It’s Time to Upgrade Your Fireplace
For many homes in Rochester and throughout Western New York, the fireplace is the heart and soul of the living space. It’s where families gather to celebrate the joys of the cold winter season. However, many older homes have fireplaces that are deteriorating and have lost their charm. When you upgrade the fireplace, you can continue to enjoy the warmth and comfort that a cozy fireplace offers without the expense of costly repairs or renovations. Felgemacher Masonry and Chimney lists out the five signs that it’s time for a fireplace upgrade:
Many older fireplaces and chimneys have extensive masonry damage from years of battling New York’s harsh winter climate. The freeze-thaw cycle is particularly damaging to the chimney. When moisture invades the masonry, brick and mortar can chip, flake, and spall, exposing gaps in the mortar joints. The decaying mortar accelerates masonry deterioration, affecting the chimney’s structural integrity. As a result, the chimney may begin to lean until it ultimately collapses under its weight. When masonry damage is caught early and is limited to a small section of the chimney, an experienced mason can use tuckpointing to restore the chimney. However, extensive masonry damage may require rebuilding the chimney, which is often more costly than upgrading the fireplace.
Masonry damage, cracks in the chimney crown, worn or improperly installed flashing, and other chimney issues are some reasons for chimney leaks. When water gets inside the chimney, it can be very destructive to interior masonry and other components, like the flue liner and damper. When water damage is not repaired timely, it increases the risk of fire and exposure to harmful contaminants making it unsafe to light the fireplace. Additionally, the moisture and humid conditions promote the growth of mold and mildew spores which can travel through the air, affecting the walls and ceiling in other rooms. It also attracts pests and rodents.
When your chimney and fireplace are functioning correctly, the smoke and fumes in the fireplace will go up the flue, exiting the house through the chimney. Without sufficient oxygen, your fireplace will burn inefficiently, resulting in smokier fires that leave sooty stains and creosote deposits in the firebox. Also, flue obstructions, negative air pressure, and improper flue size for the heating appliance can cause drafting problems. Since correcting some drafting issues can be time-consuming and expensive, many Western New York homeowners are installing a gas or wood-burning fireplace insert instead.
Benefits of Upgrading Your Fireplace
There are many benefits to upgrading your older fireplace, including converting to a different fuel source, such as from wood to gas and vice-versa. Some of the additional benefits include:
Increase Heating Efficiency: Unlike a traditional fireplace where most of the heat is lost through the chimney, the closed combustion system of a fireplace insert retains most of the heat it generates. Plus, a blower motor radiates the heat keeping your living area warm and comfy.
Reduce Carbon Footprint: An EPA-Certified wood-burning fireplace insert significantly reduces carbon emissions while using up to 30% less wood fuel, thus reducing your carbon footprint.
Improve Aesthetics: A deteriorating fireplace and chimney can be an eyesore detracting from your home’s interior appearance. Upgrading your fireplace enhances your living space with a beautiful focal point, creating an inviting atmosphere that complements your interior decor.
Your One-Stop Fireplace Shop in Buffalo, NY
Are you thinking of upgrading your fireplace? From fireplaces and inserts to heating stoves and accessories, we have everything you need at the Felgemacher Fireplace Shop. Visit us at 2727 Broadway, Suite 5 in Buffalo. Call (716) 452-9157 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!