Total Chimney Care's Blog

Does An Oil-Burning Appliance Need A Chimney Sweeping?

Many people ask: If I have an oil-burning heating appliance, does it need as much care and regular maintenance as other fuel types? Our answer is always yes! Just like any other chimney, an oil-burning flue needs to be inspected at least once per year, after which the expert can determine if a sweeping is then necessary.

Regular care and maintenance ensures your system stays functioning as safely and as efficiently as possible, and it guarantees other parts of your chimney don’t break down and deteriorate, as well. All in all, if you’re due for some insight, then it’d be a good idea to reach out to our team as soon as you can. We’re here for you every step of the way!

What Happens If Sweepings Are Put Off?

So, why exactly is avoiding maintenance such an issue? Well, over time (and especially throughout the colder, winter months), soot builds up in your oil-burning appliance, and the more you have of it, the higher your chances will be of experiencing issues with draft and airflow. Before you know it, your flue will be really blocked up, and these clogs can lead to efficiency problems, as well as cause dangerous fumes to enter your home.

One example of the dangers a homeowner might face comes in the form of carbon monoxide. If this colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas is given the opportunity to flow back into your home, it is only a matter of time before loved ones will need medical attention. The longer symptoms are ignored, the higher the likelihood is of things turning fatal, so we advise all customers to leave their home immediately and seek medical attention if you experience the following ailments: dizziness, confusion, nausea, headaches, chest pain, vomiting, weakness, or other flu-like symptoms.

Unfortunately, these symptoms are not always clear, and it can be hard to know whether or not this gas is present until matters take a turn for the worse. Practice extra caution by having carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home. Because this gas is impossible to detect with basic human senses, these devices play a big role in saving countless lives every year, and they will quickly alert you should air levels become concerning.

Along with all this, restricted airflow will lead to inefficiency, as your system is forced to work much harder than normal to function normally. This results in less heat for your home and higher energy bills – a lose-lose! In the end, your system will experience a lot of strain and wear and tear, and the lifespan of the unit will shorten quite a bit.

As you can see, it’s a lot better for your health, comfort, safety, and wallet to simply invest in the care you need now! Our crew is standing by and ready to be of service. There’s no team better to trust, so call right away.

My Oil Burner Technician Already Stopped By – Am I Good To Go?

A lot of time homeowners assume that since their oil burner technician was already out to their home and looked things over that everything is okay. We understand why you would assume this, but unfortunately, it doesn’t mean your chimney is free of debris and build-up, and you could still very likely be at risk.

They may have removed some debris from one area, and they might have even informed you that you have nothing to be concerned about, but the truth is that they simply do not have the training to properly assess your chimney, and it would be unwise to follow their advice. When it comes to flues and chimneys, it’s always best to rely on a CSIA certified professional to handle it all and, fortunately for folks throughout New Haven and its surrounding cities, Total Chimney Care is trained, equipped, and ready to serve.

Need A New Liner?

Now, in extreme cases where a thorough sweeping just won’t do it, we will recommend investing in a new liner altogether. Having this installed correctly and ensuring it is appropriately fitted is vital, as even a small mistake or minor mishap could lead to even more damage (and another big dent in your bank account}.

Ensure the job gets done right the first time by trusting in our team. We can make recommendations based upon your specific needs and budget, and we carry stainless steel liners, too, if you’re looking to get the long-lasting, high-quality protection you deserve. When it comes to oil-burning units, we really know our stuff, and we can assure you there is no better techs to trust than the ones here at Total Chimney Care! Call today, and we’d be happy to get you started.

More About Our Team

Above all else, we strive to be a business that always puts customer satisfaction at the top of our list of priorities, and you can best we take every possible course of action to improve ourselves and be the best that we can be. In a field that is constantly updating techniques, regulations, tools, technologies, and more, it’s important to stay up-to-date and on top of it all, and thanks to our association with the CSIA, the NCSG, Angie’s List, and more, we always know the best way to approach your chimney-related concerns.

There’s no time to lose, so set up your appointment today. We’d love to help you out soon!

By Steve Sobczak on March 23rd, 2020 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Issues That Occur With A Faulty Chimney

Has your chimney and fireplace been showing signs of damage, inefficiency, and/or poor airflow? It may be time to have things looked over! The worse any issues become, the more problems you are prone to experience, and in the end your home, family, and fireplace could face some serious risks. Learn more about these scenarios below, then reach out to our team right away, so that we can do everything possible to help you avoid any dangers. Total Chimney Care has got your back through it all!

smoke

Smoke In Your Home

The last thing anyone wants to experience when lighting a fire is smoke billowing out of the firebox and into their living space. This can have a big impact on the health of loved ones, especially if there are young children or infants in the home, and it is especially threatening to those with asthma or other breathing-related struggles.

On top of all this, smoke leaves an unpleasant aroma in the space, and the smell tends to seep into carpet, rugs, curtains, blankets, and furniture, making it harder than ever to get rid of. All in all, smoke in the home is something to avoid at all costs!

There are a lot of reasons why smoke might be entering your home whenever you try to light a fire. Things like a closed damper, unseasoned firewood, or a cold flue are easy to address, but if there are bigger issues at hand, the help of a certified technician will be necessary. Call us in, and we can check for build-up or damages. In some cases, the structure of the chimney needs to be modified, in which case some reconstruction work will be in order.

No matter what the problem is, the crew at Total Chimney Care can find the issue and get you the help you need. Get on the phone with our experts today, so that we can get this process started!

Excess Creosote

Another problem that occurs when there are problems throughout a chimney is excess creosote accumulation. The more creosote you have, the more problems you’ll have with air flow, and your chances of experiencing a chimney fire will increase, too. All in all, keeping creosote deposits to a minimum is always the best route to take, but problems with your structure can make this challenging.

One thing that encourages creosote to form is poor draft. Regularly clearing your flue out is essential, as is ensuring you are set up with everything you need to encourage airflow to effectively travel through your structure’s openings. Let us check things over to ensure you are totally equipped to light fires in a manner that is safe and efficient – and we’d be more than happy to answer any questions you have along the way!

Less Heat In Your Living Space

Fireplaces add a great ambiance to your home, and they create a beautiful focal point that helps bring any living space together. That being said, they aren’t just there for decoration! When used correctly, a fireplace can pour a lot of heat into your home, giving you the power to lower your energy bills and bring your loved ones closer together. Unfortunately, some fires don’t burn as hot as others, and the way your system is set up can have a big impact on this.

Burning well-seasoned wood and ensuring your damper is open wide are two things you can do to get more heat from your fires, but sometimes these steps still don’t cut it. The amount of debris and creosote throughout your flue can play a big role in how hot your fires burn, as can the set-up of your structure. These are things that need to be tackled by a professional to ensure the best results possible.

Increased Risk Of House Fires & Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Now, a faulty chimney can make any fireplace experience less than ideal, but by not addressing problems throughout the structure, you actually put your home and family at risk, too. Any cracks, gaps, and openings give heat and flames easy access to adjacent woodwork, and putting your home at great risk of a fire.

Along with this, carbon monoxide could easily enter through these same areas, putting your loved ones at great risk. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, making it next to impossible to detect, and exposure can result in serious illness or death. This gas causes thousands to visit the hospital every year and is known for causing hundreds of deaths annually, too.

When it comes right down to it, there is simply no point in taking any risks, especially when scheduling an inspection with our team is as easy as making a quick phone call. You can even request an appointment online through our website! All in all, we want our customer base to feel as safe and as protected as possible, all while being able to enjoy their fireplace to the fullest anytime they wish.

Ready to work with a team that always puts your needs first? Reach out today. We’re eager to hear from you!

By Steve Sobczak on February 10th, 2020 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

Are You Ready For Your Burning Season?

Are the dropping temperatures putting you in the mood to light a fire? When the chilly winds of fall arrive, there’s no better spot to be than curled up inside next to a warm, crackling flame. Guarantee yourself peace of mind and comfort by ensuring your fireplace and chimney are all set and ready for use. Our team is here to help with it all!

Schedule An Inspection

First things first, get that annual inspection on the calendar. Our team of CSIA certified technicians are able to perform all three levels of chimney inspections, so we can help you out, no matter what. We have the tools, know-how, and equipment necessary to get a thorough and in-depth look, and we can suggest further maintenance based upon our findings. If you want to know where your chimney stands, this is the way to learn.

Address Damages & Build-Up

If our inspection reveals obstructions, creosote build-up, crumbling masonry, damaged chimney parts, or anything else of concern, then it is important to resolve all issues before lighting any fires. While this may mean putting off the start of your burning season for a bit, it is really the only option. Operating a damaged or clogged chimney would put your home and family at serious risk of gas exposure and fires.

Check Your Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Once you have the go-ahead to put your appliance to use, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working appropriately before getting a fire going. These devices have saved countless lives over the years, alarming people of potential threats all throughout the night and day. If there’s smoke or poisonous gas in your home, your detectors will be sure to let you know.

Fuel Up

Do you have a wood-burning fireplace, stove, or insert? Then, finding the right fuel is essential! Never use unseasoned wood or garbage as this encourages the accumulation of creosote, and it makes your fires a lot more smokey, too. Rather, invest in well-seasoned logs that have been drying out for at least six months. These pieces should be lightweight, split and dark at the ends, shorter in length, and will make a hollow, “clunking” noise when smacked against each other.

Rely On Us

If you want to guarantee a successful burning period this fall and winter, the best way to do so is to rely on our experienced and qualified team. We’ve been serving the area for over 20 years now, and it’s clear that we are passionate about keeping homes and families as safe and as comfortable as possible.

Ready to work with a team that you can trust in for many years to come? Reach out today. Total Chimney Care is ready to have your back through it all!

By Steve Sobczak on October 6th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Firebox Repairs & Rebuilds

Do you know the area of your fireplace where the fires actually burn? That place is called the firebox and, whether you have a wood-burning unit or a gas-fueled appliance, keeping your firebox in tip-top shape is a must.

Firebox Rebuild and repairs

This piece of chimney anatomy takes on a big role by hosting your cozy fireplace fires, and it faces a lot of heat and wear-and-tear throughout the burning process. Because of this, addressing damages or structural concerns in a prompt fashion is essential. Failing to do so will keep your fireplace from operating as efficiently as possible, and it could quickly lead to some dangerous situations for your home and family, as well.

Learn more about the threats of a damaged firebox below, then count on our team to assist with any necessary repairs or rebuilds. We would love to set you up right before the fall season officially arrives!

Carbon Monoxide Exposure

A major risk involved with a faulty firebox is the increased chances of experiencing carbon monoxide exposure. Gaps, cracks, and broken down areas offer open pathways for dangerous fumes, like this one, to enter your home. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless making it nearly impossible to detect, and it has proven to be deadly when not addressed quickly.

By investing in regular maintenance for your heating devices, air duct system, and more, and by placing carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, you could make all the difference in keeping your family better protected this upcoming holiday season.

House Fires

Another big risk that comes with operating a broken down firebox is the increased risk of house fires. The same openings that poisonous gases can escape through could also provide a place for flames to escape into your household, causing any adjacent woodwork to eventually catch on fire. As you can imagine, this could result in quite a bit of property damage, which is a lot more costly to address than simply investing in an affordable fireplace repair.

Minimize your family’s risk of injury by counting on our crew to help you out with every step of this process. We’ll have you all set and ready to use your fireplace in no time!

Schedule An Inspection Today

If you are at all concerned about the condition your structure is in, then don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. As CSIA certified sweeps, we urge all homeowners to invest in an annual inspection to ensure their chimney and fireplace stay in the best shape possible year after year. If you’re ready to get yours scheduled, give us a call today. We’d love to hear from you!

By Steve Sobczak on September 8th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

How to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Hazards

How to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Hazards - Fairfield New Haven CT - Total Chimney CareAccording to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 200 carbon monoxide -related deaths occur annually, due to inadequate safety awareness in the public. Other agencies estimate that the number of deaths could be as high as 4,000. Why are these figures so high? Unlike other poisonous gases, carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, and virtually undetectable gas. It kills slowly, over time, with seemingly harmless symptoms and warning signs like dizziness or stomachache. Many homeowners don’t realize where this threat comes from or how to avoid it.

Where The Threat Lies

When winter comes, you close the windows and set the thermostat to 70 degrees. But, have you given much thought to whether or not your furnace’s chimney flue is clean and ready to properly exhaust? Today’s gas or oil heating systems might be highly efficient, but if the chimney and connector pipe are not inspected and cleaned at periodic intervals, carbon monoxide poisoning can be a very real threat. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t realize this threat, and don’t make furnace flue sweeping appointments a priority.

Why The Threat Is Higher Than Before

Even though today’s home heating systems are incredibly efficient, today’s homes are designed and built to be more air tight than ever before. The reason for this is that air tight homes help conserve energy and keep utilities low. But, there is a downside. Air tight homes don’t allow much fresh air in or much polluted air out. Without fresh air, the furnace may be starved for oxygen, which will lead to incomplete fuel burn and the production of carbon monoxide. Worse still, if the heating system’s chimney is clogged, dirty, or otherwise blocked, this carbon monoxide will seep back into the home’s air supply instead of escaping through the furnace’s exhaust system.

What Can Be Done?

The best thing to do to keep your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning low is to make annual chimney inspections and cleanings a priority in your home. Many homeowners assume that the oil or gas technician inspects and cleans the flue when delivering fuel – but this is simply not the case. So, before closing the windows for the season and cranking up the thermostat, give Chimney Saver Solutions a call! We’ll inspect your furnace’s exhaust system and remove any buildup or debris that could negatively impact its function. Call us today!

By Steve Sobczak on September 8th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment