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Make Your Chimney Safer For Santa

Christmas is almost here, and excitement is building more and more with every passing day. We know there are still lots of things to do to prepare for Santa’s arrival. Bake some cookies, buy some carrots for the reindeer, and don’t forget to make sure your chimney is clean and ready! At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we can help ensure your fireplace is as safe as possible for Santa’s arrival. Give us a call, so we can help you today.

Make Your Chimney Safer For Santa Image - San Diego CA - Weststar ChimneyInvest In Annual Inspections & Sweepings

If it’s been awhile since you invested in an inspection, now is the time to call us in. The CSIA recommends scheduling at least one inspection per year, and there’s no better time than right before the holidays kick off! Give our certified technicians a hollar right away. We’ll make sure you’re good to go this holiday season!

Chimneys that are used without being inspected face some extra risks. For one thing, creosote needs to be cleaned out from time to time. If it accumulates too much, your chances of a chimney fire increase significantly. Chimney fires damage your structure and leave behind gaps and openings for stray flames to escape. This could eventually lead to toxins entering your home or a house fire. Stay safe – get an inspection of the books today!

Our sweeps will also check for any clogs or blockages. It’s not unusual for animals to set up camp when your fireplace isn’t in use. If any critters, nesting materials, twigs, or other debris is clogging things up, air will not circulate properly through your system. Consequently, you risk exposure to carbon monoxide (as well as smoke and other toxins). Carbon monoxide can lead to serious illness, and it is basically impossible to notice without a detector. Don’t take any chances! Have our staff check things over.

Steps You Can Take

If you’re wondering which steps you, as a homeowner, can take to maintain a safer fireplace, check out these tips!

First of all, make sure that only properly seasoned wood gets burned in your fireplace. That means no trash, paper plates, napkins, wrapping paper, or anything similar. You’ll also want to avoid fresh wood, as it contains a lot of moisture. Fresh wood uses up a lot of energy to burn through, leaving you with more smoke and less heat. It also encourages the accumulation of creosote which, as noted above, isn’t good at all! Make things easier and safer by using seasoned wood from the start.

It’s also important to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. These will be your first warning signs of trouble, and they have saved countless lives over the decades. Along with this, practice fire safety in your home, and keep young children informed on how to stay protected. Plan two escape routes from each room in your home and practice fire drills throughout the year, so that everyone is prepared, no matter what.

At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we want all of our customers to have a safe and happy holiday season. Work with us, and you won’t regret it!

By Mike O'Mara on December 4th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Why Is My Chimney Smoking?

If your chimney is smoking, there are many reasons why this may be occurring. Having smoke back up into your home can be a really frustrating experience, especially when all you want to do is enjoy a cozy fire. If you have issues time and time again, try out some of these methods to ensure all of your smoke goes up the chimney like it is supposed to.

Why Is My Chimney Smoking Image - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney SweepsOpen Your Damper

Your damper should be opened all the way before starting a fire. Oftentimes, homeowners forget this step, which means the smoke has no way of escaping out the chimney! As your fire burns, you can adjust it accordingly, so that you get the most efficient burn possible.

If the damper is stuck, a good cleaning may be in order. Which leads to another reason as to why your chimney may be smoking…

Check For Build-Up

As creosote and other debris accumulate in your fireplace, blockages will start to form. The smoke will enter your living room if there is not a clean pathway for smoke to escape. If you think a cleaning is necessary, call in a professional to check things over and remove any build-up throughout the chimney. A certified tech will have all of the appropriate tools and chemicals that are necessary for a thorough and complete inspection and sweep.

Inspect Your Fuel

Burning unseasoned wood will produce much smokier fires. You should purchase wood that has been dried for at least six months (but one to two years is ideal). Or, better yet, dry your own wood, so you know you are working with the best possible fuel. Unseasoned wood burns much less efficiently and uses up a lot of energy when burning through the excess moisture. This results in more smoke output.

Check Out Your Chimney Dimensions

Chimney height, flue size, and more can all affect how well your chimney functions. A certified pro will know exactly what dimensions your set up needs to be in order to run efficiently. Schedule an inspection today, so you will know whether or not your chimney is in need of some adjusting.

Adjust Your Windows

Sometimes, all it takes is opening a window or two to help the airflow adjust accordingly. A well-insulated home is good for many reasons, but it does mean your fireplace may struggle. Air needs to circulate through your home to keep a fire running, but if not enough air can work its way back in, your fire will start smoking up the house. Opening a couple windows will help get things flowing normally.

On the opposising side, your home may not be insulated enough! Too much air can also mess up your fireplace. If this is the case for you, ensure that all windows are tightly closed, especially those on the higher levels.

Call Us!

For more chimney help, call on the staff at Weststar Chimney Sweeps today!

By Mike O'Mara on January 24th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment