Serving Bailey, Conifer, Morrison, Evergreen, Golden, Pine, Fairplay Areas
Start your appointment online! Click HERE »
Sometimes you’re just looking to make a change, and many times, spring is when you feel like doing so. You’ve been cooped up in the house all winter, watching the snow build up and listening to the winds howl, and as you sit, you contemplate what changes you would like to make in your home, changes that will make next winter cozier and more comfortable. Maybe you have a fireplace, but want to make it more efficient or just update the look. Or, maybe you don’t have a fireplace but have always wanted one. You know there are different types to choose from: gas, pellet or wood burning fireplaces or inserts. But how do you know which is right for your heating needs? Just call the Chimney Doctors of Colorado and we’ll be happy to discuss your options and help you choose.
What Type of Appliance Are You Looking For?
There are pros and cons to each of the heating choices, and we can help you decide how to best meet your heating needs. Wood stoves are more efficient than they once were, and there’s just something comforting and beautiful about watching a wood fire snap and pop, whether in a fireplace or a freestanding device. Another advantage of using wood as a heat source is the fact that it is renewable and readily available, easy to get, and not as expensive as some other heating sources. On the downside, however, you do have to have a place to store the seasoned wood. If you’re limited on space but want that natural-looking fire, you might want to consider pellets.
Pellet burners use pellets, usually made of wood but also sometimes made of other compressed material. These pellets have a few advantages over wood, one of the main advantages being that, because they are compressed and relatively uniform in size, they can be easily stored, usually in 40 pound bags. Like wood, pellets are easy to buy and are a renewable energy source, but an advantage they have over wood is that they come already seasoned, unlike the firewood you cut yourself or buy.
If you want a beautiful fire source without the fuss of cutting firewood, the hassle of storing the pellets, or the work of laying the fire and getting it started, you might want to consider a gas burning appliance. With a flick of a switch, you have a fire going. This can be a perfect option for someone who wants to just relax at the end of the day without any of the fuss of building a fire.
Choose Hampton Products at Chimney Doctors of Colorado
No matter what type of wood burning appliance you decide on, Hampton products are among the best in the business, and that’s just what we sell. In an effort to make sure you are completely satisfied with your purchase, we go out of our way to sell only those products we trust. That’s why we sell Hampton appliances – so you, too, can be completely satisfied with your new heating appliance.
Winter is great for so many things. You can go skiing, snowmobiling, sledding, snowboarding. Even taking a walk in the moonlight when there’s a gentle snow falling feels fresh and romantic. You know life is good when you come in the house and warm up in front of a crackling fire with a cup of hot chocolate. Even just being inside your house when there’s snow falling can feel cozy and comfortable. But with all those positives, snow does have its downside! Winter can cause special problems for fireplace owners because the cold weather and precipitation can wreak havoc on your chimney.
Chimney Damage Caused by Winter Weather
One way that winter weather can cause damage is because of the freeze-thaw cycle. Your bricks and mortar, although they look very solid, are actually porous material. When precipitation hits, it seeps into those pores and sits there. Then as the weather freezes, that precipitation freezes as well and expands. That expansion will cause bigger pores which in turn fill with precipitation…and the cycle continues. This can cause cracks to appear in the mortar, holes in your bricks, and spalling to occur. Spalling is when your bricks or mortar start to peel and flake because water infiltrates in the pores; if this gets too serious, you may even begin to notices flakes on the ground. This can cause a weakening of the structure of your chimney. If this gets too bad, you could be facing major repairs.
When the weather is cold and snowy, you use your chimney more. That’s one of the advantages of owning a fireplace! But the more you use your fireplace, the more creosote builds up on the interior of your chimney. This can especially be true if you use softer woods or wood that hasn’t been dried properly.
Creosote is extremely flammable. A buildup greater than ⅛ of an inch can easily catch a spark from your fire and cause a chimney fire. Some chimney fires are easily detectable. However, some aren’t as easy to detect, and both can be dangerous in their own right. The damage that can be caused by a big chimney fire is obvious. Your chimney can sustain damage as well as the room that the fireplace is in, not to mention your home if the fire can’t be contained. But an undetectable chimney fire is dangerous as well, because you won’t know to get the damage looked at or repaired as quickly as it should be.
Call the Pros
Winter can cause some serious damage to your chimney. That’s why you need to call us now to set up your annual chimney inspection and cleaning. At Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we know what type of damage to look for and how to fix any repairs that might need to be done. Put that call in soon!
Everyone loves the look and comfort of a fireplace; it’s cozy to settle down in front of a crackling fire, and it just adds a nice ambiance to any room. But it’s important to be aware of the fact that there is some work involved in upkeep and repair of your fireplace. It’s pretty common knowledge that you should have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected on a yearly basis, and when repairs need to be completed, that having them done sooner could save you big dollars in the long run. This goes to structural repair or to parts replacement as well. If you find that your chimney is in need of some work, it’s important to remember that spending a little extra now can end up saving you big money in the future.
Take, for instance, your damper. The damper is an important piece of any chimney system, filling several important functions. The damper is a piece of equipment that works to seal your chimney when it’s not being used. When you build a fire, you open the damper to allow air in that will help with combustion and also allow smoke to escape up your chimney rather than out into your home. When you aren’t using your fireplace, you close the damper to keep the warm air from your home from escaping up the chimney, and also to keep the cold outside air from flowing down your chimney and into your home. You wouldn’t leave a door or window open in the middle of winter, would you? The damper acts in just the same way as your door or window does.
At Chimney Doctors of Colorado, when we come in and inspect your chimney, one thing we’ll be checking is the damper system. It can, over time, lose its seal, and this means that your warm air could be escaping, costing you money in energy bills. And if that’s the case, we might recommend that your dampers be replaced and that a top sealing damper is a route to take. Although a top sealing damper may cost a bit more initially, in the long run, the benefits may outweigh the initial costs.
Benefits of a Top Sealing Damper
A top sealing damper works much like a throat damper, sealing off your chimney when it’s not in use and stopping cold outside air from entering your home. This will save you from more expensive heating bills. An added benefit of a top sealing damper is that, because it sits at the top of your chimney, it keeps precipitation, critters, and other possible obstructive elements from entering your home. That means less likelihood of structural damage from precipitation damage and less likelihood of chimney fires from obstructions catching sparks from your fire.
Experienced, Caring Professionals
At Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we want to make sure that you get the damper that will best suit your needs. We offer complete customer satisfaction with each and every transaction. Give us a call today!
There are several high-cost items that you just don’t look forward to replacing. It can be fun to look for a new car, but what about a having to replace your roof? Even if you know it’s going to look better, it still seems like a lot of money. It hurts worse when you don’t have a choice, right? Unfortunately, your appliances will go out. Whether it’s a washing machine, a dishwasher, or a refrigerator, if it goes out, you’ll need to get out and buy a new one in a hurry. But at least with those appliances, you can get by for a while without. But when you live in Colorado and it’s the middle of winter, if your furnace goes out, you could be in some trouble. You can’t wait too long for a replacement. It’s a smart idea to think ahead and know the warning signs so that you aren’t caught in a snowstorm with no heat!
Signs You Might Need A New Furnace
Has your furnace needed lots of repair work lately? Is it starting to nickel and dime you to death? The older your furnace gets, the more repairs it’s going to need. That’s a good indication that you should be looking at new furnaces. The average life of a furnace is between 15 and 20 years, so if your furnace is closing in on that age, you will want to start calling to get estimates on installation. That’s where Chimney Doctors of Colorado can help! We’d love to come in and help you find just the perfect furnace for your home and then do the installation for you as well.
Another sign that your furnace might be on its last legs is the noises it makes. If it is making some strange rattling, banging, or popping noises, it could be trying to tell you it’s not going to last much longer. If the blower turns on and off more often than necessary you’ll want to start shopping.
Your checkbook might carry a clue that your furnace is not working like it should, either. Your energy bill should be pretty stable if
- you’ve been taking care of your furnace,
- the air ducts are properly sealed.
If you notice that you have a dramatic increase in your heating bill, it’s a really good warning sign that you need a new furnace. Also, if you find that it’s more and more difficult to find any type of consistency in heating between the different rooms in your house, it probably means that your current furnace isn’t able to keep up.
Who’re You Going To Call?
If you’re worried about needing a new furnace, make your first call to Chimney Doctors of Colorado. We look forward to fixing your heating issues and seeing you warm in the middle of a Colorado winter!
Although there’s nothing quite like the warmth and beauty of a crackling fire, every fireplace owner knows that there’s nothing quite as messy as trying to get rid of the ash that remains after you’ve built several fires. But did you know that you shouldn’t clear out all the ash that’s left on the floor of the firebox? That ash can actually serve several purposes that can be useful when building a fire in your fireplace!
First, different types of wood make more or less ash. Softwoods tend to make more ash than hardwoods, so if you’re trying to reduce the amount of ash, try burning hardwoods such as hickory, oak, or sugar maple. Burning hardwoods also has the benefit of burning as a hot, long-lasting fire.
When you clean out your firebox, make sure that you leave a good inch or so of ashes. This will help you out in a couple of ways. First, that ash acts as an insulator for the next fire that you build. The ash makes it easier to build your fire, and once the fire is going, it also helps to keep that fire going. Not only that, but the hot coals rest in the ash and glow, which keeps more heat within the ash and reflects that heat back into the fire.
You don’t want to leave too much ash, however, because this can cause damage to your grate. Too much ash might touch the bottom of your grate, which means that when the coals reflect back, it may actually hit the grate, which will cause it to wear out prematurely. In order to avoid this, you’ll want to clean out some of those ashes!
How to Clean Ash
First, when you decide to clean out the ash in your fireplace, make sure that you wait awhile after the fire is out to make sure that no hot embers are still there, or you could be hurt. Waiting for around 72 hours is a good rule to follow. Next, understand that it might get a little messy to get those ashes out because they are very light and fluffy. In order to make the ashes less fly-away, sprinkle some used coffee grounds over the ashes to weigh them down. Next, use a fireplace shovel to scoop up all but about an inch of the ashes. Have a garbage bag lined bucket or can waiting for the ashes so that you don’t risk leaving a trail of ashes across the room. Dispose of the ashes outside of your home.
In the End, Trust the Professionals
Taking care of your fireplace by cleaning the ashes after ever couple fires is an important part of being a fireplace owner. But make sure that you go that extra step and call us at Chimney Doctors of Colorado to do an annual inspection and cleaning once the weather turns nice!
It’s a magical time of year – snow is falling, lights are twinkling, presents are wrapped, cookies and candy have been prepared. You’ve probably worked hard to get the house cleaned up and ready for guests, too. One thing that could spoil all this holiday happiness very quickly is a house fire caused by your wood fire! There are several precautions you should take when it comes to keeping your family safe and sound during this happy holiday season.
Keep the Area Clear
One of the easiest and most important things that you can do is to keep the area around your fireplace clear of any flammable materials. This can include furniture, decorative pillows, blankets, toys, magazines, books, or anything that will catch fire if hit by a stray spark or ember. It is also important to never leave small children alone in a room with a fire burning.
What You Use in the Fireplace
Another thing to consider is how to start your fire and what to use to burn. First of all, the wood you use should be very well seasoned. This means that it should have been dried for at least 6 months, and longer is even better. If you don’t cut your own firewood but purchase it instead, there are several ways to tell if it’s dry enough. First, dried wood is lighter in weight and in color than recently cut wood, and it may have cracks in it. Also, wet wood has a more pungent aroma than dry wood. Another easy way to tell if your wood is dry enough to burn is to hit two pieces together. The sound that this will make will be a hollow, ringing sound, not a dull thunk.
When you are looking for something to get the fire started, make sure that you are using proper kindling. Use small pieces of bark or twigs as a fire starter, not any type of flammable liquid or wrapping paper.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Another defensive tactic you definitely need to take is to have a smoke detector that works and that has batteries that are charged. Make sure you check your smoke detector on a regular basis and change the batteries every six months whether they need it or not. Another monitor that you’ll want to have up and running properly is your carbon monoxide detector. This is an important defense against carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can occur while a wood fire is burning and that can cause serious health issues, including nausea, dizziness, or headaches. In severe cases, this can cause you to pass out and, if exposure is too long, death could occur
Call Chimney Doctors of Colorado
If you have questions about holiday safety, call us here at Chimney Doctors of Colorado. We are happy to answer your questions to ensure your family’s safety during this festive season of joy!
There are sometimes when damage to an item is easy to detect. Have you ever stepped outside a shopping mall, gone over to your car, and noticed a dent? That’s a pretty good sign that there’s some damage to your car. If you turn on your stove and the oven doesn’t heat up, it’s probably not working right. But some things are a little more difficult to determine. Your chimney is one of those things, in large part because it’s so difficult to see inside of your chimney. If you’re willing to look close, however, there are some signs that you can notice. These signs will let you know it’s time to give your chimney sweep a call.
Water Stains Around Your Fireplace
One easy thing to look for is water damage around your fireplace. Take a look at the wallpaper or paint alongside your fireplace, or even on the ceiling. If the paint is soft or flaky, or the wallpaper is peeling or water stained, chances are there is a problem with the chimney. This could be a crack in the chimney liner or that the mortar around the bricks is spalling, just to name a couple of things. But even if neither of these is the problem, it’s really important to give a Chimney Safety Institute of America certified chimney sweep a call. You want to make sure the damage is repaired before more trouble occurs.
Another sign that your chimney is damaged is actual spalling. Take a look at the exterior of your home. If you see chips or flakes littering the ground around your chimney, spalling is occurring. These flakes or chips are coming from the mortar around your bricks or maybe even from the bricks themselves. It could be that the mortar wasn’t prepared or installed properly in the first place, or it could be that the freeze-thaw cycle has caused the mortar to weaken. No matter what caused it, it’s important to call a chimney sweep company as soon as possible to make sure that structural damage hasn’t occurred. If damage like that is left unchecked, instead of looking at repair work, you could be looking at major rebuild work, and that means lots of time and money.
Take a look at your firebox or your damper system. Rust is a sign that something is leaking that shouldn’t be. Here again, a chimney specialist is your best defense against a leak of unknown origin.
Make Sure They’re CSIA Certified
Whether you’ve noticed signs of damage or it’s just time to schedule an annual cleaning, you’ll want to make sure that the chimney sweep you call is CSIA certified, like Chimney Doctors of Colorado. This ensures that you’ll have professionals that are trained and educated in all the latest techniques. Make sure that your chimney is in tip-top condition by giving Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call today.
Do you love the look and feel of a fireplace, but just aren’t crazy about chopping wood, curing it, carrying it into the house, and building a fire? There are some people who love every part of that; on the other hand, it can be a tiring process that just isn’t right for you. That’s okay. There’s a solution out there for people who love to cozy up in front of a fire at the end of a long day but just don’t enjoy the effort it takes to get that fire going. Have a gas fireplace installed in your existing fireplace! This option makes burning a fire as easy as flipping a switch. It will also help decrease your energy bill because it will help eliminate the warm air from your home being drawn up and out of your house through your chimney! That sounds like a win-win situation!
Advantages to Going with Gas
Of course, one of the biggest advantages of a gas fireplace is ease of use. No more chopping wood, or even building a fire. With just a flip of a switch, you have a fire. This can be very appealing, especially at the end of a hard day’s work. But that’s not the only advantage. With a gas insert, you’ll also be able to enjoy a smoke-free fire. That’s better for your health, especially if you suffer from respiratory problems.
You may be thinking that a gas fire just isn’t as natural looking as a wood fire. Today’s gas appliances have the look and feel of a natural fire. Unless you look close, you might not even be aware that it’s not a wood fire! If you don’t enjoy the work it takes to build a fire, then a gas burning insert is what you’re looking for.
Vented or Ventless
There are also two types of gas burning inserts that you can install: vented or ventless. The advantages of a ventless insert is obvious. You don’t have to worry about placement in an existing fireplace if you don’t want it there. However, some people have complained about feelings of nausea or headaches being around these ventless systems. If you go for a vented insert, you will need to vent your fireplace to the outside through an outside wall or through your existing fireplace. This has the definite advantage of getting some of the byproducts produced by your gas fireplace out of the house and into the great outdoors.
Give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a Call
Regardless of which type of gas fireplace you go with, it’s important that you call in experts who know which type of insert is right for your fireplace needs. That company is Chimney Doctors of Colorado. Not only will they install your gas fireplace, but they’ll be able to help you maintain it as well. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that you use a certified professional to keep your gas fireplace up and running safely and efficiently, and Chimney Doctors of Colorado is the right company for that job!
November is here and it won’t be long until you’ll be smelling that turkey cooking and tasting that pumpkin pie. After a long, happy day of cooking, cleaning up, and visiting with relatives, there’s nothing like sitting down and relaxing in front of a crackling fire. But before that can happen, it’s important to give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call to get that chimney cleaned. Is it really that important, you might be asking? Read on to see why the answer is yes.
What Happens When Your Chimney is Dirty
Natural fibers in the wood release gases through the smoke and into the chimney. As it gets higher up in the chimney, it hits that cooler surface near the top and condenses. The material that condenses is a thick, brown mass or a black, shiny material that is extremely flammable – creosote. Creosote builds up thicker and thicker through the course of a fire burning season, and any buildup over 1/8 inch is considered dangerous by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. There are some things that you can do to prevent creosote buildup, however. For one thing, the type of wood you use can cause more or less creosote buildup. Softwoods tend to cause a higher level of creosote to build up more quickly, but the type of wood isn’t the only thing to think about. How you burn that wood can also contribute to the amount of creosote buildup. The hotter the fire burns, the less creosote buildup.
Another thing that your chimney sweep will be looking for is blockages. Over the course of the summer, animals or birds may try to build nests in your chimney in order to raise their families in a safe place. After the families move out, the nest remains behind, getting dryer and dryer. If one stray spark hits that dry nest, you could be facing a chimney fire. Paper, debris, or dried leaves can also float into your chimney, creating a fire hazard. Qualified chimney sweeps like those at Chimney Doctors of Colorado clear your chimney of blockages and clean out creosote buildup.
Schedule an Inspection and Cleaning
The most important thing you can do to keep your family and home safe is to call Chimney Doctors of Colorado today so that you can get an inspection and cleaning scheduled as soon as possible. Remember, soon it will be time to gather your friends and family around, enjoy food and fun, and relax in front of a crackling fire. Make sure that you can enjoy this time comfortably and worry free, knowing that you’ve hired the best in the business to clean your chimney.
In most cases, when you buy or make something, you don’t want to just leave it sitting around, exposed to the elements. For example, a good loaf of banana bread gets pretty hard and stale if you leave it sitting on the counter for too long. If you buy a new outfit and leave it hanging in the closet for six months to a year before you wear it, you risk it not fitting anymore or going out of style before you wear it. There are some things that just get better with age, however. Fine wines, good cheese – these both get better with age. Fruitcake can sit around for months and just get better and better, right? Another thing you want to make sure sits for at least six months is firewood. In fact, the longer you can let your firewood sit, the better your fire will burn!
Fresh cut firewood has a very high water content. Trees basically have a series of watering tubes carrying the water to the branches and leaves. In fact, when you cut a tree, you can have 50% – 80% water content. In order to burn efficiently, you want that content down to at least 20 – 25%, and that can take at least six months of drying time – and a year is even better. If you burn wet wood, first of all, it won’t start or burn as easily, and once you do get it burning, you’ll have a smoldering, slow-burning fire that burns colder than a fire using dry wood.
The biggest problem with this is that this type of fire makes smoke that has a higher moisture content, which means that it condenses and adheres to the interior of your chimney in the form of creosote at a higher level than with a dry wood fire.
How Can I Tell If My Firewood is Well-seasoned?
When you cut your firewood, you’ll want to split it right away to speed the drying process. It will dry best if it dries in the open air, and don’t cover it with any type of tarp. Store the wood on a pallet, if possible, and stack it rather than leaving it in a heap. The more sides that you can have exposed to the open air, the quicker your firewood will dry.
If you buy firewood and want to make sure that it is dry, there are a few ways to test it. For one thing, dry firewood is lighter in weight and grayer in color than wet firewood. It will not have as pungent an odor as fresh cut wood. Dryer firewood will have more cracks in it, especially along the cut end. Also, if you hit two pieces of wood together, dryer firewood will have a more hollow, ringing sound.
Call the Pros
If you’ve been burning wet firewood, give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call and have them check out your chimney for creosote buildup. They’ll fix you up in no time!