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What Are the Benefits of a Wood Burning Fireplace?

Benefits of a Wood Burning FenceYour fireplace is often considered a focal point of your home. You probably know that when it comes to designing the perfect fireplace, the type of fuel will also affect the ambiance that your fireplace creates. That’s why a lot of people choose to have wood-burning fireplaces in their homes. Only a wood fire can make that soft glow and gentle crackling that inspires warmth, companionship, and romance in your home. However, did you know that there are other benefits to wood-burning fireplaces beside creating the perfect ambiance? At Old Smokey’s, we love our wood-burning fireplaces and we want to tell you why!

The Environment

Wood is one of the most environmentally friendly fuel types available. While we still have an abundant amount of fossil fuels available, these types of fuels are not renewable and will not last forever. However, because wood comes from a plant source (trees), they are renewable and will be available as long as we can grow trees. If you own a newer fireplace insert, your heating efficiency will be very high, meaning you may not need to run your gas furnace as much, which also helps cut down on fossil fuel use.

Emergency Situations

If your electricity or gas gets turned off due to a winter storm, your electric or gas heating system might not work, leaving you in the cold. However, you can still use a wood fireplace when all your power gets shut down. This can be crucial for helping you stay warm and for cooking food as well.

Cost

Depending on where you live, wood can be less expensive to use than fossil fuels. This is especially true if you live in an area where there is a lot of timber available. Furthermore, if you have access to your own timber, you may be able to work towards living an energy independent life, meaning you no longer have to pay someone else to help you stay warm.

Ambiance

Nothing enhances your home’s ambiance like a real wood fire. Whether you’re celebrating the holidays, having some family time, or cozying up with someone you love, the warm feeling of a real wood fire while you watch the flames slowly dance the night away is something that’s hard to beat.

You want to enjoy your wood burning fireplace for years to come. Remember, that wood fireplaces do need to be maintained and periodically cleaned by a CSIA certified chimney technician. At Old Smokey’s, we are fireplace experts. Call us today at 260-424-0009 or schedule your annual inspection online. Our CSIA certified chimney technicians are ready to help today!

Have Your Cap Checked/Installed Before Chimney Swifts Get Cozy

Have you ever noticed a little brown bird flying in and out of your chimney in the spring? If you have, chances are that you had a chimney swift building a nest in your chimney. Chimney swifts usually build their nests in hollowed out trees in forests. Like many animals, however,  they have adapted to urbanization by nesting inside chimneys which closely mimic their natural nesting habitat. At Old Smokey’s we know that chimney swifts can be a nuisance, but there are some important things you must consider when dealing with them.Chimney Caps Prevent Chimney Swifts Image - Fort Wayne IN - Old Smokey's

Nesting Issues

Although they may seem harmless and usually don’t occupy your chimney during the time of year when you are using your fireplace, chimney swift nests can cause all sorts of issues with ventilation and can even be a fire hazard when, in the fall, the nest drys up and fall into your flue. Even worse, if you have a metal or clay flue, chimney swifts may sometimes lose their grip and fall and get trapped in your flue killing the bird and clogging your chimney flue as well.

Nest Removal

So, how do you get rid of chimney swift nests? Chimney swift nests can be removed, however, you must take extreme caution to do so at the right time of the year. This is because chimney swifts are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 making it illegal to remove their nest when it is still being occupied. Removing a nest can bring fines and other penalties enforced by the federal government. Therefore, the best method for removing a chimney swift nest from your chimney is to have a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney technician remove the nest for you. First, a CSIA-certified chimney technician has all the correct safety equipment to handle a nest removal on top of your roof. Secondly, a CSIA-certified technician will be able to tell if the nest is still being occupied giving you peace of mind that you aren’t doing anything illegal.

Nesting Prevention

The best way to prevent a chimney swift from building a nest in your chimney is to block access to your chimney opening. This can be done by making sure you have a functioning chimney cap installed. A chimney cap prevents chimney swifts, and other animals, from entering your chimney and, therefore, prevents them from building a nest in there. Besides animals, chimney caps also prevent other things such as sticks, leaves, and moisture from entering your chimney, So, even if you aren’t worried about chimney swifts, it’s still an excellent idea to have a functional chimney cap.

Prevent chimney swifts from entering your chimney before it’s too late! Now is the time to have your chimney cap inspected and while you’re at it, you may as well have your annual chimney inspection as well. Don’t hesitate, call Old Smokey’s at 260-424-0009 or schedule an appointment online today!

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