Our Company Blog

Wood Stove and Fireplace Cleanings for the Spring

Spring is in the air! Trees are finally flowering, and birds are chirping. Depending on where you live, you might even hear whippoorwills in the evenings. Our service area of Suffolk County, Long Island may have slow-rising temperatures, but spring is welcome after a long winter! Spring is a great time to complete projects around your house. Projects such as yard maintenance, car washing, and home cleaning. Have you considered your stove or fireplace this spring? Having it cleaned in the spring can prevent problems this summer, and have it ready and waiting for another fire this fall.

Spring Cleaningroad sign stating that spring cleaning is near

Periodically through the year, your fireplace and chimney system will need to be cleaned. Your chimney sweep company can help you determine how often your chimney and appliance will need service. However, having the work done in spring is always a great option, since it offers great benefits.

Cleaning Prevents Odors

If you leave the soot and creosote in your fireplace and flue system, the humidity from summer weather will mingle with the deposits there, causing foul odors. As this seeps into your home, it may smell as if the oven was left open or a barbecue grill was left smoldering right outside your door or window. Cleaning now will prevent odors.

Cleaning Includes an Inspection

Not only will we clean out your fireplace or wood-burning stove, but we’ll check the connections, assess the chimney system, and report any problems right away so that they can be corrected before burn season returns.

Cleaning Raises Efficiency

You may not need it to now, but this fall, your fire will burn more efficiently if you have the system swept now. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about scheduling services in the fall, when companies are at their busiest.

Cleaning Maintains Safety

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that fire systems that are cleaned and maintained properly are the safest. Clean your system now so that your fireplace will be safer this fall.

Wood is a popular option, especially in New England, where winters can be quite harsh. Wood stoves and fireplaces produce great amounts of heat and more efficient than ever–but they only work if they are maintained. Cleaning them is so important that your factory warranty may require it! Talk to an expert at Chief Chimney Services about your wood-burning fireplace or appliance today. We service fireplaces and chimney systems that are factory-built, historic masonry, and more.

Schedule today with Chief Chimney Services by filling out our online scheduling tool.

By John Pilger on March 31st, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Wood Stove and Fireplace Cleanings for the Spring

What’s Wrong with My Dryer?

Is It Time To Clean Your Dryer Vents?

At Chief Chimney Services, Inc., we’re known, of course, for chimneys — for more than 30 years, we’ve been sweeping, inspecting, repairing and installing chimneys of all kinds in Western and Central Suffolk County.

But your chimney isn’t the only system in your home that’s working hard to expel heat and dangerous byproducts. Your dryer vents perform a similarly important function, and Chief Chimney Services specializes in servicing dryer vent systems, too.

The lint trap isn't the only part of your dryer system that must be cleaned out. Your vents need regular maintenance as well.

The lint trap isn’t the only part of your dryer system that must be cleaned out. Your vents need regular maintenance as well.

Pay A Little Mind Now, Avoid A Lot Of Trouble Later

The systems that work behind the scenes in our homes can be something of an out-of-mind part of life for a lot of us, and that makes sense. If we were constantly focused on the inner workings of our electric system, our plumbing, our dryer vents, that’d probably be a fair indicator that those systems weren’t working very well. Ideally, if everything’s working right, we don’t have to spend a lot of time worrying about those systems. It’s when trouble pops up that they jump to the front of our minds.

The best way to avoid trouble with your venting systems is to give them just enough attention by keeping up with regular preventative maintenance. Having your chimney inspected and swept annually allows it to do its job in the safest and most effective way possible. And having your dryer vents regularly cleaned has the same positive effect.

Why Do I Need To Clean My Dryer Vents?

A chimney flue that’s covered in creosote deposits can be a serious fire hazard, and most of us take that very seriously, since fire hazards are a very front-of-mind concern as we’re building a fire inside our home. What you may not know, though, is that clogged or blocked dryer vents can create a serious fire hazard too.

The National Fire Protection Association compiles figures about home structure fires, and their 2010 findings showed nearly 17,000 home fires involving dryers or washing machines, resulting in more than 50 deaths, nearly 400 injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. And among those dryer-related home fires, the leading cause was noted as “failure to clean.”

Over time and with use, lint will build up inside your dryer vents, and if enough of it builds up, it can constrict or block those vents. Blocked vents allow heat to build up in the vents, too, and since lint is extremely flammable, that situation can quickly lead to ignition. Having your dryer vents professionally cleaned on a regular basis keeps that lint build-up to a minimum, and keeps that hot air moving through the vents and out of your home.

Avoiding a fire hazard isn’t the only reason to clean your vents, though. Blocked vents also force your dryer to work harder than it should to dry your laundry, wasting energy and making you waste money. If you’ve found damp clothes after running a normal load through the dryer, there’s a good chance lint build-up is hampering your dryer’s performance — and a good vent cleaning can clear that up!

Give Chief Chimney Services a call to schedule a dryer vent cleaning today!

By John Pilger on November 29th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on What’s Wrong with My Dryer?

Is There Too Much Creosote In Your Chimney?

People who have chimneys in their home no doubt know about the obvious dangers that they come along with, including blazing chimney fires. However, creosote poses a serious risk if it is left to accumulate in the chimney and many homeowners are unaware of it. Understanding this chemical compound and what it can do is essential to maintaining a home that is healthy and safe for the entire family, even those who do not come into direct contact with the fireplace or chimney.

Creosote is a combination of chemicals that is used to treat wood and coal. When these materials burn in the fireplace, they leave a layer of the creosote behind on the inside of the chimney. Over time, the creosote will accumulate and then the family may have to face a number of different risks if they do not properly take care of it.

Creosote buildup can cause Chimney fires - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

Creosote buildup can cause Chimney fires – Suffolk NY – Chief Chimney Services

One of the biggest risk factors associated with creosote is that it is extremely flammable. It would take only a small spark from the fireplace to ignite the entire chimney. This can start a fire that will not only damage the structure of the chimney but that could potentially spread throughout the home. This is an especially significant risk in the event of negative air pressure, which sends material from the chimney into the home instead of out of the flue.

If creosote or smoke from burning creosote enters the air, everyone in the home will be at risk for health issues. Inhalation of creosote has been linked to a number of serious health problems, including respiratory illnesses as well as damage to various organs. These effects have been especially severe in the cases of children. Although some conditions can be treated, it is also possible that the effects of creosote could be fatal if left untreated over time.

In addition to doing internal damage, creosote can be dangerous for anyone who comes into physical contact with it. Just a bit of exposure can cause minor skin irritations and, in some people, severe rashes on the skin. The substance can also cause significant damage if it comes into contact with the eyes. Not only will it cause a painful irritation, but it has also been connected with a loss of sight.

Anyone who burns treated wood and coal in their fireplace should assume that they have at least some creosote inside of their chimney. There is no avoiding the residue when the treated material is burned. However, there are other signs that there is a significant accumulation of the material in the chimney. For example, when it burns, creosote will have a distinct smell that should come straight through the fireplace and into the home.

The best way to deal with accumulation of creosote is to have a cleaning by a professional chimney sweep at the end of each cold weather season. Since there are so many health dangers associated with it, the average, untrained person should not attempt to clean it up on their own. A chimney sweep has the proper tools and training to safely rid the chimney of excess creosote. An annual cleaning is the best way to keep the chimney safe and clear.

Creosote is a typical problem for anyone with a fireplace but it is a fairly easy issue to manage. Remember to have a chimney sweep come in each year to clear it out and to check for any damage to the chimney. Failure to take care of this could result in illness, physical injury, and devastating chimney fires. Let a professional bring peace of mind along with an efficient heating system.

By John Pilger on July 31st, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Is There Too Much Creosote In Your Chimney?