Our Company Blog
One of the most common problems with fireplace is a smoky chimney. As the fire burns in your fireplace, you find your home filling with smoke. If your chimney is drafting properly, you should not notice any smoke in your home. However, if your fireplace does fill your home with smoke, it’s time to evaluate and resolve the issue. Smokey fireplaces are a nuisance, and they can degrade your indoor air quality. Here are some of the most common causes of chimney draft issues. At A to Z Chimney Services, we are here to troubleshoot any smoky issues for you!
Stuck or damaged damper
Your chimney’s damper regulates the air flow of your chimney. If your home is filling with smoke when a fire is burning, the chimney damper often is to blame. The chimney damper could be stuck closed, preventing smoke from rising out of the chimney altogether, or it may not be opened fully. A partially closed damper can restrict the air exchange through your chimney, causing improper draft and filling your chimney and home with smoke.
A dirty chimney can also be a culprit of causing smoke to enter your home. If the chimney flue is restricted because of a buildup of creosote, the chimney won’t draft properly and smoke can fill your home. If your chimney has been recently cleaned, and your fireplace is suddenly smoking without another explanation, it’s still important to call a sweep. This often means an animal or debris could have made its way into your chimney, creating a blockage that prevents smoke from exiting your home properly.
Missing chimney cap
Your chimney cap plays a role in keeping smoke from entering your home when a fire is burning. The chimney cap prevents bursts of air from flowing down your chimney, blowing smoke back into your home. Sometimes, solving chimney draft issues are as simple as installing or replacing a chimney cap.
Cold chimney flue
If your fireplace smokes when a fire is first lit, but the smoking seems to subside once the fire gets going, your chimney might just be too cold. When dense, cold air fills the chimney, it can block smoke from drafting up and out of the chimney. This is often a problem for homes whose chimneys are on an exterior wall. You can solve this problem by warming your chimney before lighting a fire. Twist tight logs of newspaper and light one end. Hold the burning newspaper in your fireplace at the base of the chimney flue. Repeat this with two or three pieces of newspaper, and your flue should be adequately warm to allow proper drafting.
Improperly sized chimney
In some cases, chimney draft issues have to do with the chimney construction itself. If the chimney flue is too wide or narrow for your firebox, or if it is too tall or short for your fireplace, your chimney won’t draft properly and your home will fill with smoke. The only way to restore a proper chimney draft is with professional intervention. Most of the time, we can resolve the draft with a new chimney liner or a chimney extension.
If chimney draft issues left your home unpleasantly smoke this winter, get the issues resolved before you burn another fire! Contact A to Z Chimney Service to schedule an appointment today!
Fireplaces are a highly sought-after amenity for homebuyers. In a recent survey, 78 percent of homebuyers reported that a fireplace was a top feature they were looking for in a new home. So what do you do if you own a home with no chimney, but you still love fireplaces? Can you have a chimney added onto your home? The answer is most likely yes. You’ll just need to take several things into consideration when planning and installing a new chimney.
Research local building codes.
One of the first things you’ll need to do when planning for a fireplace and chimney installation is research your local building codes. All jurisdictions have safety codes that dictate the infrastructure needed to support a fireplace, the clearances a chimney must have from the rust of a building’s structure, and the height a chimney must be. An increasing number of municipalities and states also are setting standards for fireplace emissions, which might affect the type of fireplace you’re able to install. Learn from water damage tulsa how to keep your home from water damage over the rainy days. Knowing your local codes for fireplaces and chimneys can help you begin to determine what type of fireplace and chimney will be right for your home.
Determine the location of your fireplace and chimney.
Where, in your home, are you looking to install your new fireplace and chimney? Are you looking for a stunning statement and a source of heat in your main living space? Are you looking to add a bit of ambiance to a den or master bedroom? Is your goal to bring heat to a portion of your home that doesn’t seem to get enough heat from the furnace? Depending on where you plan to install a fireplace and chimney in your home and how you plan to use that fireplace, it will all be influential factors for the type of fireplace and chimney you install. A stunning masonry hearth will require adequate support from your home’s structure, while an efficient closed gas unit can be installed on nearly any exterior wall or vented vertically where there is sufficient roof access.
Choose your fuel type.
Some homeowners know exactly what type of fireplace they’d like to install, while others are open to do some research to determine what type of fireplace is right for them. The good news is that it does not matter if you prefer the convenience of a gas fireplace, the efficiency of a pellet stove or the traditional ambiance of a wood-burning fireplace, you will most likely be able to find a fireplace for your home that burns your preferred fuel type. However, it is still a great idea to know your local building codes and the location of your fireplace within your home, because this might impact the type of fireplace you’ll be able to install.
Even though there are a lot of considerations when it comes to picking out the right fireplace and chimney you can install. The good news is that you will be able to install a fireplace and chimney onto your home, alongside the help from our fireplace and chimney experts. A to Z Chimney Services would love to help make your dream of adding a fireplace to your home a reality, call today to schedule a consultation!
After a season’s worth of fires, your gas fireplace or gas fireplace insert is probably showing signs of wear. Glass doors can get grimy, logs can collect dust, and dirt and debris can block blowers and burners. Left unchecked, this can begin to inhibit the function of your fireplace. To keep your gas fireplace looking great and working efficiently, you should be cleaning your fireplace regularly. Here’s a step-by-step guide to keeping your gas fireplace or insert in tip-top shape. For more details on your specific fireplace or fireplace insert, be sure to check your owner’s manual before you proceed.
Step 1: Turn off the gas.
Turn off the gas to your fireplace or insert to keep yourself safe and avoid any gas leaks during cleaning.
Step 2: Remove the ceramic logs.
If your gas fireplace or insert is fitted with ceramic logs, they likely can be removed and cleaned separately. This will make it much easier to clean the burners and other portions of your fireplace’s interior. To be sure that the logs are removable, and to discover how to remove them properly, consult your fireplace’s manual.
Step 3: Vacuum debris out of the firebox.
The first step to a clean fireplace is using your vacuum hose to clear away any obvious dust and debris. Be sure to get into the nooks and crannies of your fireplace with the hose to ensure that debris doesn’t have a chance to build up in the hard-to-reach portions of your fireplace.
Step 4: Scrub any difficult debris.
If there are any portions of your gas fireplace that are caked with more stubborn stains, you can gently scrub the stain with a soft cleaning brush.
Step 5: Clean fireplace doors.
The doors to your gas fireplace are often to show a buildup of dirt. You should be regularly cleaning the exterior glass doors with a non-ammonia cleaner, or preferably a cleaner that’s specifically made for fireplace maintenance. While you’re cleaning the interior of the fireplace, take the time to clean dirt away from the interior of the glass doors.
Step 6: Give the burners one additional cleaning.
For your gas fireplace to function properly, the burners have to be clean and clear of dirt or debris. That’s why you should end your fireplace cleaning with one final vacuuming of the burners, just in case any dust or debris has landed on or near the burners during your cleaning.
Once you’ve finished cleaning your gas fireplace or gas fireplace insert, put the logs back in place, close the doors and turn the gas back on. On top of your DIY gas fireplace cleaning, your gas fireplace or gas fireplace insert should be cleaned and inspected at least once per year by a certified chimney sweep. If your gas fireplace is due for a professional cleaning, or if you’re not daring enough to clean it yourself, you can call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule your gas fireplace cleaning and inspection today!
Fall Chimney Sweeping & Maintenance
It’s finally fall and officially time to make your appointment for your annual chimney sweeping, gas fireplace service, or clothes dryer vent cleaning.
Every year without fail, I’m driving somewhere with my wife on one of the first cold evenings…. Hanging in the air along with the fog is the unmistakable fragrant smell of wood smoke wafting from the chimneys.
I turn to my wife and ask her; “Do you smell that?” “Yes I do”, comes her reply.
I then ask “Do you know what that smells like? BUSINESS!”
That’s when she rolls her eyes at the joke she’s now heard every year for over sixteen years.
So this is officially your call to action! If you’ve never had your chimney, gas fireplace, or dryer vent cleaned or if it’s just been longer than it should, now is the time to get on our schedule before it gets really cold! A little cheap “fire insurance” is worth the cost when it comes to burning your fires safely and keeping your equipment in top condition.
So pick up the phone right now and get on the schedule for your fall chimney, gas fireplace, and dryer vent cleaning maintenance. Appointments often fill up quick in the fall, so beat the rush and get an early start by calling today. Our office can be reached at (916) 850-2446. You can also contact us online.
To learn more about our chimney, gas fireplace, and dryer vent cleaning services, click here.
Cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. This offer must be mentioned at the time of booking your appointment.
We Proudly Serve Placer County CA
A to Z Chimney Services proudly serves Placer County—from The Valley through the Gold Country and up into the High Country—and relishes in its breath-taking scenery, rich history, and year-round recreation opportunities. With 1,400 square miles of beautiful and diverse geography, everything from arts and culture, gastronomic delights, farmers markets, and outdoor recreation are right at our fingertips. What’s not to love? If you already live in Placer County, congratulations! If you’re considering relocation, what are you waiting for?!
Making Placer County Safer One Fireplace at a Time…
Your fireplace is the focus of family gatherings and a great way to take the chill off during the coolest winter nights. For many, it’s a basic necessity. It can also be a source of danger to your home and family. A fireplace that’s improperly cared for may start a fire where you don’t want one, namely inside your chimney. According to the NFPA, the second leading cause of house fires is heating equipment, and two out of three heating equipment fires result from heating appliances, which includes fireplaces, chimneys and wood stoves. Of the fires that start in the chimney or fireplace, most are a direct result of creosote deposits. Sadly, most are preventable with regular inspections and maintenance. Prevent your home from becoming part of these statistics by scheduling routine chimney inspections to catch dangerous creosote before it catches you.
We Take Dryer Vent Safety Very Safely…
Laundry is part of life’s weekly grind; for some, it’s more of a daily concern. That’s a lot of loads of laundry! Did you know that dryers cause roughly 2,900 home structure fires, 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in direct property loss in the U.S. each year? What’s more, the majority of dryer fires happen in the fall and winter months, with the peak being in January. The most common cause of dryer fires is failure to do a thorough cleaning. Because a lint trap is not a foolproof method for catching all the fuzzy stuff in your dryer, lint can gradually build up and catch fire in the heating element or exhaust duct. Many people are under the impression that cleaning these vents isn’t all that important. Unfortunately for them, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s very important to keep up with dryer vent cleaning, as the accumulated lint is a fire hazard that endangers your house and everyone in it.
Make Necessary Repairs As They Are Discovered…
A chimney technician’s job is far more labor intensive that one might think. Chimney systems are comprised of many parts that depend upon one another to function at peak levels. A problem with one part of the system can cause another part of the system to have to work harder to pick up the slack, thereby causing that overworked component to wear out at a much quicker rate. This can become a vicious cycle rather quickly if the initial problem isn’t addressed in a timely manner. The moral of the story: repair minor problems as soon as possible so as to prevent them from becoming major problems down the road. Some parts are in the line of fire more than others and are adversely affected by the heat, while other parts are exposed to the elements, thereby causing them to wear out faster. Either way, these parts will need to be replaced at one point or another.
Once you’ve had your fill of all that Placer County has to offer, and it’s time to return home, you want to ensure that you’re returning to a home that’s safe. Your chimney and dryer vent systems need regular maintenance to continue operating at peak levels. If you live in beautiful Placer County, let A to Z Chimney Services take care of all of your chimney and dryer vent needs. We look forward to serving you for years to come.