Fireplace Information Blog

  • Understanding the difference in flue liners

    A flue liner has to be able to stand up to the stresses and strains of being pulled and pushed down a chimney. It also needs to be impervious to continuous high temperatures and bursts of immense heat.  The best brands will ensure that any moisture or tar that runs back down the liner goes straight into the stove without leaking out of the fitting whereas cheaper options might fail to do so. There are different grades of liner available, an average one used for most domestic uses but there are higher grades on the market which are more suitable for higher temperatures, possibly for industrial usage.

    If you have a chimney then a chimney flue liner is what you require but if you have a stove then you are more likely to require a stove flue pipe. The chimney liner is made of a flexible material which can be fitted into any shaped chimney and then an insulator is usually poured down the sides. Conversely, a stove flue pipe is usually made up of solid pieces of tubing in standard lengths. You buy as many lengths as needed then join and seal them together to make one long flue pipe. The individual pieces come in different shapes and different diameters so they can suit your requirements.

    When buying flue liners, it is important to make sure you get the correct one to achieve an efficient heating system.

  • How important is a chimney liner?

    If you have an open fire or a wood burner, it is very important that you keep your chimney clean. It is recommended by experts, that you have it cleaned at least once a year, if not more in certain circumstances. Chimneys that aren’t lined can be very difficult to maintain and clean because of the nature of the stone or brick they are made from.

    There are many places where soot and tar can build up which are difficult to get to with brushes and other cleaning tools. If you ‘line’ your chimney with a chimney liner then the flue becomes a continuous, smooth tube with fewer surfaces for the soot or tar to condense onto. If any tar does form, it can easily slide back into the fire and be re-burnt. The liner will also prevent any smoke or harmful gases from seeping out of the cracks in your masonry.

    Another advantage of lining your chimney is that the smaller, consistent diameter of the flue maintains the velocity and flow of the flue gases in the system which means that the gases will travel faster up your chimney giving them less time to deposit tar and this will automatically improve the draw of your fire, making it more efficient at heating. So for a more effective and cleaner chimney, lining is the way to go!

  • Does Your Chimney Need a New Stainless Steel Liner

    Many homeowners who have never replaced their chimney liner are probably unaware if they even have one already. When a fireplace needs a new chimney liner, it's recommended you go with a stainless steel option because of its durability overtime. There are several benefits to installing a new chimney liner, the biggest of which is safety. Continue reading

  • How to Fix Your Chimney’s Nasty Odor

    One of the biggest complaints about fireplaces from homeowners is that from time to time, an odor can be smelled coming from the chimney. Not only does this bad smell fill up your fireplace but also the rest of your house. Closing the windows and turning your AC on is often a solution most people opt for. However, without a doubt, that won't work. In fact, it makes the stench even worse!  For you to eliminate this smell, you will have to start at the source. For a fact, all chimneys produce a little odor that is unnoticeable due to the air that eliminates the odor on the top side of the stack, but when something smells out of place, here's what to do.

     

     

    HIRE A PROFESSIONAL

     

    Hiring a professional is the easiest way to deal with the stench that comes from the fireplace. The professional will conduct an annual chimney cleaning and safety inspection. Of course, this isn’t the cheapest option, but it’s the most effective. If you try to go the DIY route, you may end up spreading the stench throughout your house.

     

    Nonetheless, if you’re experienced, there are a couple of things you may do to ensure that the odor is eliminated. The first thing would be to remove the excess creosote and debris. Not only does this protect your home but it also keeps it safe from burning. Secondly, you may close the damper to ensure it’s sealed while cleaning up the chimney.

     

    REMOVE CARCASSES OF DEAD ANIMALS

     

    Carcasses of dead animals such as bats or owls can lead to a smelly fireplace. Removing any dead animal inside removes the odor. However, once you remove the dead animal, there will be some bad smell coming from the chimney, but it will certainly end.

     

    Note that Chimneys are warm and dry so small animals may take advantage of living there. Leaving the stench to spread without removing the animal may be toxic for you and your family.

     

    SWEEP AND CAP TECHNIQUE

     

    Sweeping and capping the chimney may help solve some of your odor problems. Nonetheless, it won’t entirely solve your chimney problems. To address the problem, you may need the help of a professional to correct the condition of air being sucked back into your house – contaminated air.

     

    Don’t be troubled. The phenomenon occurs in the wet and hot season as a result or major and minor weatherization or changes in the vent.

  • How Much Does It Cost To Reline A Chimney?

     

    The cost of relining a chimney varies. Typically, the cost can be anything between $2,500 and $7,000. Ultimately the cost will be determined by the type of lining you would want to have installed. Knowing what lining is can help you understand the cost involved.

     

    Types of Chimney Liners

     

    Surprisingly, if you live in an old home, the chimney might not have a lining of any kind! For several decades, liners have been a constant requirement for operating fireplaces. This is attributed to the fact that they do a better job of channeling gases up through the chimney top. Houses that lack a liner will not be able to do this effectively. The liners also help in fire prevention by blocking heat from getting to materials that are combustible. The types of liners are:

     

    Clay Tile Liners

    The least costly liners are clay tile flues. Maybe that is why they are a traditional favorite. If it is installed properly, this particular type of lining may last for more than five decades! The only maintenance required in this case is regular cleaning. Their advantage is withstanding deposits and heat of corrosive byproducts when you burn all types of fuel.

     

    Cast-in-place

    Poured-cement processes causing cast-in-place liners can create a new flue. Such flues will be able to withstand all harmful effects of acids, condensation, and heat. Cast-in-place flues offer excellent insulation properties while helping the fireplace burn cleaner. This in turn reduces accumulation of creosote.

     

    Metal Flue

    Preferred by many installers and recommended by fire-protection experts are stainless steel flue liners. One of the reasons they are popular is their durability. There are other types of metal liners in this category. However, none of them come as highly recommended as stainless steel.

    These flues come in rigid and flexible formats. Installation and cost of stainless steel liners is a very good investment that will help to maintain a safe and well functioning fireplace. The type of chimney liner you can afford or is best for your building will determine the cost you will incur to reline a chimney.

  • When To Upgrade Your Fireplace

    creosote fireplace

    For generations, the fireplace has been the staple in many homes - especially around the holidays. Back in the day, the fireplace, or even just a simple fire pit, had a sense of community and safety around it, which still carries through today. The fireplace is that one part of the home where you all gather around and enjoy each other's company - of course, the kitchen is also good for that, but does anyone really talk while they're essentially inhaling the holiday feast? Probably not. Continue reading

  • The Ultimate Guide To Chimney Chase Covers

    chimney chase covers

    Now there’s a good chance that as soon as you read the title of this post you wondered, “What even is a chimney chase cover?” Well, they’re not made for your standard masonry chimney, but rather they are made to cover the chase of a chimney that was factory built. Chases can also be referred to as “boxes,” and they can be seen running along the side of a home and up to the roof.

    Continue reading

  • What is a Napoleon Wood Burning Stove?

    napoleon wood burning stove

     

    The warmth and comfort delivered by a wood burning stove is a comfort for many. Napoleon Wood Burning Stoves are the gold standard when it comes to bringing this technology into the 21st century.

    Napoleon Wood Burning Stoves – The Story

    Founded in 1976 in Ontario, Canada, Napoleon designed their first wood burning stove and quickly became a leader in the market space, eventually branching out into gas stoves and other fireplace products.

    Types of Napoleon Stoves

    There are a number of types of napoleon wood burning stoves for heating your home. Beyond the obvious heating features supplied by the stove, many are equipped with a reliable cook top surface, ideal for those times when power failure is an issue.

    There are models to match any décor, both with steel legs or pedestal styles. There are numerous door options and finishes to help match your style.

    Napoleon stoves are ideal for heating homes from 1,500 to 3,500 square feet with ease, taking the bite out of a cold winter night.

    There are also a number of complementary products such as chimney liners and clay chimney pots to enhance the operation of your wood burning stove.

    Napoleon Stoves are Proven Environmentally Friendly

    Exceeding all standards set out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Napoleon stoves set the bar when it comes to efficient and safe wood burning products, consistently producing low emissions. This clean burn helps keep our environment safe.

    Industry-Leading Technology

    Napoleon wood burning stoves have taken the idea of infusing modern technology into an age old idea to the highest level. The firebox chamber and its fully lined refractory system allow for long, efficient burn times and reliability.

     

    Their Vortex Baffle allows for complete combustion and the stoves burn with a whisper-quiet blowing system that warms your home with nary a sound. The high-heat ceramic glass door allows you to safely enjoy a view of the fire.

     

    Napoleon Stoves are definitely worth consideration for consumers seeking a top-flight alternative heating and cooking choice. Napoleon wood burning stoves are built to last a lifetime.

  • What Damage Can Creosote Cause?

    creosote fireplace

     

    One byproduct of wood burning fireplaces and stoves is the creation of a chemical compound called creosote. A fireplace or stove with even a modest accumulation of creosote can result in a highly dangerous chimney fire, which can burn at around 2,000 degrees, seriously endangering your home and any occupants.

     

    Exactly What is Creosote?

    Any wood burning fire produces byproducts of combustion, in short, the residue that is left over when the wood burns. Some of these include seemingly innocuous smoke water vapor, particles of wood and assorted minerals or other substances found in the wood.

     

    The chimney is there to help expel these from the house, but what happens is that when these flow up the (relatively) cool chimney, and condensation rears its head and a residue is produced that will cling to the chimney walls. This is known as creosote.

     

    Creosote is seen as a shiny black or brown substance, sometimes flaky, but can be tar-like. Creosote is highly combustible, and when present in sufficient quantities creosote can lead to disastrous chimney fires. Creosote buildup is usually the result of incomplete combustion of the wood.

     

    Sooty creosote is the most easily handled. When it appears in a hard, glazed tar-like version it can be most dangerous and requires professional help to make your chimney safe to use again.

     

    Health Problems Related to Creosote Exposure

    There are a number of legitimate health concerns when it comes to the inhalation of creosote. Some known maladies attributed to  creosote exposure include:

    -Skin and eye irritation

    -Respiratory issues

    -Kidney and liver discomfort

    -Seizures and mental confusion

    -Cancer

     

    How to Avoid Creosote Accumulation

    While it is impossible to avoid creosote being produced, there are a number of factors that help in mitigating the risk of creosote buildup and a resulting chimney fire. Avoid low-burning fires, (in which complete combustion is never achieved), improperly installed fireplace inserts, overloading the firebox with wood, not having the chimney damper open sufficiently, and insufficient air circulation in the chimney.

     

    Burning unseasoned wood is another major contributor to creosote buildup in your chimney. The energy used to burn off the moisture in the wood sets the stage for easy creosote accumulation.

     

    Creosote accumulation in your fireplace or wood burning stove is something to be taken quite seriously. Make sure yours is being checked by a certified chimney sweep to keep your home safe and warm year-round!

  • Do I Need a Chimney Damper?

    chimney damper

     

    There is very little that is more disconcerting than noticing that your house is beginning to fill with smoke, and you have no idea why. What began as a roaring fire designed to keep you warm, has taken on a more ominous face. After securing your loved ones, your quest to find out what went wrong begins. Upon careful investigation, you come to the conclusion that your chimney damper isn’t operating efficiently. The good news is that this can be easily corrected.

    What is a Chimney Damper?

    You need to understand the role of a chimney damper to understand what it is supposed to do and how to help make that happen. Many confuse the chimney damper with the flue, when in fact the damper is a part of the flue. The flue is the air shaft that enables air to circulate both in and out of your chimney. The chimney damper is very much like a lid above the firebox that regulates the flow of air in and out of your home through the chimney.

    When your Fireplace is in Use

    When you have a roaring fire in your fireplace, the chimney damper must remain open to allow smoke to exit the chimney. An inadvertently closed chimney damper (especially at night when the fire is usually unattended) could lead to instances of smoke inhalation, which is a serious medical issue. An open chimney damper will vent the smoke outdoors easily and thus prevent any discomfort or danger while keeping warmth within.

    When Your Fireplace is Not in Use

    When you don’t have a fire going, the chimney damper still plays a role. If you happen to notice air circulating, or a change in temperature, such as on a very cold night, you may want to ensure that your chimney damper is indeed closed, not allowing air from the outside to invade your home. Not only this, chimney dampers can prevent small animals and birds from gaining access to your home through the chimney. Many chimney dampers have a chimney damper cap, which aids in this task.

    Understanding and knowing how to use your chimney damper is an essential part of safely enjoying your fireplace and wood burning stove while avoiding any unpleasant side effects!

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