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Many older homes were built with multiple fireplaces and chimneys as the home’s primary source of heat. Today, many of these fireplaces have been covered over; either because they are no longer needed or because they are no longer functional. A fireplace in good working order is great for cozying up on a cold, damp Seattle day and can be a good source of alternative heat. Without regular inspections and maintenance, however, a fireplace can be a health and safety hazard for your family, including a risk of fire to your roof structure and home.

The National Fire Protection Association “Standard 211” states that “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, masonry fireplaces should be swept when they reach 1/8 inch of sooty buildup or sooner if glaze is found in the system. This level of buildup is enough to cause a chimney fire big enough to damage the chimney or home. We recommend that factory-built fireplaces should be swept when any noticeable buildup occurs because the acidic makeup of the deposit can shorten the life of the fireplace.

Fireplace tune-up service

A Seattle Furnace fireplace tune-up includes:

  • Removing and cleaning glass doors
  • Inspecting the gasket material around the glass door opening – Defective gaskets should be replaced to ensure an airtight seal around the fireplace (especially important for wood stoves and inserts). Permanent damage can be caused to the appliance if excess air leaks into the firebox.
  • Cleaning the pilot assembly
  • Testing the thermopyle and thermocouple
  • Cleaning the blower – Blowers do not have a filtering system to prevent the buildup of dust and hair. Excessive buildup can shorten the life of the blower and may be a fire hazard.
  • Re-assembling the parts and testing the system for functionality
  • A report with any possible safety concerns, recommendations for restoration and options for making your fireplaces and chimneys safer, cleaner, longer lasting and more energy efficient.

Rehabbing and improving old house fireplaces and chimneys

All fireplaces in a home should be inspected prior to being used. If the fireplace and chimney are old, there is a good possibility that the chimney could be partially blocked or need cleaning. Chimneys that haven’t been used in years may not even extend beyond the roof any longer and using them could cause a house fire.* Even if a fireplace and chimney appear to be in good working order, they should be inspected to ensure that the system meets modern building codes. Many old fireplaces had poor designs, causing excessive smoke while burning and increasing the risk of house fire.

If your home has a masonry fireplace we will inspect the condition of the bricks and mortar. We may recommend repair or replacement by a brick or stone mason. Some homeowners choose to install an alternative or addition to the fireplace that can offer a more efficient source of supplemental heat.

*Your chimney should be swept annually by a licensed chimney sweep; the leading cause of fires from wood-burning fireplaces, inserts or wood stoves is partially burned fuel (creosote) deposited on the walls of the chimney flue. Ask us for a recommendation for a discount on this service when you mention Seattle Furnace.

When the fireplace inspection is done and the chimney is swept, replace batteries and test all of the smoke or carbon monoxide detectors in your home to ensure that they are protecting your family.

Contact Seattle Furnace today for a free quote or to schedule your fireplace service.

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  • I am very happy with the work. Your employees were professional and polite. Everything looks good. I’ll let you know if I have questions, but I believe they have all been answered. Thanks.

  • You and your brother were the best, as in most professional all around service. I would recommended Seattle Furnace to anybody looking for the services you provide.

  • Thank you guys. I really appreciated your timeliness on this with no obstacles due to your extensive knowledge of anything HVAC. I would definitely refer as well and use you again in the future.

    Newcastle AC Customer

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