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An Ode to Chimney Sweeps - Matchbox Chimney Sweeps in Vancouver, WA

Friday, November 10, 2017

An Ode to Chimney Sweeps

Up where the smoke is All billered and curled
‘Tween pavement and stars Is the chimney sweep world

We are so excited with our gift for each other this year. It’s a beautiful cast iron Vermont Castings wood stove in a soft creamy white. Bernie even managed to sell our old wood stove for a surprising sum of money. I guess those who love the Quadra Fire brand have a real affinity for the old stoves. Granted it was a good heat source, but too much for our living space. It nearly cooked us out of the room at times.

The new stove is better suited for our Great Room space and even comes with a spark screen for fireplace-like viewing when the doors are open, or removed. Ambiance baby. As stewards of nature and the planet, we are also thrilled that it’s made from 100% recycled materials and production processes that utilize renewable energy. In addition, it’s clean burning so we won’t be adding as much pollution to the air.

Once the buyers of the old stove removed it from our hearth, we had Matchbox Chimney Sweeps come to make sure things were in order for the new stove, and the new burn season. We are so happy we found Matchbox, they do a thorough job.  In addition to cleaning out any creosote, he gave us some burning tips for preventing future buildup.

  1. Avoid burning low and smoldering fires.
  2. Only burn firewood that is dry and has cured at LEAST 12 months.
  3. Burn smaller fuel loads and larger air settings are key. ( Hotter fires)

We were familiar with the first two, but like many owners of wood stoves we load up our stove at night and tamp down the air. The idea, keep a low smoldering fire burning until morning. The problem is that when warm smoke meets a cool chimney, it creates the creosote that can cause chimney fires. Without regular proper cleaning, the creosote builds up in layers eventually glazing the inside of the chimney. Once it gets to this stage, it’s a bit more challenging to remove.

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