The Chimney Pro Blog

The Importance of Burning Seasoned Wood

The Importance of Burning Seasoned Wood

When lighting up a fire in your fireplace this winter, take a moment to think about the wood you’re using. Seasoned wood is the best to work with, as it will light quickly and burn longer than the non-seasoned variety. Here are some tips on ensuring you use only seasoned wood, how to determine if it is indeed seasoned, and the risks of burning wet wood.

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Efficiency of Wood Burning Fireplace Inserts

Efficiency of Wood Burning Fireplace Inserts

Having a roaring fire burning brightly in your living room’s fireplace is a cozy, comfortable way to spend a winter evening. However, if you have a traditional masonry fireplace, only five to 10% of the heat produced stays inside the home. That’s because traditional wood burning fireplaces aren’t very efficient. They lose far more heat up the flue than they retain. That’s why they’re not very good for use as a main heating tool. However, the use of wood burning fireplace inserts can prevent heat loss and keep much more of the generated heat inside your home.

Inserts generate hotter and longer-lasting flames, plus they retain a higher percentage of heat. This is an eco-friendly approach to heat generation, as you’re not using as much gas or electric heat to keep your home comfortable during the winter, plus you’re using wood — a natural renewable resource. Because you’re not using your traditional heat source quite as much, you’re saving money on those monthly energy bills. In addition to those savings, you’re reducing your maintenance costs, as inserts don’t require as much TLC as your traditional heating system. Over time, you may face a repair bill, but always check your system’s warranty coverage from the manufacturer before paying out of pocket.

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When Should I Have My Chimney Swept?

For centuries folks have been trying to find ways to take care of creosote buildup in their flue and passing it down through the generations. Old days it was common to throw a live chicken down the flue to remove the soot. Progression took us to burning salt and aluminum cans. Now, not capping the chimney because the birds and rain keep it clean. The scariest, “I set mine on fire intentionally every year and burn it all out”.  Many lives and homes have been lost because we didn’t know what worked. Today, we have codes, standards, and technology that gives professionally trained chimney sweeps the knowledge that wasn’t available to our predecessors.

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Why does my fireplace smell?

There are many different odors associated with a fireplace depending on the time of year. Most of us think of winter, that pleasant smell of the fire, you hear the crackling of the wood and you know Christmas is right around the corner. On the other end of the scale its summer time, it feels 50,000 degrees outside and a million percent humidity with afternoon thunder showers, you get stinky fireplace with a hint of muskiness in the air and that dear fond memory of Christmas is long gone. There are a few different causes for stinky, smelly fireplaces and our experienced technicians at Chimney Pro can pinpoint the cause and make your summer more enjoyable. Here are a few of the most common problems associated with unpleasant smells coming from your fireplace.

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Have a leaky chimney? Here’s how you can fix it.

Chimneys are usually all but forgotten until its winter and you can not wait to build that first fire, but sometimes a problem arises that demands your immediate attention. Water! Chimneys have the most exposed brick/rock on your home, so the severe weather with freeze/thaw cycles and rain takes it’s toll. Brick and mortar joints are porous, so when it rains the water is absorbed. The fact that brick are porous is what makes them stick together when laid called a hydraulic bond. So with all this being said your masonry chimney is essentially a big sponge or wick on the exterior of your home or above your roof line. Trying to diagnose exactly where the water is penetrating can be tricky. Many times it’s assumed water is coming through the flashing at the base of a chimney or down the flue, but in most cases it is caused by years of exposure to the elements. This exposure can wreak havoc on a masonry chimney’s structure.

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