Dispelling Some Popular Myths About Chimneys and Fireplaces

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I briefly touched on myths about chimney sweeps and what we do, but we are going to go into more detail today and talk about the actual myths surrounding your chimney. Northeast Philadelphia is full of lovely homes with beautiful chimneys. Some older homes have immaculately designed rock or brick chimneys that really draw attention as people drive by. Today I’m going to discuss several popular myths surrounding chimneys and why they are just that, myths.

Most of us know about the number one myth of all – the jolly old bringer of toys who flits down the chimney to surprise good little boys and girls. However, there are more myths and misconceptions out there besides jolly old Santa Claus. Just don’t let the kids know that Santa isn’t real, but I am sure you knew that too

Let’s get started with the other myths

Metal liner (flue) means no more chimney inspections: I hate to break it to you but this is not true. I am sure most people wish it was because we all like to save money, but it’s not. Metal liners are a great addition to a chimney but this does not mean your chimney will be problem free forever. Chimneys still need to cleaned and be up to date with yearly inspections. Many manufacturers void the warranty if the homeowner doesn’t have the flue inspected once per year.

Fireplaces do not heat efficiently: This one is only partially true. A fireplace doesn’t heat as efficiently as a wood burning stove because it isn’t enclosed in a large cast iron container that radiates heat. Here’s what happens when you burn wood in your fireplace:

Everyone knows that fire needs oxygen in order to burn. This oxygen is coming from inside the room that the fire is in, and when the fire uses the oxygen in the room it also takes the warmth from the room. Cooler, oxygenated air then enters the room from outside through the chimney or small cracks in the home. The hearth helps radiate heat back into the home. 

A fireback installed in the fireplace also helps radiate heat and maintain warmth. This is a cast iron plate installed behind the fire plate and it radiates warmth from the fireplace into the home. You can even choose decorative firebacks to increase the aesthetic appeal of your fireplace.

You can clean your own chimney easily: This is true to a certain point, if you want to work hard and make a mess of soot everywhere, then go right ahead. There is a great deal of soot and creosote that comes out of a chimney, you really need the proper equipment and training to do this without making a real mess of things. Just make it easier on yourself and everyone else and hire me and I will get the job done.

When it comes to your chimney and cleaning or repairing it, give me a call; I will take care of any problems you may have with your chimney or fireplace. 

Remember: Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned before you start your first fire of the season. You never know what problems may await.

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