Our Company Blog

Masonry Heaters

In the United States, the traditional heat source of long-past has been the fireplace. Perhaps that is why the fireplace has been transformed in many ways through the years to burn more efficiently. Thus, resulting in oil and gas burning appliances, inserts, and log sets. However, in our service area of Indianapolis, Indiana, masonry heaters are becoming more and more popular.

Masonry Heaters Image - Indianapolis IN - Chimney Solutions IndianaWhat is a Masonry Heater?

A masonry heater is a highly efficient heat source. It is non-polluting, emits more heat, and uses less wood. This is possible because of the masonry. This ancient heat source has been popular in Russia and China, where wood shortages have cycled. In America, where wood is plentiful, the masonry heaters have been replaced by metal stoves and fireboxes. Today, more and more Americans are catching on to the benefits of burning less wood to produce more heat. In addition, creating less pollution in the meantime. Our green customers love masonry heaters.

How it Works

The masonry heater uses a smaller fire that is highly insulated with masonry and tiles. This is so that the surface of the heater is cool to the touch. Within the heater itself, the heat and gases from the fire travel through maze-like tunnels of masonry, or baffles. This creates concentrated heat that reaches the 1100 degrees Fahrenheit needed to burn all the wood-waste. By the time the gases reach the vent to the outside, there is no particulate pollution. A standard metal unit and chimney doesn’t have the capacity to hold the heat long enough to burn all the particulate waste. So, it burns through more wood, and produces less heat than a masonry heater.

Benefits of the Masonry Heater

Many homeowners opt for the masonry heater. Why? Simply because of the environmental and financial benefits of burning less wood. Others prefer masonry heaters because they can be decorative and even cool to the touch, so items can be placed on them. They can even be designed to look like a standard fireplace and chimney. The radiant heat of a masonry heater can heat a larger space for longer, than a standard fireplace and chimney – or even stove. Do you find yourself running out of wood frequently? Does your home becomes cold during the night when the fire dies down? If so, you may benefit from a masonry heater.

Installing a Masonry Heater

There are DIY and homesteading websites that recommend surrounding your wood stove with stones to imitate the radiant heat of a masonry heater. Not only is this dangerous, but it’s also ineffective. The reason a masonry heater works so well is because the baffles, or maze-like tunnels, disperse the heat throughout the system, creating radiant heat that is then dispersed into the room. These baffles should be constructed properly, and with the correct materials. If there is a problem with the baffles, there will be a problem with your masonry heater. Fire is fire, and homemade fire and heating products can become dangerous quickly and put your entire family and property at risk. To learn more about masonry heaters in America, visit the Masonry Heater Association of America here.

At Chimney Solutions Indiana, we recommend professional services for all of our customers. This is not to make a profit, but to keep our customers safe and comfortable. Professional prices are for professional services, and ours are the best. As a company, we value the environment, and encourage our customers to look at masonry heaters if “going green” is important to your family.

For information about masonry heaters and to speak with one of our skilled masons, call 317-757-6979 or request an appointment online today.

Three Reasons to Avoid Chimney Cleaning Logs

The Problem With Chimney Cleaning Logs

Some of the most convenient fireplace products on the market can be bought at your local home improvement or hardware store. There are chemical products for suppressing fires, starting fires, and cleaning your chimney of creosote. All three of these products bear the CSIA Accepted Products logo, which means:Avoid Chimney Sweeping Logs Image - Indianapolis IN - Chimney Solutions of Indiana

  1. They are related to hearths, sweeping, and chimneys,
  2. they are tested and listed to a nationally recognized performance standard, and
  3. chimney cleaning logs meet nationally recognized standards for safety.

Chimney sweep logs match these factors and have good reviews online. So what is the problem? At Chimney Solutions Indiana we have the solution for your chimneys, and with proper use and maintenance, you won’t need to spend extra money on chimney sweeping logs or similar products.

Improper use can raise the risk of fire.

The products are tested and rated for a specific use. The instructions should be followed precisely in order for the logs to work properly, and to avoid a too-hot and dangerous fire. You must place the log away from hot embers. Placing the log onto hot embers, poking, or breaking open the log will cause a dangerous fire. Instructions are just as important in stoves and inserts as well. Attempting to remove or move a burned sweeping log can cause burns, particulate pollution, and damaged fireplace tools. It’s also important to keep the damper fully open until the fire is completely out, and coals are cool. If your damper is not working properly, you should not burn a chimney sweeping log in your fireplace or appliance.

They do not replace professional chimney sweeps.

Many homeowners might assume their chimneys are clean because they’re consistently using chimney sweep logs. Too many may be using the logs incorrectly and even as a replacement for professional services. This is not recommended. Even the Creosote Sweeping Log website itself mentions the CSIA standard for annual chimney inspections to check for blockages and structural damage. If you neglect your routine maintenance, including chimney sweeping services, your chimney will be at higher risk for fire through burning season and will be the culprit of stinky odors through summer. Furthermore, your homeowner’s insurance will not care if you use these logs. They want proof that your chimney system has been maintained by a professional (like those found at Chimney Solutions Indiana).

They do not remove creosote completely.

According to the manufacturer, the Creosote Sweeping Log uses minerals that react with creosote, transforming them into brittle bits that fall to the bottom of the chimney. You have to remove the little bits of creosote left behind. If you use chimney cleaning logs regularly, you might have less creosote to deal with. However, you must remove the remaining bits left with the soot.

Creosote cleaning products can be helpful in some instances, but a better and cheaper option is simply to burn only properly seasoned wood in your fireplace. To keep it working efficiently, have your fireplace inspected and cleaned regularly.