Why Install a Fireplace Insert?

Jack Pixley Sweeps services wood burning inserts!

Jack Pixley Sweeps services wood burning inserts!

In our busy, fast paced lives, many homeowners find that they no longer have the time or energy to use their wood burning fireplaces. Instead of letting the fireplace become a purely decorative part of the home, considering installing a fireplace insert.

Fireplace inserts minimize maintenance while still allowing you to enjoy the look and feel of a wood burning fire. Below are the top five reasons why you should considering installing a fireplace insert.

Improved efficiency

While wood burning fireplaces create a wonderful ambiance, they are not very efficient heating sources. Most fireplaces have efficiency ratings as low as 5-10% due to the open combustion of the burning process. Fireplace inserts, however, are sealed systems. This creates more complete combustion, a more efficient fire, and less energy loss. The Hearth, Patio, and Barbeque Association has reported that in some cases, installing a fireplace insert can reduce energy bills by as much as 40%.

Different fuel choices

With a wide variety of fuel choices available, there is a fireplace insert to meet every need. There are available inserts that burn coal, natural gas, pellets, propane, and even wood. Those looking for fires at the press of a button may opt for a gas insert, while others may choose a wood burning insert for a more traditional look and feel. The freedom to choose your fuel source gives homeowners the ability to find an insert that best meets their needs.

Minimize masonry repairs

If your firebox has been damaged, fallen into disrepair, or needs extensive renovations, installing a fireplace insert may be a way to let you continue to use and enjoy your fireplace without the hassle of a complete rebuild. Because the fireplace inserts are placed directly into the existing firebox, they can be installed and used even if the masonry of the old firebox has been damaged.

Fireplace inserts should always be professionally installed  to ensure that they are placed correctly. In some cases, the flue may need to be altered to accommodate the new insert. New stainless steel chimney liners can easily be installed to ensure that the flue is the right size for your fireplace insert.

Environmentally friendly

Unlike traditional wood burning fireplaces which cannot be certified by the EPA, fireplace inserts are required to be EPA certified. This certification shows that your insert produces a minimal amount of particulate emissions and has a smaller impact on the environment. Because of their closed system combustion, most fireplace inserts are able to reduce emissions to almost zero.

Stylish designs

In addition to being able to choose their fuel source, homeowners switching to a fireplace insert can also select the aesthetic style of their new heating appliance. Inserts come in a variety of styles from the contemporary to the modern, and there are inserts to fit every style and budget.

If you’re tired to the work and maintenance required with a wood burning fireplace, a fireplace insert might be the right choice for you. Inserts can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and turn a damaged or unsightly firebox into the focal point of your room. For more information on fireplace inserts, contact the expert staff at Jack Pixley Sweeps today!

All About Chimney Liners

According to the CSIA, problems with your chimney’s flue liner can pose serious risks to your home and family, as it’s no longer able to perform its primary function: to safely contain and usher the deadly byproducts of combustion up and out of your home.

Give Jack Pixley Sweeps a call at 763-422-0481 to schedule an inspection to ensure that your flue liner is properly carrying out its intended job!

Give Jack Pixley Sweeps a call at 763-422-0481 to schedule an inspection to ensure that your flue liner is properly carrying out its intended job!


Time to Reline Your Chimney?

Relining Your Chimney

Behind-the-scenes players don’t always get their due praise, and that’s definitely true when it comes to chimney systems. Aside of the very top of the chimney, you don’t really see your flue liner, but it’s by far one of the most important parts of your chimney system, contributing both to improved safety and improved performance.

When we get service calls for drafting problems, often enough the culprit is the chimney liner. And that’s just one of the problems that comes up with a chimney liner isn’t able to do its job.

The Quick Version Of Why Your Chimney Liner Is So Important:

Your flue liner acts a shield that protects the exterior masonry of your chimney.

Your flue liner acts a shield that protects the exterior masonry of your chimney.

The chimney liner helps insulate the internal workings of your chimney structure — and the combustible materials behind the chimney — from the high heat produced in your firebox. The more heat that gets to those materials, the more chance you have of wood drying out and potentially catching fire. With a strong liner providing a buffer, you’re drastically reducing that possibility.

Your liner also creates a smooth, smoke-tight surface that encourages proper draft. A craggy surface impedes flow, and gaps and cracks act like a split in a drinking straw — no matter how much upward draft you apply, the performance just isn’t there.

A flue that isn’t sized correctly to vent the appliance it’s attached to won’t work correctly either — appliances are made to work with a specifically sized flue. One that’s too small won’t allow the proper draft, and one that’s too big can lead to more smoke and more creosote.

So, when your liner is damaged or isn’t properly doing its job, your chimney system’s performance and safety suffer, in a big way.

Why You Might Reline Your Chimney

When Jack Pixley Chimney technicians recommend relining your chimney, it’s usually for one of these reasons:

– Your clay tile liner has cracks or gaps that are affecting your chimney’s ability to draft properly, and creating a potential fire hazard.

– You’ve had or are having a new appliance installed that makes it necessary for your flue to be resized, by installing a new stainless steel liner.

– Your historic fireplace doesn’t have a liner at all, leaving your chimney system performing poorly (and seriously unsafe).

If you’re having draft or smoking issues, or other performance problems with your chimney system, call Jack Pixley Sweeps. We can inspect your system. and see if a relining — or another kind of repair — will fix the issue!