What is your fireplace internet sales policy?

Beware of online deals on gas fireplaces and wood stoves. Here are some facts that online vendors don’t want you to know:

  • Your home has unique installation, venting and heating requirements that only an authorized dealer can determine. Home owners expose themselves to hidden costs, poor appliance operation and risk of damage and fire by purchasing fireplaces online and using inexperienced installers.
  • Online dealers rarely offer technical support or service for the products they sell. They will try to deflect you to the manufacturer for technical support or warranty work.
  • Many manufacturers will not register, authorize service, or honor the warranty of a product that has been purchased outside their trained dealer base, as it cannot be determined if the unit has been properly installed or operated.
  • Many local dealers will not service a fireplace they did not sell, again because they are unwilling to assume responsibility for the original installation.
  • There are strict regional and national regulations and codes that apply to the installation of wood and gas burning products. Failure to comply, including not using certified installers, may void the home owner’s insurance.
  • There is no guarantee that all necessary parts, venting and instructions will be received with products purchased online.
  • Only an authorized dealer can sell, support and service your fireplace. Authorized dealers are trained to anticipate your installation needs and ensure that you get many years of enjoyment from your product.
  • We do not sell our fireplace products via the Internet, or to ship our products outside the respective selling region. This ensures that you have on-going access to trained technical support.

My Fireplace is smoking out my house! How do I know if I have a down draft problem?

Before taking steps to remedy a downdraft problem, you need to determine whether or not your problem actually is an outside wind-induced downdraft. To examine if you have a downdraft, follow these simple steps:

  • Open couple of doors and/or windows in the room with the heating unit
  • Open the heating unit’s damper
  • Put your hand near the damper to feel for cold air

If you did not feel cold air being pulled down the chimney with doors and windows open, your problem may be due to any number of other causes. Clothes dryers, kitchen fans, bathroom fans, and forced-air furnaces all remove air from the house. In order to compensate for lost air, additional air may be pulled down the chimney. To check potential sources of the problem:

  • Close all doors and windows
  • Turn off all appliances which remove air from the house (fans, dryers, etc)
  • Turn on one of the air removing appliances
  • Check for a downdraft by placing your hand near the open damper in the heating unit
  • Repeat the process with each air removing appliance, being sure that only one such appliance is in operation at any one time

An upstairs bathroom fan may also draw air even when turned off. Use smoke to determine if air is being drawn out:
Turn off the fan – Hold a smoke producing item neat the fan (a lit cigarette or a couple of just extinguished matches will usually work) – The smoke will be pilled towards the fan if it is drawing air
If after trying the above techniques, and you have determined that your problem is an outside wind–induced downdraft you should call us to discuss your options to remedy this situation.

What can I expect from chimney sweeping service?

  • A thorough cleaning of your chimney and fireplace system
  • An evaluation of the visible system
  • Notification if a more thorough evaluation Is necessary
  • Notification of any repairs that may be required for safe operation
  • Recommendations for more efficient operation
  • Recommendations for long term health and maintenance of your system
  • Fair estimates for the complete and efficient repair of your system if needed.

How often do I need to clean my chimney?

The frequency of chimney sweeping depends on several variables. A chimney fire occurs when a build-up of soot and creosote ignites inside the venting system of a fireplace or wood stove. Wood-burning chimneys should be cleaned when a quarter inch or more of soot is present. Build-up can be more rapid in a wood stove than in a fireplace. In a wood stove vent, dangerous build-up may occur in less a month or may take much longer, depending on burn habits, fuel and other variables. New wood stove users should inspect their systems during the first season to learn their rate of soot build-up and determine cleaning frequency. Newer certified “clean-burning” stoves generate much less creosote than older non-certified stoves. Fireplaces do not need to be cleaned as often as wood-stove.

What are the differences between the fireplace inspection levels?

Level I Inspection is the recommended routine evaluation of the chimney system for continued service. The inspection is included at no extra charge with our chimney sweep cleaning service. A Level I inspection is limited to readily accessible portions of the venting system, and accessible portions of the connected appliance(s) and the chimney connection. The inspector will check the readily accessible portions of the chimney, its enclosing structure, and the flue. This is a top-to-bottom inspection for safety, which will call out any repairs that need to be made to keep your fireplace safe to burn. This is also the appropriate inspection when you wish to replace your current system with a new fireplace unit.
Level II Inspection is more detailed and thorough than a Level I inspection and is the recommended inspection when conditions of use for the appliance or venting system are changing, or when a Level I inspection reveals the need for a more detailed inspection. Several instances where a Level II inspection is specifically recommended include: Replacement of an appliance with one of dissimilar type, input rating or efficiency prior to a flue relining, During a Real Estate transaction sale or transfer of the property or After an event likely to have caused damage to the chimney, such as a chimney fire or other sudden occurrence event.
Level II inspection includes all of the requirements of a Level I inspection as well as the following: Inspection of accessible areas of attics, basements, and crawl spaces, Accessible areas of the chimney exterior and interior, Accessible portions of the appliance and chimney connection, Video scanning, or other thorough inspection processes of the flue interior, Evaluation of the flue lining to determine that material and sizing is appropriate for the appliances being served, Proper clearance to combustibles in the accessible areas listed above, Proper construction and condition of the chimney system in the accessible areas listed above.
While the Level II inspection is a thorough inspection and requires access to many areas of the building, it does not require removal of permanent parts of the building, such as siding, chase covers or wall coverings..