Chimney Blog November 2015

Your Fireplace Is Not an Incinerator

Posted On: November 21, 2015

Every year you read or hear stories about yet another fire that started in a fireplace. Sometimes the fire was in the living room, others were on the roof and still others may have actually started a tree fire.

The holidays may bring out the best in a lot of us, but sometimes in all the excitement, some people simply lose sight of safety. If you have family members who fall in this category it may be uncomfortable to tell tehm your concerns but the alternative is much worse.

This year, when you come in after your reveling or if you simply decide to gather around the fireplace for a cozy time with family, think before you act. Fireplaces are a great addition to a home, but only if you use them safely.

Using Dry Wood

Fireplace owners know that the wood used should be on the dry side, but keep in mind that wood with some moisture in it is beneficial. About 20% of dry wood still holds moisture and that moisture helps to slow down the time it takes for the wood to burn. This reduces the embers that can fly either out of your fireplace (if you don’t use the screen) or up your chimney where they belong.

Don't Burn Your Beautiful Wrapping Paper

If you are opening presents, don't be tempted to take the wrapping paper and stuff it in the fireplace with the burning logs. Sure, it burns, but it burns quickly, is quite light and the embers really fly. Some fly right up the chimney and onto your roof or your landscaping! This is dangerous and frankly, a giant Santa in flames is not a good look for a Christmas decoration. The other reason not to burn wrapping paper is because it is so pretty. The prettiest paper has finishes and ink that could very well be toxic at high temperatures. Don’t burn rolled newspapers, charcoal, garbage or plastic in your fireplace and never use an accelerant. If you have trouble starting the fire, you can use crumpled newspaper on the grate and then put the logs on top of it.

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Some Advantages of Boiler Heat

Posted On: November 02, 2015

Sad but true, summer is over. Whether the globe is getting warmer or the climate “it is a-changin’,” cold weather is on the horizon. As long as the earth keeps spinning on its tilted axis, winter is the next season on the list. That means, of course, that your bills will be going up soon when you start to use the heat. If you haven’t done it already, it’s also time to get the regular maintenance checkup. It’s better to find out now that the system is broken than to find out the day you need the heat and discover that you don’t have any. Speaking of heat, is something that we do quite frequently at Always Affordable Chimney. We clean, fix and repair your chimney but we are often asked about what advantages a homeowner would gain if switching from Oil to Gas boiler heat.  if you find that you need to install a new heating system (they do wear out eventually and need replacement), you might want to consider boiler heat.

Boiler heat has a number of advantages over oil and electric and it’s worth considering if a new system is called for. One of the biggest advantages is the cost – boiler heat is cheaper.

Boiler heat uses either water or steam that goes through tubing in the floor or radiators in order to heat your home. Unlike in yesteryear, boilers are smaller these days and take up very little space. They provide even heat within your home. Since there are no vents, you don’t get a draft when the heat isn’t blowing out.

Another advantage of boiler heat is the fact that there are no vents. There is no need for a filter because there is nothing to filter out. The heat is clean with no dust or allergens. This is particularly helpful if you have any drywall or plaster work being done in your home. Those particles will fly right into the return and out the ducts. If you have a radiator system rather than radiant floor heat you can put stylish pans of water on top of them and introduce humidity into the environment. There are also specially designed attachments that hold water and are hung from the radiator to produce humidity.

So you don’t like the looks of radiators, is that it? Don’t worry, advances have been made in radiator design as well. The designs are contemporary and look great in the home. Besides, there are more advantages to boiler heat. Boiler heat is quiet. You won’t hear the furnace kick on and the fan kick off. You won’t hear anything, you’ll just feel glorious heat. And if you have a family where some like it hot and some like it cold, you can separate the factions into zones in your home that are heated differently.

Yes, New York, technology has come to the lowly boiler.

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