Our Company Blog

Why You Should Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned

If you own a home in the Houston area, and you need your dryer vents cleaned, why not turn to your reliable chimney sweeps to help you out? The staff at Lords Chimney are CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technicians, fully trained and qualified to help you maintain a safer and better functioning appliance. You Should Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned - Houston TX - Lords Chimney

Dirty Vents Lead To Inefficiency

Many underestimate the negative impact of clogged and dirty dryer vents, but consider how many times you run your dryer throughout the week. Many homeowners run it multiple times and, if your family is big enough, you may even find yourself running the machine two or three times in one day! That’s a lot of energy being used, so it’s important to do everything you can to ensure it’s functioning as efficiently as possible. Clean vents play a huge factor in that!

The more debris you have built up inside of your vents, the harder your dryer has to work to get your laundry properly dry. If you find yourself forced to run cycle after cycle because your clothes continue to feel damp, don’t assume the problem lies with the appliance, itself. It’s very likely that a simple cleaning done by our professional crew will solve the problem!

Ensuring Your Home Stays Safer

Along with this, dirty vents can lead to some pretty serious and life-threatening issues in your home. One thing of concern is gas leaks and exposure to harmful toxins, such as carbon monoxide. As you may know, carbon monoxide can be deadly when not treated soon enough and, unfortunately, detecting its presence in your home is nearly impossible, due to its colorless and odorless nature.

Clean dryer vents, along with multiple carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home, greatly minimizing the risk of loved ones being harmed by this poisonous gas. We’ll ensure all pathways are cleared and ready to go, so any fumes produced by the dryer can safely escape outdoors. Rest easier by giving us a call right away!

Harmful fumes are a major issue but, unfortunately, they’re not all you have to worry about when it comes to lint buildup in your venting system. As you can imagine, lint is highly flammable, so it’s important to keep it a safe distance away from the extra heat your dryer produces. Yet, when it piles up and clogs your system, it blocks the pathway for these high temperatures to escape, causing the appliance to overheat and potentially triggering a fire in your dryer.

This occurs thousands of times per year all throughout the United States, causing hundreds of injuries, some deaths, and costing the homeowners thousands of dollars in damages. Don’t let yourself become a victim of this easily preventable disaster. Call us in right away, so we can get you back to where you need to be!

Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned Today!

Is your dryer taking way longer than normal to dry your clothes? Are you noticing excess lint in and around your appliance? Is your laundry room feeling especially warm lately? You may need a dryer vent cleaning! These signs, along with musty smells, hot clothes, and a malfunctioning dryer vent hood flap, indicate your vents are filled with dirt, lint, and other debris, all of which are causing blockages and leading to inefficiency.

A dryer that’s not working right can be extremely frustrating, and if a dirty dryer vent is involved, you could find yourself in some danger! Learn more below, then give our experts a call today. Our team members are Certified Dryer Exhaust Technicians, ready and able to serve you soon!

Doing More To Prevent House Fires

At Lords Chimney, we prioritize fire safety and keeping homes in our service area as safe as possible. That being said, this doesn’t just pertain to fireplace maintenance! Keeping your dryer vents clean and free from excess lint and debris does wonders to reduce your risk of fires, and we’re here to ensure you don’t have to stress about a thing.

You might be surprised to know that dryers are the cause of thousands of fires every single year in the United States, and the majority of these fires are due to dirty vents. As you can imagine, homeowners in these situations have lost a lot, and their loved ones were put at serious risk. It’s not worth taking any chances when the safety and well being of your family is involved. Rest easier by counting on us today!

Reduce Your Risk Of Gas Leaks

Unfortunately, when it comes to dirty vents, fires aren’t the only thing you need to be concerned about. When your system is clogged, the fumes your dryer produces have nowhere to escape. This means they’ll turn around and go right back into your living space, affecting the health of the people within it.

When people are exposed to harmful toxins, like carbon monoxide, they can face some serious health issues. Carbon monoxide can cause dizziness, nausea, confusion, vomiting, headaches, and more, and in many cases, people pass out. If not treated promptly, carbon monoxide exposure can be fatal. Unfortunately, this gas is extremely hard to detect, as it has no color or odor.

Preventative maintenance is always your best option! By investing in dryer vent cleanings (as well as regular chimney and fireplace care), you reduce your risk of exposure significantly. We also urge homeowners to put carbon monoxide detectors throughout their home. Should any gas be present, these often offer the first and only warning signs that something is amiss.

Call Us With Questions Today!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the condition of your dryer vents, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We’re ready and willing to help out folks all throughout our service area. We can’t wait to make your home safer soon.

Dangers Of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide Image - Houston TX - Lords ChimneyWith summer drawing to a close and fall weather ready to arrive, many homeowners are preparing to use their fireplaces for the first time in several months. While these wonderful heating appliances can keep our homes toasty all winter long, they can also pose a safety risk if not properly maintained and used. One of the biggest dangers when using any fireplace, stove, or heating appliance is carbon monoxide.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is virtually impossible to notice without a carbon monoxide detector. This dangerous gas is often referred to as a “silent killer” because it is so difficult to detect.

Carbon monoxide is created when fuels are burned completely. It can be created by coal, charcoal, gasoline, kerosene, oil, propane, natural gas, and wood. In your home stoves, space heaters, furnaces, outdoor grills, fireplaces, water heaters, and vehicles all produce carbon monoxide. All fuel burning appliances have venting systems in place to prevent carbon monoxide from entering your home.

Symptoms of exposure to carbon monoxide

While fireplaces and other heating appliances have venting systems in place to prevent carbon monoxide exposure, damage or deterioration can cause them to malfunction. Because of this, it is extremely important that homeowners recognize the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In small quantities, exposure to carbon monoxide will cause flu-like symptoms; sleepiness, headache, and nausea are all early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. With prolonged exposure symptoms will continue to worsen and impaired coordination, dizziness, and shortness of breath will begin to occur. Continued exposure in high concentrations can lead to coma and death.

While entirely preventable with a functioning carbon monoxide detector, carbon monoxide poisoning claims as many as 400 lives each year in the United States. If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, immediately move outside or to another fresh air location. Emergency services and poison control should be called before reentering the home.

Preventing exposure to carbon monoxide

There are a number of easy and simple ways that homeowners can protect themselves and their family against exposure to carbon monoxide.

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors on every floor, especially near heating appliances and fireplaces and outside sleeping areas
  • Have all fuel burning appliances regularly inspected and maintained
  • Never use generators indoors, including in sheds or outbuildings
  • Do not allow cars to idle in garages, even when the garage door is open
  • Move grills away from windows and doors
  • Do not turn on or run ovens or stoves as a way to heat a home

Fear of carbon monoxide exposure should never keep you from using and enjoying your fireplace. However, it is important that homeowners are aware of the dangers that carbon monoxide can cause. For more information on how to protect your family against carbon monoxide or to schedule preventative fireplace maintenance, contact Lords Chimney today.

Chimney Drafting Issues and Indoor Air Quality

A drafty fireplace that blows smoke and soot into your home is more than just a nuisance; it can also affect the air quality in your home. With a number of potential causes of draft problems, a chimney inspection is often needed to identify the underlying cause. Resolving chimney drafting issues can help get rid of smoky odors in your home, prevent soot and ash from blowing onto your carpets and furnishings, and minimize your family’s chance of exposures to dangerous gasses such as carbon monoxide.

How drafting issues affect air quality

Many homeowners are surprised to learn that indoor air pollution is most often caused by interior sources of pollution – including drafty fireplaces. These drafting issues can affect air quality in two ways: first, by not bringing in enough fresh outdoor air to dilute pollutants, and second, by not venting and carrying air pollutants out of the home.Chimney Drafting Issues and Indoor Air Quality Image - Houston TX - Lords Chimney These conditions are often made worse by high temperatures and humid weather, weather conditions which the Houston area is used to experiencing.

When a fireplace “drafts,” the hot air, smoke, and gasses produced by the fire are pushed up and out of the chimney, safely venting to the outside. However, blockages, air pressure changes, improperly sized chimneys, and a whole host of other reasons can prevent proper drafting from occurring. When this happens, dangerous smoke, soot, and gasses can back draft into your home.

Causes of draft problems

While draft problems are fairly common, there are a number of things that can cause them to occur. The following are a few of the many potential causes of a chimney draft problem.

  • Air tight house: Keeping all the doors and windows shut keeps cold air out, but can also prevent your fireplace from drafting correctly. Often, cracking a window near the fireplace can allow fresh air in and help the fireplace vent properly.
  • Keeping the damper closed: Partially or completely closing the damper while the fireplace is in use – even when a dying fire is smoldering – can cause smoke and gasses to back up into your home.
  • Improperly sized flue: If you’ve installed a new insert into an existing firebox, your flue may need to be resized. A Flue that is too small can cause smoking issues as the byproducts of combustion have nowhere to go; likewise, a flue that is too large can let too much cold air into the chimney and cause unwarranted creosote buildup.
  • Chimney blockages: The presence of debris, animal nests, creosote buildup, and other blockages can prevent smoke and gas from properly venting.

Drafting issues can do more than just prevent you from enjoying your fireplace – they can also affect the indoor air quality in your home. If you are experiencing an ongoing drafting issue, don’t just stop using your fireplace and hope it resolves itself; contact Lords Chimney today to learn how we can help improve ventilation problems and air quality in your home!

The dangers of carbon monoxide

Your home’s heating system — whether it’s a furnace, gas fireplace, or pellet stove — keeps your family warm and cozy all winter long. However, your home heating system could pose a danger to you and your family: Carbon monoxide poisoning. As homes become more air tight and new heating systems are retrofitted onto older ventilation systems, everyone should be aware of the risk for carbon monoxide in the home.

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Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be life threatening. The overt symptoms are strong headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea, weakness, blurred vision or loss of consciousness. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should leave their home and seek medical attention. Because often the symptoms of carbon monoxide can be as subtle as a headache, all homes should be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors. If those detectors start to go off, leave your home immediately and call 911.

Sources of carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels, including the wood, natural gas, or propane you use to heat your home. Depending on the type of heating appliance you have, your appliance may either burn hot enough to combust all traceable levels of carbon monoxide, or it will be vented out of your home through a chimney or ventilation system. If a ventilation system becomes blocked, such as from soot, debris, or nesting animals, carbon monoxide can be forced back into your home rather than exiting through the chimney or ductwork. A malfunctioning appliance also can cause a carbon monoxide hazard.

Additionally, in some older homes when newer, more efficient furnaces or stoves are installed, sometimes they are vented through older chimneys or ductwork that is not properly sized for the appliance. That can cause a carbon monoxide hazard.
In newer homes, where doors, windows, and walls are more airtight, heating appliances can have a hard time getting the oxygen they need to properly combust their fuel, which could lead to the furnace, stove, or fireplace letting off carbon monoxide.

Preventing carbon monoxide hazards

The best way to prevent carbon monoxide from threatening your family is to have your heating system serviced annual by certified professionals.

Chimneys should be swept and inspected to make sure they are cleared of any soot or fire byproducts, unobstructed from any debris or animals, and free from any cracks or damage that could allow carbon monoxide to seep into your home.
Heating appliances, including fireplaces, gas stoves, pellet stoves, and furnaces should be serviced and inspected by professionals before the cold-weather season begins each year to make sure that they are functioning efficiently and safely and not producing dangerous carbon monoxide.

An inspection also will examine whether your home’s ventilation system is suited to your appliance. That ensures that the gases created by your furnace, stove, or fireplace is exiting your home properly and that your heating appliance is getting the oxygen it needs to burn its fuel entirely.

Schedule your routine chimney, fireplace, and heating stove maintenance today to keep you family safe from carbon monoxide this winter.