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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

Spring Is the Time for Dryer Vent and Chimney Cleaning

Did you know that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 211 Safety Standard suggests that people get their vents and chimneys cleaned at least once a year? One of the reasons for this is because the winter is tough on ventilation systems. Heating your home can leave your vents vulnerable to messes and clogs, potentially leading to fire and toxic gas hazards. That’s why we at Old Smokey’s believe that the spring is an excellent time to schedule your annual vent and chimney cleaning.

Dryer Vents

Dryer vents are used to channel hot air created in your dryer outside of your home. Although you have a lint trap in your dryer, little pieces of lint can still make it past the trap and get lodged in your dryer vent. Over time, lint can build up enough to actually clog your dryer vent. This can greatly lower the drying efficiency of your clothes dryer, raising your energy costs. Clogged dryer vents can also be hazardous, with one of the most severe possibilities being having toxic carbon monoxide gas leak into your home, instead of venting outside. Furthermore, since warm air isn’t able to leave your dryer, it can easily become overheated, starting a lint or dryer fire.

Chimneys

Your chimney can accumulate a fair amount of creosote over the winter. Creosote is formed when non-combusted gases produced from burning wood condensate on chimney walls, creating a blackish tar. This tar is called creosote. As more and more creosote accumulates, it can start to affect your chimney’s airflow. This can cause poor burning fires and may lead to smoke entering your home. Creosote is also combustible and could start a dangerous chimney fire that is almost impossible to put out.

Hire a CSIA-certified chimney sweep

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) suggests having your chimney and vents inspected and cleaned by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep annually. Only a CSIA-certified chimney and vent technician has the knowledge and experience to properly inspect and clean your chimney and dryer vents. At Old Smokey’s, we require that all of our technicians be CSIA certified. This is because we know that the safety of your family is on the line, and we want our technicians to have the best training possible.

Spring is just around the corner and now is a great time to have your chimney and dryer vents inspected by a CSIA-certified chimney technician. Let us help you with your spring cleaning! If you are ready for an appointment, please call Old Smokey’s at 260-424-0009 or schedule an appointment online today!

Reduce fire hazards this holiday season

As you listen to Nat King Cole croon his venerable and frequently played holiday classic, be sure you roast your chestnuts carefully. Although most people probably do not roast chestnuts over an open fire, some do. How do you roast chestnuts so as to avoid any potential fire hazards?

This is just the sort of conversation Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney enjoys. As fireplace and chimney pros, we are glad to share our experience and knowledge – wherever your interests take us.

Reducing Fire Hazards This Holiday Season - Fort Wayne IN - Old Smokey's Fireplace and Chimney

Roasting chestnuts became a favorite activity because of the sweet aromas that waft through the house and their succulent taste. Most people today roast chestnuts in the oven. But if you go all-traditional and use your hearth or fireplace to roast chestnuts, avoid a fire hazard by paying attention. Don’t leave them unattended. Don’t leave them over the flame for much more than 5 minutes each side. Reduce potential for any fire hazard by tending your fireplace carefully. (A glass door or metal screen is a valuable and practical accessory in this instance.)

From our decades of satisfied customer feedback, Old Smokey’s knows that best practices and preventive maintenance go hand-in-hand to reduce the chance of fire hazards in your home – during the holidays or at any other time.

What about burning all that torn and crumpled holiday wrapping paper? Although it may be a common practice, burning wrapping paper poses some risks. For one thing, ink from some wrapping paper may give off toxic fumes. Additionally, paper burns quickly and often produces a high flame. This high flame might possibly reach into the chimney and cause built-up creosote to catch fire. Another hazard of burning paper is that embers might conceivably rise up from the chimney and escape, posing a fire hazard. Simply recycling used wrapping paper is your safest alternative.

A key to preventing these sorts of problems is your annual fireplace and chimney inspection. If you are concerned about creosote build-up or the formation of any combustible residues, get your chimney and venting systems inspected. Old Smokey’s abides by standards and recommendations of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). We perform professional chimney inspections, chimney sweeping and chimney repairs, if needed. (And if embers really are escaping from your chimney, we can correct the problem safely and effectively.)

Reduce holiday fire hazards by following a few common-sense suggestions. Though it may seem perfectly obvious, certainly do not toss your cut Christmas tree or holiday wreath into your fireplace. It’s impractical and too risky a move.

Finally, before you wash and dry all your holiday linens and tablecloths, make sure your dryer vent is clean and clear and up to the task. Consider having Old Smokey’s take a look to make sure that lint build-up does not pose a threat of fire.

We are here all year round. Call us at 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539 to ask us a question or schedule an appointment. In the meantime, we wish all our friends and neighbors, including former customers and would-be customers, the happiest and safest of holidays.

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