Total Chimney Care's Blog

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

Upgrade Your Drafty Fireplace With a Wood Insert

A fireplace is a welcome addition to any home. It provides a focal piece, a sense of style and a beautiful, glowing warmth in the winter. Warmth, that is, unless you have a traditional, open-hearth fireplace. These fireplaces can actually be a drain on your home, allowing cold drafts to blow down the chimney and as much as 8 percent of your home’s heated air to flow out up and out of the chimney on cold days. Fortunately, there’s a compromise between the beauty of a traditional wood-burning fireplace and the desire to efficiently heat your home: A wood-burning fireplace insert. In fact, installing an efficient wood-burning fireplace insert in your existing open-hearth fireplace can reduce your home’s heating bills by 40 percent.  Here’s how.Upgrade Your Fireplace With a Wood Insert - Fairfield CT - Total Chimney

Sealing the gap

One of the most basic ways a wood-burning fireplace insert lowers your energy bills is by sealing the gap of your fireplace. An open-hearth fireplace creates a giant hole in your home. Even with a damper, warm air from your home fills the fireplace and flows up the chimney. An open-hearth fireplace is comparably to having an open window in your home in the coldest temperatures. A fireplace insert seals the gap of your fireplace. With an insert, the heating system is entirely closed, and the door seals tightly, making it impossible for the air from your home to enter the fireplace and leave through the chimney.

Heat-generating technology

Wood-burning fireplace inserts are high-tech heating equipment. Over the last 25 years, manufacturer’s have put a lot of time into researching ways to make wood-burning inserts, fireplaces and stoves burn more efficiently and generate more heat. Some models include catalytic converters to increase the intensity of the fire and the heat output of the fireplace. The units also contain a series of blowers to ensure that the heat that’s generated from the fire is pumped back into your living space.

Radiation

One of the simplest ways a wood-burning insert can increase the heat output of your fireplace is the concept of radiation. The glass doors of a wood-burning fireplace are made to absorb as much of the heat from the fireplace as possible. That glass then radiates the heat out to the nearby air, helping your home to capture even more of the cozy warmth of your wood-burning insert.

If you’re ready to transform your open-hearth fireplace from an energy drain to an energy generator, stop by the Cozy Flame, the retail branch of Total Chimney Care! Our fireplace experts can help you pick out the perfect wood-burning fireplace insert for your home, which can then be installed by one of Total Chimney Care’s trained and certified fireplace technicians. Total Chimney Care can have you enjoying more warmth — and lower energy bills — this winter.

By Steve Sobczak on September 17th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Gas or Wood Burning Logs?

Converting a Wood Burning Fireplace to Gas Logs: Advantages and Disadvantages

Ever since gas logs became an option in the average home, homeowners have debated whether or not this is really a better option than their wood burning fireplaces. There are many important things to take into consideration before making this important decision. There are advantages and disadvantages to each but in the end, it is a matter of preference and a choice that each homeowner needs to make for themselves.

The most obvious advantage of a fireplace with gas logs is that it is extremely convenient. The fireplaces simply need to be turned on and it is possible to have a roaring fire in just moments. Some models require people to reach in and turn a knob, while others create a fire with the push of a remote control button. As soon as the family wants a fire, they can have one and do not have to wait for logs to catch and for the fire to really get going.

Photo of: gas fireplace

Gas logs are a click away from heating the room.

Another reason that many people enjoy a gas burning fireplace is that they no longer need to deal with the mess of burning logs. This includes the need to purchase or gather firewood as well as the need to season it well in advance. In addition, a fireplace with gas logs does not create any ash that needs to be cleaned out after each fire. This makes day to day maintenance of the fireplace much easier than when it burns real, wooden logs.

In addition to being convenient and easy to use, fireplaces with gas logs do a much better job of heating the home than their traditional counterparts. They create a great deal of heat, which spreads throughout much of the home. This can help reduce the energy bill because it is not necessary to run the heat as often during the cold months. However, it is important to keep in mind that most models are not capable of heating the entire home.

A fireplace with gas logs will not create the same smell as a wood burning fireplace. For some people, this may be an advantage, especially if they are very sensitive to the smell of smoke. However, for some people, the smell of a fire burning is extremely nostalgic and one of the things they most look forward to when the weather turns cool. Those who are emotionally invested in the sound and smell of a traditional fire should consider this before installing gas logs.

Homeowners should not install fireplaces with gas logs if they think it will reduce the amount of annual maintenance on their fireplace. Regardless of the type of logs in the fireplace, it is important to have an annual inspection. This will help ensure that the fireplace is in safe, working order and that there are no potential problems on the horizon. The chimney and fireplace should still be checked out by a licensed chimney sweep at the beginning of every cold weather season.

There are many advantages to a fireplace with gas logs but there are also many reasons that people choose to keep their wood burning fireplaces. A gas fireplace is much more convenient but it lacks the traditional smell and sounds that many people have come to associate with a cozy winter night at home. Before making a decision, be sure to consider all of the options and to keep up with regular fireplace maintenance.

By Steve Sobczak on August 9th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment