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    A Basic Guide to Wood Stoves

    Last updated 10 months ago

    Wood stoves are different from fireplaces, and they generally need cleaning more often. Multiple factors contribute to this, but one is simply that woodstoves tend to see more use. Although every stove and chimney is unique, there are some basic features that they have in common, and they all require occasional maintenance from a chimney sweep. When it comes to wood stoves, there are two main designs for how they distribute the heat that they produce, radiant stoves and circulating stoves.

    • Radiant Stoves

    This is the more traditional type of stove, which simply gets hot and transmits heat outward through its surface. It is called a “radiant” stove, because they heat is being transferred directly as infrared radiation. This type of wood stove is popular for its traditional aesthetic appeal, although it comes with a greater risk of accidental burns, or the accidental ignition of nearby items.

    • Circulating Stoves

    Although circulating stoves also transmit radiant heat, they incorporate panels around the firebox, though which air can move around. As the air is heated from the fire, it circulates up and around the stove warming the space while keeping the outer shell of the stove much cooler. It continues to provide heat, while reducing the risk of a scorching or igniting something nearby.

    Woodstove Use and Cleaning 

    Although burning hardwoods reduces the amount of creosote in your stove, if you use your woodstove frequently, as many people do, you will need to have it cleaned out occasionally by a certified chimney sweep. A good rule of thumb is to have a chimney sweep come for a cleaning after every cord of wood burned.

    Don't risk a chimney fire -- call Ultimate Chimney Sweep today at (800) 499-2726 to have one of our experts safely clear your stove and chimney. If your chimney needs repair or rebuilding, then we can help with that, too. For more on our chimney sweep and maintenance services, visit us on the web.

    Why You Need to Get an Annual Inspection for Your Chimney

    Last updated 10 months ago

    Having your chimney inspected every year is very important for ensuring the safety of your fireplace. Since fire and smoke can both be very dangerous, it should be a top priority to keep your chimney in good shape. Inspections and maintenance will help you catch problems early, before they present serious safety hazards. Here are some of the ways that a certified chimney sweep can inspect and maintain your chimney, and why it’s so important to have these inspections on an annual basis.

    • Inspect Before the First Use

    Fireplaces are often used seasonally, when the weather is colder. If you’re about to have your first fire in the autumn or winter, it may have been several months since your last fire. Have a chimney sweep visually inspect your chimney to make sure that it is ready for a fire. Chimneys that have been unused for a while may have become home to birds or other animals, especially if your chimney cap is missing or damaged.

    • Check for Physical Damage

    There are many problems that can appear gradually, and which may only be visible to a certified chimney sweep that knows what to look for. The firebox, chimney and flue should be inspected for cracks and any signs of damage. In addition to the chimney cap, the chimney flashing should be in good shape to prevent leaks and water damage.

    • Stay on Top of Creosote Levels

    Creosote is a substance that is formed when tiny pieces of wood particles combine with ash and other substances, and stick to the walls of your chimney. Creosote is dangerous because it’s flammable, and can lead to a chimney fire. The amount of creosote that has built up inside your chimney depends on how much wood you burn and the kind of wood you burn. One of the most important reasons to have a chimney sweep clean your chimney is to remove the creosote that naturally accumulates over time.

    To have a certified chimney expert check out your chimney and fireplace, call Ultimate Chimney Sweep today at (800) 499-2726. Visit us online to learn more about all of our services, including chimney cap replacement, animal removal, masonry repair, and more. 

    How to Build a Fire in a Fireplace: Types of Wood to Use in a Fireplace

    Last updated 10 months ago

    When planning to build a fire in your fireplace, there are a few conditions to keep in mind about the wood that you will use. This video offers some good tips on types of wood burn well and will keep your chimney in good condition.

    First, you want to make sure that you are burning a hardwood. Burning softer woods can produce large amounts of creosote, which builds up inside your chimney and may ignite and cause a chimney fire. Hardwoods burn cleaner, hotter, and longer, making them ideal for your fireplace. Oak, Hickory, Cherry and Maple are all good types of wood for burning.

    Sticking with hardwoods will help your chimney stay clean, but all chimneys need occasional maintenance. The experts at Ultimate Chimney Sweep can clean and keep your chimney in great shape, and as well as perform other repairs or chimney maintenance work. Call us today at (800) 499-2726 to learn more about our chimney services. 

    Utilize These Resources To Keep Your Chimney Clean And To Eliminate Unwanted Combustion Odors

    Last updated 10 months ago

    Don’t let your flute and fireplace fall behind their regular maintenance schedules. Insufficient attention to your home’s chimney leads to serious fire hazards that put your entire home at risk. Get in touch with Ultimate Chimney Sweep at (800) 499-2726 for professional chimney maintenance support.

    What's that Odor?

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Professional chimney service prevents a variety of nasty smells from infiltrating the household interiors. Learning to identify the sources of common chimney odors can assist homeowners in determining how to solve these malodorous issues.

    • Combustion Remainders: Low-heat fires and oversized logs often leave unburned products behind in your chimney. Deposits, whether flakey or slug-like, are commonly known as “creosote.” This dangerously flammable material is cited as the cause of many house fires across the country. Furthermore, creosote carries a powerful, noxious scent that can offend guests and family members. Cleaning chimneys regularly prevents creosote from building up and emitting these offensive odors. Homeowners should act quickly if they detect creosote. This sour smelling byproduct can permanently embed itself in chimney lining if not removed in a timely fashion.
    • Moisture Smells: Charred leftovers aren’t the only smell concern that threatens a home chimney. Introduction of moisture to the chimney environment is often responsible for the invasive aromas that bother chimney owners. Moisture from precipitation can enter uncovered chimneys and wet the soot that sits within the fireplace. Not surprisingly, the smell of wet soot is not a desirable scent for home interiors. Likewise, wet creosote produces far more potent emissions than its dry counterparts. Installing and maintaining a chimney cap is a simple solution to these issues. Homeowners should also be aware that moisture may seep into your chimney from the exterior. A professional water repellant treatment should keep your chimney safe from moisture penetration.
    • Odor Solutions: Keeping acrid post-combustion smells out of your home depends on regular maintenance of your chimney. Frequency of chimney cleaning depends heavily on how often the chimney is used, fuel of choice, and chimney construction. Contact the expert chimney technicians from Ultimate Chimney Sweep to determine when your fireplace needs its next maintenance visit. Homeowners can also learn if a chimney rebuild would limit vulnerabilities to invasive creosote and soot smells.

    One call to (800) 499-2726 can help Boston-area residents learn what they need to know about chimney maintenance. Homeowners can also visit us online for additional repair tips.


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