True or False?
I have gas logs and there is no need to be concerned with the fact that I have cracked or damaged flue tiles. FALSE. The National Fire Protection Association Code 211 (NFPA 211) states that flues need to be free of cracks, gaps and the like. The same safety codes must be adhered to whether you are burning wood or gas logs. Even the new ventless logs can only be installed in a functional wood-burning fireplace per the manufacturer’s instructions.
I would know if I had a flue fire. FALSE. Some chimney fires go unnoticed by the homeowner. Others sound like a freight train running through the house. Either way, a chimney professional with proper camera equipment will be able to determine if there is evidence of a flue fire. Likely evidence includes a white, puffy residue in the flue. Also, terra cotta flue tiles will sustain vertical cracks.
Chimney fires clean my chimney flue. FALSE. Chimneys are only safely cleaned by a certified chimney sweep. Most chimneys have combustible materials in direct contact with the exterior surface of the chimney. Additionally, the chimney flue often sustains thousands of dollars of damage with a chimney fire.
Opening the damper slightly causes more heat to come into the room. FALSE. On the contrary, opening a damper only partway can lead to a whole house full of smoke.
It is good to let a woodstove run “cherry-red” for about a half hour or so to burn everything out of the flue. FALSE. This not only damages the stove, but poses a serious fire danger to your home and family. It can cause stress to the structure of the stove, possibly warping or buckling internal components, or worse, cracking the stove.
Ventless gas logs can be installed in any fireplace. FALSE. Prefab fireplaces are not approved for use with gas logs if you intend to keep the damper closed. They may overheat and cause a fire. Any addition or modification of prefab fireplaces in general should be approved, in writing, by the manufacturer to insure that the UL-Rating listing is not lost with your mode of modification. Additionally, ventless gas logs can only be installed in a functional wood-burning fireplace per the manufacturer’s instructions.
My bricks are flaking. There is nothing wrong with painting over these bricks to hide this ugly condition. FALSE. Flaking brick or “spalling” is the last point of deterioration of brick. Any bricks with this condition should be replaced. If there are several bricks in a course or row that are spalling, the chimney should be torn down to the point where the brick are good and rebuilt with new brick. Covering a chimney with paint compounds problems because paint is not vapor-permeable and will cause moisture to be trapped. Condensation or trapped moisture will quickly erode a chimney’s exterior and/or interior liner.
It doesn’t matter what kind of glass doors you put on your fireplace. FALSE. Doors intended for a masonry fireplace CANNOT be installed on a prefab or factory-built fireplace. This will create a “hot spot” at the front of the fireplace which can result in an unfriendly fire. Proper measurements and fit of glass doors is also important to assure performance.
To create more heat in my home, all I need is a fireplace insert to slide into my fireplace. FALSE. Installing an insert without its required connector and liner is like skydiving without a parachute. The connector and liner must be installed or the insert builds up a tremendous amount of creosote and the likelihood of chimney fire is increased ten times.
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