- WHEN SHOULD I CLEAN MY CHIMNEY?
- HOW DOES CBS CLEAN MY CHIMNEY?
- HOW MANY BAGS OF PELLETS BEFORE CLEANING?
- WHAT IS CREOSOTE/SOOT, WHERE DOES IT COME FROM, AND HOW CAN IT BE REDUCED?
- HOW CAN I CHECK MY CHIMNEY?
- WHY DOES MY DAMPER STICK OR NOT WORK?
- WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A CHIMNEY/FLUE CAP?
- WHY SHOULD I RELINE MY CHIMNEY ON A STOVE INSERT INSTALLATION?
- DO GAS LOGS NEED TO BE CLEANED?
- HARD WOOD VS. SOFT WOOD PELLETS
WHEN SHOULD I CLEAN MY CHIMNEY?
Chimney fires are caused by the buildup of creosote or soot formed by the cooling of smoke in the chimney/flue. The National Fire Protection Association recommends all wood burning units be cleaned annually or per cord of wood burned when using soft woods such as pine, pinion or cedar. Each cord of wood burned can cause a buildup of 1/8 in. to 1/4 in. of creosote/soot, enough to pose a serious fire hazard. Back to the Top
HOW DOES CBS CLEAN MY CHIMNEY?
Here at CBS we are extremely careful to protect your home and insure that we are not going to make a mess. Our sweep will arrive at your home at a specified 2hr time slot. We enter our customers house and set up a large drop cloth in front of the fireplace to set all our equipment on. The fireplace, wood stove or pellet stove is reviewed then sealed to prevent any soot from coming into the home. The sweep will then set up a ladder to access the chimney, the cap is then removed and cleaned. A wire brush is run to the bottom to remove all soot. The sweep then returns to bottom of fire place to vacuum all debris. Masonry fire places, the smoke shelf behind damper is cleaned. Back to the Top
HOW MANY BAGS OF PELLETS BEFORE CLEANING?
As recommended by ALL pellet manufactures to have your stove cleaned once per ton of pellets or 50 bags. Minimally have your stove serviced once a year. Operation and efficiency are affected by soot build-up in a pellet stove, the combustion blower (motor that creates draft) is the most affected part of your stove. Cleaning and lubrication of this motor is critical to prolong the life of your stove. Back to the Top
WHAT IS CREOSOTE/SOOT, WHERE DOES IT COME FROM, AND HOW CAN IT BE REDUCED?
Creosote comes from smoldering gases in smoke of slow burning wood that has not completely ignited. The smoke then condenses and builds up in many forms. Powdery dusty flakes and bubbly black shinny creosote build up to block passage ways, causing smoke to back into your home or to ignite into a serious flue fire. Burning unseasoned wood will cause excessive creosote buildup. Much of the green wood’s BTU’S are consumed in trying to dry the wood. This slower burning causes cooler flue temperatures resulting in clogged flue tiles or pipes and clogged chimney cap screens. Annual chimney cleaning or per cord of wood burned cleaning is essential. Quick hot fires will slow accumulation but nothing replaces a stiff brush chimney cleaning. A heavy creosote buildup usually requires a two to three stage chemical wash in addition to the brush cleaning. Back to the Top
HOW CAN I CHECK MY CHIMNEY?
You can inspect your chimney by removing your chimney/flue cap and checking the thickness of the creosote and soot buildup. From inside, keeping your eyes protected, open the damper and check the thickness of creosote/soot above the damper with a scoring tool. Cleaning is recommended if buildup is over 1/8 inch in either location. Back to the Top
WHY DOES MY DAMPER STICK OR NOT WORK?
Dampers will stick for a number of reasons. A missing chimney cap allows moisture in and can cause rust. Creosote/soot can cake and solidify on the damper. With use heat can also warp a damper, making it hard to operate. Stuck damper can break if forced open by either a chain or handle. Replacement dampers are available for masonry fireplaces and there are drop in dampers for zero clearance fireplaces. Back to the Top
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A CHIMNEY/FLUE CAP?
Caps prevent rain, snow, leaves, birds, various animals, balls or any other foreign debris from entering the chimney flue. Moisture is destructive to chimney flue tiles or chimney pipes. Moisture reaching the fireplace smoke shelf is absorbed into the mortar joints and brick which can weaken and cause them to crumble. Fire start ups heat the brick and mortar and escaping moisture from the brick can cause them to crack. As bricks and mortar do crack, the firebrick starts to loosen up, resulting in a serious fire hazard to the home’s interior walls. Masonry caps are available from service technicians and are guaranteed for life. Zero clearance or stove pipe chimney caps are available on special order, also with lifetime guarantee. Back to the Top
WHY SHOULD I RELINE MY CHIMNEY ON A STOVE INSERT INSTALLATION?
If the flue size changes on an insert installation, flue gases will cool rapidly resulting in excess creosote buildup. The burning draft will also be reduced due to the cooler flue temperatures. Back to the Top
DO GAS LOGS NEED TO BE CLEANED?
There are two types of gas log fireplaces:
- A sealed gas log unit
Has glass covering the front of the unit and usually turns on with a wall mounted switch. This type of unit does not need to be cleaned.
- Gas log conversion
A wood burning fireplace that has been converted to burn gas vs. wood. This type of gas log conversion does require to be cleaned every 3-5 years depending on use. Back to the Top
HARD WOOD VS. SOFT WOOD PELLETS
As your aware there are dozens of pellet manufactures out there. Most importantly is to find a pellet that fits in your budget, just because you pay more doesn’t always mean that your buying a better product. All pellet bags have a data print that tells you Ash, BTU and Moisture specifications. Although pellets come in a standard 40# bag differences in density of wood can affect burn time.
Pellets are broken down into 4 categories: PREMIUM, CERTIFIED PREMIUM, CERTIFIED PREMIUM PLUS and CERTIFIED SUPER PREMIUM. Almost all stoves are able to burn soft and hard wood pellets, soft wood pellets are claimed to burn at higher BTU’S WITH LESS ASH. All stove manufactures have different combustion processes, some have an air control or damper others are controlled by combustion blower speed. Pellets will burn differently in each stove, our best recommendation is to buy a few bags at a time switching brands until you find pellets that work best for you. Back to the Top
WHY SAFETY INSPECTION?
Safety inspections include a complete condition report with a 21 point review of the individual unit. Both the inside and outside are inspected to determine if there are fire hazards, the damper opens and closes properly, the chimney/flue cap is secure, and if there is weather damage on top. Back to the Top
WHAT IS A FIRE HAZARD?
Cracks more than the thickness of a dime in the fireplace bricks or refractory panels are considered a fire hazard. The cracks can be caused by a missing flue cap which allows moisture from rain and snow into the chimney flue. Also, overzealous log loading and bouncing logs off sides will crack or chip rear bricks and refractory walls. Fireplace chimneys are constructed of either metal pipes or terracotta flue tiles. Any gaps in their connections poses a serious fire hazard to the frame construction of your home. Brick repairs on masonry fireplaces are guaranteed for one year. Refractory panels must be replaced completely and custom fitted per burning appliance specifications. Back to the Top