Dryer Vent Cleaning: Everyone’s Spring Cleaning Checklist

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Spring is finally here and now is the time of year that everyone is washing their windows, sweeping the house and pulling weeds from the garden. It’s also a great time to take care of essential dryer vent cleaning. As the trusted dryer vent cleaning company for Minneapolis, Dryer Vent Wizard is here to explain why every homeowner should include this important task on their spring cleaning checklist.

While working outside the house, you may notice that your dryer vent cap is damaged or covered with lint and other debris. Dryer vent cleaning and repair is necessary if the winter weather or small animals have caused damage over the past few months. Think about what happens to all the dust and lint that is getting pushed through the vent and duct. Some of it will make its way outside, but not all of it will be this lucky. Some will stick to the dryer vent’s walls and more of it will grab on to the first piece and begin to make a large clog. Our dryer vent cleaning company is here to help! An annual professional dryer vent cleaning by our dryer vent cleaning company is hands down the best way to keep your dryer running safely and efficiently. 
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It is important to keep in mind that it is in no way normal for even older dryers to take more than one cycle to dry a load of laundry. This is a sure sign of an air-flow problem, likely caused by lint build-up in the dryer duct. This lint build-up can start a house fire and even act as a fire accelerant, spreading the flames out of control throughout the home.If you haven’t had your dryer vents cleaned in quite some time or if you simply notice a build up of lint during your spring cleaning; now is a great time to schedule essential dryer vent cleaning with your local dryer vent cleaning company.
Dryer vent cleaning will help keep your dryer ducts clean, increase your dryer’s air-flow, save energy and improve your dryer’s performance. Most importantly, it will help keep you and your family safe from dryer fires.If you would like more information on our dryer cleaning company serving Minneapolis and the surrounding areas, call Dryer Vent Wizard at 651-792-5626, or you can contact us to Request an Appointment. 
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To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242. 
*Re-posted by: https://www.twincitiesdryerguy.com/why-dryer-vent-cleaning-should-be-on-everyones-spring-cleaning-checklist-minneapolis/
 

Gas Fireplace Maintenance

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As the seasons change, as it warms up outside, and as your fireplace becomes dormant until the fall, it is the perfect time to undergo yearly maintenance to ensure your fireplace, stove, or insert continues to work effectively for years to come!

Maintenance is essential for both the longevity of your fireplace and also for its safe operation. It is highly recommended that you contact a licensed gas service provider to conduct maintenance on your fireplace at least once per year. Maintenance on gas components should not be completed by the homeowner as damage to any of the gas components could be potentially dangerous. In addition a licensed gas inspector will be trained to inspect the venting as well checking for corrosion, excessive condensation, proper fittings and joint connections.

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Contact Sweep Dreams to schedule a maintenance appointment. We will be able to make sure your unit is in perfect working condition and get it ready to keep you warm all season long!

Before cleaning anything make sure to:

  • Turn off the fireplace completely, including the pilot light
  • Allow adequate time for the fireplace to cool down
  • Use eye protection and gloves
  • Have your manual on hand so you can refer to it for cleaning/removal/replacement instructions

Top 4 Gas Fireplace Maintenance Tasks:

 

Click here for more maintenance video tutorials 

1.Turn Off Pilot Light

If you have a standing pilot light (always lit) make sure you turn it off and give the unit enough time to cool down before servicing. Also during the warmer months turning your pilot off Standing Pilot mode is a great way to save money each month on your gas bill!

2. Clean Glass

Remove your glass front according to the instructions in your owner’s manual, placing on a soft surface. Once removed clean both sides of the glass with a soft cloth and fireplace glass cleaner. Note: it is important to use fireplace glass cleaner as traditional glass cleaners can leave chemical residues on the glass that when the fireplace is restarted can create noxious smells or permanent damage to the glass.

3. Clean Airflow & Louvers

With a soft or microfiber cloth, wipe down the louvers of the unit to remove any dust or dirt that has built up over the year. If you unit does not have louvers you should visually inspect the air cavities to make sure they are clear of any obstructions or excessive dust buildup.

4. Wipe Down & Inspect Unit

With a damp cloth wipe down the exterior of the unit and inspect the paint. If the paint is peeling or bubbling in any spots it may be a sign that the fireplace is not operating correctly and that you will need to contact a professional gas fireplace installer to come further inspect the unit.

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Conducting an inspection of the venting system semi-annually is recommended to ensure it is clear from debris. A licensed gas service technician will inspect the vent system to make sure it is free from obstructions, is installed safely and securely, and is operating correctly.

To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

 

*Re-posted by: https://www.regency-fire.com/en/Customer-Care/Manuals

Spring Safety Checks Your Home

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Top 5 Home Maintenance Tasks for Spring

 

If you only do five home care tasks this spring, here are the ones that we recommend you do that will help you to save energy, maintain safety, and avoid problems this summer.

FURNACE, FIREPLACE AND WATER HEATER ANNUAL SERVICE

 

This task involves scheduling a trained service professional to do a thorough inspection, cleaning, and adjustment of your furnace and water heater. There are two important reasons for having this done each year:

  1. Safety
  2. It helps maintain the energy efficiency of these appliances.

This is a task that is best left to a trained professional.  We suggest that you do this task in spring for two reasons, first because if a problem is found, you will have time to get it remedied before the heating season, secondly, your service provider will likely get very busy as the heating season approaches.

For Fireplace and Chimney Inspections contact us today at 320-252-6242.

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Hassle-Free Estimates, 320-252-6242.

TESTING GFI OUTLETS

 

Have you ever noticed that the outlets in your bathroom, kitchen and outdoors have little “test” buttons on them? These are special outlets called “ground fault interrupters” or “GFIs.” They are placed in locations where there can be water present, and their purpose is to automatically shut off if there is a potential for an electrical shock. So for example, if you are using a hairdryer and you are on a wet floor, then rather than shocking you, the GFI will trip off.  The problem is that over time, the mechanism inside of the outlet can stop working.  So it is very important to test each of these outlets to be sure that they are working properly.  To test a GFI outlet, just dryer exhaust cleaning St. Cloud, dryer vent installation St. Cloud, dryer vent service St. Cloud, fireplace brick repair St. Cloud, fireplace cleaning St. Cloud, local chimney sweeps St. Cloud, fireplace damper repair St. Cloud, fireplace damper replacement St. Cloud, chimney masonry repairs St. Cloud, chimney repairs St. Cloud, chimney sweeping St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloudplug a small electrical appliance into the outlet, and then press the “test” button on the outlet.  The appliance should immediately shut off. If it does not, then this outlet should not be used until the GFI has been replaced (helpful accessory:  GFI testers).

CHECK OUTSIDE DRYER VENT FLAP

 

 At least once a year you should check your outside dryer vent to be sure that it is not clogged and stuck in the open position.  When your dryer operates it blows hot exhaust air out of your home through vent piping.  This hot air carries lint with it which can accumulate around the vent where the pipe exits your home.  This vent has a flap that opens when the hot air is blowing and then closes when the dryer stops blowing the air.  But as lint builds up around the vent flap, it can cause the flap to get stuck open, chimney inspection St. Cloud, chimney mortar repair St. Cloud, chimney repairs St. Cloud, chimney sweeping St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloud, dryer duct cleaning cost St. Cloud, dryer exhaust cleaning St. Cloud, dryer vent cleaning cost St. Cloud, dryer vent cleaning service Sauk Rapids, dryer vent installation St. Cloudallowing pests to enter your home, and increasing your energy costs by allowing air-conditioned and/or heat to be lost from your home.

 

OUTSIDE LIGHTING INSPECTION

 

If any of your outside light fixtures have bulbs that have burned out, then April/May is a good month to replace them.  While you are checking your outside lighting fixtures for burnt out bulbs, you should also take the opportunity to: clear away any dirt and debris; check for any broken connections or fixtures; and clean the glass fixtures so that you get the most benefit from the light bulbs. One last tip is that you might want to consider replacing your bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.

SMOKE DETECTOR INSPECTION

 

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To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & buildout, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242. 

 

Chimney Spring Cleaning Tips

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As winter finally moves on along and spring arrives once again, it’s the season when many people start getting active.  One great active move you can make every spring is taking a few minutes to look over your chimney and fireplace.

Winters are hard on these structures, particularly if they’ve been used a lot in the cold season just ending, and especially if you’re using them to burn wood.  A chimney and fireplace inspection include some tasks virtually any homeowner can perform, as well as a few that are best left to the professionals.

320-252-6242

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 Here’s a checklist to follow

1. Chimney cap: Make sure it fits securely and has no draft obstructions from any kind of debris.

2. Chimney crown: Check for cracks, which can allow water to seep in and cause plenty of damage.

3. Chimney exterior: As with the crown, inspect the entire outside of the chimney structure for cracks and crumbling masonry/brick.  You can buy special sealant to cover very small cracks, but larger cracks could mean that the chimney is seriously compromised and needs professional repair.

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4. Chimney flashing: This is the material that seals the gap between the chimney and the roof.  Look for damage and faulty seals that can let in water.

5. Flue: You won’t be able to adequately inspect the inside of your chimney, so call in a certified chimney sweep.  This person will use specialized equipment to determine the level of creosote buildup and any structural damage that might be present.  The technician also can clean your chimney.

6. Damper: Make sure the damper opens completely and closes completely.  Over time, these units begin to wear and need replacing.

7. Firebox: Your firebox should be free of cracks and rust.  Either of these signs could point to a serious problem for which you should consult a professional.

Is your chimney leaking?

The problem with leaks in a chimney is that homeowners often don’t catch them before costly damage has occurred.  Here are some signs of leaking.  If you see any of them, address them right away or call someone who can.

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• White patchy areas on bricks

• Any kind of foliage/growth sprouting in mortar cracks

• Dust, small chunks or any other sign of brick and mortar deterioration

• Rusty areas

• Discoloration of a brick or a section of bricks

• A musty, damp smell

• Water in the firebox

 Spring is a good time to get this inspection taken care of, especially when looking for leaks.  Upcoming rainy weather and storms will only make the problem worse, so don’t delay in scheduling repair work.

To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build-out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

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*Re-posted by: https://www.mychimney.com/blog/spring-cleaning-checklist-chimney/

Dryer Vent Cleaning Tips

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Dryer lint is the most combustible material in your home, making regular and thorough cleaning of the dryer vent and ducting system critical. Lint buildup occurs in many different areas of the dryer itself and the venting system. This buildup results in the unit having to work harder and longer to appropriately perform its function, decreasing energy efficiency and increasing the risk of fire. In addition to lint, some dryer vents (especially those that are damaged or uncovered) allow opportunities for animal entry, and with that the potential for nesting debris, increasing the fire hazard.

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Recommended Frequency 

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The more often you use your dryer, the more often the vent line should be cleaned. However, the method of venting also plays a role. If the dryer vent line is relatively long or has multiple or sharp turns – a setup more inviting to clogging – it should be cleaned more frequently. Most experts agree that having the dryer venting system cleaned every 500 loads or so should suffice, but you should have your dryer vent professionally inspected at minimum once a year. Additionally, you should clean out your dryer’s lint trap after every load of laundry. ​

The Process 

There are many ways residential clothes dryers are vented, which plays a role in the method of cleaning utilized. Sometimes the dryer venting is only a few feet long and a straight shot from the unit to the outside vent, resulting in a relatively simple job. Some systems can be very long and have several twists and turns, making the cleaning process more labor-intensive. A dryer line that vents above the first floor or onto the roof elevates the level of risk and difficulty and must then be performed by one our rooftop specialists.

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To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build-out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242. 

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*Re-posted by https://www.twincitiesfurnacecleaning.com/dryer-vent-cleaning.html

Schedule Spring Chimney Cleaning

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Why Should I get my Chimney Cleaned?

The job of the chimney sweep is to remove soot, blockages and built-up creosote from your chimney liner, firebox, smoke chamber, and damper. This cleaning will help create a safer operation of your system during the heating system.  It takes only a small accumulation of creosote glazing to create the potential for a chimney fire. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that builds up inside your chimney or liner as a result of burning wood. The rate of accumulation can be higher if you practice poor burning practices or have a burning appliance or stove that is not working well. Different types of wood create different amounts of creosote when burned. Pine causes a rapid build-up of creosote and should be avoided as a regular source of wood. Creosote can also reduce the draw of the fireplace and reduce efficiency.

320-252-6242

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To be sure that all of your systems are in working order and operating as they should, it is recommended that homeowners get an annual chimney inspection. Most homeowners opt to have a Chimney Cleaning done every year as well, especially if they use their fireplace on a regular basis. Other venting systems connected to furnaces and stoves should also be cleaned on a regular basis to maintain safer operation. Fireplace, stove, furnace, and heating appliance systems are important to your home and families’ safety and not an area to neglect or cut corners on. Don’t risk the chance that an undiscovered defect could turn into an expensive repair or worse yet – a chimney fire.

If you only have minimal use of your fireplace or stove, an inspection is still advised annually to look at all heating venting systems, chimneys, stove systems, and furnace flues. During these inspections any defects or issues that may be found that require action even if cleaning is not needed.

When you have a regular chimney sweep company that you use, they will generally put you on an annual inspection schedule. During these inspections, they will advise you if it is time to sweep.

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If you haven’t had your chimney inspected in a year or more, if you are having any performance issues with your chimney, fireplace or heating system or if you have recently purchased the home you should schedule an inspection. Don’t wait – waiting almost always results in additional repairs, and unfortunately sometimes in property loss. Every year in the US homeowners loses over 200 million dollars as a result of continuing to use unsafe systems.

Another important time to get your venting systems inspected is when you have upgraded or changed heating systems or added a stove or insert. An inspection will make sure that your chimney, lining, and venting systems are adequate and in working order to handle the new changes.

If you have not used your fireplace in a long time, pests may have built nests that could clog your flue or chimney chamber. Winter freeze cycles and moisture combine to take an annual toll on masonry and liner materials too. Over several years the deterioration will eventually require attention. Normal wear and tear that is left unchecked will affect the performance of your system. The longer the defects go without being addressed, the more expensive the repairs are likely to be. Bottom line is – staying on top of your systems is not only the smartest and safest choice, but it also ends up being the most cost-effective too.

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This depends a lot on how much you use your fireplace or stove. The National Fire Protection Association 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.” So, even if you don’t use your chimney a whole lot – birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other critters may have been using your chimney making it unsafe to use without clearing out the accumulated debris from nesting activity.

The CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) says that fireplaces should be cleaned when 1/8″ of sooty buildup is evident inside the chimney and flue system. If any glaze is appearing in the flue, cleaning should be done even if there is less than 1/8″ of build-up. Any time an appreciable accumulation of soot and creosote occurs it can be enough to fuel a chimney fire that may damage the chimney and even spread to the roof and home. Furnace flue systems also require cleaning, so don’t neglect regular cleaning of those venting systems.

Some heavy use fireplaces produce an incredible amount of soot and creosote during a cleaning. Recently we removed nearly 2 full 5-gallon buckets of material from one chimney! Removing this material is critical to the continued safe use of the fireplace and reduced risk of chimney fires that start when this highly combustible material builds up to unsafe levels.

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Ideally, before the start of the burning season during the spring, summer or early fall is a great time to get your chimney inspection and / or chimney cleaning. Before you think about building a fire or starting up your furnace because the weather has changed, is the time to call your chimney sweep. Maybe you forgot the early cleaning before starting to use the fireplace, stove or furnace? Don’t wait until the fall, we can do your chimney cleaning or inspection any time of year.

To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build-out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

 

*Re-posted by https://www.mychimney.com/blog/about/how-often-do-you-need-to-clean-your-chimney/

Prevent Chimney Damage

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Roof

The Roof of your home is the structure and materials that form the top of your home, and which protects your home from rain, snow, sun, etc.

Roof styles include angled (called ‘pitched’ roofs) or flat. And a roof can be made of materials such as: composite or asphalt shingles; slate shingles; wood shakes; tile; rubber rolled roofing materials; metal; thatching; and fabric.

In addition to the materials that cover the surface, your Roof also includes caulking and metal strips called ‘flashing’ that are used to keep things that penetrate your Roof (such as chimneys, sky lights, vent pipes, etc.) from leaking water into your home.

Your roof is exposed to the direct impacts of weather, and proper maintenance is required for it to do its job of shielding from the elements.

Routine Care Task

Inspect and clean roof and eaves

Priority

    

Proper roof maintenance will reduce the likelihood of leaks which can lead to inside water damage, and it also helps extend the useful life of the roof.

Timing:

May (yearly)

How To

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Inspect and repair roof shingles: Using a pair of binoculars, you can walk around and look for obvious problems from the ground. If necessary, climb a ladder and look for damaged or missing shingles. If the roof is slate, look for slate which is broken or with loose nails. If your roof has wooden shakes, look for missing sections or warping. Also inspect for water damage beneath shingles where ice damming may have occurred. Replace or repair any areas as necessary.

Inspect and repair roof flashing: Roof “flashing” are pieces of metal which cover areas where roofing meets objects on the roof, such as chimneys, vent pipes, dormers, other sections of roofing, around the edge of the roof, etc. Check flashing for damage, rusting, or separation. As required, sections should be replaced, re-painted, or re-sealed with caulking compound or roof cement. See your hardware professionals regarding re-painting procedures for your particular situation.

Clean build-up around eaves: Eaves are the areas under where your roof overhangs the outside walls. These areas tend to build-up with debris, insects and other nests, etc. A broom or water hose can be used to clear debris from the area around the eaves. Build-up under the eaves can lead to rotting of wood, and be breeding areas for insects and other pests.

Sweep roof clean: Remove debris from the roof, such as branches, leaves, pine needles, etc. This debris retains moisture and encourages decay, and their build-up can impede water run-off, which can promote water puddling that can lead to leaks. Be careful not to damage the shingles while sweeping, but try to remove foreign material from the space between the shakes or shingles.

Remove mold, mildew, or moss: Mold, mildew, and moss should be cleaned from roofs. Contact your hardware professional for the cleaning methods that applies to your specific situation.

Benefits

  • Avoiding Unscheduled Repairs
  • Maintaining Value
  • Appearance

The benefits of this task are relatively high. Doing this task can help prevent serious damage from water and pests, and will help extend the useful life of your roof.

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    The cost of this task is relatively high. You probably will want to hire a professional service to do this task. Or if you are having a service cleaning your gutters or getting a chimney inspection, you may be able to ask them to do the inspection while they are on your roof.

To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

 

*Re-posted by: https://home-wizard.com/roof/overview

Facts About Gas Fireplaces

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A gas fireplace can be a very clean, energy-efficient way to heat your home, while adding a special charm. Whether you have one, or are thinking about getting one, here are some safety tips and maintenance tasks you should consider.

Types of Gas Fireplaces

There are three different types of gas fireplaces, and each has its own set of advantages and operating needs: Fireplace Inserts; Direct Vent Fireplaces; and Vent-Free Fireplaces. Each type can have additional features such as fans which circulate the heat into the room, automatic thermostats, remote controls, etc. And most will operate during power failures, which is a nice plus (although the electric fan will not work until the power comes back on).

If you are thinking about getting a gas fireplace, here’s an important tip: if you enjoy watching the flames, then do not get one that is too high of capacity (BTU/hour heat rate) for the size of your home, otherwise, because they are so efficient, it may only need to operate for a short while and then shut off after quickly bringing your room up to temperature.

Fireplace Inserts

Gas Fireplace Inserts are installed in the opening of an existing wood burning fireplace, and they are vented throughfurnace duct cleaning st. cloud, dryer vent service st. cloud, dryer vent installation st. cloud, dryer vent cleaning service sauk rapids, clothes dryer vent installation st. cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct st. cloud, class a chimney installation st. cloud, chimney video inspection st. cloud, dryer duct cleaning cost st. cloud, dryer exhaust cleaning st. cloud the existing chimney with a special vent pipe that carries the exhaust to the outside. Depending on the particular model of insert, the combustion air can either come from a pipe layer which is around the exhaust pipe, or it can come from inside of your home (it is more energy efficient to have a style that uses outside air), and some models have outside air vents.

 

Direct Vent Fireplaces

Direct vent fireplaces can be vented directly through an exterior wall, and do not require a traditional masonry chimney. Like fireplace inserts, direct vent gas fireplaces come in styles which can either bring combustion air from the outside, or from the room inside. And again, the models which use combustion air from the outside are more efficient, because you are not burning heated air from your home. These models can operate at or near 90 percent efficiency. Some models can even produce up to 45,000 BTU/hour, which can be as much as some furnaces.

Vent-Free Fireplaces

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Gas Fireplace Safety Tips

Have your fireplace inspected and serviced by a trained professional at least once a year. This is best done just before the heating season begins.

If you’re moving into a newly constructed home, clean the area around the fireplace thoroughly of drywall dust and other debris before turning it on. Contaminants and dirt can damage the burner, fan, and motor. Before you turn on your newly installed fireplace, read the manufacturer’s instruction manual carefully. If you have questions, contact a heating contractor or contact the manufacturer directly.

Never modify your fireplace or the mantle before checking with a heating contractor.

Always wait for at least five minutes before lighting a pilot light that has gone out (to allow time for gas to dissipate).

Even if your gas fireplace is vented to the outside, consider putting a carbon monoxide detector in the room where your fireplace is located (see types, costs, and reviews of CO alarms).

If you notice unusual flames, odors or the smell of natural or propane gas, turn off your fireplace and contact a heating contractor or your local gas company.

Always keep your fireplace fan clean.

Always keep outside air vents clear of leaves, debris, ice, and snow.

Do not keep combustible materials such as newspapers, paint or other flammable liquids near the fireplace. In addition, keep furniture, curtains, and rugs away from the fireplace.

Keep children away from the fireplace. Even though the flames are behind glass, the glass can get very hot and can stay hot even after the fireplace is turned off.  Make sure children understand that the glass can burn them. Use a safety gate or screen to keep children away from the fireplace (helpful accessory: child safety fences).

Do not use the fireplace if the glass doors are broken or cracked.  Keep the gas turned off and refer to the owner’s manual for how you should proceed.

If you have a Vent-Free Gas Fireplace (which vents exhaust to the room they are in) then there are some special safety issues which you should be sure to address:

  • Be sure that the unit is not too large for the room that it is in, or it can dangerously remove too much oxygen from the room.
  • You must have either an oxygen depletion sensor (“ODS”) built into the unit or one in the same room it is in.
  • Don’t run your Vent-Free fireplace for long periods of time, as this can lead to oxygen depletion and carbon monoxide build-up

Gas Fireplace Safety Tips

Shown below are the routine maintenance tasks which you should be sure to perform on your gas fireplace.

As mentioned above, before each heating season be sure to have your gas fireplace inspected and serviced by a trained professional.

Things you will want to be sure they check are:

  • clean the glass and check for irregularities
  • inspect, clean and adjust pilot system
  • check and clean the control compartment
  • inspect entire venting system
  • check on/off switch and thermostat
  • check and clean blower (if applicable)
  • adjust the primary air shutter
  • check combustion chamber for any cracks
  • adjust the primary air shutter
  • check the valve pressure
  • inspect the heat-exchange area
  • verify the log positioning
  • check the tightness of all electrical connections
  • sweep and vacuum the firebox to remove any loose soot
  • replace ember material as necessary
  • conduct a gas sniffer test to detect any gas leakage

Be sure to check your room carbon monoxide detector regularly.

And never clean the outer glass if the glass is even the slightest bit warm because the pores in the glass will expand and draw the glass cleaner into the pores, which may cause the glass to become cloudy.

To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

Home Fireproofing: Prevention; Detection; Action

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The National Fire Protection Association estimates that each year almost 400,000 homes catch on fire, and these fires claim the lives of 3,500 people and injure approximately 18,000 more.  And unfortunately, children are one of the highest risk groups for deaths in these fires. Keeping your home and family safe from fires involves focusing on three areas:  prevention, detection and emergency actions in the case of an actual fire.

PREVENTION

Prevention covers the steps you can take to make sure fires don’t break out in your home. So let’s take a look at the household danger areas that can be prone to starting fires.

 

Cooking

The leading cause of household fires is cooking, particularly the stove top.  And here are several steps you can take to minimize your risk of kitchen fires. Grease accumulation can be dangerous. So keep your stove and oven clean, and also check your vent hoods, regularly clean your filters, and make sure that, if you have an exterior vent, there is nothing in it that impedes the airflow to the outside. If you have a gas stove, make sure your system doesn’t have any loose fittings, leaking valves, faulty pilot lights, or improperly stored flammable materials in areas nearby. Keep all flammables, such as dishtowels and curtains, a safe distance away from the stove. Don’t cook when you are very tired or under the influence of alcohol or medications; as you are more likely to do something careless that could lead to a fire starting. And never walk away from the stove until you have turned off the heat.

 

Heating

The second most common cause of fires in the home is heating. Furnaces, space heaters, fireplaces, and wood stovesfurnace duct cleaning st. cloud, dryer vent service st. cloud, dryer vent installation st. cloud, dryer vent cleaning service sauk rapids, clothes dryer vent installation st. cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct st. cloud, class a chimney installation st. cloud, chimney video inspection st. cloud, dryer duct cleaning cost st. cloud, dryer exhaust cleaning st. cloud all can present a risk of fire. In the winter months, when heaters are run most often, this is of particular concern. Make sure your furnaces get a yearly inspection and cleaning by a trained professional to catch any potential troubles before they start. If you use space heaters, make sure they stay at least three feet away from anything flammable, such as curtains or bed linens. Be certain to turn them off before you leave the room or go to bed. For fireplaces and wood or coal stoves, have them inspected by a service professional every year. Don’t store flammables such as newspapers or matches anywhere nearby, or have them too close to exposed rugs or wooden floors.  Clear them of ashes and unburnt debris on a regular basis.  Have glass doors or a wire mesh spark screen across the front of the fireplace to keep the fire safely contained.  And install a chimney spark arrester to prevent roof fires (see types, costs, and reviews of chimney spark arresters).

 

Smoking

Smoking is not only the third most common cause of home fires, it’s the top cause of home fire deaths. Almost a thousand people are killed each year due to smoking-related home fires, so it is important to exercise caution when smoking cigarettes in your home: don’t put yourself in a position where you could fall asleep while smoking; never smoke in a home where oxygen is used; And douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before dumping them in the trash. Or better yet, don’t allow smoking at all in your home.

 

Electrical and Appliances

When electrical systems fail they sometimes can result in house fires, but more often the danger lies in incorrectly installed wiring, or from the overloading of circuits and extension cords. Be sure to properly use and maintain your electrical devices. Do not overload your outlets or extension cords. Check the power cords on your appliances. Look for missing grounding prongs of the plugs, damage to the insulation, or frayed wires. Repair or replace them before continuing to use the appliance. Check your house wiring in unfinished areas for damage by pests. Be on the lookout for insulation that has been chewed through by rodents or insects. Check the hot coils of your clothes drying for an accumulation of lint or other flammable materials. Be sure to keep the lint trap, vent piping, and other areas of your dryer clear of lint, as it is very flammable.

 

Candles, Matches, and Lighters

Candles cause an estimated 15,600 fires in residential structures, 150 deaths, 1,270 injuries, and about $539 million in property damage each year. To use your candles safely, do not leave them unattended, or allow children to light them unsupervised. Store matches and lighters in a safe, nonreactive place where children cannot get to them. Always use stable candle holders made of a non-flammable material. Extinguish candles if you’re going to be leaving the room.

 

Gasoline and Combustible Chemicals

Gasoline vapors can explode with even a small spark. If you must store gasoline in your garage, use a special safety container specifically designed for gasoline. But never bring gasoline inside your house. Tightly seal the lids on all combustible chemicals and put them away in a cool location after using them. Store them in a safe place, with a lock if possible.

 

DETECTION

The next aspect of fire safety is Detection.  Improving detection is about increasing your awareness of the potential for the outbreak of fire in your home, so that you can act quickly.  Examples include:

 

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Install smoke alarms on every floor of your house (see types, costs, and reviews of smoke detectors/alarms). There are two kinds of smoke alarms, photoelectric and ionization. For maximum protection buy some of both kinds, or if possible, buy “combination” detectors that have both kinds of sensors. Keep your detectors free of dust and replace the batteries at least once a year. If they begin making a chirping sound, that means their batteries are low and should be immediately replaced. If your detector is wired directly into your electrical system, watch for a blinking red light, as this indicates that the sensor is active. If it is not blinking, then it should immediately be serviced.

 

Monitored Home Security

If you have a monitored home security system, you might want to consider having your smoke alarms connected to your security system. Talk to your security company to see if you can have this done, so that you (and the fire department) can be notified when your alarms go off when you are not at home.

 

Flickering Lights

Keep an eye out for flickering lights, or intermittent power surges. These can be indications that you may have a short in the circuit, which can trigger a house fire.

 

Frequently Tripping Circuit Breakers

Note circuit breakers that trip, or fuses that frequently blow. This is almost always a sign of an overloaded circuit or another wiring issue, which should be solved before it can become a fire hazard.

 

EMERGENCY ACTIONS

Finally, we will talk about the actions you should be prepared to take in the case of an actual fire.

 

Escape Plan

First, make sure that everyone in your family knows what to do if there is a fire in your home. Prepare an escape plan and have your family practice it several times a year. Make sure all family members know not to put their lives in danger trying to save property, but instead just take the most direct way outside. And if they must exit through smoke, then drop to the ground to move beneath it and to try to cover their mouths to avoid breathing smoke directly in. Also, if a door feels hot to the touch, do not try to open or go through it.

 

Rope Ladders

If you have a two-story house, each bedroom should have a rope ladder easily accessible, so that your family furnace duct cleaning st. cloud, dryer vent service st. cloud, dryer vent installation st. cloud, dryer vent cleaning service sauk rapids, clothes dryer vent installation st. cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct st. cloud, class a chimney installation st. cloud, chimney video inspection st. cloud, dryer duct cleaning cost st. cloud, dryer exhaust cleaning st. cloudmembers can climb down the outside rather than be being trapped (helpful accessory: fire escape ladders).  Designate a meeting location outside the house and take attendance so that you can tell right away who has gotten out safely. This will keep people from endangering themselves going back to look for someone who has already escaped. If someone is missing, alert the firefighters. Do not re-enter the house once you have left it.

 

Stop-Drop-Roll

Make sure everyone in your family knows how to “Stop, Drop, and Roll.” If your clothes catch fire, drop immediately to the ground, cross your hands over your chest, and roll back and forth until the flames are smothered out. Cool the burned area with water and call for immediate medical attention for serious burns.

 

Fire Extinguishers

Be sure that high-risk areas of your home, such as your workshop or fireplace, have fire extinguishers nearby, and that each family members know how to properly use it to fight a fire. See that your extinguishers are inspected regularly and re-charged or replaced as needed (see costs and reviews of ABC fire extinguishers).

 

Stove Fires

It’s also useful to know how to deal with a small pan fire that may occur in your kitchen. Immediately suffocate the fire by placing the lid on the pan, turning off the stove, and allowing the pan to sit unmoved until the flames are smothered. Small grease fires can be put out by throwing baking soda on them. But never use water to put out a grease fire, as it will either explode into steam, which can also cause burns, or cause oils to splash and spread the fire.

 

SUMMARY

Now you know the three areas you need to focus on to fireproof your home: Prevention, Detection, and Action. We hope that this has motivated you to take the appropriate steps to keep your family and home safe from the dangers of fires.

To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

 

A Better Sealing Clothes Dryer Vent

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Have you ever noticed your clothes dryer feeling cold in the winter and warm in the summer? If so, your dryer’s vent pipe is likely not sealing properly, and you are wasting energy as outside air leaks into your home. To prevent this, you should consider installing a new style of dryer vent chimney inspection St. Cloud, chimney repair cost St. Cloud, fireplace damper replacement St. Cloud, chimney cap repair St. Cloud, chimney design St. Cloud, fireplace cleaning St. Cloud, fireplace damper repair St. Cloud, local chimney sweeps St. Cloud, chimney cleaning cost St. Cloud, mortar repair St. Cloud, chimney mortar repair St. Cloud, fireplace brick repair St. Cloud, dryer duct cleaning cost St. Cloud, clothes dryer vent installation St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloudclosure.

One that we particularly like is the heartland 21000 Dryer Vent Closure. The Heartland 21000 is a good buy for under $38. Installing this type of tight-sealing dryer vent can save you up to 1% on your home’s energy bill or about $14 annually. So this is an investment that can pay for itself in under 3 years.

This easy-to-install vent lets your dryer’s hot air exhaust escape when the dryer is operating and uses gravity to seal it tight to keep outside air from leaking into your home when the dryer is not operating. The way this vent closure works is that inside the cylinder part, there is a plastic cup-like apparatus that rises when hot air is flowing out of your dryer. And then when the flow of hot air stops, the cup floats back creating a nice seal which prevents outside air infiltration. And further, it tightly blocks the path for insects or pests which might try to crawl in.

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The Heartland 21000 dryer vent closure is simple and effective, but it does require some maintenance from time to time. You will need to remove the vent lid periodically to clean out any lint built-up, especially as it may affect the free movement of the floating cup.

To schedule a dryer vent cleaning, repair or duct cleaning or repair, contact us today at (320) 252-6242.