2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog : Archive for the ‘Fireplace Installation’ Category

What Fireplace is Right for You?

Monday, March 18th, 2019

couple-fireplace-warmEspecially here in Minnesota, where winter is particularly cold, having a fireplace to keep you warm and toasty is definitely a luxury. Fireplaces have been around for centuries and are still widely used today — and for good reason! There is nothing quite like curling up in front of a fire with your loved ones during a cold, winter night. Plus, fireplaces offer a warm, glow that can truly add to the overall aesthetics of your home.

Fireplace installation in St. Paul, MN can definitely be a worthwhile investment, especially if you’re getting quite sick of turning your heater way up in the winter. Of course, with so many options on the market today, it can be hard to select the right fireplace for your home. Fortunately, with the help of the right technicians, you’ll be able to install the fireplace that best meets your needs. But, in the meantime, we have provided a list highlighting some popular fireplace options. Keep reading below to learn more. 

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Gas or Electric: Picking Out Your New Fireplace

Monday, January 8th, 2018

living-room-open-kitchen-fireplaceLooking for the perfect fireplace to fill your living room with warmth? If you’re not building a new home or working on huge renovations any time soon, you can probably rule out a real wood fireplace. If you don’t already have one, installing a wood fireplace can be quite costly as you’ll need to change the construction of your home to add a chimney of the right size to properly vent smoke, as well as dangerous gases like carbon monoxide.

Thankfully, there are other solutions that won’t require you to drop so much cash and change the structure of your home. A gas or electric fireplace could still offer the comfort you seek for a smaller price tag. So how do you choose for your home?

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Options for Fireplace Installation You May Not Know About

Monday, August 7th, 2017

living-room-open-kitchen-fireplaceThere’s nothing like the crackle of a fire on a cold night, something you may be dreaming of right now as summer temperatures leave you sweating. So when you’re looking into buying a new fireplace, you may picture that traditional look and feel: a wood fireplace that burns logs and sends smoke out through the chimney.

However, this is not the best option for many homes. In fact, in our experience, more and more homeowners are looking for other options, like gas and electric fireplace installation, especially when renovating an older home or even when modifying a newer existing home. Find out which new fireplace or setup might be the best choice for your home!

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Top Chimney Service Company with the Largest Napoleon Showroom in the State

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

napoleon-fireplacesHave you checked out our Napoleon fireplace showroom yet? If you’re looking for a new home fireplace, it’s the only place to go. Napoleon manufactures some of the finest, most beautiful fireplaces and stoves in the country, and you can see them all in the largest showroom in the state.

When you visit our showroom, our experts help you to pick out the best fireplace for your home and budget. Our installers make sure your new fireplace and chimney is safe and secure.

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What You Should Know about Your Prefabricated Fireplace

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Nothing really compares to the warmth and comfort of a fireplace. While furnaces and boilers can heat up the entire home, a fireplace brings a family together, providing a place for everyone to gather and discuss the day’s events. Traditionally, fireplaces were made entirely of durable materials like stone and mortar, but today you can also choose a prefabricated, mostly assembled fireplace instead. Here are a few things you should know about this relatively new type of fireplace.

A Prefabricated Fireplace Differs from a Traditional Masonry Fireplace

A masonry fireplace may be composed of bricks or stone and mortar, among other materials, while prefabricated fireplaces are made of a lightweight metal. A traditional masonry fireplace is designed and built to fit your home, while a metal fireplace comes pre-assembled to be set up by a technician. While a masonry fireplace may have a traditional look and feel, installation is time-consuming and costly. A prefabricated fireplace chimney may be more efficient than a masonry fireplace and chimney, while a masonry fireplace may last for longer.

The Fireplace and the Chimney Belong Together in a Set

In a prefabricated chimney, the fireplace and the chimney are designed to go together as a set. They are tested together for safety and often sold and packaged together as well. It is always recommended that you install them as a set for efficiency and safety.

A Prefabricated Chimney Will Last Long with Proper Care

Like any heating system, a prefabricated chimney deserves a certain level of maintenance so that it can continue to work safely and efficiently. This includes regular cleaning and inspections, preferably once each year. It’s also vital to have a professional install a new prefabricated fireplace to make sure there is enough air clearance and that the unit is carefully inspected before use.

Call the chimney and fireplace experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. for fireplace installation, maintenance, cleaning, and repairs in Minneapolis. Our professional technicians are certified nationally for chimney relining, sweeping, inspection, and more.

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Benefits of Installing a Chimney Cap

Friday, March 7th, 2014

An improvement to your chimney that you should consider having installed (if you don’t have one already) is a chimney cap. These covers on the top of your chimney won’t impede smoke exhaust, provided you have regular cleaning done, and can prevent some serious troubles that might lead to damage to your home or make it necessary to have expensive repairs done.

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. performs chimney cap installation in Maple Grove, MN. We’ve seen first-hand the benefits homeowners can receive from a chimney cap. Here are the three main ones:

  1. Keep animals out of the chimney: Animals often enter chimneys and try to use them as nests or lairs. This makes sense from the point of view of an animal: chimneys are warm, sturdy, protected spaces. Birds and squirrels are among the most common intruders into chimneys, but raccoons are increasingly becoming an issue—and are the most difficult and potentially dangerous to remove. Since trying to “smoke out” animals from a chimney can backfire, the best method to deal with animals is to keep them out in the first place with a chimney cap.
  2. Protection from rain: You may not think that rain could pose much danger to something as durable as a masonry chimney. However, when moisture starts to gather inside the chimney, it can enter between the cracks in bricks and eventually cause them to crack. This is especially problematic in Minnesota, where freezing temperatures in winter cause water in the bricks to turn into ice and expand. A chimney cap will keep out most of the rain out.
  3. Prevent downdrafts: Downdrafts in a chimney can blow the smoke from the fireplace in the hearth back into your home. If you live in an area where you encounter powerful winds, these downdrafts can become intense, and a chimney will help stop them from polluting the air of your home.

There are a few drawbacks to chimney caps as well, although most of these you can avoid with regular professional chimney maintenance. For example, caps can become clogged with soot and creosote, but routine chimney sweeping will eliminate this problem.

There are very few reasons not to get a chimney cap. As long as you take good care of your fireplace and chimney, the cap will not pose any serious trouble to the fireplace’s performance and will stop major problems that could plague it.

Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. for chimney cap installation in Maple Grove, MN, as well as the maintenance, cleaning, sweeping, and repairs that will keep the cap—and your fireplace—in superb shape. Give us a call today to schedule your next chimney service in Maple Grove.

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What Does a New Fireplace Installation Entail?

Friday, February 28th, 2014

If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, you may think that installing one is impossible, or at least too much work to be worth it. We won’t deceive you: the installation of a fireplace is indeed a great deal of work. But if you bring in the right fireplace installers to do the job, it will go much easier and have a minimal interference of your life while the work goes on.

At 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., we specialize in many types of fireplace installation in Minneapolis, MN. We can handle gas log inserts into existing hearths, freestanding wood and pellet stoves, masonry fireplaces, and complete installation of a new chimney liner. For the purposes of this post, we’ll look at what the most extensive of the jobs entails: installing a traditional wood-burning fireplace with a chimney.

Traditional Fireplace Installation

The first step in putting in a traditional fireplace is to determine the type of stone, wood, and decoration to use that will match the sort of fire you want, as well as fit your budget plans. You’ll work with a mason, who will be responsible for constructing the chimney and the hearth. The installers will also determine the best location for the fireplace for the purposes of venting and laying in a foundation. You may have a set idea for where you want to have your fireplace, and often the installers can accommodate you, but listen to their advice about the safest location.

The installers will need to do some renovation on your home to fit in the chimney. The biggest work comes first: laying a chimney foundation, which is responsible for supporting and balancing the considerable weight of the chimney stack. After this, the installers will build up the firebox (where the fire actually will burn) and then the outer chimney bricks. Then the liner will go in, which keeps the heat from the fireplace from getting through the masonry of the chimney to the materials of your home.

Other Options

If you would prefer a less expensive and time-consuming choice for a fireplace, you can have a wood-burning stove installed instead. These are freestanding units, although they do require a vent through a wall and a lined flue to reach the outside. Freestanding stoves are very efficient heaters because they raise the temperature of their metal casings.

Ask About Your Fireplace Choices

For high quality fireplace installation in Minneapolis, call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. and talk to our professionals about the various options for placing a fireplace in your home. They’ll help you sort through the prices and the construction details so you’ll end up with the right fireplace for you.

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Types of Fireplaces Worth Installing in Edina

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Although fireplaces are no longer the only way we get heat in our homes, they still serve an important cosmetic function with the extra benefit of warmth. If you have considered having fireplace installed in Edina, MN, look over the options below. Then, when you’re ready to make a decision, call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc and talk to our experts about how to get the right fireplace for your home.

Traditional wood-burning fireplace

This is what most people think of when they hear “fireplace”: a hearth with a chimney where wood logs burn and crackle. Wood-burning fireplaces have the advantage of coziness—there really is no substitute for the look, feel, and sound of actual wood burning—as well as the low cost of wood compared to other potential fuel sources. However, you need to have a chimney to install one, they are much less convenient than other systems (wood storage, fire tending, etc.), and require regular chimney sweeping to eliminate creosote build-up.

Gas log fireplace

If you already have a chimney, you can easily convert over to the convenience and efficiency of a gas fireplace with a gas log insert. Gas log fireplaces also exist in factory-built units if you do not have a pre-existing chimney.

Free-standing pellet or wood stove

You don’t need to have a chimney to enjoy a fireplace in any room of the house. Free-standing pellet and wood stoves are able to fit into any room where they can access venting through the wall. Pellet stoves burn highly efficient wood pellets, which make them more effective as heating units; they can serve as an addition to your central heating system.

Fireplace installation is a job that requires years of training. Fireplace technicians must know how to set up a fireplace that will burn safely and properly vent exhaust—whether it uses wood, gas, or pellets.

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc is a full-service fireplace installation company: we handle everything from wood burning to free-standing fireplaces, and also perform chimney sweeping and masonry repairs. We are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and belong to the National Chimney Sweep Guild. You will have a harder time finding another company that delivers the same level of service for fireplace installation in Edina, MN as we do.

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Why Most Prefabricated Fireplaces in Cambridge Cannot be Installed Using the Existing Chimney System

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

If you are looking to add a charming touch to your home, or just supplement your current heating system, you may be considering installing a fireplace. Since building a new fireplace is often costly and requires a lot of masonry work, many people are opting for prefabricated fireplaces instead.

Prefab fireplace units are nice, because they are convenient, they look charming and they work well. However, some people assume that because they already have a chimney in their home from a previous system, adding a prefab system will be easier and not require a new chimney. Generally, though, this is not true.

Most prefabricated fireplaces are sold as a unit along with an accompanying chimney, and they often will now work with another chimney system. There are a few reasons for this, such as:

  • Rigorous fireplace inspections and testing is a must for each home to ensure that they are safe to use. This testing is done along with the included chimney, so both are rated as safe together. The fireplace is not necessarily tested to be safe with any other configuration.
  • The specifications for air space and insulation in a fireplace are exacting, because of the volatile nature of the combustion process. Because a prefabricated fireplace and chimney are engineered to work together, you can be sure they meet the proper specifications.
  • The chimney and fireplace have been designed to work together for maximum efficiency, so any other setup could affect the performance of your fireplace and therefore the warmth of your house.
  • Because of the necessary clearance measurements mentioned above, wood is kept a certain specified distance away from the chimney. If a prefabricated fireplace is used with a different chimney, this clearance may be too short, which can cause chimney fires or other unsafe conditions.

Even with all this in mind, a prefabricated fireplace may still be the best option for you. It is just important to know up front that trying to save money be using an existing chimney system will not work and you are better off purchasing the whole bundle as sold.  If you have any questions about your fireplace please call 2nd Generation Chimneys.

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Mendota Heights Chimney & Fireplace Tips: Saving Energy with Masonry Heaters

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Most energy experts agree that masonry heaters are one of the most efficient, durable, and easy to use fireplace or wood stove systems you can have in. If you are considering building a masonry heater in your Mendota Heights home, you should understand how they work so that you are familiar with their benefits.

Masonry heaters are distinguished by their structure, design, and ability to burn wood or pellet fuel efficiently. Masonry heaters are also referred to as Russian or Siberian fireplaces, and they look similar to brick ovens because of the masonry structure that is built around the firebox or stove insert. Inside the masonry, a complex and carefully designed system of smoke channels distribute the heat throughout the home over a longer period of time, which means it does not need to be loaded often like traditional fireplaces.

Because Russian fireplaces can also withstand extreme temperatures, they only need to be re-loaded once or twice a day. Once the load is burned, the heat is stored in what is known as the “masonry thermal mass,” which provides you with one of the most efficient radiant heating systems available. Masonry heaters are also ideal during the times you only need a small amount of heat because you can burn a smaller load to meet your heating needs.

If you have an existing fireplace, you have the option of modifying your fireplace or stove with a custom-built masonry fireplace installation. However, any type of masonry heater should be installed by an experienced professional.  Installing the masonry heater incorrectly can create fire hazards and will be less efficient.  In addition, you will need to know how to properly stack and burn the wood (unless you are using a pellet stove) so that the wood burns rapidly enough to provide clean fuel. When you burn wood or fuel too slowly, it can produce tars and other combustion pollutants. If you aren’t sure what the “critical burn rate” is for your wood or pellet-burning appliance, you will need to know this before installing a custom masonry heater.

You can always call 2nd Generation Chimneys if you aren’t sure whether a masonry heater is right for your Mendota Heights home. We’re always glad to answer questions and offer our expert advice.

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