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Time to Get Your Chimney Swept – Seekonk, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, September 19, 2013

The cooler weather is fast approaching, and soon homeowners will begin lighting fires to warm their homes and to relax in front of. But, before you light that fire, there are some precautions you should take to make sure your fireplaces and chimneys are safe. Early fall is the perfect time to schedule a  chimney cleaning.

Fires in fireplaces, inserts or wood stoves leave a residue, called creosote, that can stick to the lining of your chimney. Creosote — created by soot, smoke, gases and other particles — is flammable, and can be the source of a dangerous chimney fire. Cleaning the chimney involves removing creosote.

Between 2005 and 2008, an average 26,900 fires annually were blamed on fireplaces, chimneys or chimney connectors.

It is recommend that you get a chimney inspection every year by a certified chimney sweep and cleaned if necessary. Cleaning a chimney is not a do-it-yourself project. It’s a dirty job, and it is risky.

Chimney sweeps are trained to determine whether chimneys are structurally sound and whether they need to be cleaned. They also will make sure the chimney is up to code, which is especially important in older houses.

Homeowners should use a certified chimney sweep. To become certified, a sweep must pass two tests: one on the inspection process and tools, and the other on the international residential code, as it applies to chimneys.

Chimney cleaners look to make sure the flue is fully safe, they make sure there are no third-degree burns of creosote on the lining. Chimney sweeps also check to see if there are any birds or animals in the chimney, or anything that would block the flow of smoke. They also check that there’s no water coming in.

When thinking of chimneys most people focus on the one attached to the fireplace. But there is also a chimney attached to your furnace. Whether they burn oil or gas, furnaces vent carbon monoxide outside into the atmosphere, and those chimneys need to be inspected also.

There are steps you can take at home to reduce creosote buildup and the risk of a chimney fire.

Foremost is picking dry wood to burn. Dry wood will appear gray on the surface and have cracks on the end.

Don’t throw pizza boxes or other trash in the fireplace because it causes a thicker smoke, which lowers the temperature in the chimney. The hotter the fire, the better and cleaner it will burn.

While many people use a newspaper to start a fire, she recommends a fire log or fire starter instead.

For more information on  chimney cleaning, contact The Fireplace Showplace.

Tax Free Weekend in MA for Fireplace Inserts, Stoves and Chimneys

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, August 08, 2013

This weekend, August 10th and 11th, is tax free weekend in Massachusetts. Seize the opportunity to take care of your home heating this winter. If you haven’t yet had your chimney cleaned, now is the time before the fall weather begins. Do you still need your pellet stove cleaned? This is your opportunity to save some money.

Gas, pellet and wood burning stoves and fireplace inserts save you money on your winter  heating bills. If you have been looking for a more efficient way to heat your home  and add ambiance, a fireplace insert or stove is the perfect solution, and they are tax free this weekend. Many homes around Seekonk have drafty or inefficient open fireplaces or older wood burning stoves. Now is the time to upgrade and increase your heating efficiency and cost effectiveness with fireplace inserts and stoves.

Regardless of if this is your year-round home or a summer get away, you will save money, increase the value of your home and decrease your heating bills by making your fireplace more efficient by adding an insert or stove or replacing an older one with a newer model.

But there is more, when you come to The Fireplace Showcase, you will save twice. We will match your tax savings. Buy a new fireplace insert or stove and save 6.25% in taxes, then save another 6.25% in cost savings, right off the sticker price. If you are considering a newer, better way to heat your come, contact us.

Chimney Cleaning for Safety – Seekonk, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chimney cleaning should be done by professionals.  Chimney sweeps are trained to inspect, clean and repair your chimneys. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that if you use your fireplace then you should have your chimney cleaned and inspected once every year to avoid a chimney fire.

Cleaning your chimney once a year means your chimney will be safe and it also ensures that it will work properly. The summer is a perfect time to have this done.  A dirty chimney is dangerous. Additionally, if your fireplace and chimney are not cleaned and inspected properly it could lead to serious health and safety issues.

The end products from burning  pellet and wood fires are gases, moisture, soot, and creosote. Creosote is an oil that comes from burning wood or pellets and it builds up over time in the chimney.  It builds up because a chimney is cooler at the top, cooling the hot air as it rises, causing the creosote to stick to the walls of the chimney and flues. Creosote is flammable. If the creosote accumulates, it can block the air vent and cause chimney fires.

If the chimney is blocked the residual gases don’t go out the chimney. This means that the some of those toxic gases could head into your living space instead, causing a health risk to you and your family.

Creosote is also highly combustible. This means that creosote build up can also cause chimney fires. To get your chimney cleaned before you need to use it again this fall, contact the Fireplace Showcase.

Time for a Chimney Cleaning - Seekonk, MA

Joseph Coupal - Friday, May 31, 2013

The warm weather is finally here. It is time to close up our stoves and fireplaces for the season and perform that seasonal maintenance. Now is the perfect time to schedule your chimney cleaning and inspection from the Fireplace Showcase in Seekonk.

If you want a safe chimney next winter, you need a clean chimney. Not only does burning unseasoned or wet wood create the need for chimney cleaning, but animals do as well. Chimneys make the perfect home for birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and bats. Chimney caps should be installed by your chimney sweeps if your home is without one.

Chimney sweeping is an unregulated business. So really, to be sure your chimney is functioning properly it should be cleaned and inspected every year. This ensures that it is safe, clean, free of blockages, and ready to use when the winter begins.  If you have taken advantage of the housing market and bought a home recently, consider a chimney inspection.

Regardless of if you choose to make use of your hearth and chimney this winter, a chimney inspection is still a great idea. This can give you piece of mind. Having an expert inspect your home’s chimney will let you know that there aren't any leaks that can cause damage to your home. Additionally Fireplace Showcase can help you make your chimney less drafty. Lower utility bills all year round, stop your air conditioned air from going out the chimney.

Chimney inspections can even help protect you from deterioration or a decaying flue liner. For more information on chimney cleaning and inspection, contact the Fireplace Showcase.