Chimney Check: Make Sure Your Chimney is Safe and Efficient Home & Garden


Heath Burr is the owner of Heath Chimney Services and has some recommendations on fire safety as we move into a colder season.

Burr recommends using a licensed and certified chimney service. Heath Chimney Service is state licensed and certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. To find a certified company in your area, visit and enter your zip code, and the website will show you all the certified businesses in your area.

“You should have your fireplace inspected every year by a professional fireplace company, whether it is a wood or gas fireplace, so that it burns efficiently,” Burr said.

Another element of efficient combustion is having dry, dry wood. To make sure your wood is dry and dry, Burr suggests purchasing a moisture meter.

“He has these little probes and gives a wood moisture reading. You want 15% to 25% max; nothing more than that that you wouldn’t want to use, ”Burr said.

Burr suggests that one way to tell if your fireplace is burning properly is to go outside and watch your fireplace while you have a fire in your fireplace.

“The smoke should be almost invisible, not gray or black,” he said.

One of the main points Burr made is tracking the intended use of your fireplace.

“It’s a chimney, not an incinerator. Do not burn cardboard, Christmas wrappers, or Christmas trees. It causes flash heat like a bonfire, and that flash heat exceeds the ignition temperature, ”Burr explained. “Creosote is the black substance that enters the flue and causes the fire to rise above the ignition temperature and this is what starts many fires.”

Burr recommends having your chimney and fireplace inspected in the summer and not waiting until the last minute with the first cold snap.

“Right now we are full until December. We have availability, but any important work will certainly have to wait until December or January. In the last two or three years, I haven’t really had a slow season, but the busiest time is usually after the first cold snap of spring, ”Burr said. “In the spring, we get a lot of calls for air conditioning duct cleaning for residential customers.

Burr says dryer vents are one of the leading causes of fires and recommends that dryer vents be checked and cleaned annually.

Inspection of the fireplace and chimney is recommended even if you do not plan to use your fireplace. A proper chimney cap can help prevent unwanted tenants from the chimney.

“Chimney swifts and bats are protected and they want to nest in chimneys without proper chimney caps. You can get histoplasmosis by breathing bird or bat poop, ”Burr said.

The services offered by the Heath Chimney Service include the inspection of fireplaces and chimneys, new installations of gas or wood-burning fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, repairs to chimneys and chimneys, water intrusions in the chimneys, brick and mortar repairs and the sale of logs and gas inserts.

“We do dryer ventilation inspections and installations. We do just about anything around fireplaces and fireplaces. We carry out renovations of fireplaces and chimneys and new constructions. We sell custom, stainless steel or copper chimney caps, ”Burr said.

Faith Dorn is a freelance writer at Anniston. Contact her at [email protected]

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