Our Company Blog

Proudly Serving Crystal Lake, IL

As the go-to fireplace and chimney care company in Northern Illinois, Aelite Chimney Specialties serves a great number of customers in Chicago and the Chicagoland area. One of the fastest-growing communities in our service area, Crystal Lake has a rich history with safe neighborhoods, natural beauty, and one of the highest rated school districts in the state. As we are proud to include this city as part of our areas served, we would like to tell you more about exactly what services we offer to the residents and business owners of Crystal Lake.

Chimney & Venting Services for Crystal Lake IL - Aelite

Chimney Sweeping

Recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and other national fire safety organizations to be performed annually, a professional chimney sweeping by our certified chimney sweeps ensures that your chimney is clean and free from hazardously flammable creosote deposits and lowers your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Video Chimney Inspections

Also annually recommended by the CSIA, NFPA, and other national fire safety organizations, a professional chimney inspection guarantees that your fireplace and chimney system functions properly and safely.

Chimney Installation Services

Not only can Aelite Chimney Specialties professionally install new fireplaces, wood stoves, and glass fireplace doors, but we also provide installation services of chimney crowns, chimney covers, chase tops, dampers, and chimney caps.

Masonry Services

The experienced and trained masons at Aelite Chimney Specialties can perform repairs to damaged and deteriorated masonry by using techniques such as tuck pointing to restore worn out masonry joints.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

To prevent a devastating clothes dryer fire, it is recommended that you have a professional dryer vent cleaning performed annually. Aelite Chimney Specialties has certified technicians that can reduce fire hazards and save you money on utility bills by professionally cleaning your dryer vent system.

If you live in Crystal Lake, contact Aelite Chimney Specialties for all of your fireplace and chimney needs.

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The Importance of Proper Ash Removal and Storage

If you have a wood-burning appliance, you know that after a fire, you will be left with ashes and ash residue left behind that will need to be correctly removed and stored. If you are unaware of the proper ash removal and storing procedures, you could end up with a fire ignited by the hot embers insulated within the ashes. At Aelite Chimney Specialties, fireplace and chimney safety is one of our highest priorities as CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, so we want to share with you some answers to questions on removing and storing ashes correctly to protect you from the possibility of a dangerous fire.

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How Can Improper Ash Removal and Storage Lead to a Fire?

Often, people mistakenly think that simply storing ashes in a metal bucket with no lid is the correct way to store ashes after they are removed. However, when this bucket is sitting outside on your porch, strong winter winds can easily blow the bucket over, which causes all of the ashes to fall out onto your porch or yard. If this does occur, the ashes get stirred up, and the hot coals and embers could be reactivated. If your porch has a wooden floor, you might also possibly have a dangerous porch fire on your hands caused by the improper storage of ashes. Similarly, if the hot ashes end up in your yard, you may have to deal with an out-of-control brushfire.

What Kind of Container Should I Use to Store Ashes?

Aelite Chimney Specialties cannot stress enough to our customers the importance of using a proper ash container. We strongly recommend using a pail or bucket constructed from sheet metal that has a securely fitted lid. The lid is the essential key for safety. For an even safer ash storage container, the bottom of the pail should be slightly offset so that the actual bottom will not make contact with flooring and char the surface.

Where Should I Store My Ash Bucket?

Do not ever place your bucket on a wooden floor as this can be a fire hazard even if the bucket has an elevated metal bottom. Always store your ash bucket outside on a non-combustible surface such as stone, brick, concrete, or slate. Ensure the lid is securely closed.

Should I Remove Ashes After Every Fire?

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), you do not have to remove ashes after every fire. In fact, leaving a one-inch layer of ash on the floor of your firebox will make it much easier to build and maintain a fire. The hot embers within the ashes will add more heat to the fuel and reflect this heat back into the fire. A thin layer of ash can also protect the floor of your firebox. However, you should never allow this layer of ashes to get too deep. If these ashes should make contact with the bottom of your grate, it can cause the grate to prematurely burn out.

What If I Have a Wood-Burning Stove or a Pellet Stove? Do I Need to Store These Ashes Differently?

Ash storage procedures are still the same for these stoves. If your stove is long and narrow and burns from the front to the back, it will benefit from removing the ashes that are just inside the door. Then, you can move the hot coals to the back of the stove to aid in the quick ignition of a fire. The incoming air from combustion will reignite those hot coals and rapidly heat up the entire firebox. When all of the ashes are removed, it will be difficult to start a fire because all of the bricks in the firebox must be heated to saturation before your fire can really get going.

If you have any questions about how to remove and store ashes properly, contact Aelite Chimney Specialties to ask our staff. We are happy to help you with every issue involving fire safety.

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Let Us Answer Your Vent-Free Gas Logs FAQ

An increasingly popular, economical, and environmentally-friendly way to enjoy a fire, gas logs are available from Aelite Chimney Specialties in two different types: vented and vent-free (also known as ventless or unvented). If you are shopping for gas logs, you may hesitate from choosing vent-free gas logs because you have heard they are are not safe to use because they can leak poisonous gases like carbon monoxide into your home. However, this information is not completely true. Recently, The VentFree Organization, discovered in a study of vent-free gas logs that their emissions are well within the recommended standards for good indoor air quality. Our staff at Aelite Chimney Specialties can help you decide which type of gas logs are best for you, and we would like to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about vent-free gas logs to put your mind at ease.

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What are the dangers of carbon monoxide leaking into my house from vent-free logs?

Including households with the elderly, pregnant women, and small children, vent-free gas logs passed every test comparing their carbon monoxide levels with the recommended maximum levels as set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Vent-free gas logs passed all of the tests with flying colors and are well within the CPSC indoor air quality guidelines. Of course, for safety reasons, your home should have several carbon monoxide detection alarms installed on each level of your home and outside every bedroom because the toxic gas is odorless and tasteless.

Can I heat my entire house with vent-free gas logs?

No, all major building codes recommend that a primary heat source, like a furnace, be functional in the home before installing vent-less gas logs. These gas logs are only approved as a strictly supplemental heat source.

Can I use vent-free gas logs in every state?

No, vent-free gas logs are illegal to use in California. However, in the other 49 states, the International Residential Code (IRC) accepted the use of vent-free gas logs as a supplemental heating source in January 2006.

Will vent-free gas logs produce too much heat in tightly constricted homes?

This issue is solved by controlling the heat output of your vent-free gas logs and setting the heat to your desired temperature. Although, if your home is tightly constricted without much ventilation, Aelite Chimney Specialties will follow the manufacturer’s instructions and all building code requirements to provide the needed ventilation and combustion air. In some cases, however, we may also have to install additional mechanical ventilation.

Will I be able to use my ceiling fan in the same room as my vent-free gas logs?

Yes, a ceiling fan can be used to distribute the heat around the room, but you must be sure that the fan does not blow directly into the fireplace or cause drafts that alter the burner’s flame patterns, or you could end up with soot inside your house.

How should I maintain my vent-free gas logs?

Once a year, you should have your vent-free gas logs professionally cleaned and serviced. Aelite Chimney Specialties can inspect and adjust the oxygen and carbon monoxide monitors for safe and efficient performance.

Do you have more questions about vent-free gas logs? Contact Aelite Chimney Specialties to ask us more about this safe and efficient supplemental heating source.

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