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Ready to Install Your New Fireplace? We Can Help!

Help Installing Your New Fireplace Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney Specialties You decided to upgrade your old masonry fireplace with a new gas fireplace insert or a set of gas logs in order to improve the energy efficiency of your home, and you thought you could save money by installing the insert yourself. However, doing this task yourself could end up costing you even more money because of the problems that could occur with a DIY hearth appliance installation job. Having your new fireplace insert or set of gas logs professionally installed is not only recommended by manufacturers, but also by national fire safety organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). If you live in the Chicago area, Aelite Chimney Specialties can properly and safely install your new hearth heating appliance, and we can also assist you with finding the best appliance for your home if you need help with upgrading your older fireplace. We would like to tell you a bit more about why you should have a fireplace insert or a set of gas logs professionally installed.

What problems could occur if I do not have my new gas hearth heating appliance professionally installed?

According to the CSIA, gas appliances have to meet specific venting requirements. The main concern when installing a new gas fireplace insert into an existing masonry fireplace opening is matching the size of the flue with the appliance. Most masonry chimneys are too large for newer gas fireplace inserts, and this size difference can cause a couple of problems. One of these problems has to do with condensation. When the flue is too large, not enough heat is produced to keep water vapors from liquefying. This liquid is very corrosive and can eat away at the masonry materials of the chimney. Another common issue that occurs has to do with inadequate draft, which reduces the safety and efficiency of your new heating appliance. When your chimney has draft problems, the toxic combustion gases like carbon monoxide are not pulled out of your home through the chimney. When Aelite Chimney Specialties installs a new hearth heating appliance, we make sure that the size of the flue matches the size of the appliance by installing a new stainless steel chimney liner to provide a properly matched flue.

What types of hearth heating appliances does Aelite Chimney Specialties carry?

We carry a wide variety of fireplace inserts of different fuel types that can improve the energy efficiency of your home. Growing in popularity each year, fireplace inserts are easy to use and to maintain. They also allow you to improve both the appearance of your hearth and the heating efficiency of your home. We offer several fuel options for these inserts, including wood-burning, gas, and pellet. Our knowledgeable staff can help you choose which fuel type is the best fit for your home. We also carry gas logs as another option for increasing the energy efficiency in your house, and we can install freestanding wood stoves as well.

Are you ready to update your older masonry fireplace this winter? Contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties to learn more about how we can help you improve your heating efficiency in your home.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Ready to Install Your New Fireplace? We Can Help!

How to Build an Efficient Fire in Your Fireplace

Forming an Adequate Fire Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney SpecialtiesWhile many love the sensory experience of a wood fire, not everyone loves the chores involved with burning wood. Having to bring in more firewood from outside to keep a fire going can be tiring, especially when the weather gets freezing cold. Knowing how to build an efficient fire allows you to spend more time enjoying the cozy flames instead of trudging outside to get more fuel. Aelite Chimney Specialties loves helping our customers learn how to build better fires, and we would like to tell you how to build a top-down fire, which is recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). This method of building a fire will give you longer lasting and warmer fires without spending a lot of time maintaining the flames.

Start with the largest pieces of firewood.

Although you may have learned to place your largest logs on top of the fire, a top-down burn build starts with those pieces on the bottom. Do not place the firewood parallel to the opening of the fireplace. Instead, place the ends of the logs facing the front and back of the fireplace.

Add layers of smaller logs.

Once you have your base of larger pieces of firewood, you can then stack layers of smaller pieces on top until you have reached half of the height of the firebox. You want to make each level smaller as you stack higher.

Place kindling and wood shavings on the top.

You will want to build a mini-version with your kindling of what you just built with the firewood. At the very top of your kindling stack, place wood shavings. You will want to stop building just below the fireplace opening.

Light the fire!

If you have struggled with lighting wood fires in the past, you will appreciate how simple it is to get a top-down burn fire started. Typically, you will only need a single match or the flame from an automatic lighter to ignite the wood shavings. You can also roll up a newspaper and light the end to start the fire.

A top-down burn will give you a fire that produces less smoke and creosote. You will also notice fewer ashes on the floor in front of the fireplace because you will not have larger logs falling on smaller pieces of firewood. Aelite Chimney Specialties also recommends that you only burn seasoned firewood. Contact us to learn more tips for building the best and most efficient wood fires this winter.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on How to Build an Efficient Fire in Your Fireplace

How Effective Are Gas Logs?

Gas Logs Effective Image - Chicago IL - Aelite ChimneyAccording to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), gas logs are becoming more and more popular because of their convenience and ease of use. Another reason why homeowners are frequently choosing to update their fireplace with a set of gas logs is to increase the energy efficiency of their homes. The higher the energy efficiency rating is, the less you have to spend on heating costs. You can even find a set of gas logs that has an energy efficiency rating of 99 percent. Since gas logs are available in two different types, it is important to know more about these types when you are shopping for this gas hearth appliance. Aelite Chimney Specialties offers sales and installation services for both types of gas logs, and we would like to tell you more about each type to help you choose which one is the best for your home.

Vented

If the aesthetics of a wood fire are important to you, you will want to consider a vented set of gas logs. Also known as “yellow flame” logs, vented gas logs look much more realistic than the other type of gas logs. However, since these logs do not burn as cleanly and produce exhaust similar to a wood fire, they must be vented through an existing chimney. This means some of the heat from these gas logs escapes out of the chimney, which reduces the energy efficiency of the heating appliance. Vented gas logs still have efficiency ratings from 70 to 85 percent, which is a big improvement over the average 15 percent rating of an older traditional wood-burning fireplace.

Ventless

Are you considering adding a fireplace to your home, but are concerned about the expense of building a new chimney? Installing a set of ventless gas logs is the perfect answer because they do not need to be vented through a chimney. Ventless gas logs provide much more warmth than vented logs and have energy efficiency ratings up to 99 percent. Because ventless logs do not have a way to exhaust fumes, however, they do have some safety concerns. You are required to also install a carbon monoxide detector alarm when you update your home with a set of ventless gas logs because of the increased risk of a leak of that toxic combustion gas. Despite these concerns, ventless gas logs are safe to use when you carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Aelite Chimney Specialties will help you to understand the safest way to operate your ventless gas logs after we install a set in your home.

Considering adding a set of gas logs to your home this winter? Contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties to find out more about our sales and installation services of both vented and ventless gas logs.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on How Effective Are Gas Logs?

Why an Annual Chimney Inspection Is Necessary

Annual Chimney Inspection Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney SpecialtiesHaving a fireplace comes with some important responsibilities to ensure your home is free from dangerous safety hazards. Not only do you have the obvious risks involved with fire to think about, but you must also consider the potential problems that could be hiding inside the chimney. Before you light your first fire of the year, national fire safety organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend that you have your chimney professionally inspected and swept. These annual professional chimney maintenance services are necessary to make sure your fireplace and chimney system will work safely, efficiently, and effectively all winter long. Aelite Chimney Specialties is proud to offer these services to the residents of the Chicago area from our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps who have years of experience and training in inspecting and sweeping chimneys. You can trust us to make sure your fireplace and chimney do not pose any safety hazards. To help you understand the importance of an annual chimney inspection, we would like to tell you a bit more about the hazards that can occur from damage to your chimney.

Chimney Fires

One of the most important reasons why you need your chimney professionally swept and inspected at least once a year is to remove all of the creosote deposits from the inside of your chimney. When you burn wood, creosote develops naturally during the condensation process that occurs as the byproducts of combustion exit out of the cooler walls of the upper chimney. This residue sticks to the inner walls of the chimney and can accumulate into large deposits, which create an increased risk for chimney fires. If the internal temperature of your chimney gets hot enough, those creosote deposits can quickly and easily ignite into flames. Creosote is so highly flammable that the CSIA has named it as a leading cause of chimney fires. After our chimney technicians sweep your chimney, Aelite Chimney Specialties will inspect the inner walls to be sure all of the creosote deposits have been removed. If we find stubborn creosote accumulations, we will recommend a more thorough mechanical cleaning that will be sure to get all the creosote deposits out of your chimney to reduce your risk of a chimney fire.

Carbon Monoxide Leaks

When Aelite Chimney Specialties inspects chimneys, we take great care to examine every component to look for any damage that could allow toxic combustion gases like carbon monoxide to leak into your home. One of the most common causes of these leaks is a damaged chimney liner. Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians will be looking for any cracks or gaps in the chimney liner where these gases can escape into your home. We also check for flue blockages that could force carbon monoxide back into your living space. If we find a blockage, we will remove the debris from the flue to open it up to allow poisonous combustion gases to be exhausted through the chimney.

Our experienced chimney sweeps will also inspect the exterior of your chimney to look for damaged bricks and mortar that can be prime spots for water leaks. Contact us today to schedule your appointment for this essential annual chimney maintenance service. We can get your chimney ready now before cold weather arrives to the Chicago area.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Why an Annual Chimney Inspection Is Necessary

Aelite Chimney Specialties Is Looking for Help

Aelite Now Hiring Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney Specialties If you live in the Chicago area and are looking for a job, Aelite Chimney Specialties is hiring. We would like to add a laborer to our team who is committed to providing a whole new level of service. This is a basic level job to help us with transporting materials and products. We also need assisting with chimney duties. We would like to tell you more about this position.

What are the qualifications for this position?

Since you will be responsible for providing your own transportation, it is essential that you have a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record. We will not consider anyone with a history of DUIs or non-reconciled traffic violations for this position. Because you will be carrying materials up to roofs, you should not be afraid of heights, and you should be able to lift up to 80 pounds. Finally, we are looking for someone who can work well both individually and in a team environment.

Do I need any certifications?

For this position, you do not need any chimney industry certifications. However, if you are interested in being promoted to a chimney sweep, we can help you obtain certification from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). We can tell you more about this process if becoming a chimney sweep interests you.

What else should I know about this position?

While previous experience in working for a chimney is not required, it can definitely be a plus. Being familiar with our service area, which includes Lake, McHenry, and Cook Counties, is also helpful.

Since 2005, Aelite Chimney Specialties has been taking care of the chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs in the Chicagoland area. We are proud of our team who strives to provide the best chimney and fireplace services possible. If you would like to join this team or learn more information, contact us today at aelitechimney@yahoo.com.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Aelite Chimney Specialties Is Looking for Help