chimney cleaning services

Wood Burning Stove Vs Wood Burning Fireplace

Winters are going strong. The warmth and coziness associated with fire in winters is something that everyone yearns for in this season. Not any ordinary fire, but wood fire. Though natural gas or propane will impart the much-needed heat, the pleasant aroma of a wood fire is what sets it apart. To have a safe fire inside your home to warm you up in the winter, you have two options before you; a traditional fireplace or a wood burning stove. Fireplace is convenient as you may already have fireplace and chimney set up in your house and you only need a regular chimney sweeping service.

What To Know About A Fireplace?

You might already know that a wood burning fireplace is a large structure inside most homes that is well-ventilated. The fireplace is traditionally made of heat resistant material like bricks or stone. You add wood to the interior of the fireplace known as the firebox which burns to light a fire. The firebox is connected to a hollow duct called the flue that is pointed towards the chimney crown. Fresh air enters the fireplace from the chimney and flue, whereas carbon monoxide escapes the fireplace through the flue of the chimney.

What To Know About A Wood-Burning Stove?

Alternatively, a wood-burning stove is an appliance that most modern homes have. It is employed for burning wood to heat interior spaces. Just like fireplaces, wood-burning stoves are a safe option to light fire. The main and basic difference lies in their construction. Fireplaces are built in the interior structure of homes whereas a wood-burning stove is mainly an appliance. Fireplaces are made of bricks, stones, and at times metals too, whereas wood-burning stoves use many prefabricated materials.

A wood-burning stove is made up of three constituents, a firebox, and a ventilation pipe, and of course, a well-maintained chimney. Out of all the three, the firebox is the most important since wood is burned here. The ventilation pipe acts as the flue for the stove and connects the firebox to the chimney. The fresh air is drawn in while the poisonous carbon monoxide gas is emitted through this ventilation pipe.

What Are The Benefits Of A Wood-Burning Fireplace?

The most notable benefit of a wood-burning fireplace is the reduction in heating bills. You can lessen your dependence on heating systems like furnaces or heat exchangers. All you need to do is light a fire inside the firebox of your wood-burning fireplace and let the heat and energy add warmth and radiance to your home. On an intensely cold winter day, you will need to turn your heat exchanger on. But it will in no way provide you with the same warmth as a wood-burning fireplace does.

A fireplace provides a cozy relaxing ambiance to homes. Many people love to sit back and watch the roaring flames as they find them therapeutic. Add to it the pleasant aroma of burning wood; you will not want to step aside from there. It is an excellent place to lounge around with pets and children while sipping some warm drinks or playing board games.

It comes as no surprise that modern homemakers consciously add this traditional artifact to their homes. If you compare the statistics, 6 out of 10 homes today have a fireplace built-in, whereas in the 1970s only 36% of homes had these installed. These findings are enough to prove their mettle. Not only are fireplaces highly functional they also add to the visual appeal of homes. Since they are in demand, they also add to the market value. What are the benefits of a wood-burning stove?

Why Use A Wood-Burning Stove?

Wood-burning stoves are not popular as fireplaces but that has nothing to do with their efficacy. They will surely keep your home warm; rather they are more successful as they turn wood to heat more effectively. Their higher efficiency is characteristic of their compact design. The smaller compact design lets more heat be projected into your home. If you use the right type of firewood, you can improve the performance of your wood-burning stove. Usually, wood-burning stoves have a small firebox. Therefore they may not accommodate many standard sized logs available in the market. Though they provide the same relaxing ambiance to lounge around like a wood-burning fireplace.

Which One Is Better?

If you need to make a final decision, most homeowners prefer a wood-burning stove because of the ease of maintenance. You need to use dry wood, not damp ones. Though it also requires the same yearly inspection and maintenance by certified fireplace and chimney contractors Columbia MD.

Read More »

Understanding Chimney Sweep And Chimney Cleaning

An improperly maintained chimney is a fire hazard. When you go for a long time without cleaning the chimney, creosote tends to build up in it. When a lot of it accumulates, it can easily catch fire thus putting your entire house at risk.

Soot has also been found to promote carbon monoxide accumulation in the house which can lead to tragic consequences.

For you to prevent fire in your house and keep yourself and your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning, you should undertake regular chimney cleaning. You can clean the unit by yourself but for ideal results, hire a chimney sweep to help you out.

What does a chimney sweep do?

The chimney cleaning professional has two roles: to clean the chimney and inspect it for any flaws it might be having.

For the contractors to clean the chimney, they have to protect the insides of the house using tarp. This is to prevent the soot and ash from spraying into the house during the cleaning process.

After this, the contractor will go up on the roof and using brushes and long rods, get rid of all the soot that might have accumulated in the chimney. After doing this, the chimney expert should use a high-powered vacuum to suck up any soot that might have been dislodged when cleaning.

Do you have a house that makes it hard to access the roof? The contractor will have to clean the chimney from the insides of the house. While this process will give you a clean chimney, in most cases its messy and most contractors avoid it.

What should you look for when hiring the chimney sweep?

When your chimney is ripe for cleaning, you shouldn’t simply rush to the nearest chimney professional that you find. You should take your time and find the right one for your needs. For you to hire the right contractor look out for these qualities:

Certifications: Many people argue that it’s the contractor who is working, not the certifications, but it would be unprofessional to work with an uncertified chimney contractor. Working with a contractor without the right certifications is like getting treated by a quack. How does that feel? Scary, I bet.

For you to have peace of mind that your chimney is being cleaned and serviced by the right professional, you should hire someone with the right certifications.

Experience: Before you hire the contractor, find out how long he/she has been cleaning chimneys. As you might have guessed, the longer the contractor has been in the industry, the better.

Insurance: Is the contractor insured. While not mandatory, you are better off working with an insured contractor. This gives you peace of mind that in the event an accident occurs during the cleaning process, the insurance company will take care of it. The last thing you want is to be required to pay a contractor because they got injured when working in your home.

Area of expertise: As mentioned, there are some chimneys that you can easily clean from the top and others from the bottom. Depending on the nature of your chimney, you should hire the right contractor.

For you to have peace of mind, work with a contractor who specifically specializes in a given method of chimney cleaning.

How often should you clean the chimney?

It’s recommended that you clean the chimney at least once a year. You can clean it more often than this if your chimney is small or you use it more often than other people. How do you tell your chimney is ripe for cleaning? All you need to do is to measure the level of creosote in the chimney.

If the level is more than 1/8”, you should go ahead and contact the chimney cleaning professional.

Chimney cleaning services Columbia MD providers observe that there are a number of things you can do to reduce the frequency at which you clean the unit. One of the things you can do is to burn seasoned hardwood. This is wood that has been air-dried for at least six months.

The wood not only produces less soot thus you don’t need to clean the chimney more often, but it also burns hotter thus producing more heat for your home.

Read More »