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It’s Never Too Late to Upgrade Your Fireplace with Gas Logs

If you have been unhappy by the performance of your traditional wood-burning fireplace, you can always upgrade by converting it into a gas heating appliance. While gas fireplace inserts are an excellent option, gas logs are less expensive and even easier to use. At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, you will find sets of gas logs that are safe and efficient. We carry Blackjack Oak gas log sets, which we know you will find to be very attractive and realistic looking. When many people think of gas logs, they remember the sets from the 1970’s that really did not even come close to resembling firewood. Thanks to technology and design developments, the gas log sets of today provide realism and beauty. We have even had customers believe they are looking at a real wood-burning fire when they see a display of gas logs in action. If you think it is too late in the season to convert your old wood-burning fireplace into a clean-burning and effective heating appliance with a set of gas logs, it is honestly never too late to make this improvement. We would like to tell you more about how convenient and efficient gas logs can be.

What are the features of Blackjack Oak gas log sets?Upgrading gas logs - Weststar Chimney - San Diego CA

Manufactured by HEATMASTER, Blackjack Oak gas log sets are vented and have the typical yellow flame that closely resembles a wood fire. You will be amazed at how great these gas logs look as well at how convenient and safe they are to operate. Weststar Chimney Sweeps sells and installs three different models of these sets of gas logs. Although the number of logs will differ depending on the model, each set is available in different sizes: 18, 24, and 30 inches. The Deluxe Oak set is equipped with a deluxe ember burner that will give you the appearance of a full glowing ember bed. This set includes six, seven, or ten logs in accordance to the size of the set. The Wild Fire set looks like a real campfire, complete with pinecones. Depending on the size of the set, you can get nine, fifteen, or eighteen logs. The Black Forest set also comes with a deluxe ember burner and includes five, seven, or ten logs in a dark wood shade.

What exactly are vented gas logs? Is there another option to this type of gas logs?

Vented gas logs are the safest type of gas logs and require a wood-burning fireplace and chimney to vent the byproducts of combustion out of your home. You will not have to worry about any smells or possible carbon monoxide leaks with vented gas logs as everything is vented out the chimney. This type of gas logs also provides the most realistic looking flame.

There is another type of gas logs set: vent-free; however, this type of gas logs is illegal in the state of California because of the possible risks involved with using vent-free gas logs. Since vent-free gas logs do not require any sort of venting, they can be installed anywhere in a home, but the carbon monoxide they produce has nowhere to go but your living spaces. They can even deplete the oxygen in your home. This type of gas logs also comes with condensation issues and cannot be used for more than an hour at a time without opening a window in the same room. Vent-free gas logs also provide a blue flame, which does not look very realistic.

It is always the right time to update your old traditional wood-burning fireplace with a set of vented gas logs. Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to learn more about how you can be enjoying a cozy, safe, and convenient fire from a Blackjack Oak set of gas logs this holiday season.

By Mike O'Mara on November 29th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , | Leave a Comment

How to Deal With Chimney Draft Problems

If your chimney seems to have trouble moving smoke up and out of the chimney, call Weststar Chimney Sweeps

If your chimney seems to have trouble moving smoke up and out of the chimney, call Weststar Chimney Sweeps

How do you know when you are having chimney draft problems? The most obvious sign is when smoke fills the room, but chimney draft issues can also cause problems with igniting a fire in the fireplace. Smoky, unpleasant odors coming from the fireplace when you are not using it can also let you know there is something wrong with the draft in your chimney. Draft is essential to making your chimney work efficiently because it pulls the byproducts of combustion out of your house through the chimney. When the draft is not working properly, your chimney is not functioning as safely as it should be. What causes chimney draft problems? Weststar Chimney Sweeps would like to answer this question by sharing some of the reasons for this issue.

THE FLUE IS TOO LARGE FOR YOUR HEATING APPLIANCE

If you have converted your old masonry fireplace into a more efficient heating system by installing a new fireplace insert in it, you may have chimney draft problems if the size of your flue is not properly matched to the insert. In order for draft to work correctly, your chimney needs to be hot, and, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), newer fireplace inserts use most of the heat they produce to heat your home, so the temperature within your chimney is much cooler. Because less heat is directed into your chimney from an insert, the flue must be matched exactly with the insert for it to function safely and properly. Not only does your chimney need draft to pull smoke and toxic gases from your house, but it also needs draft for the combustion process to be completed. Incomplete combustion can lead to a very hazardous situation: the production of carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas. Even worse, the carbon monoxide can easily be forced back into your living space when the chimney draft is not working correctly. To avoid this problem, you should always have a fireplace insert professionally installed. Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians at Weststar Chimney Sweeps can construct a new flue from a stainless steel chimney liner that will match the size of your new insert.

THE FLUE IS BLOCKED

If your flue is blocked by animal or bird nests, fallen bricks, leaves, or other debris, the blockage can interfere with the chimney draft. Air cannot sufficiently get through the blockage. Your flue can even become blocked by the buildup of soot and creosote, and it does not take much to reduce the diameter of the flue enough to cause chimney draft problems. Weststar Chimney Sweeps can inspect your chimney for blockages and remove the debris that is causing this issue. We will even check the mesh siding of your chimney cap to be sure it is not clogged as well.

NEGATIVE PRESSURE IS AFFECTING YOUR HOME

You may have weatherized your home by sealing up the windows and doors to keep heated and cooled air from escaping the house. Although this saves you money on your utility bills, your home could be sealed up too tightly, which creates negative pressure. Clothes dryers and exhaust fans can also cause negative pressurization. When your home is affected by negative pressure, it battles against the chimney draft and even pull smoke back down from the chimney. To solve draft problems caused by negative pressure, you can simply open a window in the room. Weststar Chimney Sweeps can also fix this problem by installing tight-fitting glass fireplace doors and effective gasketing.

Have you been dealing with smoky rooms and unpleasant odors from your fireplace? Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to find out how we can help you solve your chimney draft problems.

By Mike O'Mara on November 17th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: | Leave a Comment