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

Minneapolis Chimney Sweep Guide: Benefits of Pellet Stoves

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Pellet stoves are a viable option for many homeowners in the Minneapolis area – offering an alternative heating source that is independent of your gas lines and that can save you money over pricier fuel options in the winter. If you have been considering having a pellet stove installed in your home and would like to learn more about the specific benefits of doing so, here are a few of the many reasons why area homeowners have them installed.

Cost Benefits

The biggest benefits of a pellet stove are related to cost. A pellet stove costs less to install and offers a less expensive option for heating than gas furnaces or boilers – especially in colder climates. While the system does use electricity and you will need to purchase the wood pellets for your stove (possibly having them delivered depending on where you live in the Minneapolis area), the cost is still less than that of operating a gas powered heating system.

Other Benefits of a Pellet Stove

Beyond the cost benefits of a pellet stove there are a number of other reasons you might consider one a good fit for your home. To start, the system is self-contained, meaning there is a much lower risk of smoke and gas fumes entering your home during combustion than with other types of heating systems. There is much less ash as well and creosote is kept to a minimum, which makes cleaning easier and reduces the risk of a chimney fire.

The wood pellets these stoves run on are largely made from recycled materials as well, meaning this is a mostly green heating method and one that can save you a great deal of money over time. Due to the pellets being recycled, these stoves are often considered carbon neutral (though they do consume some small amount of electricity that isn’t factored into this).

Overall, a pellet stove is a good fit for many homes in Minneapolis, though it is important to have a professional inspect your space and help you determine if it is the right fit.

Remember, whether you have a pellet stove fireplace or a fireplace, regular chimney cleaning is needed to keep it functioning safely. Call the experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys for any chimney sweeping or fireplace installation in Minneapolis!

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Why Do You Need To Have Your Chimney Flue Cleaned?

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Having your chimney flue cleaned is important to the health and safety of your family.  2nd Generation Chimneys is a Minneapolis chimney company that provides thorough chimney flue cleaning, call us today if you need to schedule an appointment!

The Importance of Having Your Chimney Flue Cleaned

When a fireplace or wood stove is used, smoke goes up the chimney where it finally reaches the outside air.  Creosote forms when wood is burned incompletely, or when it is a smoky fire without enough oxygen that causes black smoke to go up the chimney.  During this process the smoke often leaves behind creosote, a dark brown or black tar-like substance that gets deposited on the walls of the chimney.

Creosote can be a fire hazard if too much of it builds up on the inside walls of the chimney.

There are a few kinds of creosote that have differing degrees of stickiness and are each harder to remove than the previous one:

  • Soot that is feather-light and dull gray, brown or black in color that is easy to remove
  • Granular black accumulation that is still fairly easy to remove with a stiff chimney brush
  • Tar-like black coating that is very hard to remove, even with scrapers and power rotary whips
  • Shiny black coating that looks like the inside of the chimney has been glazed over and is nearly impossible to remove

Generally speaking creosote buildup happens during wood burning.  While gas fireplaces burn cleaner, they do let off a lot more moisture which can cause other kinds of build-up to occur.  Additional types of debris that can clog the chimney flue are droppings from animals, nesting of birds, and debris from the presence of insects.  The best way to prevent animals from nesting in the chimney is to have a chimney-top screen.

Having a professional chimney sweep  in Minneapolis such as those at 2nd Generation Chimneys perform your chimney flue cleaning will ensure that not only is it properly cleaned, but that any venting problems or chimney deterioration are identified, as well as any cracks in the liner are found and fixed, and that where applicable new liners are installed.

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Bloomington Chimney Q/A: Why is it Important to Have My Chimney Serviced and Inspected After a Chimney Fire?

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Hopefully, you have never experience a chimney fire in Bloomington and won’t ever have to. But if you own a home with a fireplace (and use it), the risks of a chimney fire are there and it isn’t important to know what to do after one happens.

Once the fire is out and you have called your insurance company, you may think it is fine to just start using your fireplace again. It is not! You must have your chimney inspected and serviced before using your fireplace again. There are at least four crucial things to be checked for and resolved during this process:

  1. Creosote buildup
    Creosote that is left behind from the fire can clog the up the chimney, presenting a risk for smoke and carbon monoxide to back up into the home. Creosote can also be fuel for a future chimney fire, so any buildup must be removed.
  1. Damage to the chimney
    The fire may have damaged the chimney, especially the smoke shelf, chimney liner or flue tiles. These must be replaced if they are damaged.
  1. Smoke damage
    In addition to damage from the fire directly, there may be smoke damage inside the chimney which will prevent it from working properly and safely.
  1. Proper ventilation
    Any damage or buildup inside the chimney can cause improper ventilation, either in the form of too little clearance for gases to escape up the chimney or leaks that allow gases to ventilate outwards into the home. As mentioned in #1, this can cause smoke and carbon monoxide to get into your house.

In short, getting a quick inspection and potentially chimney repairs after a fire is a matter of safety and health. You want to reduce the risk of further unsafe events, such as carbon monoxide leaks, another chimney fire or even a collapse.

Hopefully you never have to deal with a chimney fire, but if you do, do not skip this important step in the aftermath.  Please contact 2nd Generation Chimney if you have any questions about this.

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Plymouth Chimney Tips: The Importance of Chimney Screens, Caps, and Dampers

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Improper ventilation and moisture inside your chimney can create a number of problems, including hazards, such as chimney fires and carbon monoxide leaks. Installing and maintaining chimney screens, caps, and dampers will help to reduce the necessity of  chimney cleaning.

Here at 2nd Generation Chimney, we have all of your chimney and fireplace needs covered, and we offer quality and durable products that are made to last. Call us for the best chimney repair in Plymouth.

Chimney Screen

Chimney screens are installed mainly to prevent animals from nesting or getting trapped in your chimney. Birds and other rodents like to use chimneys for nesting sites, especially raccoons since their natural nesting sites are inside hollow trees. Animals nesting in your chimney can create health hazards in addition to restricting airflow. Animals don’t just damage your chimney system when they nest in it; they can also get through cracks in the masonry and walls and chew through insulation and wiring inside your home. It’s also a good idea to install metal screens for your roof vents, since many small animals are able to chew through vinyl roof vents.

Chimney screens are also referred to as exterior spark arrestors because they help keep sparks from wood-burning appliances from drifting out of the chimney. Sparks from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces have been known to start brush fires and other damages to the roof. Make sure you talk to a chimney professional about installing the proper screen for your wood-burning appliance.

Chimney Cap

Modern chimney caps are typically manufactured with a screen attached, and in addition to animal protection, these also help protect the chimney crown. While not all caps will completely cover the crown, they do deflect much of the rainwater. Over time, crowns can crack and allow moisture inside the mortar joints and bricks below. Properly sealing your chimney with a permeable sealant will help prevent water damage, but it’s also a good idea to install a cap and screen that is large enough to cover the entire crown. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so call us if you would like to know more about the chimney caps we offer.

Chimney Damper

In addition to preventing heat loss when you aren’t using your fireplace, dampers can also provide extra moisture protection. Water inside a chimney flue can create many problems. When moisture mixes with any kind of combustion material, it can become corrosive. This can cause important chimney components to break down over time.

There are a variety of products on the market to help keep your chimney flue free of debris, animals, and water. You can help protect your Plymouth home from chimney fires and carbon monoxide intrusion by calling 2nd Generation Chimney to ask about our chimney products and installation services.

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Linwood Chimney and Fireplace Tips: What You Should Consider Before Installing a Pellet Stove

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Pellet stoves can heat your Linwood home with some of the most efficient and clean energy available. Pellet fuel does not generate combustible gases or the other pollutants emitted by some of the more common fuels, such as wood or natural gas. Pellets are also made from renewable materials, such as recycled wood or organic waste materials, and this is partly why pellet stoves are so appealing and increasingly more common. Some manufacturers are even designing new pellet-burning furnaces and boilers, but pellet fuel is typically used in stoves and fireplace inserts. Before you start looking around for a new pellet stove to replace your old heating system, there are a few things you should consider.

In addition to providing highly efficient heat, pellet appliances are also convenient because they have a hopper that stores the fuel, and a feeding device that loads the fuel throughout the day. In most pellet appliances, the hopper only needs to be refueled once a day. However, this added feature also means that there are more components that can break, which may increase repair and maintenance costs. These devices also use electricity to operate, so you’ll want to factor in these additional costs when you are deciding whether or not to install a pellet stove. Another factor to consider is whether or not pellet fuel is accessible and affordable in your area. A quick Internet search will direct you to any suppliers near your home.

Most pellet appliance manufacturers also recommend that you install a stainless steel flue liner before installation. If you have a clay or tile liner, you should find out what size metal liner you’ll need and how much it will cost to re-line your chimney. Hiring a professional chimney technician to inspect your current flue and liner will also determine if your flue size and shape. This will let you know if you need a stainless steel liner that is made of flexible material and how much labor will be involved in cutting the liner to fit your chimney flue.

Depending on the age and condition of your current heating system, you may benefit from installing a pellet stove in your Linwood home. First you’ll need to compare the installation costs with how much you’ll get in energy savings. You can always call 2nd Generation Chimneys to speak with one of our chimney and fireplace experts about which heating system upgrade is the best choice for your heating needs.

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