Our Company Blog

Gas Appliances Need Inspections, Too!

Have you recently purchased a gas fireplace or stove? Or maybe you’ve upgraded your wood-burning appliance to a gas-fueled one? Whatever the case, homeowners everywhere are loving the convenience gas appliances have to offer – and they’re a lot less messy, too! That being said, this more modern take on a fireplace doesn’t change the fact that yearly inspections are absolutely necessary.

Learn more about inspections and gas appliances below!

How Your Chimney Is Harmed

Wood-burning appliances are known for producing creosote, which can put a lot of wear and tear on system (and fast). Yet, just because the residue left behind by gas appliances isn’t as obvious doesn’t mean it’s not there. Your chimney is still used to properly vent out the fumes and gases from your fireplace, all of which cause corrosion in your system.

The worst part is, these damages are hardly noticeable until it’s almost too late. What could have been easy fixes, if addressed right away, are now costly and time-consuming repairs. You’re always better off in the long run if you invest in your annual inspections. That way, a sweep can diagnose any issues early.

It’s not worth the added stress, not knowing whether or not your system is safe for use… allow yourself the peace of mind you deserve and get your inspection on the books today!

Increasing Overall Efficiency

On top of increasing the overall lifespan of your appliance, annual inspections help to ensure everything is running as efficiently as possible. Sure, gas appliances save on energy costs and they’re better for the environment, too… but only if they are properly installed and maintained. Fireplace systems are intricate and knowing the ins and outs takes time, practice, and a lot of training. Get a professional’s eye on the job, so you know you’re good to go all year long.

Hire A CSIA-Certified Professional

When it comes right down to it, there is a lot to consider when operating a gas appliance and there are many possible reasons you may be facing issues. Whether it’s the venting system, excess moisture in the flue, problems with drafting, built up residue, corrosion, or something else, a CSIA-certified chimney technician will know how to handle your unique situation.

And if you live in the Greater Lake Norman area, then you are in luck! SirVent Chimney and Venting Service has been doing business in this area for years, and our staff has been trained and certified by the CSIA, so that we can better serve our customer base. The cool winds of winter are not far away… have your system inspected soon, so you’re all set for the holiday season that is fast approaching. Contact us now before the fall rush. We can’t wait to hear from you soon!

Why You Should Think About a Rumford Fireplace

Fireplaces have been around since the dawn of housing in one shape or another. For hundreds of years fire was the only way to heat buildings and with indoor fires you need a fireplace. It wasn’t until 1795 that an American named Benjamin “Count Rumford” Thompson perfected the fireplace. His work revolutionized fireplace and chimney construction. Strangely, most people today have never heard of Count Rumford even though most fireplaces built between 1796 and 1850 are Rumford fireplaces. The mystery is that after the 1850’s Rumford fireplaces were not built as often and by the 1900’s most masons had forgotten or never learned how to build one at all. Sadly, the modern fireplace is a poor substitute for the simple effectiveness of a Rumford fireplace.

Rumford Fireplace - Lake Norman NC - SirVent Chimney

Persistent Fireplace Design Problems

Before Rumford’s redesign, fireplaces had plenty of issues:

  • Chimney’s wouldn’t draw the smoke up and out properly
  • Fireplaces wouldn’t heat effectively
  • Fires couldn’t pull in enough fresh air to burn effectively

A Rumford fireplace cures all those problems with simple tweaks in design!

The Rumford Design

A Rumford fireplace is taller and shallower than a modern fireplace. When most people look at a Rumford fireplace they mistakenly assume that it has been bricked in and will no longer function properly because of how shallow it is, or that the fire would easily fill the room with smoke. Neither assumption is true. Rumford fireplaces draw smoke up and out the chimney better than any other design, and the heat they fill a room with is many times that of our modern fireplaces.

Rumford redesigned a few elements on the fireplace to make it work the way he wanted.

He determined that fireplaces warm a room through radiant heat. The more direct line of sight objects in the room had with the fire the more they would be heated. To accomplish this he made two changes:

  1. He changed the dimensions of the firebox giving it a much more shallow opening that set the fire out into the room and making it considerably taller.
  2. The other change he made was to the covings or sidewalls. On regular fireplace these are normally squared off to form a square firebox. Rumford designed his covings at a severe angle to reflect more heat into the room.

The next thing to fix was the poor drafting of fireplaces. Rumford redesigned the fireplace’s “throat” which is the space that draws smoke up into the chimney. By positioning and sizing it more precisely he was able to design a fireplace that effectively removes all the smoke from the fire below into the chimney. His design also called for a specific and slight slope to the wall at the back of the firebox.

These small tweaks created an incredibly efficient fireplace that became the new standard.

With the introduction of boilers, radiators and eventually forced heat systems the fireplace was relegated to second-class status. No longer the primary source of heat architects, masons and builders gave little thought to its functionality. Fireplaces became more architectural element and less functional part of the home. Even though it was no longer a necessity, society has never been able to remove it completely from the home. If you have a modern fireplace don’t give up hope. Your fireplace can be remodeled to make it into a Rumford by a good mason without costing an arm and a leg. The fireplace is still the heart of the home. A place where we gather as a family and sit transfixed by the dancing flames and the warmth it brings on a cold winter night. That was what Count Rumford wanted, a simple fireplace that just worked.