This page lists commonly asked questions with regard to chimney cleaning, chimney repair, fireplace drafting, chimney height, smoke problems, fireplace smoke guards and other questions of interest. Our CSIA-Certified Technicians are trained to provide solutions to these problems.
Q: With the rising cost of heating, is there anything I can do to minimize heat loss in the area of my fireplace?
A. Most fireplaces/chimneys were originally built with a cast iron damper. Unfortunately these types of dampers warp and rust out over time, preventing your fireplace from becoming properly sealed. Installing a top-sealing damper can dramatically cut your energy costs by preventing cold air from ever entering your chimney because it is sealed off from the top.
Q: I’ve been noticing that there is a strong odor of soot and ashes coming from my fireplace on hot, humid days. Sometimes the odor is also strong after it rains. What’s causing this, and how can I get rid of it?
A. The first thing to do is have your chimney and fireplace cleaned if you haven’t had this done in a while. If you have recently had a cleaning, there could be some underlying problems causing the smell. These include negative air issues: making sure your damper is closed, lack of a raincap at the top of your chimney, moisture problems within the chimney, your smoke chamber may have corbelled brick (which allows creosote to build up), or your chimney could be too short which doesn’t allow enough draft to draw smoke and odors up and out.
Q: With the rising cost of fuel prices, is there anything I can do to make my fireplace more efficient?
A. There are a few options you have to increase the heat output of your fireplace. The first option is to install a wood burning insert. This option can be costly and you would lose the aesthetic value of your natural fireplace. The most economical option would be to install a cozy grate heater ™. You simply place your logs on the grate and the thermostatically controlled blower circulates the warm air into your living space. This is a very cost effective way to bring more heat into your home. Feel free to call us for more information and a free quote.
A. Insist on a Stainless Steel cap. Painted Black or galvanized caps can be ripped off by animals and will rust over time leaving ugly stains on the chimney. Stainless steel caps usually come with a lifetime warranty. Your chimney professional will be able to size and install a chimney cap for you.