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

What Happens During a Level 3 Chimney Inspection?

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Your fireplace adds warmth and décor to your home and is a wonderful source of heat that keeps you feeling cozy and content. But without proper maintenance, any type of heating system—boilers, furnaces, and fireplaces alike—becomes a safety hazard. It’s important to schedule chimney inspection every year to ensure your fireplace has proper ventilation and that there are no serious problems that need to be addressed. The National Fire Association and the Chimney Institute of America have established three levels of inspection which all inspectors now use. Level 1 is the most basic type of inspection while Level 3 is used only in rare instances. We’ll go over all of the levels in this guide.

Chimney inspection and chimney cleaning are jobs for professional technicians who know what specific types of problems to look out for. At 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., we’ve been in the business for two generations, so we know the proper way to perform a chimney inspection in White Bear Lake.

Level 1 and 2 Inspections

Level 1 and Level 2 inspections are the most common types that homeowners schedule. A Level 1 chimney inspection is part of your yearly chimney cleaning service. If your contractor does not inspect your chimney along with cleaning service, you should hire a new contractor. This is a routine inspection, during which an inspector checks all of the exposed portions of the chimney to make sure construction is stable.

You will need a Level 2 inspection whenever you make a change to your fireplace. You may, for example, switch to a different fuel source or decide to reline a chimney flue. A technician will need to access your roof and crawlspace, and may require video cameras for inspection.

Level 3 Inspections

Level 3 inspections are only performed when you or your inspector suspect a problem. For this type of inspection, the inspector may need to remove some components of your chimney, such as the chimney crown or parts of the interior chimney wall. In this case, technicians should limit removal only to areas where a problem may be present.

Trust the safety of your home to the trained and certified experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. for chimney inspection in White Bear Lake. Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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Can I Do Annual Chimney Sweeping on My Own?

Monday, October 20th, 2014

There are certain tasks around your home that are good for doing yourself; there are others that are better left to professionals. One task that is better left to a professional is chimney sweeping. It is recommended that your chimney is swept every fall to ensure safe and efficient use during the winter months. Creosote builds up fairly quickly, especially if you use your fireplace often, and chimney sweeping in the Twin Cities helps keep your chimney functioning as it should. There are several reasons why it’s important to hire a trained professional to sweep your chimney, as we’ll discuss below. If you are ready to start using your fireplace again, contact 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., and schedule a chimney sweep today.

Reasons to Hire a Professional for Chimney Sweeping

Here are a few reasons why it’s important to hire a professional for chimney sweeping instead of doing it yourself:

  • Safety – one of the main reasons it’s important to sweep your chimney is to remove the creosote, soot and ash that can build up therein. These materials are flammable, and if not properly removed, can catch on fire.
  • Specialized tools – there are a number of specialized tools a trained chimney sweeper will bring to the job that you probably don’t have, including chimney brushes and rods, chemical soot and ash removers, cleaning tools and specialized chimney cleaning systems.
  • Protection of home goods – your professional chimney sweep will cover the floor and all home goods in close proximity to your chimney to ensure that everything stays clean.

Benefits of a Professional Chimney Sweep

As we mentioned above, having your chimney swept is very important to you and your home’s safety. Here are some other reasons why you’ll want to get your chimney swept before winter:

  • Energy efficiency – not only is the build-up of creosote, soot and ash dangerous, it can also restrict the air flow in your chimney, which can decrease the efficiency of your fireplace.
  • Longevity – the materials that can build-up in your chimney are highly acidic; as such, they can eat away at the masonry of your chimney, which will wear it down and eventually cause it to crack and break.
  • Bad for your flue – if you have a combustion heating system that requires a flue, a build-up of creosote, soot and ash will corrode your flue just as it does your chimney.

A fireplace can offer great supplemental heat during the winter – but not if it isn’t professionally cleaned.

Call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., and schedule an appointment for professional chimney sweeping in the Twin Cities today.

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Choosing the Right Wood Stove for Your Home in Carver County

Monday, October 13th, 2014

A wood stove can offer both additional heating and wonderful ambience to your home. But it’s important to install a wood stove that is right for your home in order to gain the benefits. Today’s wood stoves are much more energy efficient than ones from a couple of decades ago, but because of the combustion involved with a wood stove, it’s important to hire trained professionals for both sizing and installation. If you are ready for wood stove installation in Carver County, call the people who have been doing it for two generations: 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.

Types of Wood Stoves

In 1988, the EPA started requiring certification of all wood stoves to help reduce safety issues and make wood stoves much more efficient. In addition, the EPA also started requiring minimum emission limits for wood stoves. The result is that there are two types of wood stoves based on combustion approach:

  • Catalytic
  • Non-Catalytic

Catalytic wood stoves have a catalytic converter inside them that helps to recycle exhaust gases. The catalytic converter changes the state of the exhaust gases, which helps reduce the amount of harmful gases and allows them to burn at lower temperatures. Being able to operate a wood stove at lower burning temperatures allows for longer burn periods while also reducing your overall level of emissions; this fact can make a catalytic wood stove great for being a major source of heat in your home. Catalytic wood stoves can be as much at 10% more efficient than non-catalytic wood stoves due to lower burning temperatures.

Non-Catalytic

Non-catalytic wood stoves use the combination of a large baffle, insulated firebox and pre-heated combustion air to heat. By injecting air into the stove, a non-catalytic wood stove burns at a much higher rate, including the ignition of smoke and creosote. Non-catalytic wood stoves are mostly equal to catalytic wood stoves when it comes to high burning, but not when it comes to low burn rates. As such, the fires in a non-catalytic wood stove do not last as long as those in a catalytic wood stove.

A new wood stove installation in Carver County can be a great supplement to your home’s heating this winter.

Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our experienced wood stove installation experts. Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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The Significance of Chimney Dampers

Monday, October 6th, 2014

When you’re getting ready to start a fire in your home’s hearth, what is one of the first things you should always check? You should see that the damper is open so the exhaust fumes from the fire will escape up through the flue and out of your home. (The damper is sometimes erroneously referred to as “the flue”; the flue is actually the opening that allows exhaust to escape, and the damper is what controls whether the flue is open or closed.)

The damper is an essential part of the efficient and safe operation of your home’s chimney. To make sure it continues to work well, you will occasionally need repairs and even a new chimney damper installation in St. Paul, MN. Technicians will locate damper problems during regular inspections, and should you encounter trouble with venting from the chimney or notice that the damper is failing to fully close or is stuck open, you must contact experts like those at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. right away. We offer many services to protect your chimney venting and interior, including cleaning, chimney liners, and services for the damper.

The job of the chimney damper

There are several kinds of chimney dampers. The primary damper is the one located near the hearth which you can manipulate by hand. This damper is important during cold weather since it blocks warm air from escaping up the chimney when there is no fire in the hearth. Heat rises, making the chimney one of the easiest places for heat to escape from a home during the winter. The damper keeps your home energy-efficient, and only needs to open when you have a fire in the fireplace.

The damper is also important for keeping out musty smells and moisture from your home. A top-sealing damper is also helpful for this job. In addition to aiding the control moisture, a top-sealing damper will help trap heat in your home and keep out rain and animals that sometimes try to nest inside chimneys. A qualified technician can install a top-sealing damper (which you can then operate easily from a handle placed down near the hearth).

Aside from chimney damper installation in St. Paul, MN and the surrounding areas, we also install chimney caps, screens, vent covers, and single flue rain covers to help keep your chimney protected and your home energy efficient.

If you need a new damper or repairs for your current one, make sure to call on 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. for the work. Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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