A woodstove, or “free standing stove”, is a steel unit that rests in an open area in the room. These stoves usually have a flue pipe that goes up through the ceiling and roof, or sometimes through a wall and then up the outside of the house.
An insert is the same thing as a woodstove, except that it is designed to be pushed into the opening of a regular fireplace. Inserts are required to have a steel liner attached that guides the smoke safely out the house. This liner runs up through the existing chimney.
Woodstoves and inserts sometimes make more creosote than open fireplaces, because they have a control that lets the user limit the amount of air that enters the unit. When wood burns in limited air, more creosote is formed. There is a tradeoff in this, however, because limiting the available air will make the wood last longer.
It is best to keep the air inlet open nearly all the way, and control the burn by using smaller loads of wood, more frequently added. This will keep the creosote buildup to a minimum.
Of course, both woodstoves and inserts need to be cleaned and inspected, usually more frequently than an open fireplace.
At Chimney Clean Company, in addition to cleaning and servicing free standing stoves and wood burning inserts, we also sell and install them. You can call us to get all the details and costs.
A pellet stove is a type of stove that burns wood pellets. These small round pieces of fuel are purchased by the bag, then dumped into a hopper at the top of the pellet stove. These pellets are then automatically fed one at a time into a burn pot, which supplies air and vents the burned gases out.
Pellet stoves need to cleaned and serviced regularly to keep them burning well. When they get too dirty, the glass on the door might even soot up. We clean the pipe to the outside, and also clean the inside of the stove. We can also diagnose and correct problems with the pellet stove itself.
At Chimney Clean Company, in addition to cleaning and servicing pellet stoves, we also sell and install them. You can call us to get all the details and costs.
A gas insert is a closed, glass sealed unit that has logs or stones inside, is quite efficient, provides a great deal of heat to the residence, operates with a remote control, and has a blower to get even more heat into the residence. The fireplace is sealed behind it, so no cold air comes in even when the unit is not being used.
These units are quite efficient. The remote control can be used to turn the unit on and off, raise or lower the flame, and increase or decrease the air coming from the blower.
The unit we sell and install is made by Kozy Heat. This is one of the most popular brands of gas fireplaces. The most popular model is currently the Chaska 34. You can look at it here.
We also sell and install other models made by Kozy Heat. We also have a showroom where you can look at these models for yourself. Call us at the above number and we’ll answer all your questions!
A chimney cap is a black or silver manufactured box that sits on top of your chimney. It has four major purposes:
- It prevents sparks and burning debris from getting out of your chimney onto the roof or surrounding areas. Chimney caps are sometimes called “spark arresters”.
- It keeps rain from entering your chimney. Water is very destructive to the inside of your chimney. It mixes with the creosote inside your chimney, which eats away at the mortar inside. Also, rain causes the metal parts inside your fireplace, such as the damper, to rust. A chimney cap acts like an umbrella on top of your chimney to keep out the rain.
- It keeps out birds, squirrels and other animals.
- It keeps out leaves and branches.
Chimney Clean Company sells and installs a chimney cap made by a company called Chimney Products Inc. This premium cap comes in coated steel or stainless steel, and has a warranty from the manufacturer. We have installed over 10,000 chimney caps in the Bay Area!
Every city in the Bay Area now has an ordinance that requires a spark arrester on a chimney before it is used. These ordinances were passed to ensure safe operation of our chimneys for both the homeowner and his or her neighbors.
The damper is the metal door located just above the firebox. Its purpose is to prevent cold air from entering your home when you AREN’T having a fire.
When you ARE having a fire, you want to ensure that your damper opens FULLY. This is one of the points that we check as part of our inspection. Dampers that do not fully open often cause smoke to come back into your house when you make a fire. In fact, along with needing a cleaning, faulty dampers are one of the major causes of smoking back.
Sometimes, particularly when there is no chimney cap on top to keep out the rain, your damper can become so rusted that it no longer operates. The handle of your damper can even rust off! Also, some older houses were built without dampers in the fireplace.
In these cases, we can install a “top damper”. This is a spring-loaded plate that fits inside a standard chimney cap on top of your chimney. A fire-proof cable hangs down from this damper plate, through the chimney and into your firebox below. We attach a small bracket to the side wall of your firebox, and you open and close the damper by pulling and latching this cable.
This type of damper works even better than a “standard” damper does. It can be set up to seal very tightly, and it is quite easy to operate. You can even tell whether it is open or closed just by looking at the handle, without even touching it!