Fireplace Information Blog

  1. 2 Ways to Save Money and Fight Air Pollution with Your Chimney

    Unless you live way out away from any city, you're probably concerned with air pollution. Traffic, factories, dust, pollen, mold spores, wildfires and even distant volcanoes all contribute to pollution in our air. Did you know that you could be contributing too? You aren't driving a massive diesel truck, but that doesn't mean you're eco-friendly. In fact, you may be contributing to air pollution every time you make a fire in your living room fireplace.

    The harsh truth is that home fireplaces are a factor in air pollution. Smoke forms when wood or other organic matter burns. The smoke from wood burning is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles. In addition to particle pollution, wood smoke contains several toxic air pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). It's not all bad news, though. The more efficiently you burn wood, the less smoke is created. This is where Fireside Chimney can help. 

    You can minimize your personal air pollution at the same time you reduce your fuel costs by installing a wood burning insert inside your fireplace. That's right, not only will you be living in a more eco-friendly way but you'll be saving money too. You're helping the environment at the same you're helping your own bank account. At Fireside Chimney, we sell an amazing insert, the Timberwolf EPI22-1. This fireplace insert is basically a wood stove, with the small difference being that it is designed to sit inside your fireplace rather than being a freestanding appliance. When you install this insert, the heat is then radiated out into the room. You can trust that this will make your home more energy efficient, because it is certified

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  2. Pay Attention to Your Chimney to Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

    We all want to be as energy-efficient as possible. For some people, they want to lower their eco footprint and use as few fossil fuels as possible. Others simply want to save money and recognize that "going green" is a good way to do it. After all, if you're like most people your monthly electric fee is one of your most costly bills to pay. No matter which category you fall into and why, we recommend you look at a place you may not have thought of- your chimney. Yes, your chimney could be hindering your efforts to make your home more energy efficient.

    Most houses have a standard fireplace that vents up a brick and mortar masonry chimney. As you roast marshmallows for s'mores or cozy up with a glass of wine next to a roaring fire, you don't know that your fireplace is an air polluting energy hog. Oh no! In fact, your wood burning fireplace vents not just smoke but other pollutants out the chimney. While this is happening, it is also sucking cold air into your house from outside. This air exchange process is the opposite of eco-friendly, because most fireplaces lose more heat than they gain. As well, most fireplaces do not burn wood efficiently enough to prevent dirty exhaust gases from going up your chimney. 

    This doesn't mean you need to board up your chimney and stop using your fireplace. You simply need to take action. One way you can minimize your personal air pollution at the same time you reduce your fuel costs is by installing a wood burning insert inside your fireplace. At the same time you do this, you should also install a stainless steel chimney liner to fit the insert. 

    At Fireside Chimney, we sell an amazing insert, the Timberwolf EPI22-1

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  3. How to Install a Rigid Chimney Liner Top Kit

    Installing a stainless steel chimney liner is an easy and economical way to repair a deteriorated, old, or inefficient chimney flue. Our rigid lining systems are constructed of high grade, 24 gauge, seam welded, stainless steel. They are available in 304 for wood burning and 316 alloy for all fuel applications. The smooth interior of the pipe allows for better draft and less creosote build up. This is what you need.

    Once you buy a rigid chimney liner kit online through Fireside Chimney, it will be delivered soon. Then, you'll need to install it. Is this difficult to do? Not at all! In fact, it can be done in ten steps. 

    Step #1 Get your tools. You'll need a razor knife, flat head screwdriver, caulk gun, a pair of working gloves, and safety glasses. A power drill and grinder will also be needed. That's it!

    Step #2 It's time to open up and sort of the chimney liner kit. Each rigid liner system requires the use of a standard top plate, top support clamp, storm collar, liner, rain cap and possibly a tee connector. 

    Step #3 Prepare the stainless steel chimney liner. Using your razor knife, remove the plastic wrap that the liner is coiled in. Once you have the liner out, straighten it all out.

    Step #4 Locate the vertical part of the tee and insert the liner into the top of the "female" end. Tighten the clamp at the top of the vertical part of the tee around the liner with the screwdriver. This will give you a great, tight fit without having to drill screws through the liner.

    Step #5

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  4. How to Tell if Your Chimney Damper is Open or Closed?

    Your chimney damper is located in the flue. Dampers are placed inside of the flue to help control ventilation. It keeps cold air out when a fire is not going. That's not all they do, though. Dampers also send the smoke away. Imagine your home filling up with smoke every time you light a fire! That's not all. Chimney dampers also control the intensity of your fire. As your damper is adjusted more or less oxygen flows through your fire. This allows you to make the flames as intense or subdued as you’d like. Clearly, it's really important to know whether your damper is open or closed. You don't want to start a fire with your damper closed! Here are four ways to know whether your damper is open or closed.

    #1 Visually inspect it.

    Performing a quick visual inspection is the best place to begin. Most dampers are located in the interior of the chimney’s base, so you’ll be able to crouch down and peer up inside the chimney to see it. What are you looking for exactly? It is a piece of metal that can be angled by using the knob or chain used to control it to the open or closed position. If it’s too dark, use a flashlight or the light on your phone. When peeking in, if you can see up through the damper and past to your chimney’s interior, it is open. If you only see the metal plate, the damper is closed.

    #2 Check for a draft.

    Maybe you can't see the damper or aren't sure whether it's a little open or closed all the way. A second way to know is to stick your hand near the opening of the fireplace. If you feel a breeze of air, the damper is open. If you don't feel a draft, it’s closed.

    #3 Feel for the controls.

    This is another

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  5. Should I Insulate My Chimney Liner?

    If you have questions regarding your chimney and fireside, you're certainly not alone. We are here to help you answer whatever inquiries you have! We often get questions regarding chimney liners and whether they need to be insulated or not. In order to best answer that, let's first discuss the liner itself. The primary purpose of a liner is to funnel hot gases out of your home into the outside air. This is done through the chimney stack. The liner works under negative pressure created between the difference in temperature to ensure that the harmful gases are drawn vertically up the flue system into the atmosphere. Having a stainless steel chimney liner is an incredibly important part of the fuel-burning process. This creates an even and constant flow of heat to release back into the room, while sending hot gases out of your home.

    Does it need to be insulated, though? Experts say yes! Ensuring your flexible chimney flue is insulated provides many benefits when it comes to controlling the release of hot gases. While a non-insulated chimney flue may work fine sometimes or even most of the time, you may experience issues when the surrounding air is cold. This causes a reduction in the temperature within the liner which has a potential to create condensation. Why does this matter? It impacts the efficient release of the hot gases into the outside air. You don't want to allow the moisture created by the condensation to flow back down the liner and into your wood-burning stove. If this does happen, it can cause a wide variety of issues that you'd rather avoid. At best, it impacts its overall efficiency.

    By insulating your flexible chimney liner, it will ensure that the hot gases remain hot and are safely released into the atmosphere-

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  6. What Is The Difference Between a Chimney Cap and a Fireplace Damper?

    Did you know that your fireplace and chimney have several unique and important parts to it? It isn't just a big tube going up out of the roof! There are several different pieces that are in place in order to ensure you and your family are safe and healthy. Anything that has to do with fire and smoke is worth knowing about to ensure the system is working properly. This includes understanding the chimney cap and fireplace damper and the difference between the two.

    What is a damper?

    First, let's talk about the flue. The flue is where the smoke escapes when the fire is burning in your fireplace. The damper is located in this flue. Dampers are placed inside of the flue to help control ventilation. Your damper should have a chain or handle that you can access in order to open and close it, which makes it easy to find and operate. Your damper has multiple benefits. For one, it keeps cold air out. When your chimney is not in use, the outside air can easily work its way in by coming down through the chimney if it wasn't closed off. Dampers are made to seal the chimney when fires aren’t being run, so that the cold air stays outside where it belongs. That's not all they do, though. Dampers also send the smoke away. Imagine your home filling up with smoke every time you light a fire! That is people centuries ago had to deal with before the chimney damper was developed. Today, this ingenious device can easily be opened to let smoke escape. That's not all. Chimney dampers also control the intensity of your fire. As your damper is adjusted more or less oxygen flows through your fire, thus allowing you the flames as intense o

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  7. How Chimney Dampers Can Save You Money?

    Your chimney is a lot more complex than just a chute going through your ceiling and out the roof. There are several parts that all need to be in working order. One of these is your chimney damper. If it's working the way it should be, it actually saves you money. This is something all homeowners like to hear!

    What is a Chimney Damper?

    Essentially, they let you control how much air is coming in and out. It's important for a few different reasons. Dampers are made to seal the chimney when fires aren't burning in your fireplace. You close the damper so that the cold air stays out and your home stays warm. Otherwise, your nice toasty air would be going out a big hole in your roof and all that frigid winter air would be coming in! Dampers also send smoke away. Before your fire gets going, be sure to open the damper, so that all of the smoke escapes through the chimney. Thirdly, chimney dampers help control the intensity of your fire.

    Where Is the Chimney Damper?

    Your damper should have a chain or handle that you can access in order to open and close it. The chimney damper is located in the flue. The flue is where the smoke escapes when the fire is going. Dampers are placed here to help control ventilation. 

    How can it Save You Money?

    Now that you understand a little more what the damper does, we can discuss how it saves you money. Just by looking at the definition you may have guessed. When the damper is open, it is similar to opening a window and allowing your heated air to escape to the outdoors. When your damper is closed, you're keeping all your warm air inside- right where you want it. This means savings in your monthly energy bills. The less air you waste, the less your bill will be. It really is as simple as that!

    Is Your Seal

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  8. How Do I Keep Animals Out Of My Chimney

    When it's frigid cold outside, your home is nice and toasty. This makes it very comfortable for you and your family, and makes all the little critters in your neighborhood pretty jealous. They'd love a spot to get out of the cold. If your chimney doesn't have the necessary parts to seal up tight, they can!

    How do Animals get in?

    Racoons, rats, mice, birds, and pests would love nothing more than to make a new home in your chimney. They can climb into your chimney easily if your chimney cap is missing or damaged. 

    The chimney cap sits at the top of the flue, covering and protecting the flue from both animals and the elements. The solid metal top of the chimney cap prevents water from getting in, during rain and snow. There are also mesh or wire sides that serve two purposes, letting smoke out and preventing animals from getting in.

    If your chimney cap is damaged in any way, or you don't have one at all, it will be easy for animals to get in. Small holes, dents, damaged mesh, or missing screws may seem minor to you, but that's all the invitation they need to come in. Birds, pests, and small mammals often only need a few inches of space to wiggle through. Rats and raccoons have been known to claw or bite weak areas of chimney caps to create larger holes. Once in, they're a major nuisance to get out!

    How do Animals Damage Your Home?

    Animals rarely come into your chimney empty handed. She may think your chimney is the perfect spot to create a nest and raise her babies. Dry nesting materials in the chimney can ignite if the fireplace is used, putting you at risk for chimney fire. As well, many wild animals also carry bacteria, bugs, and other diseases. You probably don't need to be told why it's a bad thing to have rats and mice get into

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  9. Should You Install Your Chimney Liner Yourself?

    Many older homes have maintenance needs that newer homes don't. This includes the chimney. If you live in a house that was built before the 1940′s, your chimney was probably built without a clay tile liner. Newer homes are typically built with prefabricated metal chimneys rather than with traditional brick and mortar ones. Even though your chimney is older and different, it is critical that the flue not have any damage that could allow your chimney to leak.

    What is the flue?

    The flu is the opening running up the inside of the chimney that carries smoke and combustion gases out of the building. It's no wonder this is so important! 

    How do I know if there is a problem?

    If an inspection by a qualified chimney professional reveals problems, you may need to have a  new chimney liner installed. In old unlined chimneys, missing or cracked bricks or mortar can make the chimney leak. That is why it needs to be checked once a year. Don't worry if your inspector finds damage. Most damage can either easily be repaired or replaced.

    Can I replace it myself?

    If you are handy with tools and have a good understanding of how fireplaces and chimneys work, you may be able to do most of the liner work yourself. That being said, you'll probably need a helper. An assistant will be incredibly helpful when it comes to simple parts of the job, like making sure it's straight. 

    Is there anything else to consider?

    Yes! A little know-how and the right tools are only the beginning. The first thing you need to do is check your local building and fire safety codes. In some areas, you will be required to have a licensed chimney specialist install a new liner installation for you. If you find that it is p

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  10. 4 Styles of Chimney Caps

    Chimney caps are a very important chimney product because they actually serve several purposes. Putting a chimney rain cap on top of your chimney prohibits deterioration on the inside from the elements, including both snow and rain. Using a chimney cap, also known as spark arrestors, prevents hot sparks from escaping from the chimney and landing on an area that could cause a fire. This includes your roof, of course. Beyond these, chimney caps also keep birds, squirrels, rats, mice, bats and other animals from making a nest inside of your chimney or using the chimney as a gateway to enter your home. Wow, all of a sudden- it's pretty clear to see why you need to buy a chimney cap online!

    As soon as you begin shopping, you'll realize that not all chimney caps are the same. You have options! A few of the most popular include:

    Round Clamp Chimney Caps These chimney caps have a single easy clamp fastening system and are available in multiple sizes. They are designed to fit round terra cotta flue tiles or metal liners. 

    Weathershield Chimney Cap. If you live somewhere with heavy precipitation, this is the option for you. The Weathershield Chimney Cap (WSA-TDW) enhances your chimney's performance.

    It will keep out rain, snow, and any other outside elements from entering your chimney. The stainless steel construction will provide rust-free performance for years, no matter how wet it gets. Should you need to provide maintenance of any kind, the top of the cap is removable so it's easy to do. The wire mesh screen provides a measure of safety helping to contain sparks. If you like this option, there's also a conversion

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