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

Why It’s So Important to Keep Snow and Ice Away from Outside Vents

Monday, December 12th, 2016

This season, we’ve spent a lot of time making sure homeowners get the professional services they need to use their fireplaces and chimneys safely. However, these aren’t the only parts of your home you use in the winter that could pose a threat to your health and safety. Any heating system has vents that lead to the outdoors, and they do not all necessarily use your chimney.

High-efficiency heaters and stoves have smaller metal flue pipes that vent through a wall in your home. Occasionally, these vent pipes can get blocked up with snow and ice, and it’s up to you to take notice and take action.

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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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What Type of Liner is Right for my Particular Heating System?

Monday, November 26th, 2012

If you have a chimney in your home in Minneapolis, you’ve probably heard about linings for it. If you’re like most people, you may have questions about the different types of liners and which one is right for your home. At 2nd Generation Chimneys, we’ve installed countless liners for our customers in the Minneapolis area. We thought it would be helpful if we put together a checklist so that you can get an idea of what type of liner is good for your home.

You should always consult with a professional heating contractor to take on a chimney lining job. This type of project should never be done on your own. The efficiency of your chimney and the safety of your home are at stake with this kind of work. Contact us today!

What Type of Fireplace Do You Have?

The first question that your heating contractor will ask you is what type of fireplace you have. Whether you have a wood, gas or oil fireplace will dictate the number of options that are available to you.

Types of Chimney Liners

There are a few types of common chimney lining materials.

  • Clay – Clay is a great liner for chimneys and has a lifespan of about 80 years. They are cheap and work well with wood-burning fireplaces. However, they run into trouble with gas fireplaces because they can’t contain the combustion gasses.
  • Metal – There are two types of metal liners: stainless steel and aluminum. These types of liners are typically installed when upgrading and repairing chimneys. Stainless steel liners are more robust and can be used with just about any type of fireplace. Aluminum liners can only be used with certain types of gas fireplaces.
  • Concrete – With this type of liner, heat resistant concrete is poured down the chimney into a mold. This is another robust and durable chimney liner that can be used with most types of fireplaces. However, this liner is permanent and can’t be removed without tearing down the entire chimney.

Benefits of Chimney Liners

Chimney liners feature several important benefits. First, they improve the efficiency of your fireplace. By allowing smoke and fumes to exhaust more quickly, you can increase the efficiency of your system. Second, they improve the safety of your home by not allowing dangerous gasses to come back into your home.

If you have any questions about which chimney liner is right for your home in Minneapolis, contact the experts at 2nd Generation Chimney. We have years of experience offering chimney lining services in the Minneapolis area. We can help you pick out the right one and install it for you correctly.

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St Paul Heating FAQ: How Do Wood-Burning Fireplaces and Stoves Compare to Other Types of Heating Systems?

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Are you thinking of switching your heating system over to a wood-burning fireplace or wood stove? When comparing wood-burning applications to heating systems that run on gas or electricity, you’ll want to consider the benefits and drawbacks of both. At 2nd Generation Chimneys, we clean, repair, and inspect traditional fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, and gas log fireplace inserts. We’ve put together some factors to consider if you are thinking that you might like to install a new fireplace or stove.

Fireplaces

In addition to the aesthetics of a warm fire, a fireplace can be a great source of heat if you are heating a small home. Depending on the price of wood, a traditional fireplace can be an inexpensive way to heat a given area within the home. If you want to install a gas log insert, then you’ll need to factor in the cost of the extra gas piping. Any type of fireplace should be inspected every year according to the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) standards, so this is also something to keep in mind.

In addition to routine chimney cleanings and inspections, you will also have to think about storage space for wood, and the effort involved in starting a fire every day during the winter. Wood needs to be stored in a dry area, and you should only burn seasoned wood, which means that the wood has been completely dried out for at least six months. Other factors include clearance for the chimney, the square footage of the area that you need to heat, and how well your home is insulated. There will be some heat loss due to the use of a chimney, but if your damper, chimney cap, and masonry are all in good condition, there will be less air loss and better efficiency.

Wood Stoves and Pellet Stoves

Wood stoves are a little more efficient than an open fireplace, and depending on the type and model you choose, you can get up to 50,000 BTUs with some wood stoves. There are many different designs, and they can be installed as a freestanding wood stove or inserted into an existing fireplace (depending on height and condition of the chimney flue).

If you are considering a switching to pellet fuel, keep in mind that there are many different heating applications that use pellets. Freestanding pellet stoves are the most common type, and wood pellets are a highly efficient and renewable fuel. In addition, pellet stoves are relatively effortless since they only need to be refueled about once a day. However, there’s more maintenance a regular wood-burning application due to the moving parts in the feeding arm.

Call the St Paul fireplace and chimney experts at 2nd Generation if you would like to learn more.

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Safety Tips for Fridley Residents: Clothes Dryer Ventilation

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

It’s important to perform air duct cleaning in Fridley for many reasons. Increasing the efficiency of your HVAC system and lowering your utility bills are a few of them, but safety is the best reason to keep your vents clean, particularly your clothes dryer vent.

Clothes dryers are one of the leading causes of house fires each year. Homes that do not perform dryer vent cleaning or receive improper installation are usually the cause. Protect your home with these maintenance and safety tips.

Even if you clean out the lint trap after each use, lint can still get trapped in the exhaust vent and cause a fire hazard or a potential carbon monoxide leak with gas dryers. Maintaining proper ventilation for a clothes dryer includes cleaning out the exhaust duct and hose. To do this, you just need to unplug your dryer and detach the hose, which can be removed with common household tools. If you already do this regularly and find an abnormal amount of lint and debris, call an HVAC technician to inspect it. There could be something in the duct system blocking the ventilation for your dryer.

At least once a year, you should also have a qualified technician inspect and clean your exhaust duct and make sure you have the proper style hose. If you have a foil or vinyl hose, you should replace it with a flexible metal one that is fireproof. You might want to consider installing a dryer box, which protects the flexible hose and saves space.

Dryers that aren’t properly installed or put in areas that could create hazards are often found in older homes; however, some newer homes are built with designs that create longer ventilation paths and more potential for debris to get trapped inside the ducts.

Don’t wait until a hidden safety issue turns into a fire or carbon monoxide hazard in your Fridley home. Call 2nd Generation Chimneys to inspect and clean your exhaust hose and duct today!

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