I decided to start a blog to share some of the things I learn as I travel around and work on chimneys. The heating season is off to a roaring start. The combination of high energy prices, poor Michigan economy, and available tax credits have made many people take a second look at wood heat.
A word about safety:
- Do not cut corners with wood heat! I have seen too many people try to do a wood stove installation for a minimal cost. Many are finding old used stoves and putting them in their living room for heat. BE CAREFUL. The mechanical codes exist for a reason. We have heard of several house fires in West Michigan this fall, one resulting in the death of 3 people.
- Fire can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It all depends on the installation. Modern wood stoves can be very safe and efficient if installed properly.
- Do not vent a wood stove into an old un-lined chimney. You don't know what is going on with mortar joints and old bricks/blocks. At least have it inspected by us to make sure it is safe. This service costs $55. Money well spent for peace of mind.
- Be careful with old wood stoves. Wood burning technology has come a long way, and modern wood stoves burn very clean and efficiently. (70-80%) Exactly the opposite of stoves made before 1990 which burn dirty and in-efficiently. (40-50%)
- Clean your chimney every year. I often take bushels of creosote out of chimneys that have not been serviced in years. If that fuel ignites, it burns at 2000 F and there is no good way to put it out. Minimum damage - cracked tiles. Maximum damage - house fire.
Matt Waite - Chimney Guy Owner Black Duck Chimney MI Mechanical Contractor - Specialty Wood & Gas