What to Look for if Your Fireplace Isn’t Working

So, you’re all set to put your fireplace to use, but something is off. Whether there’s a slight issue you can’t quite pinpoint or something big and obvious, you’re not getting the experience you’re hoping for and you want to find solutions fast. But where do you start?

Well, here at Lords Chimney, we know that the more educated homeowners are, the safer they’ll be able to operate their appliances. That’s why we’re here to give you the lowdown on what to look out for in both gas-fueled and wood-burning fireplaces and appliances.

Fireplace Troubleshooting

For Your Gas Appliances

When it comes to operating a gas appliance, one thing we urge all of our customers to do is trust their senses. Your nose, for example, is more sensitive than you might think – if something smells off, it’s likely you have some type of gas leak.

Another indicator is burning eyes or even the “feeling” of something being off. In other words, trust your spidey senses! If your stomach is upset, your head hearts, you’re feeling dizzy, or something else along those lines and you have nothing to blame it on, there could be carbon monoxide in your home.

Now, in the case of a carbon monoxide leak, the biggest warning sign is your carbon monoxide detector going off. Don’t have a carbon monoxide detector? Then it’s time to invest in one! It could make all the difference in keeping you and your loved ones safer.

If your detectors do start beeping, it’s important to leave the area immediately and call the appropriate authorities for assistance. Carbon monoxide causes hundreds of deaths every single year, so this is one substance you can never be too careful with.

Another thing to keep in mind when working with gas appliances is to check your batteries. Believe it or not, some homeowners call in a sweep to check on an appliance that’s not working only to discover the batteries were in backwards.

If your carbon monoxide detectors aren’t going off and your batteries look good, but problems are still occurring, it’s time to call us in for an inspection. Most gas appliances are designed to automatically shut down when your safety may be threatened. The unit could be overheating, not venting correctly or maybe the oxygen levels are off.

And in some cases, it’s the safety feature itself that isn’t working. Regardless, the entire system will need to be checked out, so a visit from our team is always a great first step.

For Your Wood-Burning Fireplace

When it comes to a wood-burning fireplace, a common sign that something is off is smoke in your living space. Now, in many cases you’ll actually see the smoke entering, but sometimes you’ll smell it without seeing any in your home. Many love that classic smoke-y smell and think it’s normal, but it actually shouldn’t be present. If you smell smoke at all, something is wrong, and it’s time to call in the experts

What does smoke in your space typically indicate? Well, there are a number of things that cause this. You could have excess creosote build-up, clogs in your flue, incorrect chimney dimensions, poor draft or air flow, a stuck damper, or some type of masonry damage. Fortunately, our team has the tools and training to spot and resolve the issues in no time.

It’s also important to keep an eye on your masonry. If it’s showing any signs of cracking or crumbling, then there’s likely water damage. Ignoring water damage leads to inefficiency and costly repairs, and it can even trigger a house fire, gas leak, or chimney fire if too much damage is done.

We have preventive services that can help, including waterproofing, flashing installation, crown repair, and more.

When Will My Fireplace Need Replacing?

Sometimes repair work simply isn’t an option if the damage is too extensive or if your system is too old. So, how do you know when it’s time to invest in a new unit altogether? Well, our team can help with that, too.

The fact of the matter is that if you know how your chimney is supposed to work, then you’ll know when it’s time for repairs or replacement parts. Lords Chimney can help you gain the necessary knowledge to know when it’s time to hire someone for professional care. We’re happy to keep homeowners as informed and as educated as possible.

One thing is for certain – you don’t want to wait until the system completely fails before investing in care from a certified sweep. This is when major accidents happen, and you could end up putting your home and family at risk.

In the end, it’s important to remember that fireplaces, stoves, inserts, and the like are all appliances that will eventually need to be replaced. Fireplaces are known for their longevity, so it’s easy to forget that. Yet, if you buy a home that’s decades old with the original unit still installed, just know that you might be replacing it sooner than you think.

Basically, when we come to look at your system, anything over 20 years old will get a bid for replacement. This will give you an approximate estimate as far as when a new system will be in order so that you can start planning for it (and saving up).

If we take a look and realize that you need something new right away, it’s important that you stop using your appliance until a new one is installed. If a new one isn’t in the budget, shut your fireplace down until it is. Your safety and satisfaction depend on it!

Pick Up the Phone & Reach Out Today

Regular maintenance is vital for good chimney health, so if you have yet to schedule your annual inspection then it’s time to reach out to the Lords Chimney team today at 281-497-4000 or you contact us online! We look forward to helping you out soon!

Operating Your Fireplace In Warm Weather: What You Need To Know

Here in Houston and its surrounding cities, high temperatures are all too common, even during the winter months. Because of this, knowing the safest way to operate your chimney and fireplace on even the warmest days is essential. Fortunately, here at Lords Chimney, we have the tools, training, and technology to ensure you are set up right, no matter what the weather outside is doing. If you’re looking to keep your home and family better protected through it all, talk with our team today about your needs. We’d be happy to set up a time to look things over!

Is It Safe To Build Fires On Hot Days?white house in the summer

When it comes down to it, fireplaces are not meant to be operated when it’s hot outside. Wood-burning units are especially temperamental in these situations, but no matter the fuel type, it is important to practice caution when attempting to light fires on hot days. Is it even possible to light a successful fire? It can be! You just need to make certain you are set up right for it.

If you have a party or festive event coming up, then you are probably hoping to get some flames going. We get it! Sometimes, a fire is all you need to create the perfect mood. So, what can be done in these situations? Well, with our help, you can still use your fire effectively and safely. Get our experts on the job to check things up and down and ensure everything is in perfect shape.

The Dangers Of Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Exposure

One of the biggest risks involved with operating a faulty fireplace on a hot day is an increased likelihood of smoke and carbon monoxide entering your home. Both of these substances can be extremely detrimental to your health, and carbon monoxide is especially threatening due to its colorless and odorless nature. This gas has been deemed “the silent killer” since detecting its presence is so hard to do with one’s basic senses.

Getting your system working perfectly is a surefire way to significantly reduce your risk of experiencing smoke back-up or gas leaks. We’re here to help with it all, and we would be happy to answer any questions you have along the way, as well. In no time, our team will have you set up right, giving you the peace of mind you deserve whenever operating your fireplace. Get us in for an inspection right away, so that we can get this process started.

What else can you do to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide? Well, being aware of the symptoms associated with exposure is very important. Most people who have breathed in this poisonous gas report feelings of nausea, dizziness, headaches, confusion, vomiting, and chest pain. Others have even reported flu-like illnesses. If you are concerned there is gas in your home, and you experience any of these things, leave the area immediately and call for help. It’s always best to practice caution!

Another vital step in keeping your home safer is investing in both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Have them installed on every floor of your house, and make sure there are some outside of all sleeping areas. Then, check them regularly to ensure they are working. It’s also a good idea to change the batteries periodically, as well as replace the units themselves every 10 years.

Have any questions? Let us know. We would love to put you on the right track for keeping your household as safe and as comfortable as possible.

Trust In Our CSIA Certified Team

Anyone from Lords Chimney who comes out to inspect your fireplace will be certified with the CSIA and equipped with everything they need to get the job done right. In fact, the owner, Lee Roff, is Texas’s only CSIA Master Chimney Sweep, which means he has undergone years of training and has held certification with the CSIA for more years than most.

When it comes right down to it, when you put your chimney in our hands, you can rest easier knowing it will function better for your home and family. And with warmer days like these upon us, you can never be too careful! Don’t put your home in the hands of someone uncertified, inexperienced, and notorious for cutting corners. Trust in us from start to finish – you and your family deserve only the best!

We Offer Repairs, Sweepings & More

So, what can be done if our professional inspection reveals bigger issues at hand? Well, an extensive sweeping can work wonders when it comes to removing creosote and ensuring no harmful clogs or obstructions are present. And if your masonry or chimney parts are in rough shape, we can fix those up, too. We can replace components, as necessary, restore your brickwork and mortar, and patch up any gaps, cracks, and holes, as needed.

And these services only scratch the surface as far as what we’re capable of! Ready to learn more? Then, the time to reach out is now. We’re only a phone call away!

Maintaining A Gas Fireplace

There’s no doubt that gas fireplaces are the ideal pick for someone with a busy lifestyle. They are extremely easy to use, they produce a lot of heat, and they don’t require much cleanup. All you do is flip a switch, and you’ve got yourself a cozy place to relax at the end of the day!

Many assume that because gas fireplaces burn cleaner and require less upkeep, they don’t need as much professional attention as their wood-burning counterparts. This is not the case! Gas fireplaces need regular check-ups, too. They also need to be cleaned and swept from time to time, too.

Learn more about why these steps are so important in keeping your household safer, warmer, and more comfortable year after year by reading below. Then, call on us for advice, answers, and unbeatable customer service! At Lords Chimney, we’ve got your back!

Benefits Of Professional Care

By investing in regular professional care, you guarantee the best results from your gas fireplace. For one thing, you’ll avoid excess build-up. Just because you aren’t burning wood, doesn’t mean debris doesn’t accumulate, and it needs to be cleaned out on a regular basis to ensure things run smoothly. Putting this maintenance off will result in clogs and deterioration, both of which trigger poor air flow and gas leaks.

When you get an expert’s eye on the job, they can also spot any necessary repairs. If cracks and holes are present, you’re much more likely to come into contact with some toxic fumes, such as carbon monoxide. This gas is nearly impossible to detect, and it can be fatal if not treated right away. Lower your risk of exposure by having a professional inspect your system on a regular basis, and be sure to install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, too!

With the help of a pro, you can ensure safer and more efficient functioning with every passing season. It’s an investment you’ll be glad you made and, trust us when we say, that it’s the right move for saving money down the line. It’s always better to pay for affordable fixes sooner, rather than intricate and expensive ones later. You’ll save time, money, and a whole lot of stress! Call us in right away.

Schedule An Inspection

So, what’s one way of ensuring things run smoothly year after year? Schedule an annual inspection! Most homeowners use their fireplace a lot more near the end of the year, when the holiday season is in full swing, so schedule an inspection sometime before your burning period begins each year to guarantee optimal efficiency.

At Lords Chimney, our CSIA certified team has everything necessary to get the job done right! Count on us to for all your chimney and fireplace care. Our team won’t let you down!

Own A Rumford Fireplace Today!

Own a Rumford Fireplace Image - Houston TX - Lords ChimneyLords Chimney takes pride in promoting the best fireplace options around. If you are in the market for a new fireplace, we would suggest investing in a Rumford. A Rumford fireplace heats more effectively, while portraying the classic beauty that every homeowner desires. When it comes to high-efficiency and all around satisfaction, this design cannot be beat. Guests will comment on your great taste, while enjoying themselves by a cozy fire. Learn more below!

About The Creator

Benjamin Thompson was born in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1753. He spent the majority of his life working for the Bavarian government, and he eventually received the title “Count of the Holy Roman Empire.” He was widely knowledgeable in heating and worked tirelessly to see how he could make fireplaces run more efficiently. His new design and his essays regarding it are now being studied and applied to fireplaces everywhere.

Popular Throughout Time

Rumford fireplaces go way back and have been used in countless homes ever since the late 1700s. They are designed to send smoke up the chimney and out of the home, while preserving large amounts of heat. Since maintaining warmth was (and continues to be) a struggle for fireplace owners everywhere, this concept was truly revolutionary.

The popularity of Rumford’s design spread and was even promoted by some famous names, including Thomas Jefferson and Henry David Thoreau. Their widespread approval intrigued individuals all throughout the area and people were highly impressed with Rumford’s insight. Everyone wanted to take advantage of this ingenious design and they became a staple in homes everywhere.

Unfortunately, the concept died out when inconsistencies began to appear. People continuously misinterpreted the design and there was no true definition as to what qualified a fireplace as a Rumford. No one seemed to be able to grasp the concept that Rumford intended, meaning any new units did not work as they were supposed to. This confusion led to their decline and homeowners chose to invest in products that proved to be more stable in their designs.

Making A Comeback

Despite their drop in popularity, Rumfords are now making a comeback. Modern manufacturers are diving into Rumford’s old essays in an effort to master this more efficient design. Now, people are recognizing the brilliance and beauty of these fireplaces once again, and sweeps everywhere are hearing more requests than ever for Rumfords.

If this sounds like the right investment for your home, contact the professionals at Lords Chimney. We specialize in installations and our customers will assure you that our top of the line services and professional approach cannot be beat. We have been serving residents in this area for 10 years, and we can help you out, too. Give us a call today!

Do You Need A Fireplace Grate?

Fireplace Grate Image - Houston TX - Lords ChimneyAs a homeowner, you likely know the importance of regular fireplace maintenance and upkeep. There are various steps you can to improve your chimney’s health. Scheduling an annual inspection and cleaning with a professional is a must, and you will want to ensure all necessary repairs are addressed in a timely manner.

There are also accessories you can acquire that improve the overall functionality of your chimney and fireplace. One thing we recommend purchasing is a fireplace grate.

The Role of Your Fireplace Grate

If you are wondering what a fireplace grate is and how it helps everything run more efficiently, then you are not alone!

These products are placed inside the mouth of the fireplace and hold the wood you intend to burn. Not only does this keep your fuel firmly in place, but it keeps it off the fireplace floor, as well. This helps your burn stronger fires and puts less wear and tear on your fireplace, as a whole. Learn more below!

  • Better Air Flow: The way air flows through your chimney can make a huge difference for multiple factors. First of all, your fires will be easier to start. Once they get going, they will burn hotter and more efficiently as the air will be able to circulate underneath them. Lastly, because of the great air flow you gain, the smoke and other toxins will be sure to escape up and out of the chimney, rather than back into your home.
  • Protects Fireplace Floor: Fireplaces are durable, but that does not mean they will not break down over time. Minimizing wear and tear as much as possible will keep your chimney strong for years to come and reduces the need for costly repairs. A fireplace grate will protect your chimney floor by keeping that intense heat off of it.
  • Keeps Fuel In Place: Those who have experience lighting fires know what happens when the bottom logs burn up – the entire stack shifts. This not only opens the door for hot logs rolling out, but calls for readjustment on the part of the homeowner, as well. A fireplace grate will keep all of your wood secured in one spot, eliminating the need to mess with a hot fire. Stay out of harm’s way by investing in a fireplace grate today.

If you have decided that this is the right investment for you, then remember that the heavier the grate, the better off you will be. A sturdy grate, made of stainless steel or cast iron, will be your best bet and will last much longer than the lighter weight options. It will be well worth the extra costs when you have a product that can stand the test of time.

Lords Chimney has all of the chimney and fireplace accessories you need to keep your fireplace looking great and staying strong. Check out our products today and feel free to call with any questions. Thanks for choosing us!

How To Start A Cold Fireplace

Starting Cold Fireplace Image - Houston TX - Lords Chimney When temperatures outside drop, it is often harder to get a fire started in your fireplace; even after starting it, smoke may blow back into the room for several minutes until drafting regulates. Caused by a phenomenon known as a cold fireplace, this occurs when the air temperature in the flue is too cold to create proper drafting.

However, there are a number of ways that homeowners can start fires in a cold fireplace. The following five tips will help you better start a cold fireplace – and use your fireplace safely all season long.

Buy the right firewood

The kind of firewood you use can have a major impact on how efficiently your fires burn, how much heat they produce, and how much smoke they give off. Homeowners should only use seasoned hardwood in indoor fireplaces. While it may seem tempting to cut down a tree and immediately use the logs in a fire, freshly cut wood can be bad for your fireplace; the high moisture content leads to fires with lots of smoke that produce low flames and heat.

Fully open the damper

Many homeowners mistakenly believe that keeping the damper partially closed makes starting a fire easier. However, the opposite is often true; keeping the damper partially or fully closed causes more smoke to back up into your home as it cannot fully draft. Keeping the damper open while starting the fire allows fresh air to be drawn it, making it safer for you and your family while kindling ignites. In addition, dampers should remain open until the fire has completely extinguished.

Warm the flue

Because the flue is open to the outside, the air temperature inside is often significantly colder than the air in the firebox. This difference in air temperature can make it difficult to ignite a fire or cause smoke to blow back into the room when a fire is lit in a cold fireplace. This phenomenon occurs when the cold air in the flue drops as heat from the fire rises. This can cause a blowback of smoke, soot, ash, and gas into your home. Warming the flue can help prevent this; before igniting the wood or main logs for the fire, light and hold a small bunch of newspaper, twigs, or other kindling directly under the open damper for several minutes. The small amount of heat produced by the kindling will warm the air in the flue without producing enough smoke to cause a blowback of cold air.

Learning how to start a fire in a cold fireplace can help you enjoy a warm fire on even the most frigid days. However, if after following these tips you still have problems with smoke, drafting, or starting a fire, you may need professional help. Contact Lords Chimney today for more information on how to get the most out of your fireplace, even when starting it cold.