Prefabricated Fireplaces

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Prefab Fireplace Flue
Looking up from the firebox, this is what a prefab fireplace looks like.

If you have a prefabricated unit installed in your home now, or you are considering purchasing one, this information is extremely important. One fact that many people do not realize is how young factory built, or “prefab” units really are.  They have only been readily available for purchase for the past 25 years, approximately. However, as a chimney sweep, I deal with them all the time.

Nearly one half of the prefabricated units installed throughout the United States are installed improperly. It is absolutely imperative that installation instructions are followed to the letter, especially specified clearances. Clearances from the firebox and chimney to any combustible material must generally be at least 2″. Most manufacturers require a 2″ air space with no insulation. These specifications are of the utmost importance because they prevent a process known as pyrolisis, in which the wood too close to the chimney dries out and will eventually catch fire, at temperatures as low as 200 degrees!

Chimney Cap
This stainless steel chimney cap will keep critters and debris out of your chimney.

It is absolutely imperative to install a chimney cap to a prefabricated unit. It is not unusual for chimney sweeps to literally carry out buckets of nesting material from the flue systems of these types of fireplaces. Especially older versions of these units have imitation brick housing above the roof, which birds love to nest in. A cap will prevent these nesting materials from catching your house on fire and blocking air flow, which causes the chimney to overheat.

Although it is difficult to inspect firebox clearances, a trip to the attic to check out clearances of the chimney is definitely worth your while. If you find issues in the attic, it is crucial to install access ports to check the clearances in the firebox and monitor conditions as time goes by.

Another thing to consider, especially if you are in the market for prefabs is the fact that each unit is specifically tested and listed specifically for use with one another. The fireplace and the chimney are tested together and approved, meaning that you must go through that same company to obtain a replacement part years down the road.

Often times, these companies will go out of business leaving you stuck. Your prefab unit will reach the end of its useful life when repair of the unit is no longer possible. Be wary that necessary components of the listings may become unavailable.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Service Your Chimney Before Peak Season

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Flue System
This is what the chimney sweep sees when he looks down the flue system for cracks.

Nothing is more exciting to a chimney sweep company than wood burning season, those cold months of the year when people light up their fireplaces and prepare for hibernation. However, nothing is more frustrating to a homeowner than calling all the chimney sweeps in your area just to hear that they are booked out for a month or two.  Taking the initiative to get your chimney swept early can really help out, and in more ways than one.

Often times, chimney sweep companies will offer discounts for chimney sweeps done in the off season. Discounts of up to $100 have been reported nationwide. The peace of mind of having the service done before you even begin burning it for the season as well as the money off the total cost is priceless.

Protect Carpet When Sweeping Chimney
Tarps will be laid out in front of the fireplace to protect the carpet.

When it is cold out, most masonry products will freeze. By having your chimney swept before peak season, you will have to opportunity to repair the exterior of the chimney before the weather is bad enough to actually utilize the fireplace. It is a bit of a pickle when the sweep who comes out to your home says that there is damage that must be repaired before the chimney is used, but the temperatures prevent any masonry work to be completed. Service your chimney early to prevent these problems from occurring.

Creosote buildup left over from the burning season actually eats away at the flue system, increasing the likelihood of a repair. This build up in your chimney combined with the heat and humidity that are characteristic of the summer months will corrode away the flue liner and wear away at mortar joints on the top of the chimney.

Application of Anit-Creo-Soot
Apply ACS Spray directly to the burning logs.

The humidity of the summer and spring also causes odors. Because the water vapors in the air react with the creosote causing the pungent odor to permeate through your home via the flue system. These odors can also be beaten using Anti-Creo-Soot products to reduce the volume of creosote in the flue system. If  you’re thinking of cleaning your chimney yourself, take a look at our article called Chimney Cleaning Tools – Buyers Guide.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

How To Choose Fireplace Screens To Enhance Your Home

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

In the past, fireplaces were used as the primary source of heat inside the home. With modern heating appliances and central or under floor heating, fireplaces have become more of a pursuit in architecture and made a decoration rather than the primary method of heating your home. Fireplaces can become the focal points of living rooms with the help of beautiful yet functional fireplace accessories such as screens, irons, log racks, and more. From among these hearth accessories, be it an off-the-shelf or custom designer solution, a fireplace can become more attractive and have more character with the installation of fireplace screens.

Fireplace Screen Design

woodfield screenTraditional Fireplace Screen

These are fireplace screens that are simple and classic in design. These are usually clean to look at and can work with any interior theme decoration. Traditional fireplace screens are made from brass, copper or can also be made from wrought iron fireplace screens. These could have a single panel to several ones. They come in various sizes, styles and finishes and you can never go wrong with them.

antiquescreenAntique Design

Fireplace screens categorized as antique are usually associated to rooms that are Victorian themed, rich in tapestries and are characterized as elegant. These types of fireplace screens are designed with rounded designs such as those that represent elegance such as swirls, flowers and scrolls. These screens designed for formal houses with fireplaces should be matched with other coordinating fireplace tools and log rack to make them more attractive.

Designer Fireplace Screens

These functional types of screens are typically stylish and are designed to set a balance and harmonize with a room’s décor. These screens are recommended to be displayed and used with their accompanying fireplace tools and log rack.

Outdoor Fireplace Screens

These screens are versatile and give tribute from their design the different outdoor activities such as fishing, golfing, hunting, hiking, etc. These usually have a black finish and can blend into any theme or decorations. Just like the other fireplace screen designs, makes sure that its coordinating accessories go with it.

Fireplace Screen Color

Be it a designer, traditional or antique fireplace screen, choose those that complement the dominant color of the room where you are going to place this. For rooms whose dominant colors are considered cool such as green, green-blue, blue, violet, blue-violet, violet and violet-red, the best fireplace screens would be the ones finished in black, white, aluminum, pewter, stainless steel and brass. For rooms whose dominant color is warm such as red, orange, red-orange, yellow, yellow-orange and yellow-green, the ideal fireplace screens will be those that are finished with black, gold, rust, bronze, copper and any shade of brown finish.

Fireplace Screen Size

There are so many sizes and shapes of fireplaces. They can either be single paneled or have more to create a curved effect. The simplest fireplace screen would be the single panel because this can simply be placed in a straight line across the fireplace while a multi-paneled one seems a bit more complicated especially when you want to get this as your fireplace’s screen.

How Do You Know What Size Is Right?

– Measure the width of your fireplace

– Add 10 to 12 inches to the width taken above. This is the ideal width of the fireplace screen you should get.

– Measure the height of your fireplace.

– Add 3 to 5 inches to the height measurement you took above. This is the ideal height of the fireplace screen you should get.

Both extra inches added to both measurements ensure some allowance for the screen to fold and to avoid it from tipping over. Always make sure that you compare the dimensions that you were able to derive from the measurements to the dimensions of the fireplace screen products you are interested in purchasing.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

What is the Difference Between a Level I and Level II Inspection?

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Brick Repair
A Level I inspection will diagnose chimney problems such as spalling brick (top), efflorescence (middle), and cracked and spalling brick (bottom).

Although this terminology can be confusing, the difference between these two different levels of inspections, including when and where they are appropriate, is actually quite simple. A Level I inspection is your yearly, routine inspection. Code calls for your chimney to be swept annually.

This level of inspection requires the service technician to inspect all of the readily accessible areas of the chimney, appliance, flue, and connectors. There are thirty three points that are a part of the inspection, and although these points are required for a Level I inspection, the list is not exhaustive.

Sometimes, a service technician is required to go above and beyond the minimum requirements of a Level I inspection in order to determine certain factors concerning the chimney, such as what type of flue system is appropriate for a specific chimney or appliance, or whether or not there is indeed damage at any point in the flue system. These problems may require the service technician to get onto the roof to inspect the top of the chimney or execute any other number of services above and beyond the typical Level I inspection requirements.

A Level II inspection is necessary when a question regarding a chimney cannot be answered by merely inspecting the easily accessible areas of the chimney. Weather conditions that may have caused damage usually require a Level II inspection. A Level II inspection encompasses all aspects of a Level I inspection, the extra steps are merely that, extra.

The sweep will have to move about the house in order to complete a Level II inspection. The roof top, the chimney top, the basement or crawlspace, and the attic will all be inspected. This type of inspection is generally utilized for homes that are on the market, and are required before a home can change hands.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

What Is a Fireplace Insert?

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Wood Burning Insert
This is a woodburning fireplace insert that fits into an existing firebox and vents through a flue which meets code standards.

A fireplace insert? Is that like a wood stove? Not exactly. It is like a stove, but modified specifically by the manufacturer to fit for insertion inside a masonry firebox (hence, insert.) Fireplace inserts are much more efficient than regular, open wood burning fireplaces and emit a fraction of the pollutants while warming your home.

There are two main parts to a fireplace insert, the actual firebox and its surrounding steel shell. This outer shell delivers heat created in the firebox directly to the room. This air “padding” area prevents heat from being wasted on heating the actual masonry structure itself so more heat is ejected into the room. Air freely flows between the firebox and the steel shell, allowing it to be warmed and blown into the room.Some larger inserts can heat one or two thousand square feet, like this Napoleon insert. Smaller inserts heat smaller areas of the home.

It is imperative that your insert be lined from top to bottom.  Some older fireplace inserts were lined only partly, allowing smoke to meander up the chimney after a certain point. This makes for extremely expensive upkeep, seeing that the entire insert must be removed in order for it to be cleaned.  You should have your insert installed and the chimney lined by a professional, or if you choose to do it yourself, be sure that ALL of your methods comply with local building and fire codes, or you may face some costly repairs.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Used Brick Wall Repair

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Used Brick Repair
Used brick, as pictured, deteriorate as individual units as opposed to sections on the chimney like new brick does.

Replacing damaged brick can be a less expensive repair for your chimney than rebuilding the entire structure. Where a full rebuild is warranted, cutting out and replacing brick is not an acceptable alternative. However, when appropriate, repairing only parts of the chimney can be the most economically sound decision for you as a homeowner.

Bricks that are severely damaged will be cut out using masonry tools, leaving perfect, brick sized holes in the chimney. Diamond blade saws or regular chipping hammers are used to remove the bricks, although the saw is least likely to chip the brick that you do want to keep intact.

Brick Repair
This can be identified as used brick judging by the rounded edges and irregular shapes.

The openings must be cleaned properly before new installation can occur. Using fresh pointing mortar, a mason will install new brick into these openings. There are some downfalls to this method however. 99% of the time, there will be a color difference between the new bricks and the old bricks. Often times, the mortar may not match completely either. These minor details are not significant when it comes to a very small brick wall repair on inconspicuous parts of the home, but a very widespread repair on the front of the house or on the top of the chimney can be very unsightly if some bricks are a different color than the others. Mortar may sometimes get on the face of the brick as well, and although it can be removed, can be a real pain and eyesore if not removed shortly after the brick repair has been completed.

The most important step after conducting repairs of this nature is to waterproof not only the repaired area but all the surrounding brick. Because these used brick are weak, they are more prone than new brick to spall, crack, and crumble. A heavy duty water repellent is my greatest recommendation to prolong and protect the repair.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

How Do I Know If I Have Used Brick?

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Brick Repair
Used brick, as pictured, deteriorate as individual units as opposed to sections on the chimney like new brick does.

Used bricks are soft and may quickly deteriorate. If your masonry structure is made with used brick, it is more than likely that you will already know. If you do not, however, there are many tell tale signs that you do. Used bricks are known in a positive light for their beauty. Their rustic aestheticism is incomparable to newer bricks made by more modern procedures. They are bricks recycled or salvaged from prior buildings or construction sites. Often times, used brick are the remnants of older buildings having been torn down to create more modern structures. Some characteristics of used brick include rounded edges, small chips, and a general “tumbled” feel.

Brick Repair
For brick that looks uniform in size and shape but deteriorates one unit at a time, scratch the surface of the brick with a screwdriver to test its hardness.

Used brick can be from salmon pink to chalky orange to bright red. There are not any real color distinctions between new and used brick; their condition is the determining factor. Often their sizes are extremely irregular.
New brick will deteriorate in chunks or sections. Used brick, however, tend to deteriorate individually due to their differences in density throughout. Since their masses are not evenly distributed as is with new brick, made in a factory, one individual brick in the center of other perfectly fine bricks may start to crack and crumble.

The best maintenance tip I have for used brick after you correct any brick wall repair is to apply a deep penetrating water repellent once every few years. You also need to take care of any cracks or missing mortar joints immediately when caring for used brick. If you do not, the problem will quickly spiral out of control and hefty repairs may become necessary.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

My Brick is Cracked and Flaking

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Brick, especially older brick or brick that has never been treated with water repellent has a tendency to crack or flake off as a result of freeze thaw damage and general wear and tear. Although preventative maintenance can be performed routinely over the years to preserve the life of your masonry, cracks will occur despite the most thorough preventative measures.Things may appear perfectly fine one season, and the very next you may begin to see pieces of brick cracking off of your chimney and landing on the roof or the ground surrounding the chimney. This is what is known as spalling, and is a red flag signaling repair has become necessary. A lot of spalling and cracking is a direct result of water damage. Any masonry repair completed absolutely must be waterproofed, seeing that water damage is the number one cause of chimney damage, period.

Because the chimney is suspended so high above the roof line, they are extremely susceptible to damage from the elements. Making these cracks look less noticeable is an area of expertise perfected over our time in business. We use specialized tools to gently manipulate the crack area to be worked on. We will never beat on your wall with a sledge hammer as some other companies deem appropriate!

Sculpting mortar into these cracks and applying the proper stain is all a part of the process, but the key is really applying a water repellent to seal the effects of the repair and seal life into your bricks.

When it comes to protecting your chimney from spalling, cracking and deterioration, chimney waterproofing must be done with a quality water repellent such as Chimney Save Solvent Based Water Repellent. This is a water repellent that I send out with the guys in the field when handling these types of repairs. It has a relatively low cost and incomparable protection for your brick.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Regular Maintenance and Your Masonry Paving

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Brick Paver Repair

Repairs for brick or stone paving can be  extremely pricey. Brick walkways or stone patios may have been installed poorly by bricklayers who were not concerned with the quality of the work they did at the home. Some homeowners are faced with problems caused by very large mortar joints, made as such to make room for the unevenly sized bricks used for the construction job. These joints are extremely prone to water damage, and moss and mold growth.

If you are reading this particular blog post, I would venture to say that you are experiencing problems with your brick pavement. Whether your mortar joints are too big or the bricks are simply installed improperly, a simple repair for brick pavement is not enough. Generally speaking, even after the “problem” bricks are repaired, the poor installation is still widespread throughout and will continue to cause problems. Unfortunately, more extensive repairs are often needed once the problem becomes visible.

To prevent the water damage in the first place, the best thing for brick pavement is to waterproof regularly with ChimneySaver! On vertical surfaces it has a 10 year lifespan, but you will want to do it every 3-4 years on horizontal brick pavement surfaces. Without a high quality water repellent, water can seep down in between mortar joints, pool, and freeze underneath the brick themselves. This freeze thaw pattern is extremely damaging to your brick pavement, so your best bet at prolonging the life of your pavement is to waterproof frequently and repair any loose or broken bricks or mortar joints as soon as you see the damage begin.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Outside Air Source

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

As technology improves, homes are being built to be increasingly air tight to prevent expensively heated air from seeping out of your home around door frames and windows. A few years ago, enough air seeped into homes from the outside to replenish the air lost through the combustion process of burning wood or gas. Now, however, not enough air is able to enter the home which may create negative pressure which can cause all manner of problems from smoking issues to drafting problems.

With these new super tight homes, once air is back drafted down through the chimney, it along with any toxins it may bring in from the chimney smoke byproducts are trapped in the home. This can make for a very unsafe condition, which is why it is so important to have an outside air source.

Sometimes, merely opening the window closest to the firebox just a crack is enough to make up for the oxygen being depleted by combustion. This allows enough air to enter the home to prevent negative pressure from occurring.

You may also want to consider installing an outside air source directly into the firebox. A vent is installed such that the combustion process can draw in new air directly from the outside when it is needed, reducing the likelihood that any air will be sucked out of the home.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb