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Everyone knows how nice it is to cozy up in front of a fire in the middle of a Colorado snowstorm, watching the snow fall outside the window. Did you also know how great it feels to sit outside on a warm summer evening, after the heat has left the air, and cozy up in front of an outdoor fireplace? It’s true – a fireplace can be great year round!
Summer Get Togethers
Summer is a perfect time to get friends and family together. Summer food is easy to make and tastes great! Travel is easy, and it’s easy to walk out the door without having to worry about coats and sweaters. A big plus is you don’t have to worry about cleaning your house before or afterwards, because you can easily host a get together in your backyard. Just set up some serving tables outside, ask friends to bring a favorite salad or a bag of chips, and start up the outdoor fireplace. There are all kinds of main dishes you can prepare on the grill and desserts can be made right over the fire!
Start out by getting out the grill, it’s easy to grab some hamburgers, steaks, pork chops, or chicken and get them cooking in a hurry. For added flavor, place the meat in a marinade a few hours before guests arrive. And, for a tasty dessert that gets your guests involved, try roasting marshmallows for s’mores that will bring your guests memories from their younger days. Try jazzing them up by changing up the type of candy bar you use. Peanut butter cups taste great, but for a nice minty flavor, a mint patty works well. Or try a wafer cookie candy bar for added crunch. You can even change the graham cracker out for a chocolate striped cookie, a chocolate covered graham cracker, or any other type of cookie you can find. In fact, the only limit to your s’more making is your imagination. Just set up a table with different types of cookies or crackers for the base, a variety of candy bars, and marshmallows and have plenty of marshmallow roasting forks available for your guests to use to make their own sweet treat.
Install a New Outdoor Fireplace
Does this sound like a great way to spend a summer evening? If you don’t have a backyard fireplace, help is just a phone call away. Just give us a call at 303-838-3009 and let Chimney Doctors of Colorado set you up with a beautiful outdoor gas fireplace. We sell gas fireplaces from Regency, and they offer all types of sizes and designs to fit your vision for the perfect backyard.
Now is the perfect time to start planning an outdoor party. Just call your friends and family, put out some food, and make some good memories that will get you through the cold, snowy days of winter!
There’s a right time to do just about anything. For example, it’s best to plant many types of perennials in the fall or early spring. In the late fall, you’ll want to take your lawnmower apart, change the oil, clean and sharpen the blades, change the air filter, and replace the spark plugs: all these things make sure it stays in excellent running condition so you’ll be able to use it right away in the spring. The best time to have your chimney cleaned and inspected is in the spring, first, because it’s nice to have it checked off of your to-do list, but there are other reasons as well.
Avoid the Rush
One reason it’s a good idea to schedule your chimney cleaning and inspection now is so you avoid the rush. Let’s face it, many people are procrastinators and will wait until autumn to schedule their cleaning. A great way to stay ahead of the fall rush is to give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call now at 303-838-3009 so we can get you scheduled for your cleaning.
Find Out About Needed Repairs
Another excellent reason to call now is because you may need repair work done. When we inspect your chimney, we’ll be looking closely for any types of repairs that may need to be completed, big or small. Some small jobs may not take much time to tackle, but if there’s a bigger job, it’s smart to get going on it right away while our schedule isn’t as booked. Also, if there is an outdoor repair job that needs to be taken care of, it’s much easier to work outdoors when the weather is warm and sunny, rather than waiting and hoping for good weather later in the year. If the repair work is going to involve working with mortar, mortar works and sets up better when the weather is warmer as well.
Another reason that now is the best time to bring us in is because clean-up is so much easier when the mess is fresh. Over time, the soot and creosote deposits can harden up, so if we can come in right after fireplace season, it’ll be easier to get rid of that mess. Did you know that, besides being a fire hazard, creosote can give off an unpleasant odor? When the humid days of summer arrive, the moisture can mix with the creosote build-up and give off a bad smell which can pervade your room. This is another great reason to get that creosote out of your chimney sooner rather than later.
Get it Done Now
Whether you are thinking that you’ll need some repair work done or just want to freshen up your living room for the summer, give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call. You’ll spend a happier summer knowing that you’ve got all chimney cleaning and repairs accomplished and avoided the rush!
You need driving forces behind plenty of things you have to get done. Why do you have your car serviced? Because you want it to keep running for as long possible. Why do you go on a second or third date? To try to find that right person to settle down with. Why do you start an exercise program? To get your heart and body in good shape so you feel better and can keep doing things you love to do. These are pretty easy reasons to come up with. But is it so easy to come up with reasons why you should have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually? It might seem like a lot of expense and bother to have someone come into your house every year just to have them tell you that, once again, your chimney is looking fine. The thing is, if you don’t, you might not be getting that same news when you finally do have it inspected, or worse yet, you might have a chimney fire or excessive carbon monoxide build-up in your home.
First off, your chimney sweep will be looking for how much creosote you have in your chimney. Creosote is that nasty blackish or brownish build-up that happens when you build a fire in your fireplace. Although you can control the amount of creosote in some ways, like by burning well-cured wood rather than ‘wet’ wood, there’s no way to avoid creosote completely. This substance is highly flammable, and a build-up of more than one-eighth of an inch is thick enough to be a danger. If this build-up catches a spark or ember, you could quickly have a blazing chimney fire burning out of control, but even if it doesn’t get to the point of being out of control, a small chimney fire can cause serious structural damage to your chimney, and, if left undetected, you might be looking at an excessive carbon monoxide build-up.
Carbon Monoxide Build-up
When you burn a wood fire in your fireplace, a by-product is creosote. Another by-product is carbon monoxide. This colorless, odorless gas is especially dangerous because it is also life threatening. At it’s least harmful, it can cause health issues such as nausea, headaches, vomiting, or other flu-like symptoms; at worst, it can cause death. Carbon monoxide detectors can be a relatively inexpensive, yet life-saving appliance, but it’s better yet to stop it at its source. When your chimney is working correctly, it will direct these carbon monoxide fumes right into the great outdoors. If your chimney has had structural damage due to an undetected chimney fire, that gas might be funneled right back into your home. This is a problem you must avoid, and a great reason to have your chimney inspected annually.
Call Chimney Doctors of Colorado Today
These are two great reasons to schedule your chimney inspection and cleaning soon. You don’t want to spend your summer worrying about what dangers lurk in your chimney. Avoid that stress by calling us today and set up an appointment to have your chimney inspected and cleaned soon!
When springtime comes, it seems like there are so many jobs that need to be tackled. While it’s cold out and snow is on the ground, it’s hard to get out and do so many things, like yard work, cleaning the windows, washing down the siding, and planting the garden. Another important job that needs to be done in the spring is making a telephone call: give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call and we’ll get your chimney inspection and sweeping scheduled. While we’re there, we’ll check out your chimney lining and make sure it’s in tip-top condition.
What is a Lining?
Your chimney lining is just that: a lining to keep your chimney safe from the corrosive effects of smoke, the harsh effects of the extreme heat of fire, and the wear and tear of precipitation. It can be made of clay, ceramic, or metal. Chimney liners are such an important part of your chimney system that most fire codes now require that you have one.
A chimney liner plays three main roles. For one thing, it makes your fireplace more efficient. It does this by making sure that your chimney is properly sized for the type of heating appliance that you have. Another thing that it does is it keeps your house safe from the heat transfer from your fire; it keeps the walls and woodwork that surround your fireplace safe from the heat of the fire. Lastly, it keeps your brick and mortar free from the chemicals that are released when you are burning a fire in your fireplace.
Types of Liners
If, during the course of your chimney inspection, we find that your chimney lining has been damaged, we may recommend that you have your liner replaced. A cracked liner can allow corrosive materials or precipitation to leak through to your chimney, and that could lead to structural damage. Worse yet, a cracked liner may allow dangerous gases, including carbon monoxide, to leak back into your home.
What Kind of Liner is Best
At Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we know what to look for as far as chimney liner damage is concerned. We also know exactly which type of chimney liner is the best replacement for your cracked liner, and that is Simpson Dura Vent stainless steel liner. When you use Simpson Dura Vent, you know that you are getting the most durable liner possible, so you won’t have to worry about replacement for years to come. Not only that, but Simpson Dura Vent liners can be used for any fuel type, so no matter what type of fuel you are using, you know your chimney will be protected.
At Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we know there is nothing more valuable to you than your families’ safely. If you want the best product installed by the best in the business, give us a call today and set up your chimney inspection and cleaning.
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!