Is Your Fireplace Installed Correctly?
It may sound odd to ask a question like this about your fireplace, but it’s one every homeowner should be able to quickly answer in the affirmative. A fireplace and chimney system that’s built or installed in ways other than with best accepted industry practices may look nice now but can lead to grave problems down the line.
We want to look at two areas in this topic: 1. If you have a fireplace already installed and want to ensure it’s in top working order, and 2. If you’re planning to have a new unit installed.
Your current fireplace
The only way to know for sure if there are problems in any part of your fireplace and chimney is to consult with a certified fireplace technician who can inspect the system.
In some ways, fireplaces are like the human body: things can go wrong in areas that can’t be seen, and it can be months or years before the effects are noticed. A thorough inspection of the firebox, damper, chimney liner, chimney cap and other components of your home-heating system might reveal issues that you, as a homeowner, never were aware of. If your fireplace has gone years without a professional inspection, it’s a smart idea to arrange for one before the next cold season.
Installing a new fireplace
When adding a fireplace to your home, it’s critical to shop for the right contractor. You want a company with verifiable experience installing and working with all aspects of both gas and wood fireplaces and related heating systems.
If you’re having a new home built, don’t assume that your building contractor is an expert in fireplaces, chimneys, venting systems and local and federal codes for the proper installation of these appliances. Many homeowners hire a qualified contractor to build their home and arrange with another contractor whose sole job is installing fireplaces.
Of course, there are many homebuilders who are fully equipped to install a nice fireplace as part of the project. Even so, it’s not a bad idea to follow up this construction with a fireplace and chimney inspection by professionals experienced in that type of work.
Chimney sweeps and others who regularly perform cleaning, inspection, maintenance and repair services have specific knowledge about how these appliances should be installed for safety and how they should be used. Ask anybody who has had a major disaster averted by bringing in a trained fireplace inspector, and they’ll tell you that a qualified technician is worth his or her weight in gold.
Fireplace installation is a complex process, and often it’s a game of inches – or millimeters. And it’s not only safety that’s a concern, it’s also efficiency. In order to give high performance, gas and wood fireplaces must be set up properly, a task that isn’t as simple as it may seem. For this reason, it always pays to have the work done by an experienced professional and inspected when the job is complete.
Burlington Fireplace & Solar of Wisconsin is ready to assist with all your fireplace installation needs. Our crews are certified in both inspection and custom installation and bring unmatched expertise to every job. Visit us at 857 Milwaukee Ave. in Burlington, or give us a call at (262) 763-3522.