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

Will Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

We’ve all heard it before: you feel so sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because of the main event: the turkey. For years, people have credited extraordinary levels of tryptophan in turkey as the reason we all feel the need to nap after the annual feast. But contrary to this popular mythology, tryptophan is probably not he largest responsible party for your post-meal exhaustion.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means it’s something that our bodies need but do not produce naturally. Your body uses tryptophan to help make vitamin B3 and serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that sends chemicals to the brain to aid in sleep. But in order to get this essential amino acid, we have to eat foods that contain it.

Turkey has somewhat high levels of tryptophan, but so do many other foods, including eggs, peanuts, chocolate, nuts, bananas, and most other meats and dairy products. In fact, ounce-for-ounce cheddar cheese contains a greater amount of tryptophan than turkey. In order for tryptophan to make you feel sleepy, you would have to consume it in excessive amounts, and serotonin is usually only produced by tryptophan on an empty stomach.

The truth is, overeating is largely responsible for the “food coma” many people describe post-Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of energy for your body to process a large meal, and the average Thanksgiving plate contains about twice as many calories as is recommended for daily consumption. If anything, high levels of fat in the turkey cause sleepiness, as they require a lot of energy for your body to digest. Lots of carbohydrates, alcohol, and probably a bit of stress may also be some of the reasons it feels so satisfying to lay down on the couch after the meal and finally get a little bit of shut-eye.

If you feel the need to indulge in a heaping dose of tryptophan this year, go ahead! Turkey also contains healthy proteins and may even provide a boost for your immune system.

Here at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., we hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and contentment this year. Happy feasting!

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Do I Really Need Professional Chimney Cleaning for My Pellet Stove?

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Pellet stoves have become very popular, and for good reason. They offer great supplemental heat, burn with very little soot and emissions, and have long burn times. Because they produce so little ash and combustion byproducts, some people think that your chimney doesn’t need to be swept when using a pellet stove. This is not correct. Any type of wood burning you do with your fireplace and chimney results in the generation of creosote, soot and other combustion byproducts that need to be removed. As such, it is recommended, even with a pellet stove, that your pellet stove chimney in Savage is swept annually. Pellet stoves can be great additions to your home and help significantly with home heating. But like any other combustion stove, the chimney needs to be cleaned annually. If you need a chimney sweep, call us today!

Why Is Chimney Sweeping Important?

Here are a few reasons why it’s important to have your chimney swept each year:

  • Prevent a chimney fire – this is probably the most important reason to have your chimney swept. Creosote, soot and ash are all highly flammable, and can easily catch fire in your chimney, causing a chimney fire. Removing these contaminants significantly reduces the chances of this occurring.
  • Prevents corrosion of your chimney – not only are combustion byproducts flammable, they are highly acidic and eat away at both masonry and metal. Corroded chimneys can allow the release of toxic combustion fumes and gases, which can potentially dangerous.
  • Prevents drafting problems – if soot, ash and creosote are allowed to build, they can restrict the airflow in your chimney, making your stove less efficient and reducing its capacity to warm your home.
  • Allows for inspection of your chimney – a lot can go on inside a chimney that can cause myriad problems: animal and bird nests, cracked masonry, loose flue tiles, etc. Without a proper chimney cleaning, you won’t be able to see these problems and address them.

Chimney sweeping should only be handled by trained professionals, so if it’s been more than a year since your last chimney sweep, call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., today.

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What to Consider before Installing a New Wood Insert

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Wood-burning fireplaces are the oldest way to provide heat for homes. Although people rarely rely on wood fireplaces to provide overall warmth to a house any more, the old fashioned wood-burning hearth is still around because it is an unbeatable source of cozy ambience and beauty for a home. Wood burning fireplaces may not be whole-house comfort solutions any more, but few installations will add as much to your home life.

A wood fireplace insert is a way to keep your old masonry fireplace around but upgrade it so it’s more efficient, losing far less of its heat up the chimney and sending more warmth into your home. This will help make your old fireplace an addition to your heating system that will help keep down your bills. Even for one of the smaller wood inserts, a single load of wood can provide up to eight hours of warmth.

Call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. today to find out more about our services for wood inserts in Eden Prairie, MN and the surrounding areas.

A few things to consider before installing a wood insert:

  • Do you need to upgrade your fireplace? Before you even consider having a wood insert put in, you need to know if your fireplace will even work with one. Wood inserts are designed to fit into pre-existing wood-burning masonry fireplaces. If you don’t already have a fireplace, you should consider a free-standing wood stove instead.
  • Perhaps you should upgrade to gas logs? When it comes time to installing any kind of insert for a fireplace, you will have to consider whether you should upgrade to using gas logs rather than continuing with a wood-burning model. Gas logs do not have the same beauty as a traditional fireplace, but they come with some significant advantages in convenience and maintenance. If you have an available gas line, you should give some consideration to having a gas insert put in.
  • What size insert do you need? You can’t simply go to a store and pick out any fireplace insert and put it in yourself. A new insert must be properly sized for the space and to make sure that it is compatible with the chimney itself and will vent correctly. It’s crucial to have professionals handle this work, as well as to check to see if your chimney is in good repair and if it needs cleaning before the insert is installed.

At 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., we install wood inserts in Eden Prairie, MN from Regency Fireplace Products. All Regency inserts are EPA-certified and environmentally friendly and clean-burning. We offer a variety of inserts and will find the right size for your current hearth, as well as take care of any necessary cleaning and repairs the chimney may require before the insert goes in. We also install wood stoves and gas logs.

For more information on wood inserts for your fireplace in Eden Prairie Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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The Importance of Cleaning Your Factory-Built Chimney

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Factory-built, or pre-fabricated, chimneys allow people to use a fireplace in their homes even if a fireplace wasn’t part of the original architecture. It is no secret that masonry chimneys and fireplaces need annual cleaning, and this is the same for factory-built chimneys. There are thousands of chimney fires each year in the US; properly cleaning your factory-built chimney in Inver Grove Heights can go a long way toward eliminating this possibility. If it’s been more than a year since your last chimney cleaning, call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., and schedule a cleaning today.

What Is a Factory-Built Chimney?

A factory-built chimney is typically a single unit, and is usually made of metal (although there are some masonry ones as well). Because a pre-fabricated chimney is one unit, it cannot be used with an existing chimney or flue. Pre-fabricated chimneys are thoroughly tested with their fireboxes at the factory, and they have very specific installation requirements that need to be adhered to in order to ensure safety and proper function.

Why Does a Pre-Fabricated Chimney Need Cleaning?

  • Remove creosote and soot build-up – soot and creosote can accumulate quickly in your chimney, especially if you use yours frequently. Soot and creosote are flammable; with a large enough buildup, they can catch fire inside your chimney. 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.
  • Helps prevent corrosion – combustion byproducts are very acidic. As such, they can corrode the metal and/or masonry of any chimney. Corrosion in the metal of your pre-fabricated chimney can lead to cracks and holes, which can be very dangerous.
  • Increase efficiency – a large creosote buildup in your chimney can restrict the flow of air in the chimney. In turn, this can reduce the efficiency of your fireplace.

Factory-built chimneys are well-insulated, safe and offer homes without a chimney the ability to have a fireplace. However, it is just as important to clean your factory-built chimney in Inver Grove Heights as it is to clean a masonry one.

Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., and schedule a cleaning appointment with one of our certified experts. Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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