The Cozy Flame's Blog

Stinky Chimney Syndrome

Throughout the offseason chimney professionals get calls about chimney maintenance. Spring and summer are a great time to schedule chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections. It’s a popular time for upgrades and installations. It’s also a big-time for remodels and new construction.

During the offseason, there aren’t a lot of complaints about chimney problems because with the fires out and the chimney is not in regular use. However, there are some things with your fireplace that you will only notice during the offseason. A stinky chimney, for instance, is a major problem as chimneys sit dormant and summer humidity and pressures fluctuate. If you experience a chimney odor problem, it’s important to call a professional today, because a stinky chimney always indicates a problem.

Types of Chimney Odors

No matter the type of odor your chimney may be producing, it is never a good sign for your chimney. If you’re like most homeowners, you don’t even want to think about your fireplace and chimney during the summer. However, there are some odors that can come from the chimney system that cannot be ignored. Once you notice them, it’s impossible to move on, and without professional help, there’s no way to stop it.

Mildew/Moldy Odors

When the odors coming from your fireplace opening smell mildly of dirty laundry or last year’s gym shoes, it’s time to take action. An odor that smells of mold or mildew indicates there is water present in the chimney system. Water should NEVER be present in the chimney system. Water can sometimes enter the chimney by way of damaged masonry, crown, cap, or flashing, and this can immediately start to damage the system. If your chimney smells of mold or mildew, there has been water in your system long enough for the growth of bacteria. There is likely hidden water damage within the system and the air quality of your home may even be affected. You should call a professional for a diagnostic appointment. A certified expert can assess the damage, stop the leak at its source, and prevent it from ever happening again!

Smoke/Barbecue Odors

You may be sitting around in the house and suddenly smell beef jerky. There’s no beef jerky anywhere, but maybe it’s your oven. Eventually, the smell can get so strong that it’s as if the dirty grill from the Fourth of July barbecue is actually inside your living room. This smell comes and goes depending on air pressure pushing the odors down your chimney and out into your home. No matter how strong the odor is, it cannot be stopped unless you have a chimney cleaning. The smell is caused by the soot, creosote, and ash present in the fireplace and chimney system. You should schedule a chimney sweep with a licensed and certified professional soon!

Decay/Decomposition Odors

If you smell the pungent odor of decay and identify your fireplace as the culprit, you may have an animal carcass in the chimney system. It may not be a dead animal but could be droppings, feathers, fur, and even unburned wood. This smell is easy to identify but caused by things left in the chimney that shouldn’t be there. A chimney sweep or animal removal is required to clean the entire system.

In all these instances of bad chimney odors, you should schedule a chimney sweep or inspection with Total Chimney Care today to resolve them!

It’s Time for Service!

It’s finally September. Maybe you’re looking forward to harvest parties and Halloween, or maybe you’re already looking for a Christmas tree. For those homeowners who love fall and the holiday season for all the family gatherings and fun decorations, we may be able to help. For those who depend on the fireplace and chimney system as a heat source, we can help you too! At The Cozy Flame, fires are our specialty, and we can’t stress enough the importance of professional services and routine preventative appointments to maintain safety and efficiency throughout the season.

Repairs and Installations

If your fireplace needs a bit of a facelift in order to look it’s best in your family photos this season, you should call on the professionals. The Cozy Flame partners with sister company, Total Chimney Care, to bring professional installations and repairs to our customers. The experts at Total Chimney Care are certified, licensed, and insured. They can beautify any old fireplace, or neglected chimney. Now is the time for these types of services, however.

If you want to make changes to the system, schedule now and avoid the fall rush. The fall rush is the time between October and January in which chimney professionals are busy. If you wait until October to schedule your appointment, you may spend some cold nights waiting for an appointment time. Also, when you wait to schedule until fall, you may not get to schedule with the sweep you want, and may be tempted to light a fire in an unsafe fireplace.

Routine Maintenance

Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that it takes routine chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections for a chimney system to be as safe and efficient as it can be. These important services should be completed by a professional, and should be completed before burn season. Once your chimney is clean and inspected, you can rest assured that it’s ready for the first fire of the season, AND it will not need another inspection for twelve months.
Chimney Sweep – When you schedule your chimney sweep with Total Chimney Care, a professional will come into your home and use special tools to sweep the system clean of soot, creosote, and any other debris. When the system is clean, it will work more efficiently, will be clean of hazards, and will have optimum airflow.
Chimney Inspection – A CSIA chimney inspection is a thorough assessment of the chimney system from top to bottom, including the inside. Hazards will be identified and a repair plan will be suggested by your chimney sweep. When you schedule your chimney inspection now, it leaves you time for necessary repairs before temperatures drop. Ask a technician about chimney inspections, procedures, and repair plans when you call to schedule.

Call The Cozy Flame and you’ll find that we’re committed to professional excellence and safety. You can have your dream hearth (and in time for fall!) when you call today. Dial 203-283-4459.

End of Winter Service

It’s officially spring, which means warmer weather. By the end of winter, many homeowners are downright tired, but it’s important to take care of your fireplace and chimney system to close out the season. Luckily, a professional chimney sweep company has you covered. Your end-of-winter services are just a phone call away!

Chimney Sweeping

After a long winter, one of the most necessary services is the chimney sweep. Each day and night your fireplace was burning for these last few months, soot and creosote has been coating the inside of the flue system. The humidity of summer will mingle with the soot and creosote, causing less-than-satisfactory odors! You won’t have to breathe in these odors or chemicals when you hire a professional for the chimney sweep. Our sister company, Total Chimney Care, provides chimney sweeping services to our service area. It’s one of the most popular services for spring-for good reason! Homeowners who schedule regular chimney sweeps see better results from their appliances, including more efficient fires. Leaving creosote in the chimney can break down the materials in your fireplace while posing a serious fire hazard the next time you light a fire.

Chimney Inspection

A lot can happen with your chimney system during one burn season. For example, small problems can turn into a major hazard. This may go unnoticed until it’s seen by a professional. That is why inspections are so important. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommend annual chimney inspections for the safest and most efficient chimney possible. Many homeowners choose to schedule an inspection during spring to ensure it’s ready for fall, to avoid any water damage from “April showers”, and to use tax refund money to pay for necessary repairs that may be identified. You don’t have to schedule your inspection this spring if you’ve had one in the last 12 months, but it’s important to have one annually. If you’re waiting until fall to schedule your inspection, make sure you schedule ahead to beat the fall rush.

Repairs and Waterproofing

If you have noticed a problem with your fireplace appliance or with your chimney, now is the time to have it repaired. You should never wait to have chimney repairs completed. During winter there may be a fire risk, and during spring and summer you may be allowing water into the system. Scheduling spring-time repairs can prevent damage from occurring this spring and summer while giving you time before burn season to pay for major repairs.

Ask your chimney sweep about waterproofing services. Completed in one simple appointment, waterproofing doesn’t change the appearance of the masonry, but puts an invisible barrier between the masonry, and the weather. This specially-formulated sealant will allow your chimney to continue working properly, while adequately protected from water.

Not sure what type of service your fireplace needs? Call a Comfort Consultant at The Cozy Flame or stop by today.

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All About Chimney Liners

The job of your liner is to protect the chimney walls from overuse and excessive heat, as well as ushering smoke outside. If it’s not doing its job, perhaps it’s time to have it repaired or replaced. Have it inspected as soon as possible.

Don't wit until chimney troubles start due to a damaged liner. Call now and we'll see to it that you get functionality, efficiency and safety from your chimney.

Don’t wait until chimney troubles appear due to your damaged liner. Call now and we’ll see to it that you get functionality, efficiency and safety from your chimney.

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The Cozy Flame | 116 Research Dr. Suite Q, Milford, Connecticut 06460