Chimney and Fireplace Questions
Find answers to all of your questions below.
Q.1 My fireplace stinks, especially in the summer. What can I do?
The smell is due to creosote deposits in the chimney, a natural byproduct of wood burning. The odor is usually worse in the summer when the humidity is high and the air conditioner is turned on. A good cleaning will help but usually won’t solve the problem completely. There are commercial chimney deodorants that work pretty well, and many people have good results with baking soda or even kitty litter set in the fireplace. The real problem is the air being drawn down the chimney, a symptom of overall pressure problems in the house. Some make-up air should be introduced somewhere else in the house. A tight sealing, top mounted damper will also reduce this air flow coming down the chimney.
Q.2 When I build a fire in my upstairs fireplace, I get smoke from the basement fireplace.
This has become quite a common problem in modern air tight houses where weather proofing has sealed up the usual air infiltration routes. The fireplace in use exhausts household air until a negative pressure situation exists. If the house is fairly tight, the simplest route for makeup air to enter the structure is often the unused fireplace chimney. As air is drawn down this unused flue, it picks up smoke that is exiting nearby from the fireplace in use and delivers the smoke to the living area. The best solution is to provide makeup air to the house so the negative pressure problem no longer exists, thus eliminating not only the smoke problem, but also the potential for carbon monoxide to be drawn back down the furnace chimney. A secondary solution is to install a top mount damper on the fireplace that is used the least.
Q.3 I heat with gas. Should this chimney be checked too?
Without a doubt! Although gas is generally a clean burning fuel, the chimney can become non-functional from bird nests or other debris blocking the flue. Modern furnaces can also cause many problems with the average flues intended to vent the older generation of furnaces. We suggest you check the areas on gas and carbon monoxide for more information.
Q.4 I have birds in my chimney. What should I do?
Most likely what you have is Chimney Swifts. These birds are federally protected by the Migratory Bird Act and cannot be removed until they are able to fledge out, (fly out on their own), about 4-6 weeks from when you first heard them. After they are gone we can then clean the chimney flue and we do recommend that you have a chimney cap installed so you don’t run into this same problem next year. It seams like once they find your chimney flue they come back and bring other animals every year.
Q.5 What is a ChimScan?
The chim scan is where we actually run a small camera up the flue liner from the bottom and watch it on a monitor from the fireplace. This way we can see if there are any broken tiles, missing or eroded mortar joints or open voids in your chimney. This is the best and most thorough way to inspect the flue liner because you really can’t just look up or down a chimney and see these kinds of defects or damage.
Q.6 My Damper is Broken
First, our experience has shown us that 90% of the time the damper is just off track or out of adjustment. When we sweep and evaluate your chimney, cleaning and adjusting the damper assembly is part of the process. So, we have 2 options. We can either charge $90.00 to come out and try to repair the damper or we can come out to sweep and evaluate your chimney which includes sweeping and adjusting the damper assembly for $145.00.
However there are dampers that cannot be repaired. On those dampers we do have a replacement called a lock top damper. These dampers mount at the top of your chimney and have a stainless steel cable running down through your system to a bracket that we mount in your firebox so you can activate your damper.
If we find that your damper can not be repaired and must be replaced then the charge would start at $375.00 plus tax for a standard fireplace flue. If your flue is not a standard size we will advise you of the charge and we can order the damper for you.
Q.7 Where are you located?
Our office and Stove shop is located at 9110 Dry Fork Rd, Harrison, OH 45030. Do you need directions?
Take I 74 toward Indianapolis. Then the first exit after the 275 turn off. Which will be the Dry Fork exit 3. Turn right after you exit and we are the first building on the right.
Q.8 Do you do free inspections?
No, I’m sorry we don’t do inspections for free. Video inspections are now included in every sweep. Otherwise, for just an inspection we charge $79 plus tax. The cleaning and video inspection is the best way to accurately determine the condition of your chimney.
Q.9 Do you carry gas logs and do you install them?
Yes we do, we have several gas logs, gas inserts, direct vent, and B-vent gas appliances to choose from. We can do everything except run the gas line to the fireplace. We recommend that you call a gas certified plumber to run your gas line into the fireplace and then we can take over from there.
We would need to come out to your residence to look at the system in question to get measurements and then if you like, we can make recommendations on which gas appliances will fit in your system.
Q.10 Do you carry vent-free fireplaces or logs?
Yes, we do carry several manufacturers of vent-less gas logs and fireplace units that are sure to fit with your décor and budget. We would need to come out and look at the fireplace or space you are considering installing the vent-free appliance in to get the right measurements and then we can recommend which appliance is the right one for you.
Q.11 Do you sell stoves? (Wood, Gas, Pellet)
Yes absolutely. We carry Blaze King and Regency Wood burning Stoves. We have a stove shop with different stoves on display with a number of burn units on display also. We are located at 9110 Dry Fork Rd., Harrison, OH 45030. Just take I 74 north to Exit 3 turn right off the exit and we are the first right. Our hours are Monday thru Friday 9 to 5.
Q.12 Duct Cleaning
What we do when we come out is: We hook up our system to the plenum above the furnace and then seal off all of the register throughout the house except for a few at the very end to create an even better vacuum. Our system (The General) is 2000 times more powerful than your vacuum cleaner; it is a 20 horsepower engine.
Then we go thru and blow out the register covers, that’s what everyone does, however, when we are through blowing off the cover we then run a tool called the air sweep, (which is like a plumbers snake only its an air hose with a 360 degree tip on the end), through each and every trunk line of your duct system blasting the caked on dirt and grime that has built up over the years so that our vacuum system can get it out even better.
Then on the supply and return lines we run a tool called “THE VIPER”. It’s like a rubber hose attached to a drill and it breaks loose even more.
We then spray and EPA approved sanitizing agent that is people and pet friendly into each and every trunk line to kill the germs, bacteria, mold and fungus that you can’t get out with a regular cleaning.
Then we do the same thing to the cold air returns. (They are even dirtier than the heat registers.)
So it is $369.00 minimum to set up and clean the system or $25.00 a register which ever is higher to clean and sanitize. You just have to go through the house and count all of the registers, hot and cold, and you can figure out the exact price. Just add tax.
Our Happy Clients
"All employees were extremely well mannered, very nice, did a fantastic job. Christian Martinez was very thorough and professional. Excellent service, would definitely recommend."
"They installed a vent pipe for our gas water heater. That solved our back draft problem. They were also $400.00 cheaper than other chimney guys in the Cincinnati area."
"What a relief to have found Chimney Works! We have cleaned our chimney for years with another vendor but became dissatisfied with poor service. We knew the time had come for a new liner and some general repairs to our 75 year old chimney. Christian Martinez was AMAZING!!"
"My husband and I researched wood burning stoves for quite a while, and found Chimney Works. For the price, quality, and service, we were sold on this company! I am typically apprehensive about having workers come into my home, but the installation crew that came to set up our new stoves, were phenomenal!"
"I purchased a fireplace insert a couple of years ago and have been very happy with it. It has paid for itself at this point due to the reduction in our monthly heating bill. When I went in to purchase, the staff was very helpful and took time to explain everything I needed to know about my new insert, right down to how to properly clean the glass."
"Great company! We get our fireplace checked annually, and Jeremy Woods came out to maintain our fireplace today. Like all the employees we've dealt with this company he was super friendly and professional."
"He was fantastic. Thorough, professional, careful, instructive to help us clean it ourselves. Worked hard for his $$. Arrived on time. Excellent value for the money. We will definitely be calling him again."
"Jeff was extremely nice, very efficient and did a wonderful job. You sure do hire excellent employee's and that is why I have you every year!"