Our Company Blog

Prepare Your Chimney for Winter Now to Beat the Fall Rush

Don't wait another day -- schedule your own chimney sweeping today!

Don’t wait another day — schedule your own chimney sweeping today!

With temperatures dropping every day, winter will be here before we know it. Weststar Chimney Sweeps knows you want to start enjoying a warm fire in your fireplace as soon as you can, but we recommend your chimney be professionally swept and inspected by one of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps before you light that first fire. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), at least 12,000 Americans die every year in a house fire. One of the best ways to avoid having a devastating fire at your home is to have your chimney cleaned before the winter season.begins. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the NFPA, and other fire prevention and safety organizations recommend you have your chimney professionally swept and inspected at least once a year. Scheduling this annual sweeping and inspection in the late summer and early fall ensures your fireplace will be safe to use in the winter. We would like to tell you why it is so essential to have your chimney cleaned before you begin using it regularly in the colder months. We would also like to share some fire safety tips from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Have Your Chimney Professionally Cleaned Before Winter

Safety is the main reason you should have your chimney swept and inspected before you light your first fire of the winter season. One of the biggest causes of chimney fires is large accumulations of creosote within your chimney. Developed naturally during the condensation process when the byproducts of combustion exit your chimney, creosote is highly flammable. If you neglect scheduling a professional chimney sweeping and inspection and large amounts of creosote remain inside your chimney, a home fire can be in your near future. Weststar Chimney Sweeps will be sure all creosote will be removed when we clean your chimney. We will also inspect your entire chimney to make sure there are no essential repairs. For example, a cracked chimney liner can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide leaking into your home, which can cause illness and possible death.

Other Safety Precautions for Winter

● Place some sort of shield, such as glass fireplace doors or a mesh screen, around your fireplace to keep sparks from jumping out and igniting a fire in your home.
● Make sure no flammable items are in the area around your fireplace just in case ash, sparks, or smoke exits your fireplace into your home.
● Use dry, seasoned firewood to build your fires. This type of wood cuts down on the amount of creosote produced when burning wood. Burning wet wood actually increases and speeds up the development of creosote deposits.
● Store your firewood off the ground to keep it dry and to prevent insects from living in the wood and entering your home when you bring it inside to burn. Few insects can survive if the wood is dry.

The fall is the busiest time of year for Weststar Chimney Sweeps. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our chimney sweeps now so that you do not have to wait for weeks to have your pre-winter chimney cleaning and inspection.

By Mike O'Mara on September 30th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

The Benefits of Fireplace Doors

We at Weststar Chimney Sweeps are excited to tell you about a new service we now offer — fireplace door installation. We have partnered with another company, Fireplace Door Guy, who custom designs fireplace doors. Once you have purchased and received your fireplace doors, our expert technicians will come to install these doors. We would like to take the opportunity to share with you the benefits of having fireplace doors.

Fireplace Doors by Fireplace Door Guy - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney

Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), every year thousands of homeowners experience property damage that could have been prevented if their fireplaces had doors. Even more serious, not having fireplace doors also causes thousands of deaths and injuries from house fires. How exactly do fireplace doors reduce dangerous home fires? Glass fireplace doors reduce the chances of sparks or logs falling out of the fireplace. This prevents damage to wood or tile flooring, destruction of carpet, and melting of linoleum floors. Additionally, you will not have to worry about sparks and cinders popping out of the fireplace and landing on clothing, furniture, and other household items, which can cause a destructive fire. Closing off the fireplace with glass doors has been proven to increase fire safety and prevention.

Increased Energy Efficiency

By minimizing and reducing air going out of your chimney, fireplace doors will save you money on both your heating and cooling expenses. An open fireplace is the same thing as an open window. If you do not have fireplace doors to close this window, warm air escapes your home in the winter, and cold, air conditioned air exits through your chimney during the summer. Remember, though, that if you are burning gas logs or a large wood-burning fire, you should open these doors.

Clean Up Reduction

When fireplace doors are closed, ash, wood chips, cinders, and other debris are contained, which decreases (or even eliminates!) the task of sweeping up these things after a fire. You also will not have to worry about ash smudges left by fallen ashes. Your household items near your fireplace are also protected from getting dirty from debris when the fireplace doors are closed.

Decor and Style

Adding fireplace doors can update the look of your hearth. One of the reasons Weststar Chimney Sweeps chose to partner with the Fireplace Door Guy is his variety of styles and designs of custom fireplace doors. Whether your decor tastes are classic and traditional or modern and contemporary, the Fireplace Door Guy has the perfect set of fireplace doors for you. With shapes ranging from rectangular to L-shaped to arched to U-shaped, you are certain to find the perfect fireplace doors for your hearth and home. You can even come up with your own design idea, and the Fireplace Door Guy can craft it from scratch.

If you would like to install fireplace doors, you can now contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps to do this service for you. Our staff can tell you more about these benefits of fireplace doors.

By Mike O'Mara on September 13th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment