Frequently Asked Questions
Maintenance of wood-burning appliances
What is the best time to clean or sweep a chimney?
- Mid April or early May – as soon as you are finished using your wood heating appliance
- A chimney should be cleaned every year if 4 or more face cords of word are burnt in the span of 12 months
When should I have an inspection of the chimney, woodstove or fireplace?
- Before you purchase a house
- Before you sell a house
- If the structure of the stove, fireplace or chimney is twisted or warped
- If you have a perforation in the firebox
- Following renovations on your house or work on the roof
- Every five years
- When your insurance company requests a professional chimney inspection
Why should you hire a certified chimney sweep?
- A certified chimney sweep will see problems or issues that would not be noticed by a homeowner
- A certified chimney sweep will advise the customer of the general condition of his/her woodstove fireplace
- A certified chimney sweep may object to sweeping your chimney based on his/her observations.
- He/she will explain/educate why they are unable to sweep your chimney
- Your insurance company may request proof of a professional chimney cleaning service
Purchase of a wood-burning appliance
Where is the best location to install a Woodstove/Fireplace?
- The best location is in the centre of a house if possible
- We do not recommend the installation of a Woodstove/Fireplace in a small room.
Where is the ideal place for a chimney?
- The ideal place is where the piping can be as vertical as possible.
- If the chimney is on the wall, it has to be higher up and connected to an exterior chimney
- A chimney at an angle is usually in the corner of a room. It is a good solution when the room is small or if the wall has windows or doors.
- If you have the more than one floor a chimney that is suspended goes through either the ceiling or the floor into the attic
What is a Certificate of Conformity?
- A Certificate of Conformity is a legal document that states that the installation of the woodstove/fireplace and chimney conforms to the standard of APC/WETT code compliance
- A Certificate of Conformity is provided when Chelsea Chimney does the complete installation
- We can only give this Certificate of Conformity if we do the complete installation. We are unable to give the Certificate of Conformity if the install is done by someone uncertified. In that case we can complete an inspection and give a service report based on our observations.
Why do Insurance Companies ask for a Certificate of Conformity?
- When you are buying a house or a cottage with a woodstove/fireplace, your insurance company will request an inspection to assess the condition of your system and minimize the risk of fire.
- In many cases the system (woodstove, chimney, fireplace) has been installed by the homeowner or an uncertified installer. Your insurance company will want proof that it is safe and that it complies to the installation code.
What is the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for woodstove/fireplace?
- As of May 15, 2020 every wood stove and fireplace must be tested and emission must be 2.5 gram per hour or less. Canadian Standards: CAN/CSA B.415.1-10
Should you purchase a used Woodstove?
- Our experience has shown us that too many people buy used stoves that are in poor condition. Most people do not know what to look for when buying a used stove. We do not install second hand woodstoves because as certified installers we are liable by the insurance companies for our work. We do not recommend buying used woodstoves unless inspected by a certified installer.
Why heat with wood?
Why Heat with Wood?
- Wood is the most natural heat source that exists.
- A woodstove does not need electricity to produce heat.
- It is a good heating alternative especially if you live in the country and have unpredictable power outage
How to choose a Woodstove/Fireplace
- A consultation is necessary to assess the need of every customer. Some customers use the woodstove on the weekend, others only with a power outage while some use it every day in the winter.
What do you look for when choosing firewood?
- Firewood should be as dry as possible. Moisture content no more than 20%.
- Firewood should be cut in the winter when the leaves are gone and the sap has recessed into the root system.
- Some type of hardwood can take up to 2 years to dry, notably red oak.
- Hardwood is the preferred wood to be used.
How much wood should one purchase for the winter?
- If a homeowner uses his woodstove/fireplace every day we recommend at least 10 face cords
- If a homeowner uses a woodstove/fireplace only on the weekend and evenings we recommend 6-8 face cords
- If a homeowner uses a woodstove/fireplace sparingly (electrical outages) 3 face cords should be sufficient.
What is the dimension of a face cord?
- A face cord measure 4 feet tall by 8 feet long by 16 inches deep.
- A cord of wood measures 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet deep (equals 3 face cords)
What is creosote?
- Creosote is the result of unburnt gases from the fire.
- Creosote is flammable and with the right circumstances will ignite in a chimney.
- A chimney fire can cause a house to burn down.
- Creosote is made mostly from incomplete wood combustion.
- Firewood that is not dried properly (too high moisture content) will create creosote buildup.
How does one avoid Creosote Buildup?
- Burning dry hard wood with a hot fire.
- Woodstoves of high quality will help reduce creosote buildup
- Make sure that your chimney is well sealed.
- A poorly insulated chimney will cause cooling of the smoke. This smoke will condensate and liquify on the walls of the chimney resulting in creosote.
- It is recommended to have high temperature fires every day for 30 minutes to one hour to help clean the creosote accumulation from the day before. CAUTION – if you have never made a high density fire in your chimney you should have your chimney professionally cleaned prior to this type of fire.