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Home improvement

Keeping Your Home Safe and Warm

Keeping Your Home Safe and WarmThe bitter chill of Winter is fast approaching. With the rise of heating costs many people have turned to alternative heat sources to save them money. There are many alternative sources available, but fireplaces and wood burning stoves are the most popular choices of homeowners today. Fireplaces and Stoves are great alternative heating sources, however fireplaces and wood stoves are also a common cause of house fires. By neglecting routine maintenance and proper safety procedures, your savings on your heating bill could quickly turn into a disaster for you and your family. In this article I will go over some of the important safety and maintenance issues regarding your chimney that need to be addressed before you fire up your stove or fireplace.

Have Your Chimney Inspected.
Having your chimney inspected by a certified chimney inspector annually is a must. The chimney is where most problems occur. A proper inspection and performing the recommended maintenance will go along way in preventing problems that could result in disaster. The inspector will look for build up in the chimney and any structure problems such as a cracked flue that could expose your homes frame to the heat that is exiting through the chimney.

Have Your Chimney Cleaned Annually.
Every year there are over 25,000 chimney fires that occur as a result of creosote build up in the chimney which could have been prevented by a simple inspection and a chimney cleaning. Creosote is a combustible byproduct of smoke that builds up on the inner lining of the chimney over time. If the build up goes unaddressed the hot embers from your fireplace can ignite a fire that will spread throughout your house. Besides removing the dangerous creosote from your chimney, the technician will also remove any other obstructions, clean the smoke chamber, and clean the firebox. A simple chimney cleaning can go along way in protecting you and your family and will help your fireplace or stove operate much more efficiently.

Where Do I Find a Certified Chimney Inspector
Hopefully, you see the importance of having a certified inspector inspect your chimney before you start using it this winter. So, how do you go about contacting a certified chimney inspector? I would probably avoid the phone book and classifieds because anyone can throw a listing in the phone book or classifieds of your local newspaper. You don’t want to trust your families safety to just anybody. If you have friends who also use a fireplace or stove you may want to ask them who they would recommend you have inspect your chimney. This is a good way to find out if the company or individual is trustworthy. The second option I recommend is a Google search. If for instance you live in Alpharetta I would try typing “chimney sweep alpharetta” into google. This will give you a listing of local inspectors along with reviews. By reading the reviews that pop up in the search results you can see what other people’s opinion of the company is.

A little bit of maintenance will go a long way in keeping you warm and safe this winter!

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