Our Company Blog

Schedule a Holiday Chimney Cleaning for Santa!

Your holiday spirit may be dampened by only one thing: a dirty chimney. Not only can it be ugly, stinky, and unsafe, but it can also ruin the night of the Jolly Elf himself–Santa! Making sure that you get a chimney sweep scheduled now will mean a clean chimney for Christmas.

Why Clean the Chimney
A dirty chimney is a dangerous chimney. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)  recommend routine chimney maintenance for the safest and most efficient chimneys. A chimney works all winter long to vent your fires, and the fireplace is most popular during the holiday season. Don’t neglect yours! Schedule a chimney sweep to help your chimney work properly, to have the best and most beautiful fire possible, and the warmth you most want.
Soot and Creosote – If not cleaned away, soot and creosote can build up in the chimney interior, resulting in a dangerous mass that can ignite at any time. A chimney professional can clean these materials away before they become a problem, and can even remove glazed creosote without damaging the liner at all.
Unwelcome Odors – A dirty chimney will undoubtedly produce some unwelcome smells that may ruin your holiday gatherings and festivities. It may start with just the smell, but you soon may have a smoky fireplace that pushes smoke into your home more than heat.
Ashes, Stains, and Difficult Fires – Your hearth is the focal point of your home year-round, but during the holidays it is brought to new life! Your fireplace will be the backdrop to all of your holiday festivities, gatherings, and photo-ops. A good cleaning will remove ashes, prevent stains, and help your fireplace produce a beautiful, vibrant, and warm fire.

Call the Professionals
If you’re ready to invest in your home and your holidays by scheduling a chimney sweep, make sure you hire a certified professional who can get the job done right. At Chief Chimney Services, you can count on the best experience possible. We keep your home clean by using drop clothes, tarps, and a high-powered vacuuming system. We’ll clean your chimney system with brushes and tools that do the job while protecting your system from damage. We’ll also make sure you’re notified of any damages–minor or major–and recommended repairs or services.

It might be Santa in coming weeks, but it’s your family that depends on a well-working fireplace all winter long. Your chimney will only work as well as it’s treated, and we treat chimneys with the best at Chief Chimney Services.

Call and schedule a sweep with one of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps today. Call 631-863-2460 or request an appointment online.

By John Pilger on December 14th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Chimney Draft and Smoking Problems

The last thing you want this winter is a drafty chimney. It can waste heated air and fuel, cost you dearly in heating bills, and even lead to health issues that can affect your family. If your chimney is smoky or drafty, there is usually a reason why–a problem to be solved–and we can help. Calling a chimney professional is your first step to a well-working chimney system, a warm hearth, and a safe fire. Chief Chimney Services is the #1 choice for comprehensive chimney care in Suffolk County and beyond. We can help diagnose your chimney problems and even help you troubleshoot by phone.

How the Chimney WorksWe can help with chimney drafting and smoking issues

Constant airflow keeps your chimney working correctly. For a fire to burn it must have fuel and oxygen. The fuel is the wood, pellets, or gas and the oxygen is drawn from the home. Some appliances draw air and vent air through a wall. These units will not have smoke or drafting issues because they’re closed units.A traditional fireplace with a draft issues will be difficult to light, keep lit, or will be very smoky. Oftentimes, homeowners can troubleshoot a smoky fireplace themselves, but when it can’t be fixed, it’s time to call a professional.

Common Causes for a Smoky Chimney

1. A Faulty Damper
It may be that your damper is just in the wrong position. However, if you’re using the damper correctly and your fireplace is still smoky, it may be damaged. The damper is made of metal and will rust and deteriorate over time. It can also become clogged with creosote and soot that keeps it from working properly. If the damper is engaged and the fire is burning, the smoke and carbon monoxide is not able to vent properly and can lead to serious health concerns and even death. Let the damper be the first thing you check and schedule a repair right away!
2. Green or “Wet” Firewood
Your firewood should be properly seasoned before burning. Properly seasoned firewood is wood that has been cut and stored for 3 to 6 months before being burned. It is easier to light, burns more completely, and burns warmer than wet wood. If you burn wood that isn’t properly seasoned, it will undoubtedly produce more smoke than heat. That means the heat is not enough to carry the smoke up the chimney.
3. A Neglected Flue
Your chimney will not work as well when it isn’t cleaned on a regular basis. Failing to schedule regular sweeps will allow soot and creosote to build-up in the flue system, slowing airflow, and causing smoke to stall in the system where it cools and falls back into the fireplace. If your chimney isn’t cleaned before burn season, it may also have debris in it that can slow airflow and even ignite a fire in the system.

The problem that causes your fireplace to smoke may be a serious construction issue. The flue may be sized incorrectly, the chimney may be too tall, and there may be serious damage that prevents the draft from working properly. Don’t assume you know the problem. Call the professionals who have seen it all.

Call on Chief Chimney Services at 631-863-2460.

By John Pilger on November 30th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

A Fully-Functioning Fireplace for the Holidays

One of the best things about the holiday season is chestnuts on an open fire and hanging stockings on the mantle. The fireplace is so popular during the holidays that popular television providers even have a fireplace channel through the season. It’s about more than heat–it’s about ambiance, relaxation, light, and warmth. You can have a fully-functioning fireplace for the holidays when you get started today.

Types of Fire AppliancesHave a fully-functioning fireplace this holiday season!

Homeowners today can choose from a variety of high-efficiency fireplace that comes in styles from contemporary to traditional, and everything in between. At Chief Chimney Services we sell, install, and service the best-manufactured fireplaces on the market, offering only the best to our customers in and around Suffolk County.
Rumford Fireplaces Taller and shallower than other types of fireplaces, these exquisite designs put out high levels of heat. They have less smoke problems than many traditional fireplaces due to their shape, and their size makes them the focal point of any room. These fireplaces made their debut in the 1790’s and have only improved since then.
Bellfire Fireplaces These high-efficiency fireplaces take wood-burning fires to the next level. They are designed for the hottest temperature to be housed in the back. The unit reflects heat back into the fireplace to help burn wood completely and efficiency and raise the temperature, and then reflects the heat back into the room. This system burns the fuel more efficiently and cuts down on almost all pollution. Bellfire Fireplaces are even safer than many traditional models.

Professional Installation

When you choose to work with a professional, you can have the peace of mind knowing that your insert, stove, or custom fireplace is sized perfectly for your space, is code-compliant, and will keep you safe and warm all winter long. In order to have the best product for your money, it’s important to involve the professional from start to finish.
DO call Chief Chimney Services when you’re in the planning stages.
DO contact your homeowners’ insurance and municipal authorities.
DO ensure the system is inspected before use.
DON’T buy online. Showrooms are filled with returns that did not fit when they arrived.
DON’T hire an amateur or D-I-Y your way through a chimney or fireplace job. You wouldn’t hire your third-cousin, twice-removed to do a surgery or rebuild your car, so don’t put your health and home at risk by cutting corners with your chimney.

Holiday Hearth

Don’t settle for a cardboard cut-out or a television fire this holiday. You can have a fireplace that can safely display stockings and garland. It can have beautiful yellow flames and crackling embers. Best of all, the fire is real, and so is the heat!

While you’re decorating for the holidays, make sure to practice fire safety at every step. Talk to your family and guests about safety this season.

Count on Chief Chimney Services today and you will have a fully-functioning fireplace tomorrow–or at least, this season!

Call 631-863-2460 and talk to a fireplace expert today.

By John Pilger on November 15th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Have Your Chimney Swept Before Lighting Your First Fire

Spring Cleaning is for the house and chimney cleaning is for the fall. There are many reasons to clean the chimney and many homeowners understand why it’s important. However, this isn’t just any job. It must be done by a professional. Having the work done before fall is done means your system will be ready for winter, but having a professional do the work means it will be safe, up-to-code, and efficient. You should never light a fire in a fireplace that hasn’t been swept and inspected since last season.

Dangers of a Dirty ChimneyTechnician chimney sweeping a home
A dirty chimney is dangerous because it may be filled with soot and creosote from regular use last season. When this isn’t cleaned away regularly, it can become a fire hazard. Not only does a buildup in the system slow airflow and drop the efficiency, but the materials themselves are flammable. Materials left behind by animals, debris from outdoors, and byproducts of the fire can ignite at any time, putting your family at risk of fire. A chimney fire is devastating, can result in an insurance claim, loss of property, expensive repairs, and even injury or loss of life.

Other Dirty Chimney Problems
You might have noticed during the summer months, but dirty chimneys stink. When summer humidity mingles with soot and creosote in the system, it can begin to emit a powerful smell of a dirty barbecue grill. These types of odors in the chimney system are a clear indicator of a dirty chimney. The soot and creosote in the system may be deteriorating the lining (especially if mixed with moisture from the humidity of a chimney leak). Dirty chimneys also work less efficiently than clean chimneys. As the lining of the system becomes coated with soot and creosote, the airflow is slowed, and the chimney system depends on this airflow to work properly. A drop in efficiency means a rise in fire risk.

Why Schedule Now
Chimney sweep companies are busy during this period of time between October and January, called the fall rush. If you schedule now, you can get on the books and will be able to have your services completed before you need your fireplace. You must call as soon as possible, however, so a professional can get a look at your chimney system right away. When you schedule a Chief Chimney Services chimney sweep, you will not only get your chimney system cleaned of soot, creosote, ashes, and other debris, but you’ll get a standard level one inspection as well. Schedule soon, and you’ll have time to make necessary repairs before your first fire. If no repairs are needed, you can rest assured that your system is ready to work for you all winter long, and is safe and protected from winter and water damage.

What to Expect
Schedule today and a certified chimney sweep will come out at the assigned time with brushes and a vacuuming system to clean your system from top to bottom. Using drop cloths and a powerful vacuum, we keep the mess contained so that you don’t have to clean up after us! You’ll get a full report of our findings and the peace of mind that you’ll be safe for another season.

Call Chief Chimney today at 631-863-2460.

By John Pilger on October 31st, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Suffolk County NY Quality Chimney Sweep & Fireplace Service Company

Now is the time to look for a dependable chimney professional for all of your comprehensive chimney needs. When you choose the right company, they can take you through the life of your chimney and your home, keeping your family safe and warm year after year. Homeowners living in Suffolk County and Long Island have depended on Chief Chimney Services for 30+ years, and for good reason.Chimney being serviced by man on roof

Community and Industry Leadership

Owner John Pilger has filmed a fireplace evaluation for Dateline NBC as just one part of his mission to help homeowners stay safe from accidental residential fires. As a CSIA member, it’s important to work with communities, media outlets, other trade industries, and many industry professionals to help bring down the number of residential fires–a number reaching more than 300 thousand each year.

When you’re looking for a chimney professional, look first to the dependable professionals that are CSIA certified and then look for other credentials that add up to unrivaled expertise and experience.

Chimney Sweep Guild – Owner, John Pilger has served as President of the New York State Chimney Sweep Guild, director of the National Chimney Sweep Guild, and is a recipient of the Andrew Schukal Award for dedication and outstanding service presented by the New York State Chimney Sweep Guild.
Professional Certifications – Chief Chimney Services holds and maintains certifications for chimney services as well as dryer exhaust services from the Chimney Safety Institute of America. We are also F.I.R.E certified fireplace inspectors, and NFI certified woodburning specialists. When it comes to installations and repairs, these are the credentials you should be looking for.
Industry Recognition and Awards – In addition to the Andrew Schukal Award, owner John Pilger was a 2001 recipient of the International Award for Service and Education to the industry, presented by the Association of Polish Sweeps and a 2007 recipient of the CSIA Don Leavitt Education Award, for contributions to the Chimney Sweep Industry through Education.
Local Experience – John Pilger has been serving Suffolk County since 1983 and has lived in the area his entire life. He was once chief of Brentwood Fire Department as well as a former Fire Marshall. His Associates Degree in Fire Protection Technology is just one more way he has gone above and beyond for his business and his customers.

When it comes to chimney science, diagnostics, repairs, and installations, Chief Chimney Services is the best choice for customers in Suffolk County and Long Island. Our staff is fully insured for your protection, experienced in state and national fire safety code, as well as local municipal codes. We are certified dealers of the industry’s top brands, and service and repair all fire appliances. When you choice Chief Chimney Services, you can depend on us for all of your comprehensive chimney needs for the life of your home.

Schedule your routine services now so that your chimney system will be ready for burn season.

By John Pilger on October 12th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Wood-Burning Appliances

It’s the season of pumpkin-spice-lattes, corn mazes, and steaming cocoa by a crackling fire. Many homeowners use the fireplace as a home decor focal point, a backdrop for family photos and festivities, and supplemental heat. You may not have a fireplace yet and desperately want one. A properly-installed or well-constructed fireplace or fire appliance can bring up the value of your home, help decrease utility bills, and enhance the holiday spirit. The fan favorite is the wood-burning fireplace because of the natural ambiance it creates. Wood produces beautiful flames, crackling and hissing of the wood, and has high heat output. It isn’t all wonderful, however. There are drawbacks to choosing wood, but we can help. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Wood-Burning Appliances

Benefits of Wood Fires

Accessibility of fuel – When you choose wood-burning appliances, you are able to use wood from your own land or personal supply. You simply have to cut, store, and haul wood yourself. If you don’t have a readily accessible wood supply, you can find a local supplier quite easily. Just make sure your wood is properly-seasoned and that you’re getting what you pay for.
High heat output – When you choose your wood type, you can even control how much heat your fire produces. Today’s wood-burning appliances are equipped with many new technologies that allow better control of temperature as well.
Eco-friendly – Today’s manufacturers have made strides to produce high-efficiency wood-burning appliances. Wood furnaces, stoves, inserts, and fireplaces can be highly-efficient and leave less of a “carbon footprint” than ever before.
Versatile designs and models – The wood-burning appliance used to lend itself to rustic decor only, but no more. Now you can choose a wood-burning appliance that compliments a sleek contemporary look, a traditional rustic one, or any variety in between.

Drawbacks to Burning Wood

Wood fires require more service appointments than gas or pellet appliances. This is not due to the performance of the appliance, but rather the material burned. Gas is the cleanest burning fuel, so it produces no creosote and very little soot. Pellets appliances burn at such high-efficiency that they also produce less waste. However, firewood, even properly-seasoned firewood, will produce soot and creosote no matter how well it burns. It also produces ash which can be a pain to remove and dispose of and the wood chips and dust can make a mess. When you’re burning wood, half the work is in cleaning up the mess. Fortunately, a lot of that work should be done by the professionals.

Chief Chimney Services Wood Appliances

If you have a wood-burning appliance and haven’t had it inspected or cleaned in the last 12 months, now is the time. Keeping the appliance well-maintained through professional services will keep it working safely and properly. Call us at 631-863-2460 and talk with a professional about economical wood-burning appliances today.

By John Pilger on September 28th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Correcting Draft Issues

A draft in a literal sense means to “draw” or to “pull”, which is why the selective service is called a draft. When your chimney is having a drafting issue, it means the chimney system is not able to properly and effectively pull air through the chimney and out of the house. The chimney should be working constantly when a fire is burning in the fireplace. That means there is constant airflow pulling the heat, smoke, and other gases out of the chimney and home. A smoky chimney is the first indication of a draft issue. Unfortunately, there are many reasons for a draft issue–some may be simple, quick fixes, and others may be more serious.Correcting Draft Issues - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

The Wrong Wood

The number one cause of simple draft problems is that you’re burning the wrong firewood. Good wood is properly seasoned, meaning it has been cut and stored to dry before it is burned. “Green” or wet wood has too much water inside and has to work harder to burn. It will be more difficult to light, will burn with less heat, require more wood to reach a desired temperature, burn incompletely, produce more ashes, and be smokier. A great way to check to see if this is the problem with your chimney is to build and light a fire with properly seasoned firewood.

A Competing Draft

Other large systems in the home, such as the central air and heating system, can interfere with your fireplace. Your home may also be so tight that it is impossible for the chimney to pull air from the house. In order for the chimney to pull air out of the house, more air must be pulled into the house to keep airflow going. Otherwise your home becomes a vacuum, and the air will not flow. This problem can be quickly checked and remedied by cracking a window in the house to allow air in.

A Dirty Chimney

When the chimney system is coated in soot and creosote, the efficiency drops because airflow slows down. If the air cannot travel up and out of the chimney, the result will be a smoky fireplace. You can solve this problem by scheduling a chimney sweep. Schedule now, and you can avoid the fall rush. You may also find that the smoky problems from last season aren’t present this year!

Chimney Sizing

Believe it or not, the size of the chimney matters–a lot. If the chimney is too tall or short, the smoke will not rise up and out. Instead, it will fall into the living room the next time you open your damper. If the flue isn’t sized correctly, if the smoke chamber isn’t the right size, or if the smoke shelf isn’t large enough, then you will have a smoke problem.

Chimney Damage

Damage to the liner can slow air flow and cause a draft issue. You should have annual chimney inspections to insure you that all the seen and unseen portions of the chimney system are in proper working order. This means that your smoky chimney does not have a complicated solution. If your chimney is in ship-shape, then the problem is simple and can likely be resolved through troubleshooting.

Still unsure what to do with your chimney? Call Chief Chimney Services at 631-863-2460.

By John Pilger on September 14th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Eliminating Smoke Chamber Draft Problems

When your chimney isn’t working properly, there could be a hundred reasons why! Many of the problems with a chimney are hidden, so they’re not only hard to catch, but impossible to diagnose. If your system has a draft problem and you’ve troubleshooted on your own, a professional should be your next call. An experienced technician may start by checking your smoke chamber–a common site for draft problems.Eliminating Smoke Chamber Draft Problems - Suffolk, NY - Chief Chimney Services

What is the Smoke Chamber?

The space above the firebox and at the base of the flue is called the smoke chamber. It is the area where the smoke and heat mix so it can rise up the flue and leave the home. The smoke chamber has a very specific shape and size for efficiency. It should have a smoke shelf which prevents the smoke from falling back into the fireplace and into the home. It also has a slanted wall which funnels the smoke into the flue.

Common Smoke Chamber Problems

The smoke chamber endures high temperatures and corrosive chemicals on a constant basis while a fire burns in the fireplace. The walls and smoke shelf can become coated in soot and creosote. Soot can deteriorate the masonry inside the smoke chamber and can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide leaks and draft issues that drop efficiency and raise fire risk.

As the draft slows and the air stalls in the smoke chamber, more creosote and soot will build up in the system, particularly in the smoke chamber. As the buildup occurs, it will only worsen over time. A damaged smoke chamber should be repaired as soon as damage is apparent in order to avoid serious danger and costly damage.

Choose the Professionals

When it’s time to have your chimney system inspected, cleaned, or repaired, you should trust the professionals. All the technicians at Chief Chimney Services are CSIA-certified, having completed classroom and field training to offer the best services to our customers in and around Suffolk County, New York.

A Chief Chimney Services sweep can inspect your smoke chamber, paying close attention to the shape of the space as well as the smoothness of the walls. If the refractory mortar has become damaged, the bricks may be exposed, and their corners catching creosote and soot, slowing airflow and leading to a buildup. Your chimney sweep may recommend a smoke chamber parge in which the walls are smoothed, masonry is properly insulated, and space is properly sized for optimal efficiency.

Scheduling your chimney inspection today will ensure there is time to make the necessary repairs before the fall. The first fire of the season is just around the corner, and you don’t want to use a smoky or dangerous fireplace. Call Chief Chimney Services today and schedule an assessment or repair with a professional today. Call 631-863-2460 or schedule online.

By John Pilger on August 30th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Checking Your Heating & Venting System Before the Cold Season

Summer is coming to an end, and fall is just around the corner. With the start of a new school year and new season, people can find themselves staying fairly busy. Fall is busy season for our chimney professionals too. It’s important to schedule heating and venting services now to avoid the fall rush, as our chimney professionals are busy with installations, repairs, and emergency calls.

Routine Maintenance

Checking Your Heating & Venting System Before the Cold Season - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney ServicesRoutine maintenance is preventative maintenance. Having your heating and venting system inspected and cleaned regularly prevents damage, waste, and health risk. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections keep your chimney system working safely and efficiently.

You should get your chimney serviced regularly to prolongs its life. A clean and properly-functioning chimney is easier to light, the flame is easier to control, and less heat is wasted. A clean chimney does not stink of soot and creosote when the fireplace isn’t in use. Keeping your chimney regularly cleaned and inspected also means less drafting issues, leaks, and other hazards! Hiring a chimney professional for your comprehensive chimney care ensure the optimal health of your chimney.

Chief Chimney is here for you!

It’s our goal at Chief Chimney Services to ensure all of our customers and friends in the Suffolk County area are safe and comfortable this winter season. As members of CSIA, the National Chimney Sweep Guild, and the New York State Chimney Sweep Guild, our goal is to decrease the occurrence of residential chimney fires.

By continuously educating ourselves on new techniques and technologies to improve chimney function, we strive to serve you with the best chimney tips and care. The best way to prevent chimney malfunctions and hazards is to schedule preventive maintenance. If you haven’t had a chimney inspection in the last 12 months, then it’s time to schedule one now. Call Chief Chimney Services today at 631-863-2460.

By John Pilger on August 17th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

The Benefits of Energy Saving Dampers

Your chimney worked for you all winter, but it may be working against you this summer. As temperatures rise and air conditioners are switched on, there may be a draft that’s stealing your conditioned air right out of your chimney! This occurrence is more common than many homeowners think, and it’s completely preventable. By making one small change to your chimney system, you can have an efficient, money-saving chimney in no time.Energy Saving Dampers - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

The Top-Sealing Damper

Top-sealing dampers double as chimney caps, and save homeowners money upon installation. This damper, also called the energy saving damper, is fairly easy to install, protects your chimney from the top down, and closes it completely during the offseason. Some benefits include:

Airtight Seal – Energy saving dampers close with a rubber gasket seal that prevents any water or moisture from getting in. It’s tamper-proof, so animals cannot open it, and it will not open until you disengage it. Throat dampers usually close loosely and can allow drafts and animals into the home.

Easy Use – The cord which engages and disengages the top-sealing damper runs down to the hearth, so you’ll be able to use it from the comfort of your living room, just as you would a regular throat damper.

Multi-Purpose – The top-sealing damper works as a damper when it’s closed, and a chimney cap when it’s open. It keeps animals and weather out of the flue and prevents hot embers from escaping. It even looks like a chimney cap, so you can choose a design that suits your liking.

When to Make the Switch

You don’t have to do all of your chimney work during the winter. In fact, we do chimney work year-round, and if you schedule during the summer, you won’t have to stop using the fireplace prior to the service appointment. Schedule now, and we can discuss chimney services that will enhance your experience and make your chimney work better as well! If we find that you need a new damper or cap, we suggest a top-sealing damper right away. It saves you money right away. Protecting your chimney from the top down is important. It keeps humidity from mingling with soot and creosote in the flue, which creates unwelcome odors and corrosive chemicals. A top-sealing damper prevents wind gusts and drafts throughout the off-season, saving you money, and will prevent debris from falling in and creating blockages, saving you in services.

When it comes to chimney dampers and caps, you can’t go wrong with an energy-saving one. All of the models we carry at Chief Chimney Services will enhance the look of your chimney and improve the way it works–guaranteed.

When you’re ready for a chimney sweep or inspection call on Chief Chimney Services. We can install your new energy saving damper now, so schedule an appointment today!

By John Pilger on July 25th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment