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Animal in Your Chimney?

While animals may sometimes be cute and fuzzy, they can cause unmeasured levels of chaos when they enter your home uninvited, especially inside of your chimney.  If you feel like you have something in your chimney, the first step is to not panic, as you could not only hurt the animal but also yourself.  For problems like these, call the professionals at A to Z Chimney.

Squirrel - Sacramento CA - A to Z Chimney Services

Why do animals go for the chimney?

One of the reasons that animals make their way into a chimney is because they think that the top of the chimney is a hollowed out tree.  Unfortunately because the inside of the chimney is slick, once an animal is inside only a few can make their way out.  Some animals do instead choose to go inside of the chimney to make their homes.  You can tell what kind of animal is in the chimney by the sounds that they make and the noises they make while trying to escape the chimney.  Also, you may hear multiple animals if they have nested and had offspring.

How can you prevent the animals from getting inside?

Chimney caps are the best way to prevent animals from getting inside of your chimney.  Chimney caps are a piece of metal, mesh cover and that has a solid top.  However, before you have these installed you should have an inspection to make sure that there are no animals currently present.  Aside from this, chimney caps can also help keep rainwater out of the chimney and prevent it from rusting the inside.

How do you remove an animal that is in the chimney?

If you think that there is an animal on the inside of the chimney, you should not try to remove it on your own.  If the animal gets frightened it could run and get loose in your home.  Also, animals carry many diseases, which could be given to you.  Many people think that they could flush an animal out with flames and smoke, but this could cause severe burns to the animal, especially if they are physically unable to get out on their own. Bottom line: don’t try this on your own. Call us and we will be happy to advise the best way forward. Dial (916) 850-2446 today to schedule an appointment for animal removal from your chimney with the CSIA certified pros of A to Z Chimney Services in Sacramento, CA.

Yuck! My Fireplace Stinks!

Solving the Odor Problem in Your Fireplace

Do you smell foul odor in your fireplace? Have you ever wondered why this is happening even though you haven’t really been using the fireplace that much? If you HAVE yourself a stinky situation where the fireplace is concerned, then you had better do something about it right away. A sweeping may be in order.

Stinky Fireplace - Sacramento CA - A to Z Chimney Services

Although the smell is bearable, it can be dangerous to your health. The smoke that was supposed to go out of your chimney and disperse in the air will be able to silently wander around your house. At first, you might think of it as the least of your worries not knowing the harmful toxins it brings which can be life-threatening to you and your family. That is why it is vital to address the problem as soon as possible.

The Causes

There are a number of factors that could create the foul odor. First of all, you have to make sure that the smell is occurring within your fireplace and chimney and not elsewhere. A professional chimney sweep can do the job for you. They will take a good look at it and assess what the root cause of the stench.  The presence of bird nests, spider webs, rotting animals and fallen leaves on top or inside your chimney flues can clog up the passageway where the smoke is supposed to escape from. You might need immediate and thorough cleaning if you are faced with that kind of problem.

Another factor that can cause a stinky fireplace is the build-up of creosote and soot, combined with humid and moisture in your chimney. This happens when snow or rain and anything that has water accumulate in the inside of your chimney flues. Negative air pressure can also lead to an unpleasant smelling chimney. During the winter holidays, people would prefer for doors and windows to be closed thus the limited availability of clean, fresh air to enter the home.

The Solution

Placing chimney caps on top of your chimney will definitely do the trick. This prevents water from seeping into the stone masonry walls of the chimney and to areas that cannot be reached even for professional chimney sweeps. Also, avoid negative air pressure by simply closing your damper when you’re not using your fireplace.

At this point, you know you’re looking for the perfect person to do the job for you. Call the approachable licensed professional sweeps of A to Z Window Screens, Chimney Sweep, & Dryer Vent Cleaning Company. They have the perfect combination of services to not only care for your fireplace but your home as a whole. With them, you can kiss your stinky fireplace goodbye and say hello to a fully functional odorless fireplace.

Carbon Monoxide Dangers

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a toxic gas that is colorless and odorless gas that can cause illness or death. Carbon monoxide is released during any type of combustion or fire. In and enclosed space, any type of burning or combustion, such as that from a gasoline engine, can quickly build up to toxic levels. CO is emitted from stoves, fireplaces, gas ranges, lanterns, or any type of open flame or combustion is occurring.


Carbon monoxide is emitted from stoves, fireplaces, gas ranges, lanterns, or any type of open flame or combustion is occurring. CO then enters the lungs and bonds with the blood cells, thereby preventing true oxygen, O2, from entering the bloodstream. During your annual inspection, a certified sweep will check for any obstructions in your chimney.


The United States Centers for Disease Control name these symptoms as possible carbon monoxide poisoning:

Carbon Monoxide Headache - Sacramento CA - A to Z Chimney Services

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest Pain
  • Confusion

Symptoms are similar to other illnesses, so it is important to be examined by a medical professional. They can perform simple tests to confirm or rule out carbon monoxide poisoning.


The first step in prevention is Carbon Monoxide detectors. Every home needs one, even if you do not heat your home with gas or open flame. Most modern smoke detectors also have a carbon monoxide detector, but always make sure. If you are unsure about your detectors or look old, replace them with ones for sure that do. There are even separate carbon monoxide detectors that can be placed in other areas, like garages or other enclosed spaces, which will give a good sound warning when levels are reaching toxic levels.

The second step in prevention is using carbon monoxide common sense and follow these steps:

  • Have your heating system, water heater, or any other burning appliance  inspected and serviced every year
  • Ensure your chimney damper opens properly and free and your chimney system is inspected and serviced every year
  • Ensure all burning appliances are vented properly and not level. Vent pipes should move uphill and never be parallel to the ground.
  • Never patch a vent pipe with gum, tape, or other material
  • Do not use flameless chemical or catalytic heaters indoors. These release CO.

In case of a power outage, follow these steps for proper fire and carbon monoxide safety:

    • Never use a gas range or oven for room heating
    • Never use a charcoal grill indoors
  • Never use a portable gas camp stove indoors
  • Never use a generator indoors, a basement, a garage, or near a window, door, or vent. Outside is the only safe place for a generator.
  • Always use flame type heaters in a well-ventilated area or with a properly working CO monitor.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is as dangerous to health as fire and should be treated seriously and can be prevented with these few simple steps. Visit the Center for Disease Control for more information.