We Specialize in Fireplace Remodeling!

With the start of the new year behind us, we at Jack Pixley Chimney Sweeps and Masonry would like to remind our Minneapolis area neighbors that we offer more than just chimney sweeping! In fact, one of the main services we provide this time of year is fireplace remodeling.Masonry Expert Jordan Re-modeling Fireplace In River Rock Image

There are a variety of reasons why homeowners would want to update the look of their fireplace. While aesthetic purposes are often the reason, the fireplace front is sometimes in need of remodeling because of an alteration made to the fireplace. If you’ve recently had the firebox been rebuilt or you’ve had a different type of insert installed, you’ll more than likely need to make changes to the fireplace front.

The fireplace is not only for keeping us warm, but can be a perfect focal point, and a definite plus for a future home sale. Gone is the standard traditional brick face and old mantel, and in comes new materials and upgrades to change that look. All sorts of different stones, tile, or brick designs can be used for remodeling, and this includes changing the mantel or hearth material.

Before updating, there are many things you need to consider during the process. The following is a list of do’s and dont’s when having your fireplace worked on.

Things to do when updating your fireplace:

  • Replace your mantel to an updated style or material to be more decorative.
  • Instead of brick, consider round river rock, lake stone or flat stone of different colors.
  • Decorate with a piece of art above the fireplace to heighten the fireplace as a focal point of the home.
  • Use mirrors to decorate! Mirrors draw the eye and reflect light to the fireplace.
  • Arrange furniture to highlight the warm and cozy view.

Thing you shouldn’t do.

  • Don’t place a television right above the fireplace. A television above needs to be a certain height for clearance considerations and can detract from the fireplace.
  • Don’t block the view of your fireplace focal point with furniture
  • Don’t paint your fireplace with just any old paint! Buy the right type of paint if considering brightening up the face and room
  • Don’t use the same old fireplace accessories for a newly remodeled fireplace. Updated fireplace accessories are a good finishing touch.

Take advantage of this time of year by scheduling a fireplace remodel or facelift today! If it’s for cosmetic purposes, our technicians are more than happy to help you develop designs for your fireplace front. Either way, our certified professionals are equipped to take care of all your fireplace needs! Call us today at 763-422-048.

What Are Ahren-Fireplace Systems?

Fireplaces have always been the heart of a home. While they were once used as the primary way to heat a home – and even as a way to cook food! – fireplace are more decorative than in the past. If you are looking for a fireplace that combines both modern style with old-world heating functionality, look no further than Ahrens fireplace systems!What Are Ahren-Fireplace Systems Image - Minneapolis MN - Jack Pixley

Fireplace aesthetics vs functionality

Many modern fireplaces are designed with an emphasis on aesthetics instead of functionality. While sitting in front of these fireplaces may be pleasant, they may do little to actually add heat to the home. Fireplaces that are not well designed:

  • Cause the room to get smoky when not in use
  • Make the house seem colder when lighting a fire
  • Cause the walls surrounding the fireplace to seem hot when in use

These burning conditions do more than just affect fireplace performance; they can also make it unsafe to use your fireplace.

About Ahren-fire systems

Designed and manufactured in Sioux Falls, South Dakota by the Ahrens Chimney Company, Ahren-Fire fireplaces are made with both form and function in mind. In addition to looking nice, Ahren-Fire fireplaces are designed to radiate heat back into your home. These all-in-one systems include everything from the firebox to the flue; when professionally installed in place of an existing fireplace, they can help solve a number of performance and safety problems.

The unique design of Ahren-Fire fireplaces heat your home with minimal heat loss up the chimney. Likewise, their design creates optimal drafting and prevents smoke from blowing back into your home. Ahren-Fire fireplaces are also the only restoration fireplace product to meet or exceed the stringent safety testing criteria by Underwriters Laboratory.

Benefits of Ahren-fire fireplaces

When an existing masonry hearth fireplace does not meet current building codes, it can be unsafe to use. In addition to fireplace performance issues such as incorrect drafting or not creating enough heat, hidden hazards such as combustible materials around the hearth or incorrect thickness of the masonry can also be present. Investing in and having a complete, all-inclusive Ahren-fire fireplace system professionally installed can give you peace of mind that all of your chimney components not only meet current building standards, but work together to improve the safety and efficiency of your fireplace.

Installing a new Ahren-fire fireplace

Ahren-fire fireplace systems are designed to be easily installed into an existing masonry hearth. With eight different size options, homeowners can find the perfect fit for their hearth. Ahren-fire systems are an excellent alternative to wood burning inserts; they improve safety and efficiency without losing the true wood-burning experience. This allows homeowners to safely enjoy the heat, sights, sounds, and smells of their wood burning hearth once again.

At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we are proud to install Ahren-Fire fireplace systems for our customers. For more information on these safe and efficient alternatives to wood-burning inserts, or to learn how they can help bring your older fireplace back to current building standards and codes, contact us today!

Practice Safety With Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Detectors

We trust our fireplaces, stoves, and other fuel burning appliances to burn safely. However, even when used properly and well maintained, there are hidden dangers. Accidental house fire and carbon monoxide poisoning are just a few safety concerns when it comes to operating fuel burning appliances. We trust our fireplaces, stoves, and other fuel burning appliances to burn safely.

One of the biggest safety concerns surrounding heating appliances is the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. This “silent killer” takes the lives of more than 400 people each year  in the United States; carbon monoxide poisoning is particularly prevalent during the cold months of fall and winter as families increase heater use.

Homeowners must be aware of the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as how it can be prevented.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is often referred to as a “silent killer” because it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Because of this, it can be almost impossible to detect without specialized detectors.

Carbon monoxide gas is naturally occurring and is created by all fuel burning fires and appliances. Burning wood, pellets, natural gas, propane, coal, gasoline, and kerosene all creates carbon monoxide; likewise, it can be created by several different appliances around your home including fireplaces, space heaters, furnaces, water heaters, stoves, and ovens.

Safety Tips for Preventing Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be preventable with proper precautions and common sense safety. The following tips can help protect your family against carbon monoxide poisoning.

– Install carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in every floor of your home, as well as near any fuel-burning appliances and outside of sleeping areas. Batteries should be tested every six months to ensure functionality. Likewise, detectors should be replaced every five to seven years to stay up to date with the latest safety and technology standards.

– Install smoke detectors. Working smoke detectors are just as important as functional carbon monoxide detectors in all homes. Install them on all levels of your home, including near sleeping areas.

– Maintain fuel-burning appliances. Fireplaces, furnaces, and water heaters should all receive regular annual inspections and maintenance as needed. Likewise, inspect venting and ductwork to ensure there are no kinks or blockages. Any space heaters used in the home should meet current safety standards, be free from frayed wires, and used in accordance with manufacturer instructions.

– Keep grills and generators away. Do not use grills and generators indoors or in garages. In addition, operate them away from the home or open windows. This prevents accidental fires and keeps carbon monoxide from venting into your home.

The prospect of a house fire or carbon monoxide poisoning is frightening. However, the risk of these occurring is reduced by maintaining fuel burning appliances and following common sense safety precautions. For more information on the importance of up to date carbon monoxide and smoke detectors or how to use them correctly in your home, contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today!