The Best Heating Appliance For Your Home!

What is the best heat for me? Wood, coal, pellet, gas, oil, etc.

Today we will be going over the advantages and disadvantages of wood for heat. Wood is certainly the most common fuel for stoves and fireplaces. Wood is usually the most available fuel and most of the time the least expensive. If you cut your own it could be lots of fun to spend the day in the woods or back yard cutting firewood. But if you’re like the rest of us, you have no time. Then you have to order your wood. Many times we get it cut, split, and delivered for about $200.00 dollars a cord.

Good questions to ask the wood guy:

· Is it hard wood or soft wood and what species? · Is it a full cord? How will they “prove” it? · Is it seasoned? If so how long has it been cut and split? · Will they stack it? Does this cost extra? · Is it cut to the proper length for your fireplace or woodstove?

Let’s look at the numbers on wood. Very dry, wood has about 8600 BTU’s per pound depending on the type of wood. But firewood is never that dry, it’s usually between 15 and 25 percent moisture at best. That brings this down to 5500 to 6500 BTU per pound.

Unseasoned wood requires more heat to maintain combustion. This kind of wood has much moister. This results in less available heat. The energy is used to dry the wood so it can burn, instead of heating the house.

A cord of oak contains more potential BTU’s than a cord of pine because it has more density or what we call a hard wood. 1 cord of oak produces about 22,500,000 BTUS, pine produces 13,416,000 BTUs, and hickory has a whopping 26,000,000 BTUs for a cord at 20 percent moisture.

These are all good numbers when it comes to heating. However, the bad news is that an exceptionally good woodstove is about 65 to 75 percent efficiency if it’s burning perfectly. Those numbers have come a long way for those who have older woodstoves. So we get 16,900,000 for $200.00 of oak or a maple wood and far less for a soft wood like pine. There is a mess to consider and the continuous feeding of the woodstove. In the next newsletter we will consider coal and the break down.

We will TOTALLY BREAK DOWN the different fuels one at a time! At the end we hope you can choose wisely. Or know how to help others.  Click contact us to talk to a professional.

Mike Kozlansky

“The Chimney Pro”

The Scoop On Gas Heat

 

I have gas heat; do I need my chimney cleaned?

Many people don’t realize that they even have a chimney for their gas boiler. However gas is generally a clean burning fuel, but the chimney can become non-functional from bird nests or other debris blocking the flue vent.

Furnaces newer than the 1990’s can also cause many problems with the terra-cotta flues because this is intended to vent the older less efficient furnaces. These flues breakdowns may block your chimney or may allow harmful fumes into the home.

The problem here is carbon monoxide which is an odorless deadly gas. Yes, you need your gas or oil furnace chimney cleaned or at the very least inspected to make sure it’s venting properly.

Mike Kozlansky

“The Chimney Pro”

Do I Need To Clean My Chimney?

Do I really need my chimney cleaned? I barely use it!

So, how does a chimney sweep answer this one? The correct answer is simply put: The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”

This is the national safety standard and is the right way to approach the problem. That takes into account the fact that even if you barely use your chimney or not all problems will still arise. Animals may build nests (and many times do) and there are other types of deterioration that may make the chimney unsafe to use.

So how do we know?

The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces should be cleaned or swept at 1/8 inch of sooty buildup. Why? This is considered to be enough creosote or unburned smoke buildup to cause a chimney fire. The chimney fire is hot enough to damage the chimney or spread to the home. 0-clearance or factory-built fireplaces should be cleaned when any amount of buildup occurs. The reason being is that the deposit is very acidic and can shorten the life of the fireplace.

Does this make sense to you? Call us to hear directly from the professionals.

Mike Kozlansky

“The Chimney Pro”

Dryer Safety

Let me get this straight. Dry clothes are dangerous!

A very common thing that we use every day is our clothes dryer.

Because of that many times we feel that it’s just a dryer, everybody has one, it’s fine, and we will get it taken care of when we get a chance.

But these are the facts:

According to the US Fire Administration, “Between 2002 and 2004 clothes dryers counted for about 15,600 reported structure fires, 15 deaths and 400 injuries annually.”

So first of all it could be dangerous to not have your dryer vents clean. A dirty dryer vent can use two times the amount of energy (electric, gas, etc.) to dry the same amount of clothes. It also takes a lot more time to dry clothes.

Did You Know? Facts On Clothes Dryer Exhaust Safety:

* According to manufacturer’s specifications and local codes, dryer ducts must be a minimum 4” in diameter and at least as large as the dryer outlet.

* Unless otherwise specified by your dryer’s manufacturer or local code, the developed length of your dryer’s exhaust duct should not exceed 25 feet. (When determining developed length, each 90º turn adds 5 feet to the actual length.)

* Dryer vents shall be independent of all other systems and terminate outdoors, not into a chimney, crawl space or attic.

* Your outside dryer exhaust vent’s termination hood should be equipped with a back draft damper to ensure that the exhaust doesn’t come back in your home.

* Metal transition ducts should be used between the dryer and the exhaust duct.

* Flexible transition ducts should never be used in an attic, a crawl space, or inside a wall.

Michael Kozlansky

“The Chimney Pro”

What’s that smell? It’s coming from the fireplace and it’s summer time.

I can’t tell you how many people ask me this.

The smell is due to creosote (unburned smoke) deposits in the chimney, this is a natural byproduct of wood burning. The odor is usually worse in the summer when the humidity is high and the air conditioner is on. This moves the warm air outside. The warm air will try to get back in the house the easiest way.

You guessed it; right down the Chimney is easy way for air to get into the home.

The humidity compounds the problem because it causes the creosote to smell more than normal. A chimney cleaning or sweeping will help but usually won’t solve the smelly issue completely.

What can I do?

There are chimney deodorants that work remarkably well. Also, essential oil diffusers work well. I have talked to many people that have good results with baking soda in the fireplace.

The real problem is the air being drawn down the chimney; the reason being is overall pressure problems in the house. Some make-up air should be introduced somewhere else in the house. A flue top damper that is tight sealing will also reduce this air flow coming down the chimney.