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8 Chimney Basics Every Homeowner Should Know

The chimney may appear to be a simple structure, but it is comprised of several components that are designed to work in unison. Together, these parts of the chimney contain the heat and vent the smoke and fumes while you sit back and enjoy the warmth of a wood-burning fireplace. We’ll help you to get better acquainted with your chimney by introducing you to eight chimney basics homeowners should know.

Chimney Inspection Pasadena MD Chimney Inspection

Whether you are a first-time homeowner experiencing a wood-burning fireplace for the first time, or an avid user, chimney inspections are a must. The examination will not only ensure your fireplace is safe for use; it will reveal any problems before they grow into more expensive repairs. The inspection will also show if there is excessive creosote or any flue obstructions. Both of which can increase the risk of fire and exposure to carbon monoxide. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends homeowners have annual chimney inspections.

Chimney Cleaning

Annual chimney cleaning is another necessity every homeowner should know. The gases created during combustion can be corrosive. It can accelerate the deterioration of internal components when the chimney is not adequately maintained. Creosote is another by-product of combustion that is highly flammable in excessive quantities. It is the primary cause of residential fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). While some homeowners opt to clean the chimney themselves, it is best to hire a Certified Chimney Sweep® that follows industry-standard NFPA guidelines to ensure the chimney is cleaned correctly. 

Chimney Crown

The chimney crown tops the masonry structure. It is made of cement with a sloped design to help keep water out of the flue. When cracks develop on the surface, water can leak inside the chimney, where it can cause extensive damage to the masonry. The crown should be inspected at least once per year for cracks.

Chimney Cap

The chimney cap is a device that covers the flue opening to help keep moisture, debris, and small animals from entering the flue. Its position at the top of the chimney makes it susceptible to wind or storm damage. Homeowners should periodically check the cap and immediately replace it when broken or is blown off.

Flashing

The flashing is a piece of sheet metal that covers the seams where the chimney meets the roofline. When the flashing material is rusting, warping, or is otherwise damaged, water can leak through the seam and into the chimney. Since water stains appear on the ceiling and walls near the fireplace, damaged flashing is often mistaken for a roof leak.

Flue Liner

Most chimneys have a clay tile flue liner that protects the masonry walls from the high temperatures and corrosion of combustion. It also helps improve fireplace heating efficiency and the venting of smoke and fumes. The clay tiles are prone to cracking and should be checked at least once per year, preferably during a chimney inspection. 

Damper

The damper is in the middle of the chimney in an area called the throat. It keeps moisture and debris out of the firebox when the fireplace is not in use. However, many homeowners are replacing the traditional throat damper with a top-sealing damper. It does a better job of keeping moisture out of the flue.

Chimney Firebox Pasadena MDFirebox

The firebox is the opening of the fireplace where you stack and burn the wood. The walls surrounding the firebox should be made of firebrick. Sometimes they are built using standard bricks like the rest of the chimney. Homeowners should check the bricks inside the firebox and have a trained chimney specialist repair them when they notice cracks or crumbling.  

Complete Chimneys in Pasadena, MD, has certified, experienced chimney sweep technicians who perform professional chimney maintenance services. Chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, and preventative maintenance have been available since we were established in 1984. We also offer fireplace and stove sales and professional installation. Contact us today to discuss getting a fireplace added to one or more of the rooms in your home. Call (410) 544-7600 today.

Warning Signs: It’s Time to Replace Your Wood Stove

A woWood Stove Chimney Repair Baltimore MDod stove can be a reliable and affordable source of home heating. Like any other type of heating appliance, it will eventually need replacement. If you have been keeping up with annual cleaning, routine maintenance, and making necessary repairs along the way, you have been able to prolong its useful life. How do you know when its time to replace your wood stove? Just look for one or more of the four warning signs below:

Poor Performance

Your wood stove may have been a useful source of home heating for years, but its performance will gradually begin to decline due to normal wear and tear. You may be using more wood fuel than in the past to produce the desired level of heat output. The deterioration can accelerate even faster if the stove has not been regularly cleaned and maintained. Excessive creosote accumulating inside the stove will not only result in a poor performing stove, but it is also a fire hazard. Also, obstructions in the stovepipe can impede performance and increase the risk of carbon monoxide exposure.

Smokey Fires

When you light the fire inside the wood stove, you may notice a smokier fire than usual. It can be caused by using firewood with high moisture content, or there may be moisture or too much oxygen leaking into the stove. In either case, it’s not a good sign. When moisture gets into the stove, it can cause damage to the ash pan, door gasket, and gasket seal. The stove door will not close properly if the gasket seal is damaged, resulting in heat loss. It can also cause the steel or iron frame to rust or corrode, which will weaken the stove even further.

WarpingProfessional Hearth and Heating Maryland

The iron or steel frame of a wood stove can withstand the high temperatures of a burning fire for years. But eventually, the corrosive nature of combustion can cause the stove to warp, rust, or corrode. Also, a fire inside the stove due to excessive creosote can cause extreme temperatures resulting in premature warping, corrosion, and other damage. You may notice the frame buckling in weaker areas along with rust or corrosion around the frame.

Your Stove is Not EPA Certified

Look for the EPA label on the back of your stove. If you don’t have one, it’s time for a replacement. Newer EPA-certified wood stoves are 50% more energy-efficient than earlier models, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Also, EPA-certified wood stoves have more efficient combustion systems, which burns hotter with significantly less pollution. You will use up to one-third less fuel for the same amount of heat. Your indoor air quality will also improve up to 70%. Look for the EPA-certified label on the back of the stove when replacing your older wood stove with a more efficient model.

Places You Never Thought of Putting a Fireplace But Should

Bedroom fireplace installation Pasadena MDA fireplace is often the best feature in a house, but why should it be limited to the main living are? Because modern, factory-made fireplaces can be placed within inches of combustible materials, they are safe to install in virtually any room of your home. When you consider the creative possibilities for fireplaces, it can be exciting. Check out the following places you may want to have a stylish, efficient fireplace installed.

The Foyer

With a fireplace in the foyer, your family and guests can literally get a warm welcome whenever they walk into your home. Linear fireplaces fueled by gas can conveniently be installed within walls. These days, modern fireplaces are sometimes installed at the same height level as paintings and other wall décor. It works because the fireplaces themselves are like living masterpieces. In the foyer, the fireplace also adds light to a darkened entryway.

Between the Bedroom and Sitting Room

Imagine your master bedroom and the sitting area off to one side. Now imagine a gorgeous two-sided gas fireplace that can be enjoyed in both the bedroom and the sitting room. Never has your bedroom felt as much like a personal sanctuary as it will with a beautiful fireplace that takes the chill out of the air in winter and adds a whole new level of coziness year-round.

The Garage

An ongoing trend in garages is to create an aesthetically pleasing room that’s clean, organized and potentially an extension of your living area. If your garage doubles as a workroom, man cave, or body shop, adding a modern gas fireplace would be the perfect touch. Garages aren’t typically temperature controlled in the same way the home is. The fireplace can provide the needed warmth plus a big dose of atmosphere in an unexpected place.

The Master Bathroom

Creating spa-type bathrooms is a popular trend, and one way to make a gorgeous spa bathroom even better is to add a modern gas fireplace. Spa settings are all about unwinding and luxuriating instead of, for example, keeping your head tuned into workplace struggles. Battling stress is something most adults could use help with, and a fireplace in your master bathroom could help you relax and unwind more quickly and thoroughly than ever. Mesmerizing flames in your personal spa could be just the added touch that makes going home more like being on a mini vacation.

Your Outdoor Living AreA

Outdoor fireplace installation Pasadena MD

Backyards are more and more becoming valuable extensions of home interiors. There are many ways to set up outdoor living spaces, and a fireplace is ideal for whatever design you choose. Being outside in nature is good for anyone’s health and well-being and yet it can be difficult to spend time outside because the comforts and attractions inside the home have more of a draw. Add a fireplace to your outdoor living area and you may find yourself drawn under the sun and stars on a much more regular basis.

Complete Chimneys in Pasadena, MD, has certified, experienced chimney sweep technicians who perform professional chimney maintenance services. Chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, and preventative maintenance have been available since we were established in 1984. We also offer fireplace and stove sales and professional installation. Contact us today to discuss getting a fireplace added to one or more of the rooms in your home. Call (410) 544-7600 today.

How A Cold & Wet Winter Can Ruin Your Chimney

Chimneys are vulnerable to moisture all year round. But winter weather with its snow, freezing rain, ice, and damaging winds can have a devastating impact. And if the damage is severe, you may not be able to use your fireplace or heating stove to stay warm until it has been repaired. So, as the winter weather approaches, it is prudent to prepare your chimney for whatever winter weather may bring.

Before Protecting, Inspect

Chimny Inspection In Annapolis, MDWithout question, the first step in preparing your chimney for winter is to schedule a chimney inspection. During the inspection, the chimney sweep will examine the entire structure and internal components. A visual inspection is necessary to check for spalling or cracked bricks, gaps in the mortar joints, and other damages that could allow moisture to weaken the chimney and increase the risk of fire and exposure to carbon monoxide fumes.

The freeze-thaw cycle that creates potholes on our roadways also affects your chimney in the same way. Water collects in the small cracks in and between the bricks and solidifies as the temperature drops below freezing. The ice crystals expand inside the small cracks and can cause the masonry to crumble. As the temperature rises, water penetrates the interior components, where it can further compromise the chimney and even damage your roof. A chimney inspection can help uncover and prevent:

• Loose or spalling bricks
• Crumbling mortar joints
• Damaged flue liner
• Warped flashing
• Cracked chimney cap and crown

Waterproof your chimney

Chimney masonry is a porous material making it vulnerable to moisture. As the bricks absorb more water, it continues to erode and break down. Waterproofing the chimney’s exterior can prevent the absorption of moisture and prolong its lifespan. But any masonry damage must be repaired before applying a waterproof sealant to the brickwork. We recommend a water-based, permeable sealant that allows the chimney to breathe.

Divert water from the chimney

Another viable alternative to protect your chimney from harsh winter weather is diverting moisture from your chimney using a cricket. Melting snow and ice or rainwater typically create runoffs that can soak portions of the chimney. Using a cricket to redirect the flow is an effective method to protect the structural integrity of the chimney.

Chimney Cap Installation In Russett, MDInstall a chimney cap

If your chimney cap is damaged or missing, then your flue is exposed to the winter weather, including rain and snow. It’s also susceptible to sudden downdrafts that can blow smoke and soot all over your living space. Installing a chimney cap is an inexpensive yet very effective way of protecting your chimney from external moisture and windy conditions. Chimney caps have a sloped design that pushes moisture away from the flue. They are available in a variety of aesthetically pleasing designs and also have a wire mesh to keep small birds and pests from nesting inside the warm flue and obstruct the venting of smoke and fumes. A spark arrestor feature keeps hot embers away from the roof.

 

Chimney Brick Damage and Tips to Prevent It

Chimneys can seem like sturdy structures, but have you ever seen one that looks like it’s tottering? Exterior chimneys are subject to all kinds of harsh conditions, and moisture can cause the greatest amount of damage. Homeowners often neglect chimney maintenance, and the result can be decaying bricks in danger of collapsing. Chimney brick damage is something that can be prevented, though the task requires vigilance. Learn more below.

Chimney Repair, MarylandBricks and Moisture

When a chimney is built correctly, various elements of the structure contribute to the difficult task of keeping water out of the highly porous brick masonry. If the mortar deteriorates, the chimney crown cracks, a chimney cap was never installed, a crack splits the brick structure, or the metal flashing was installed incorrectly, moisture will get into the bricks. Then, the water inside the bricks freezes and thaws in winter, causing movement as it expands and contracts. Spalling eventually occurs, which means the face of the brick breaks and pops off. 

If bricks containing water aren’t replaced, they continue to deteriorate, resulting in a leaning or collapsed chimney. 

Waterproof Your Chimney

At a point when your chimney is in a state of good repair, schedule waterproofing with the chimney experts at Complete Chimneys. It’s essential that the waterproofing products used are formulas specially made for chimneys. These materials are vapor permeable, which is important because they allow the chimney to breathe. Many waterproofing products come with a 5- to 10-year warranty.

Schedule Annual Chimney Inspections & Needed Repairs

Annual chimney inspections are very important, according to all of the leading fire prevention experts in the U.S. During an inspection, your chimney expert can identify damage that can’t be spotted by laypersons. Schedule any types of chimney repairs that are needed to prevent further damage from occurring. Not making needed repairs only makes them that much more expensive later on. 

chimney leak crown repair in russett mdHave a Chimney Cap Installed

If your chimney doesn’t have a chimney cap or if the existing chimney cap is damaged, don’t wait to have a chimney cap installed. There are multiple advantages of having a chimney cap, and the number one benefit is that these accessories keep rain and snow from falling directly into your chimney. One of the ways in which moisture does its worst is when the water mixes with acidic creosote deposits in the flue and causes deterioration of the chimney liner. A damaged chimney liner puts your home and family at risk every time the fireplace is used. The bricks in the hearth can also be damaged when water drips down the flue and into the fireplace.

Contact Complete Chimneys Today for Masonry Repair

The certified chimney sweeps at Complete Chimneys provide expert masonry rebuilds, masonry repair, chimney inspections and comprehensive chimney services. We are proud to offer affordable prices to help keep families safe. Contact Complete Chimneys today at (410) 544-7600 to schedule masonry repair, chimney crown repair, and all of your needs for chimney maintenance. 

What to Do About a Cold and Drafty Fireplace

Cold And Drafty fireplace Repair in Annapolis, MDMasonry fireplaces add a beautiful aesthetic touch to a home, but they aren’t highly efficient when it comes to heating and preserving the heat. A common issue homeowners who run masonry fireplaces describe is cold air drafts coming from the fireplace. If this is a problem you’re having, here are some ways to address it.

Stopping the cold air

The logical way to deal with a cold and drafty fireplace is to stop the cold air. That can be done several ways.

Damper:  Keeping your throat damper closed when the fireplace isn’t in use is an ideal way to prevent drafty air. If the damper is rusty or warped, it may let cold air through, so have your damper inspected if you believe this is a problem. Also, consider adding a top-sealing damper, which sits at the top of the chimney and increases protection against drafts.

Fireplace doors:  A pair of tight-sealing fireplace doors will do a fine job in keeping any cold air that escapes the damper(s) out of your home.

Available in various materials and design styles, fireplace doors bring the additional benefit of beautifying your hearth area. Those are the two most effective ways to address a drafty fireplace.

Increasing the heat

A little cold air coming in often can be solved by increasing the amount of heat your fireplace generates.

Fireback:  A fireback is a cast iron plate that goes inside the firebox. It serves to protect the firebox and also radiates a good amount of heat out of the fireplace and into the room.

Fireplace heater:  Fireplace heaters draw air from inside the room into the fireplace, where it circulates and heats up. The new, warmer air is then sent back to the room for everyone to enjoy.

Beautiful Gas Fireplace Insert in Annapolis, MDAdding a more efficient appliance

Stopping cold air and increasing the heat from the fireplace are good options if your masonry fireplace is too cold and drafty. But the best solution is to have a heating appliance where drafty air isn’t a problem to begin with.

Fireplace insert: A fireplace insert is a specially made fireplace that comes self-contained from the manufacturer. It is installed inside the firebox of an existing masonry fireplace. The insert operates on a closed-combustion system that allows it to retain a huge percentage of the heat it produces and push it out into the room.

You won’t have cold drafts with an insert like you do with an open masonry fireplace. Fireplace inserts can run on wood, gas or pellets and are among the most efficient heating appliances on the market.

Zero-clearance fireplace: Zero-clearance, or ZC fireplaces also are factory built but are designed to be installed in a wall within your home, not inside a masonry firebox.

These units are insulated and safe, and they come with extremely high heat-efficiency ratings. By retiring your masonry fireplace and running a powerful ZC fireplace, you’ll experience an immediate positive difference in your indoor temperatures.

 

Complete Chimneys of Pasadena, MD, can help you solve the problem of a drafty fireplace. We safely install fireplace doors, firebacks, fireplace heaters, fireplace inserts and zero-clearance fireplaces. Don’t be cold another winter. Call us at (410) 544-7600 and bring on the warmth.

Your To-Do Checklist for Protecting Your Chimney from Winter Storms

Chimney Inspection in Annapolis, MDHomeowners living in the north and east can expect a colder and wetter winter, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The increased precipitation and freezing temperatures are not good news for masonry chimneys as there is a higher risk of water damage, especially during the freeze-thaw cycle. Homeowners should take precautionary measures to prepare their chimney in advance of any upcoming storms that may develop throughout the winter.

Get an Inspection and Cleaning

If you haven’t done so already, now may be your last chance to get your annual chimney inspection and cleaning before the busy winter season. A chimney inspection is vital to uncover any potential safety and repair issues. Even small cracks that may appear to be relatively minor can expand into more costly repairs with an increase in moisture. A Certified Chimney Sweep® should visually inspect the entire interior and exterior chimney structure from the chimney cap down to the firebox as well as any attached heating appliances like a fireplace or woodstove. The inspector will also advise if there is excessive creosote and needs chimney cleaning. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) strongly advises homeowners to have a chimney sweep clean the chimney yearly to reduce the risk of fire.

Make Any Necessary Repairs

The last thing you want to do is fix chimney leaks and other problems during a snowstorm. A winter storm will only make any existing chimney issues worse. It can even make it unsafe for you to use your fireplace or heating stove. So, make sure to repair any masonry damage, cracks in the chimney crown or flue liner, broken or missing chimney cap, and other components ahead of any potential winter storms. Also, it is crucial to repair or replace rusted or corroded dampers. Otherwise, moisture can leak inside the chimney and cause damage to the flue liner and firebox.

Chimney Cap Installation in Russett, MD

Install a Chimney Cap

Installing a chimney cap will help push rain and snow away from the chimney protecting the crown and flue from potential water damage. It will also help prevent pests and debris from obstructing the flue. When choosing a chimney cap, select one that has a spark arrestor. It will extinguish hot embers, so they don’t spark a roof fire.

Consider a Top-Sealing Damper

Most chimneys have a throat damper that is installed just above the firebox. Even when a throat damper is closed, moisture can still get inside most of the flue. A top-sealing damper is mounted on the upper part of the chimney and allows you to seal the entire chimney when you are not using the fireplace. It also has a mesh screen so that when the damper is open, small animals and debris can’t clog the flue.

Waterproof the Chimney

After you have made the necessary chimney repairs, you can ask your chimney professional to apply a waterproof coating.

 

A water-based solution that allows the bricks to breathe will provide the brick masonry with the moisture protection it needs to prevent water damage. For optimal performance, re-apply the waterproof sealant every few years.

The Importance of Maintaining Masonry Chimneys

Chimney Masonry Repair in Annapolis, MD If you have a wood-burning masonry fireplace, do you know the condition of the chimney? Homeowners often enjoy the wonderful ambiance of their fireplace while rarely giving a thought to the masonry chimney. Due to neglect of chimney maintenance, the first fire of a winter season ends in a hazardous home fire for many homeowners every year. Maintaining masonry chimneys is important for two major reasons. First, your home and family are much safer if you keep up with chimney maintenance. Secondly, you can reduce the cost of chimney repairs by addressing problems and having repairs made early.

Chimney Maintenance Keeps Families Safer

The primary threats that are heightened when chimney maintenance is neglected are chimney fires and exposure to deadly toxic gases.

An Increased Threat of Chimney Fires

A dirty chimney that hasn’t been cleaned regularly becomes obstructed with layers of flammable creosote. Every time a wood fire is burned in your fireplace, creosote is left behind in the chimney liner as combustion gases exit.

For anyone who uses their fireplace every winter, creosote needs to be removed annually and possibly once more during the cold season.

The chances of experiencing a dangerous chimney fire are increased as the amount of creosote in the flue increases. When creosote catches fire from a burning ember, the creosote feeds the intensive fire. Not only are chimney liners often destroyed by chimney fires but homes catch fire many times as the protection provided by the liner is destroyed. A home fire can also occur because a chimney fire spreads onto the roof.

Chimney Sweep in Russett, MDPotential Exposure to Deadly Toxic Gases

If you don’t have your chimney inspected and cleaned before lighting your fireplace, your home could be exposed to life-threatening gases in two different ways.

Layers of creosote eventually obstruct chimneys, if chimney cleaning continues to be neglected. Since the toxic gases can’t escape, they enter the home. Carbon monoxide is deadly, and it is one of the toxic gases created by a solid fuel fire. What makes carbon monoxide particularly dangerous is that it is odorless, tasteless, invisible, and symptomless. If a home isn’t equipped with an operational carbon monoxide detector, occupants of the home are often unable to escape the fumes in time to survive the exposure.

Another way occupants of a home are often exposed to toxic gases is as a result of a damaged chimney liner. The liner is supposed to protect combustibles from the intense heat in the flue and prevent toxic gases from entering a home’s living space. If anyone finds out their liner has deteriorated to any degree, the fireplace should never be used until the liner has been repaired or replaced. In most cases, the practical option is to have a stainless-steel liner installed.

Reduce Repair Costs

Masonry chimneys are highly vulnerable to moisture. If chimney maintenance is neglected for a lengthy period of time, there is a good chance that moisture will have seeped into the masonry. The bricks will start deteriorating and, without repairs, the chimney will eventually collapse. By scheduling the annual chimney inspection recommended by fire safety experts, you can learn what repairs are currently needed, if any. (If your chimney is in good condition, you may want to schedule waterproofing, which adds more protection against moisture damage.) Stopping the spread of deterioration means the costs of repair are much lower than if problems continue to worsen.

Schedule Chimney Maintenance with Complete Chimneys Today

Complete Chimneys offers expert chimney repairs, chimney maintenance, masonry rebuilds, and comprehensive chimney services at affordable prices. Because of our extensive experience in the chimney sweep industry, you can be assured that your masonry chimney will be well-maintained in a way that helps to reduce overall maintenance costs and helps your family stay safe. Contact Complete Chimneys today at (410) 544-7600 to schedule a chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, and reliable chimney repair services.

 

Do Chimney-Cleaning Logs Work?

Chimney Cleaning Log Cleaning your chimney is something that should never be ignored. In excessive quantities, creosote can become a flammable substance increasing the chance of a fire. Creosote logs, also known as creosote sweeping logs, or CSL’s for short, present an easy way for homeowners to clean their chimneys while enjoying the warmth of the flames. But are they effective? And can they replace a professional chimney sweep?

How Do Creosote Logs Work?

Creosote is a byproduct of combustion. It is most prevalent in wood-burning fireplaces and stoves. The creosote continues to accumulate, layer upon layer, along the interior walls of the chimney. And the more frequent use of your fireplace, the more creosote accumulates in the flue. Most residential structure fires are a result of excessive creosote in the chimney. It is why periodic chimney cleaning is vitally important.

Sometimes, cleaning the chimney is easier said than done. Creosote often starts as a light, soft, and flaky material that is easily removed with a brush. But with time, this substance turns into a thick, oily, and tar-like material that is much more difficult to remove without the assistance of professional chemicals.

Burning a CSL releases chemical additives into the flue that adheres to the creosote deposits clinging to the walls and other components, as the fumes exit the stack.

The chemicals react to the creosote turning them into a flaky residue that is much easier for you or your chimney sweep to remove. You may notice that some of the dry creosote will fall like snow into the firebox where they can be swept away.

Are Creosote Logs Effective?

The effectiveness of chimney cleaning logs depends on the amount and type of creosote in the chimney. There are three stages of creosote formation.

Stage 1

The first stage of creosote is light and puffy with a high soot content. It is easily removed with a chimney brush. A CSL is not effective in this stage.

Stage 2

In the second stage, creosote is getting quite sticky but is still flaky. It’s a little more challenging to remove but can be cleaned with a chimney brush and a little “elbow grease.” CSLs are not very useful at this stage either.

Stage 3

The third stage is when the creosote hardens into a thick, tarry glaze. It is highly flammable in this stage with a high risk of a chimney fire. The creosote cannot be removed with an ordinary chimney brush. It requires professional chemicals for the removal and is where a creosote sweeping log can be most helpful.

Chimney Sweep In Annapolis MDCreosote Logs Contain Toxic Chemicals

When using creosote logs, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, creosote logs are for use in wood-burning fireplaces and stoves only. They cannot be used in gas or pellet heating appliances. Creosote logs contain toxic chemicals. Make sure to use then in a well-vented fireplace. You will need to inspect the chimney to make sure it is clear of obstructions to prevent carbon-monoxide and other fumes from backing up into your living space. Also, the damper must remain open when using creosote logs. Fireplace doors should also be open for venting.

Chimney Cleaning Logs are not a Substitute for a Chimney Sweep

While chimney cleaning logs can help reduce creosote in between cleanings, they are not a substitute for a professional chimney sweep, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). It is important to note that chimney cleaning logs can reduce creosote, but they don’t eliminate it or prevent its re-occurrence. Both the CSIA and CSL manufacturers recommend annual chimney inspections and cleanings.

 

Choosing a Gas Fireplace for your Home

With more homeowners seeking greener and cleaner-burning alternative heating solutions, gas fireplaces are a popular choice. Gas fireplaces burn clean, offer continuous heat, and are easier to clean and maintain. They are also a lot easier to operate. But how do you choose the right gas fireplace for your home? Here are a few tips to make your choice easier.

Contemporary Gas Fireplace in home Determine its primary purpose

Before you even head out to the hearth store, you need to ask yourself what the primary purpose will be for the fireplace: heat or aesthetics. If the primary reason is for warming your home, then choose a gas fireplace with higher heating efficiency. Fireplaces with higher heating efficiencies will cost less to heat your space. On the other hand, if your primary purpose is for appearance, then choose a well-styled fireplace with a beautiful and elegant appearance that enhances the interior style of your living space.

Select control options

When it comes to a gas fireplace, there are several convenient options for controlling the flames. Some models have front-mounted controls on the unit. It allows you to turn on and off the fireplace by flipping a switch. The second option is a wall-mounted switch in the living space. A wall switch makes operating the fireplace as easy as turning on any light in your house. The third option is the remote control. It is an ultimate convenience. With a remote in hand, you can operate the fireplace and control the heating temperature without getting off the couch. A remote-control option is available on many gas fireplaces. If you misplace the remote, you can still operate the flames by flipping the switch on the unit.

Direct vent vs. ventless

When choosing a gas fireplace, the type of venting is another factor to consider. There are both vented and ventless models. The ventless or vent-free option is an excellent choice for homes that do not have an existing chimney or lacks the space for a traditional wood-burning hearth, such as in a condo or townhome. It also offers the highest heating efficiency because it retains all of the heat. The installation costs are also less since it’s not connected to a chimney or vent. You have the flexibility to install a ventless gas fireplace in any room in the home. However, being ventless also means that some gas fumes are released into your home, so your living space should be well ventilated.Modern Gas Fireplace

Direct vent gas fireplaces connect to an existing chimney or vent. Since a vent is required, you will need to install the gas fireplace on a wall where a vent can be established that will allow the carbon monoxide and other gases to escape your home. Direct vent limits placement in your home, but it offers up to 70% heating efficiency and improves indoor air quality. Gas fireplace inserts can also be installed directly inside an existing fireplace for a more authentic experience. It’s a great way to convert an inefficient wood-burning fireplace into an efficient and clean-burning gas fireplace.

Since 1984, Complete Chimneys has provided customers with high-quality chimney services and repairs at affordable prices. The safety and warmth of our customers is goal number one. Call us at (410) 544-7600 for a quote for installation of an efficient new gas heating appliance, a chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, or chimney repairs.