overall.

Always be sure to use trained technicians. Look for manufacturer trained mechanics and also NFI Certified technicians. These professionals are trained in the hearth industry on every aspect of  gas fireplace service.  They know what to look for on builder installations. They are up to date on local building codes. They are stocked with specific tools to test for gas or carbon monoxide leaks. Industry professionals are also able to access manufacturer web sites if needed for proper settings and log placement charts.

A Gas Fireplace Inspection

To keep energy costs low annual maintenance of your gas fireplace is required. There are many reasons as to why a gas fireplace inspection is necessary. Firstly, checking for irregularities in the glass doors of the fireplace is essential to prevent gas or carbon monoxide from leaking into your home. This is obviously a safety concern for your family and the main reason why this type of inspection is completely necessary. Checking the venting system and the pilot of your natural gas fireplace can also help to ensure it continues to operate correctly by heating your home and expelling extra smoke and heat outdoors.

If either the venting system or your pilot stops functioning the gas fireplace could begin to cost you more money than it’s worth. Another important reason for inspection is to check the combustion chamber for cracks. This is a major safety concern because if it’s not caught it can let gas seep into your home. Gas leaks can be silent killers, regardless if they’re uncommon. For safety’s sake, have your fireplace inspected once a year because it’s not worth the risk.

Chase top replacement

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Rusty Chase Top

 

Look Up!

Now is a good time to look up at the top of your chimney. Do you have a rain/animal cap? We can add a cap to your brick chimney to keep rain and animals out. Keeping the rain from running down the inside of your chimney will extend the life considerably. You should consider installing a stainless steel cap with a lifetime warranty during your annual chimney sweep. This is a great time to have the general condition of your chimney inspected.

Key findings
Heating equipment was the leading cause of reported home fires in the 1980s and has generally ranked second since then. It is the second leading cause of home fire deaths. Fireplaces, chimneys or chimney connectors were involved in more than one-third (37%) of reported home heating fires in 2005-2009. Failure to clean was a factor in more than half (53%) of these incidents.
A sticky combustible substance, creosote, is created when wood does not burn completely. It can build-up inside the chimney and catch fire. Chimneys and vents need to be cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year.

Don’t have a “brick” chimney?  If your chase top looks anything like the one pictured here, it’s time for replacement! Not only is the rust staining your siding, but water may be leaking in through the top! This can lead to mold and mildew inside your home as well as premature damage to your home and fireplace.

 

Spring is a great time to focus on your fireplace issues. Many service companies and chimney sweeps offer discounts during this time of year.