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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

What You Need to Know About Chimney Fire

Because of their increased heating efficiency, many people have switched to using fireplaces, inserts, or stoves to supplement their homes heating needs. However, if these heating systems are not well maintained, they have the potential to turn into a fire hazard. Whatever type of appliance you operate, if your chimney isn’t being swept regularly, there is potential for a chimney fire. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), more than 20,000 residential house fires every year can be traced back to the chimney. One of the most unfortunate things about this statistic is that most of these fires could have been prevented with some maintenance and upkeep. At Old Smokey’s we want to raise awareness about chimney fires and help you understand how you can protect your home from them.

Chimney Fires 

Burning any type of fuel releases smoke, soot and gas byproducts, but wood tends to release more of that then other fuel sources such as natural gas. As these byproducts go up your chimney, they start to cool down and condenses on the inside of your chimney. This condensation will start to accumulate, forming a thick, black, tar-like substance called creosote. If enough creosote builds up, it can combust at high temperatures, creating a chimney fire that is nearly impossible to extinguish. As little as a ⅛ inch of creosote buildup is considered hazardous. Although you’ll always produce creosote when you burn fuel, you can reduce the number of byproducts produced in your fire by burning seasoned wood and maintaining hot fires.

Although natural gas doesn’t produce much creosote, there are other things that can cause a chimney fire. Debris from trees, animal nests and anything else that may have fallen or blown into your chimney can also be a fire hazard. This type of debris is usually made up of wood and leaves, meaning it can combust at lower temperatures than creosote and once it ignites, it can get hot enough to start the creosote in your chimney on fire as well. 

Inspections

The most important thing you can do to decrease your chimney fire risk is to have it inspected once a year by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep. Annual inspections are critical for making sure that your chimney and fireplace is operating properly. During an inspection a chimney sweep will make sure there is no damage to your chimney and fireplace, checking all the components of your chimney system (chimney cap, chimney crown, flashing, etc.) as well. They will also make sure that there are no clogs in your chimney and that there isn’t much creosote build up. If there is, it will need to be swept clean.

If you haven’t had your chimney inspected in a while, your chimney may be a fire hazard. We are now taking appointments for spring cleaning, so call us at 800-876-6539 or 260-424-0009 or reach us online to set up an inspection with one of our chimney sweeps. We look forward to serving you!

Find Your Perfect Gas Logs

Fireplaces add value and a touch of warmth to your home’s decor, making it a good investment for any homeowner. However, ifgas logs fireplace you already have an older wood burning fireplace that doesn’t work properly, you might not think that it is worth the time to fix it. Furthermore, although wood fireplaces create a wonderful ambiance, they do take some effort to operate and maintain. The inconvenience of chopping and stacking wood, and starting a wood fire deters some homeowners from wanting to use their old masonry fireplace. If you desire an authentic looking fire, but don’t want the hassle associated with a wood fireplace, we might have a solution for you. At Old Smokey’s, have an enormous selection of gas log sets available in our showroom. These gas log sets operate with a flip of a switch and are much easier to maintain than a traditional wood burning fireplace. Depending on fuel availability, they can be more economical than their wood-burning counterparts as well.

What are gas log sets?

A gas log set is an appliance that can either be installed new, or be inserted in an existing fireplace. Gas logs consist of a set of ceramic logs and a gas burner. The burner is set up in a way that it produces large flames, similar to that of a wood burning fireplace. The ceramic logs look like real wooden logs, however, they designed to be fire resistant. The effect created when the burner is installed under the log set is a genuine looking wood fire.

Since gas log sets are designed to mimic a wood burning fireplace, they also produce about the same amount of heat as a wood burning fireplace. This usually means that they aren’t the most efficient heat producers and are generally used for heating smaller areas. This doesn’t mean a gas log set won’t keep you warm if you sit by it, but it isn’t the best option if you are trying to supplement your home heating needs. If you are looking for home heating options, look at the wide variety of heating appliances that we offer here at Old Smokey’s. 

Convenience of gas logs

Gas log sets require similar ventilation to a wood burning fireplace, however, gas log ventilation systems are much easier to maintain. Because the ceramic log doesn’t actually burn, there is only a small amount of byproduct produced from the natural gas or propane fueling it. This means that less creosote is produced compared to burning wood, and there is less to clean up during your annual inspection. With all that being said, we must stress that it is important to have your ventilation inspected annually by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep.

If you’re ready to add the warmth and convenience of a gas log fireplace to your home, call us at Old Smokey’s to get an estimate. You can reach us at 800-876-6539 or schedule an appointment online here. You can also stop by our showroom located at 220 W State St, Ashley, IN 46705 and look at our wonderful selection gas logs for yourself. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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