2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog : Archive for September, 2013

Common Gas Fireplace Repairs We Encounter

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

A gas fireplace is an inexpensive and convenient alternative to traditional wood-burning fireplaces. They typically still use wood as fuel, but they contain a gas line allowing you to light fires more easily and keep the fire burning until sufficient heat and coals have built up to let it burn on its own. And yes, gas fireplaces become damaged and require repair sometimes, just like everything else. Fireplace repair in Minneapolis is particularly important because our cold winters are no fun without a warm and crackling fire to keep your home heated. At 2nd Generation Chimneys, we’ve seen and dealt with all manner of fireplace issues.

Here are some common gas fireplace repairs we encounter.

Most repairs stem from one of two general areas. The first is the gas line itself. If it becomes damaged or the valve malfunctions, gas won’t enter your fireplace and you’ll have to light it the old fashioned way. (Requiring time and effort to do so.) Even worse, if the gas line springs a leak, it constitutes a direct danger to your family and needs to be dealt with immediately. Both situations are fairly common issues and we know how to handle them safely and efficiently.

The second area where repair issues crop up is in the chimney itself. Our calls often involve blocked air flow, which can result from detritus (like leaves or birds’ nests) lodged in the chimney or even damage to the structure of the chimney itself. Another chimney issue arises with the build-up of creosote along the chimney walls. This can create a fire hazard within the chimney and requires professional cleaning to correct.

Regardless of the situation, 2nd Generation Chimneys is here to help. We can handle many, if not all, of the common gas fireplace repairs we encounter, and we know how to work quickly and efficiently. That’s particularly important when it comes to repairing fireplaces in Minneapolis, since our fickle weather often sets a tight schedule for fixing things.

Give us a call today to set up an appointment. We’ll help you get your fireplace back into action!

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Signs That Would Indicate You Need Fireplace Repair

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

A fireplace is often a welcome addition to your home, helping you save money on heating bills while providing a cozy and pleasant atmosphere in the bargain. Fireplaces are practically necessities in cold weather cities like Eden Prairie, MN. It is essential fireplace repair service providers must respond quickly to an issue, especially during the winter months when homeowners use it as often as possible. You can maintain your fireplace for many years with routine cleaning and maintenance. But eventually, your fireplace is bound to require a little more care.

Here are a few signs that would indicate you need fireplace repair.

The first and most obvious sign of trouble is when smoke backs up from the fireplace into your home. That means that the chimney is either blocked or has suffered damage that make it unable to do its job. There are many possible causes for this. Creosote could build up inside the chimney, birds can build nests in it during the warm season, leaves and other debris could clog it up, and the chimney itself may have suffered structural damage.

A similar but distinct issue concerns poor draw, which takes place when a chimney isn’t tall enough, isn’t wide enough, or doesn’t have sufficient air flow to pull the smoke up when a fire is lit. The effects are similar – a room full of smoke – but correcting it may involve more serious chimney repairs instead of just a thorough cleaning.

You may also experience issues of excessive draft: when too much air comes down your chimney, chilling your home and even putting out a fire you’re trying to light. In many cases, this is caused by external factors, such as a chimney built too low behind a nearby structure or the presence of trees too close to the chimney.

Regardless of the causes, these signs definitely indicate that you need fireplace repair. That means dealing with the issue before the snows falls. Eden Prairie fireplace repair falls under the purveyance of 2nd Generation Chimneys. We can perform a thorough inspection, then advise you on the best way to solve your fireplace problems. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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Why Isn’t My Fireplace Venting Smoke Properly?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Fireplaces are a comforting part of any home, as well as savings providers on heating bills in the cold of winter. If you have a fireplace, it helps to have a trained expert come in for a regular chimney inspection. St. Paul, MN has too much snow and cold weather to chance a problem. In addition to regular maintenance, you should learn to spot signs of trouble when they appear, particularly if your fireplace isn’t venting smoke properly. There are numerous possible causes, many of which can be addressed by a trained professional.

Common Causes of Improperly Vented Fireplaces

  • Blocked flue. Soot and creosote can built up in your flue, as can leaves and other debris. Birds may make nests in it – especially in the summertime when you’re not using the fireplace – and bricks can come loose as well. All of that can partially or totally block your flue, preventing it from venting smoke properly.
  • Improper flue sizing or chimney height. Chimneys and flues need to be a certain size, depending on the size of the opening to the fireplace. If it was improperly measured during the chimney’s construction, you may experience smoke backing up into your house. Similarly, chimneys need to be a certain height in order to pull smoke upward: the difference in pressure between the top and the bottom of the shaft helps pull up smoke. If the chimney isn’t high enough, it won’t pull up any air.
  • A cold flue. Sometimes, if the flue is cold and hasn’t been used in a while, the air inside becomes dense, preventing smoke from rising. You can correct the problem with the addition of insulated liner within the chimney. (You can sometimes prime the flue by lighting balls of newspaper in the chimney, but in the cold of St. Paul, even that might not be enough.)

If your fireplace isn’t venting properly, contact the experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys for a chimney inspection. St. Paul and the whole of the Twin Cities are part of our regular service area, and we have the experience to address the problem properly.

Give us a call today! 

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What Causes My Ducts to Get Dirty?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Ducts form the distribution network for your heating or central air conditioning system. They spread throughout your house via the attic, crawlspace or other unobtrusive location, moving cool or warm air from the central unit to all of your rooms and walkways. Over time, they can accumulate dust, which may have an adverse effect on the quality of air in your home. In Berthoud, duct cleaning may be necessary when the atmosphere gets dry in the winter, creating a lot of dust and similar particles. But what causes your ducts to get dirty?

In many cases, leaks, cracks or loose fittings are what allow dirt in. When ducts get old, they start to break down, just like any other appliance. If the opening occurs in a dirty part of the house, such as the attic or crawlspace, negative pressure from the air passing through the ducts can pull in dirt and debris.

The causes of those leaks can vary. Heat or cold may cause the metal of the ducts to expand or contract, which puts stress on the fittings and may result in a leak. Improper installation may be the culprit as well, especially if the contractor wasn’t properly certified. Older homes may have an older duct system that is no longer up to code, creating similar issues. Besides the reduction in air quality, such leaks also prevent your heater or air conditioner from functioning at peak capacity, forcing you to pay higher energy bills every month.

A thorough duct cleaning from a trained professional is part of the solution – and such operations are standard procedure for most qualified HVAC experts – but that’s only part of the equation. The specialist needs to hunt down the cause of the leaks or loose fittings and repair it. Otherwise, the process will start all over again. For Berthoud duct cleaning services, contact the specialists at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Our trained experts can travel to your home and pinpoint what causes your ducts to get dirty, then perform professional repairs to seal the leaks.

Call us today to set up an appointment.

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Why We Celebrate Labor Day

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

We wish our present and future customers a pleasant Labor Day this September. We know how hard you work to ensure that you and your loved ones have a good life, and we feel the same way about the work that we do throughout the year. Home comfort is our business, so you can rely on our technicians to take care of any issues that you may have. To us, Labor Day means BBQ, the start of the football season, and spending quality time with our friends and family.

Like many US holidays, the origins of Labor Day are somewhat disputed. While many cite Peter J. McGuire’s (of the American Federation of Labor) suggestion of a demonstration and picnic as the inaugural Monday, others cite Matthew Maguire, then secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York. In the wake of the massive and violent Pullman Strike of 1894, which pitted George Pullman and US Marshals and Military against workers of the Pullman Palace Car Company outside Chicago. Designated as a federal holiday by Congress and President Grover Cleveland in 1894, a mere six days after the strike ended, Labor Day has since become a way of recognizing the contribution that hard working Americans have made to this country.

We wish you all the best this Labor Day. Make sure that you take the time to relax, eat some good food, and take a load off.

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