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There are some jobs best left for the professionals, and cleaning your dryer vent is definitely one of those jobs. The thing is, we usually think we’re doing enough when it comes to keeping the dryer up and running when we clean the lint tray. This is an important thing to remember to do after you dry a load or two of clothes, but it really isn’t enough. In order to keep your family safe and sound and your dryer running efficiently, you need to clean more than just the lint tray. Your entire vent systems needs to be blown clean to make sure that a dangerous dryer fire doesn’t put your house in jeopardy.
What Happens in the Dryer
You know dryers do a great job of getting your clothes dry, but do you really know how they work? You know that when you put your clothes in the washer, it’s water, soap, and the action of the tub of the washer (or the agitator if you have an older machine) that gets the clothes clean. Rinse water is pumped through to get rid of the soap, and then the spin cycle gets most of the water out. Because it can’t get all the water out, you throw the clothes in the dryer and let it do its magic.
Your dryer combines three elements: heat, air movement, and low humidity to dry your clothes. Cold air is drawn into your dryer, directed by a fan through the heating element and blown through the drum of the dryer, which is turning. Your clothes are drawn to the top of the drum as it spins, then fall to the bottom through the hot air that is being pushed through the drum. The air leaves the dryer through the dryer lint screen, and as it passes through it leaves random pieces of lint and fuzz behind in the tray. This is exactly why dryers have lint screens. The problem is, some of that fuzz goes through the screen and travels down the vents and out of the house. Because the air is moist from the clothes, it causes some of the lint to stick to the sides of the vent and attract even more lint. If left unchecked, you can have such a thick buildup that your dryer isn’t running efficiently. Another big problem is that this lint is highly flammable, so one spark and you could have a house fire.
It’s pretty clear that making sure your dryer vents are properly cleaned is very important. That’s why giving us a call today is such a good idea. At Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we have the proper equipment to make sure your dryer vents are completely cleared out. Give us a call now and you can spend the summer out and about, with no worries of full vents or dryer fires!
A pellet stove has many advantages. If you love the look of a fire, but don’t own a fireplace and don’t want to go to the expense or mess of installing a full wood burning fireplace, a pellet stove may be just the thing you’re looking for. You can buy pellets by the bag, which cuts down on cutting wood, and these bags of pellets store much easier than a big pile of wood. Because these pellets are made from sawdust and woodshavings, they are a very eco-friendly option to burning wood. Additionally, pellet stoves are cost effective and environmentally friendly. It’s easy to see why these stoves have become a popular option for heating your home. But as great as a pellet burner is, things can still go wrong, and it’s nice to know if the troubles you are having are serious enough to call in the professionals.
First off, when you start up your pellet burner, it might seem like the flame is burning hot and high. This is nothing to worry about; as the fire gets going, the flame should burn down to a normal level.
One thing you don’t want to see is a lot of smoke coming out of your pellet stove. If you notice this, it could be that your pellet stove needs a good cleaning. Because wood is a natural product, it has some impurities in it that won’t burn. These “clinkers” could be causing your smoking problems, and that’s an easy fix. Just push them out. You can lower the adjustment control rod in the firepot a little at a time until your stove quits smoking.
Another problem could be that you are using low-quality pellets. The better the pellets, the more efficient the burn, and the less mess and clogging you’ll experience.
Sometimes your stove isn’t running as efficiently as it could be, and this shows up by the flames having black tips and the flames not moving too quickly. Just clean your firepot and the heat exchanger’s blower and you shouldn’t have any more problems. Another problem with stove efficiency could be that the door isn’t sealed as tightly as it should be. Check the door seal and make sure it’s a tight fit.
It might be that your stove isn’t feeding the pellets as evenly as it should, and the problem might be with the pressure-sensing switch. You can easily check this out by cleaning the switch or the vent pipe, and if these things don’t help, you can try replacing the pressure-sensing switch.
There are things that you can check out on your own, but if there’s a problem you can’t solve on your own, give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call. We’ll clean your stove and take care of any problems you might be having.
Winter is such a great time for fireplace lovers. When it’s cold and snowy outside, it feels great to stretch out, watch the flames snap and pop, and let the warmth soak in. Now that spring is here, you may be wishing there was some way to replicate that feeling. You can! Just give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call and let us advise you on the benefits of installing an outdoor fireplace.
In the winter, a fireplace can keep you warm. Springtime weather can be tricky, as warm daytime hours can lead to cooler evenings. With an outdoor fireplace, you can keep the daytime party going by lighting a fire. It is such a cozy feeling to be out in the cool dusk of a spring evening, standing by a crackling fire. A great way to entertain family and friends is sharing a cold drink or some hot chocolate, reminiscing and keeping warm by your outdoor fireplace.
If you’re having family and friends over to visit around the outdoor fireplace, why not invite them over a little earlier and serve a meal cooked over your outdoor fireplace? Everyone loves the traditional campfire meal of roasted hot dogs, chips, and beans followed by tasty s’mores. But why not fancy things up a bit? There are many great meals you can make using an outdoor fireplace. You can use a skewer with meat and veggies or make more complex fare, such as stew ‘baked’ in a dutch oven. And why go for plain old s’mores when you can spice it up a bit simply by using different types of candy bars? Use a chocolate covered peanut butter bar or a peppermint flavored chocolate bar for a real taste treat.
Upping Your Home’s Value
Another positive of adding an outdoor fireplace to your yard is an increase in your home’s value. It’s common knowledge that an indoor fireplace is top on a lot of home buyers’ priority lists. The staff at Angie’s List decided to ask real estate agents whether outdoor fireplaces have the same effect on a home’s value as an indoor fireplace, and the response was an overwhelming yes. A properly installed, attractive outdoor fireplace will definitely add to your home’s value.
We Know How to Install an Outdoor Fireplace
At Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we have experience and knowledge about installing outdoor fireplaces, whether you are looking for a smaller model for a little backyard or if you have a bigger area to fill. We work with Regency, a top name in outdoor gas fireplaces, and we can help you pick the perfect fireplace to fit your needs, both in appearance and usability. Give us a call soon and you’ll be cozying up around a beautiful outdoor fireplace in no time!
When you live in an area that gets snowy winters, there are some things you do to prepare for it. If you have the good fortune to own a sports car, you might consider winterizing it, putting it in the garage for the winter, and letting your four wheel drive vehicle handle the ice and snow. You’ll want to make sure there’s a survival kit in all your vehicles. You should also buy a few sweaters to round out your wardrobe. But did you know that there are also some things you should do at the end of winter to get ready for summer? One thing that you should take special care to do is to close out your fireplace for the summer months.
Get It Inspected and Swept
Every responsible fireplace owner knows that it’s important to call a highly qualified, CSIA certified chimney company like Chimney Doctors of Colorado to schedule a yearly inspection. Call us early so that we can fit you in the schedule at your convenience.
Other Things You Can Do
There are some things you can do in order to close out your fireplace until we get there. The first thing you’ll want to do is to clean out the firebox. You should get the ashes out after every two or three burns, but when you’re done using your fireplace for the season, you can do a deeper cleanout. First, wait three days or so after burning a fire to be sure there’s no hot spots left. Then, gather the tools you’ll need to do a good cleaning. Sprinkle some used coffee grounds over the ashes; this is to weigh them down and avoid flyaway ashes all over your living area. Use a fireplace shovel to get out as many of the ashes as possible. Place these in a metal can or a ceramic flowerpot to prevent spills. After this, use a handheld vacuum to suck up any remaining ashes, or use a fireplace broom to get those last ashes out. You can also use a stiff bristled brush to clear any remaining ash or soot.
After you have the firebox cleared out, use a glass cleaner to clean the glass door of your fireplace. There are many paste glass cleaners made just for fireplace doors, and these work best for the tough soot stains that you’ll probably be working on. Rub some on the doors with a paper towel, let it sit a minute, then wipe clean with a clean towel. If it still looks a little smoky, just repeat the process.
You’ll also want to wipe down the exterior of your fireplace with a clean cloth dipped in water. Be careful not to use strong cleaners, as these could damage the bricks, especially if you own an older fireplace. After this, step back and enjoy your clean fireplace!
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!