2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Fireplaces’

Tips for Smooth Sailing Through the Winter Season

Monday, October 1st, 2018

winter-windowNow that there is a noticeable chill in the air once more, you may have already started burning firewood regularly once again. How’s it going so far? Have you already run into issues? Does using your fireplace seem less convenient than it used to? Whatever the case, today’s blog post is for you. The Minneapolis, MN fireplace professionals on the 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. team are here help. We’ve put together some helpful tips to help you make it through the winter warmly and conveniently. 

And, if you’re feeling like you missed the boat this winter, don’t worry. Later is better than never in many instances and, if nothing else, you can always keep these tips in mind for next year. So read on, reach out to us with any questions that you may have, and show another Minnesotan winter who’s boss around your residence. The season is too long and too tough to be pushed around by the elements in your home!

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Preparing Your Fireplace for Winter

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

chimneyThere are some people out there that may say that burning a fire in one’s fireplace is an outdated or even dangerous means by which to heat one’s home. Those are likely people that have never used a fireplace before! Sure, there are newer technologies out there that allow you to heat your home in a more modern way. Many homeowners actually supplement their fireplaces with such systems. For a lot of us, though, nothing can truly compare to the comfort that comes with a roaring fire in the hearth.

That being said, and as is the case with any home heating system, modern or not, there are steps that should be taken before putting your fireplace back into regular service this winter. Remember, the fireplace has been out of the game for a few months at this point. You don’t really want to wait for the frigid temperatures of winter to strike before taking care of your fireplace’s needs, either, since you’ll want to be using it in the fall season, too. So here are some tips for prepping your fireplace in Minneapolis, MN.

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Interior and Exterior Spark Arrestors—What’s the Difference?

Monday, July 9th, 2018

police-fireman-doctorWell, let me guess. One is inside, and one is outside, right? Haha, very funny. Sure, you may have a basic grasp of the difference between any components of any system when one is designated as “exterior” and the other “interior”. However, chances are that you may not even understand what a spark arrestor is, let alone how one functions (or should be installed, for that matter). Well, the answer is actually quite simple, so just read on.

As always, we want to remind you that any fireplace services in Minneapolis, MN must be completed by skilled, trained professionals. The last thing that you want to do is pull up an online video and suddenly mistake yourself for being some kind of expert! Work with the professional technicians on our staff, and you’ll be able to use your fireplace safely and reliably. And now, without further ado, let’s take a look at those different types of arrestors that you’re so curious about! 

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The Most Common Signs That Fireplaces Need Repairs

Monday, June 11th, 2018

chimney-smoke-cloudThe fireplace is not the most complex home heating system that homeowners today may choose to use. That does not necessarily mean that it is of a simple design, however, nor does it mean that you will never run into problems with your fireplace. It may lack the fancy mechanics of, say, a cutting-edge ductless mini split heat pump. However, there is still plenty of trouble that may develop with a fireplace. And those problems can result in dangerous conditions.

That is why the fireplace pros on our staff have put together some information designed to help you recognize the need for fireplace repair in St. Paul, MN. When you know what it is that you are looking for, it’s a lot easier to find something, after all! So read on, and remember to let us know the moment that you have concerns about your fireplace. There is no reason for putting yourself and your property at risk by ignoring such troubles.

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Do All Chimney Flues Need Cleaning?

Monday, April 9th, 2018

couple-at-fireplaceMost homeowners that use woodburning fireplaces in their residences understand just how important it is that they have their fireplace, flue, and chimney inspected and cleaned on an annual basis. The problem here is that, like everything else, fireplaces, flues, and chimneys have changed over time. When those changes happen, it is always possible that someone will fail to get the memo. If you are wondering if your chimney flue needs cleaning, then the simple answer is yes.

There are more options than ever when it comes to the type of fireplace that you use in your home, how you fuel it, and even how you vent potentially harmful gases out of your home. The one constant is the fact that you really need to know for certain that your fireplace is kept in great working condition. Scheduling your chimney sweeping in Minneapolis, MN with our team ensures that this is the case.

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7 Easy Safety Tips for Using a Fireplace

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Fireplaces add a beautiful touch to any home, but despite the elegance it can add to your living room, it seems wasted if you never really use it. You deserve to get warm and cozy in front of a fireplace, but you also want to keep your family members safe. Here, we offer some of the easiest ways to be sure you’re using your chimney and fireplace in the safest possible way.

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Fireplace Safety for the Holiday Season

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Far too many accidents occur during the holiday season, a time that should be set aside to rejoice and celebrate. Setting up holiday lights and other decorations is a task responsible for a number of burns, shocks, and falls, but perhaps an even bigger risk to your well-being is when something goes wrong in the fireplace. Prevent fireplace hazards with our list of safety tips, and have a happy holiday season—from all of us here at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.!

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Minneapolis Fireplace Tip: Heating and Fireplace Efficiency

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Having an efficient fireplace in your Minneapolis, MS area home will ensure that you minimize energy waste in your home during the winter. Having a reliable and efficient heating system means that you get even greater comfort throughout the coldest winter months. Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. any time to learn about our fireplace installation, maintenance and fireplace repair services. We also offer annual chimney sweeping and chimney inspections, so call today if you haven’t had your chimney cleaned this year.

Here are a few ways you can help maintain the efficiency of your fireplace when heating your home.

Use Chimney Dampers

When your fireplace or gas logs are not in use, be sure to close the damper in your chimney so that you aren’t losing heat. If you have a gas furnace that is being vented through the chimney, the damper should remain open as long as your furnace is being used. Be sure that you know how to operate the damper to make sure that it is securely closed or open all the way when using a fireplace or gas heating system.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance for your fireplace will entail many tasks. First, you can visually check your fireplace and firebox for any damages. Cracks in the masonry or damaged fire boxes can increase the chances of air leaks through these cracks. Calling a Minneapolis chimney technician for an annual chimney cleaning and inspection is the other huge part of preventing repair needs and maintaining efficiency.

Burn Seasoned Wood Only

For wood-burning fireplaces, burn seasoned wood only. If you are burning green or treated wood, it can cause a number of problems. First, it can lead to excess creosote build-up inside the flue liner. This can damage the liner and hinder proper ventilation. In addition, it will cause smoky or smoldering fires that will not heat the home as well, and you’ll end up using more wood than normal.

If you would like to know more about heating your home efficiently with a fireplace, call the Minneapolis fireplace and chimney experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys for all your fireplace and heating efficiency needs.

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Minneapolis Fireplace and Chimney Tip: How to Maintain Efficiency for Your Fireplace or Wood Stove Throughout the Winter

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Are you looking for ways to maintain efficiency while heating your Minneapolis area home with a fireplace or wood stove this winter? At 2nd Generation Chimneys, we can help you heat your home more efficiently with a few tips from our chimney and fireplace experts. You can always call us if you would like to know more about saving energy in your home.

Upgrade Your Damper and Chimney Cap

Whether you heat your home with a fireplace or wood stove, there’s potential for air loss through the chimney. You can prevent this with the right damper and chimney cap. The damper will help keep the warm air inside and the cold air out when you aren’t using your fireplace or wood stove. This will help with efficiency and prevent backdraft.

A sturdy chimney cap will also protect the inside of your flue and your flue liner from moisture issues. A chimney screen can also prevent flying sparks from creating a fire and keep animals out of your chimney. Lastly, burning the right kind of wood can also help with efficiency since it prevents excess creosote build-up.

Improve the Overall Efficiency of Your Home

There are many small tasks you can do to make your home more efficient overall. Adding insulation, sealing off air leaks, and upgrading the components of your heating system are some of the main ways homeowners can lower energy costs. Getting your fireplace, wood stove, and chimney inspected by a professional chimney technician will also help.

Whether you are looking for a new damper, chimney cap, or you need to schedule your next chimney inspection, call the Minneapolis chimney and fireplace experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys any time. Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys today!

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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.


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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