2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog : Archive for September, 2014

Why Schedule Annual Cleaning For My Prefabricated Chimney?

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Prefabricated chimneys and fireplaces have allowed homeowners the pleasure of enjoying a fire, even if a fireplace was not an original part of the home. Some may think that a prefabricated chimney does not need cleaning – this is not true. Prefabricated chimneys in Mendota Heights need annual cleaning just as masonry ones do. However, it’s important to hire a company that understands how to properly clean a pre-fab chimney, and this is where 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., comes in. For two generations, 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., has provided chimney sweeping services, and our technicians know and understand how to clean every type of chimney there is, so call us today!

Why Do Chimneys Need to Be Cleaned?

There are a few important reasons your chimney needs to be cleaned annually:

  • Prevent a chimney fire – soot and creosote build-up quickly in your chimney. These contaminants are flammable, and when the buildup becomes thicker than a ¼ inch, it can catch fire, causing a chimney fire. Chimney fires are dangerous in any type of chimney, but prefabricated chimneys are not built to withstand great amounts of heat; as such, it is very important to have the creosote and soot removed by a trained professional.
  • Prevent corrosion of your chimney system – not only are creosote and soot flammable, they are acidic; this means they can corrode the metal and/or masonry of any chimney. Corroding metal can lead to cracks and holes, which can be very dangerous.
  • Needed for home insurance – there are multiple insurance policies that require proof of maintenance in order to keep your home insured. No one ever wants to experience a chimney fire, especially with the added complication of not having insurance coverage should something happen.
  • Increase efficiency – a large creosote buildup can restrict the flow of air in the chimney. In turn, this can reduce the efficiency of your fireplace, and also create a smoking problem.

Prefabricated chimneys are great options for homeowners who want to enjoy a warm fire without the cost of building a fireplace and chimney. But pre-fab chimney systems need to be maintained, just as any other chimney.

If you haven’t scheduled a cleaning for your prefabricated chimney in Mendota Heights, Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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Why You Need Furnace Flue Cleaning

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Even if your home doesn’t have a fireplace, it will need a flue for the furnace to release exhaust. In a gas furnace, the heat from the combustion gas transfers to the air through a heat exchanger, and afterwards the cooled down combustion gas is vented through a flue that safely removes the fumes to the outside of the house. To keep your furnace working at top efficiency and to prevent safety issues from fires or carbon monoxide, you should have annual flue cleaning as part of maintaining the heating system.

The best people to call for furnace flue cleaning are technicians experienced with chimney cleaning. The fully-certified team at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. has many decades of work with chimneys and flues of all kind, and our services include everything from cleaning and sweeping to masonry reconstruction. Call us today for cleaning for your chimney flue in Edina, MN.

The necessity of furnace flue cleaning

Any venting system, such as a furnace flue, will start to gather build-up from the exhaust that move through it. With chimneys, the exhaust build-up from creosote can be quite large. The accumulation is less in a furnace flue, but because the venting cannot be perfect, the flue will eventually require cleaning to remove particle build-up known as “scale.” Not all heating contractors provide this service when maintaining a furnace; you will need to call specialists in chimney cleaning to take care of the job.

Neglecting regular furnace flue cleaning can lead to serious issues. The major one is the flue will become blocked, leading to the exhaust backing up and entering your home. This presents dangers from fire and toxic carbon monoxide exposure.

But even if the flue isn’t blocked, poor venting from scale will create other dangers in the furnace. The reaction of the combustion gas with the heat exchanger will result in corrosion across the metal of the exchanger, a situation that makes it prone to develop cracks that will allow carbon monoxide to escape. The poor venting will also make it difficult for the furnace to work efficiently. Special high-efficiency furnaces depend on clean venting to achieve their energy-saving levels of performance.

Along with regular furnace flue cleaning, you should have the flue cleaned whenever you change your heating system. In some cases, you may need to have a completely new flue constructed to accommodate a higher efficiency furnace. Always check with professionals regarding your heater’s venting when you make a change to the heating system.

Contact us for furnace flue cleaning

Keeping your home safe is our number one priority at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. We have helped homes stay safe and warm with our services for chimneys and flue for many years.

When you need cleaning to take care of your furnace or chimney flue in Edina, MN, make the call to the team at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.

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Why It’s Important to Schedule Professional Air Duct Cleaning

Monday, September 15th, 2014

While your HVAC system has a filter to help reduce the amount of dirt and dust in the system, the filter cannot capture every single particle. The result can be significant dirt and dust buildup in your system, and one of the areas where these types of particles settle easily is in your ductwork. There are no filters inside your ductwork to help capture this excess dust and dirt, so when your system cycles on, this dust and dirt is delivered directly to your living spaces. One of the best ways to remove dust and dirt build-up in your ductwork is by scheduling a professional air duct cleaning in Maplewood. There are several benefits to gain from cleaning your air ducts, and all cleaning should be done by trained professionals, like the ones at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.

Why Clean Ductwork?

There are a couple of important reasons why it’s important to have your ductwork professionally cleaned:

  • Improve indoor air quality – as we mentioned above, if there is any kind of dust and dirt buildup in your ductwork, those particles will blow directly into your living spaces every time your HVAC system cycles. This could be especially problematic for those with allergies or chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma.
  • Improve energy efficiency – if the build-up in your system is significant enough, it can impede the air flow in your system. Restricted air flow forces your system to work harder, and any time your system has to work harder, it uses more energy.

Negative Pressure

The key to successful duct cleaning is creating negative pressure inside the ductwork. This is because continuous negative pressure allows very fine particles to be removed from the system as they become airborne, ensuring that these particles are not released into the living space when the system is turned on after cleaning. Negative pressure also serves to extract the loosened contaminants, which are collected and removed from your home. To create the necessary negative pressure for a cleaning, the technician will access your system, seal off all registers, and use professional-grade vacuum equipment to create the negative pressure.

Your ductwork should be cleaned every 3-5 years. If it’s been a while since you’ve had your ducts cleaned, Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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The Advantages of Gas Fireplace Inserts

Monday, September 8th, 2014

As we head into another fall, our thoughts begin to turn toward heating. Last winter was a doozy, hitting us with incredibly cold temperatures and a lot of snow – and the forecast for this winter is looking similar. A great way to keep your home warm and improve your indoor heating experience, without blowing your monthly budget, is with the installation of a gas fireplace insert in your Minneapolis home. With a wide range of product offerings and two generations of experience with installation, 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., can help you stay warmer this fall and winter with a gas fireplace insert.

Two Choices in Fuel Type

Gas inserts can work with either natural gas or propane. Natural gas can be less expensive than propane and can produce about 5% more heat, but natural gas may not be available in some areas. We will help you to determine which fuel is best suited for your home.

Advantages of a Gas Fireplace Insert

There are several advantages to installing a gas fireplace insert into your home:

  • Versatile – inserts are made in a variety of sizes and colors to fit many different fireplaces and types of décor.
  • Energy efficient – fireplace inserts have efficiency ratings ranging from 65% to over 90%.
  • Clean burning – there is no ash or creosote to clean with a gas insert.
  • Adds additional heating – depending on its size, a gas insert can heat 1,000 to 3,000 square feet. This allows you to add extra heat to the area in which your fireplace is located, offering you zone heating for that area.


One of the great advantages of using a clean-burning fuel is that your fireplace and chimney won’t require as much maintenance as before. But, it is important to schedule annual maintenance for your insert to keep its components in great working condition.

Always Hire Trained Professionals

To ensure that your gas fireplace insert is correctly installed and maintained, it’s always important to hire trained specialists. Look for certification from either CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) or NFI (National Fireplace Institute).

A gas fireplace insert in your Minneapolis home can offer you great energy efficiency and clean burning this fall and winter.

Call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our chimney and fireplace installation experts.

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The History of Labor Day

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The official end of summer and the beginning of fall lands on September 23rd, which marks the Autumnal Equinox, when the plane of the Earth’s equator passes the center of the sun and the length of day and night are roughly equal. However, for most people in the U.S., the summer really concludes with Labor Day, the first Monday in September. Labor Day and Memorial Day (the last Monday of May) together serve as the bookends of the summer.

The Labor Day Holiday is a time that people in this country associate with a last summer blast: another reason for an outdoor picnic, a chance for a three-day vacation, family trips to amusement parks, and of course, taking advantage of numerous sales that retailers always offer. (Labor Day is often the second largest shopping day of the year after Black Friday in November.) It’s also the point when school traditionally goes back in session, although some schools start a week earlier and some a week later.

Labor Day’s origins lie in the 1880s. In 1882 Matthew Maguire, a machinist in New York City who was secretary of the Central Labor Union (CLU) at the time, and Peter J McGuire of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), first proposed a celebration of the hard working men and women of the United States. However, five years would pass before the first state made it an official holiday, Oregon. Other states quickly followed this example, although not all selected a date in September.

By 1894, thirty states had started Labor Day celebrations. President Grover Cleveland signed the law that made Labor Day a federal holiday only a week after Congress voted unanimously to approve the legislation. The date chosen for the holiday was the same one that Maguire and McGuire had originally proposed.

The U.S.A. is not the only country that celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday of September. Canada observes the holiday as well, although they spell it “Labour” Day. In fact, Canada celebrated the occasion earlier than the U.S., and was an early inspiration in this country for the development of the holiday.

All of us here at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. hope you and your family—whether at work or at play—enjoy a relaxing and memorable Labor Day weekend and have a fantastic start to the fall.

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