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Are Those Birds Or Bats In My Chimney?

When critters get stuck in your chimney, it isn’t always easy to tell what kind of animal (or animals) may be present. Depending on what it is, you will have to approach the situation differently! The two animals you’ll most likely discover are bats and birds. Check out some differences between these two creatures below.Are Those Birds or Bats in my Chimney - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney

Chimney Swifts Vs. Bats

The most common type of bird you’ll find in your chimney is a chimney swift. When you discover chimney swifts in your system, there are certain rules and regulations that need to be followed. They are protected by law, and you’ll likely have to wait until they leave for the season before their nest can be removed.

When it comes to differentiating between swifts and bats, one difference you’ll notice is that chimney swifts make a lot more noise than bats. Bats won’t typically make a lot of noise unless there is quite a few of them.

Another difference you will notice is that chimney swifts fly into the chimney at night, while bats fly out of it at night. If you notice something coming in during the evening hours, then it’s likely a bird settling down before it gets dark. If you see something fly out, it’s a bat, ready to prowl and look for food.

Importance Of Chimney Caps

Whether it’s a bird or a bat, you certainly don’t want it in your chimney. The best way to prevent these things from entering at all is by having a chimney cap installed. Chimney caps are located on the top of your chimney or flue, so that no animals can enter whatsoever. It’s an easy and affordable way to protect your system from clogs, bad odors, deterioration, and all of the other things caused by nesting materials or decaying animals.

Chimney caps also help in preventing dirt and debris from entering your system, and they have many other benefits, as well.

Chimney benefits are:

  • They keep your chimney free from excess moisture (which can be extremely damaging),
  • They help in preventing downdrafts from entering your home,
  • And they serve as spark arrestors, which helps keep your roof safe from catching fire.

Schedule Your Inspection

Another way to help prevent animal entry is to schedule your annual inspection. A certified sweep can ensure that no animals have entered and, if they have, they can find their sources of entry. If you have a cap installed, then they may have found another crack, hole, or opening to get in through. In this case, your sweep can advise you on the next steps for repairs and get you back to where you need to be.

On top of this, inspections are important for ensuring your entire system is functioning efficiently. The CSIA recommends scheduling at least one per year so, if you’re overdue, get yours on the books today!

Count on the staff at A-1 Chimney Specialist today. We are excited to help you out!

This Danger is Silent

All About Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Have you experienced unexplainable bouts of nausea, feeling light-headed especially when you’re inside and magically feeling a lot better when you are outside your home where you can breathe in fresh air?  You may have been poisoned by carbon monoxide – an odorless, tasteless and unseen gas circulating in your very home slowly destroying your body and its immune system. Believe it or not, keeping your chimney regularly cleaned and inspected can help prevent this scenario.

Carbon monoxide can leak into your home because of an obstruction in your chimney.

Carbon monoxide can leak into your home because of an obstruction in your chimney.

The Reason Behind It

Basically, carbon monoxide forms when there is no fresh air coming inside the house. This is usual when Winter arrives because we all want to keep ourselves cozy once the temperatures start to drop. Carbon monoxide can come as a by-product from combustion in our fireplaces or furnaces when there is not enough available oxygen to complement the carbon component to form the lesser evil carbon dioxide gas instead. When we forget to do the necessary preparations to ensure that our furnaces function well, we are causing danger to ourselves and the whole family. This greatly increases the risk of deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.

CO2 Inside You

Carbon monoxide in the body can be very harmful. It clings to your red blood cells and takes the place of oxygen thus preventing the body from getting enough nutrients. This eventually causes bigger and even permanent damage. Doctors usually have difficulty diagnosing this since the symptoms are, more often than not, very similar to that of a typical flu. The symptoms that do stand out are these and they may happen from the start of exposure:

  • Headache and dizziness
  • Trouble in Breathing
  • Unconsciousness

Unfortunately, death is very possible even within a span of twenty minutes if there is already too much exposure to it. Yes, carbon monoxide can kill you.

Prevention & Restoration

To better know if this silent killer exists in your home it’s best to have carbon monoxide detectors. This equipment will help you see if this dangerous poison is starting to linger in your home. We also recommend annual check-up and sweeping of your chimney and fireplace. This can help you see what needs to be fixed, replaced and renewed.

At A1 Chimney Specialists, we highly regard the safety of your home and the health of the people living inside. Since the year 2000 and until today, we continue to serve the people of Tullahoma and Winchester Tennessee, gaining many loyal customers through quality service.  With us, your safety is always a guarantee.

Keep the Fire Going

Tips on Properly Maintaining Your Fireplace

A fireplace is a feature that many people look for when shopping for a home because it can add such ambiance to a winter night. However, many homeowners do not know how to properly maintain that fireplace once they move in. No matter how often or how little they use their fireplace, every homeowner should know how to take proper care of it so that they can rest assured that their family is not in any danger.

Regular ash removal is critical to maintaining optimal safety and efficiency.

Regular ash removal is critical to maintaining optimal safety and efficiency.

The most important part of fireplace maintenance is making sure that it is kept clean – both by a certified sweep, as well as ongoing maintenance. Those who use the fireplace on a regular basis should be sure to sweep the ash out at least once a week. However, it is recommended to leave about an inch of ash in the fireplace as insulation during the season during which it is used. When the fireplace is ready to be shut down for the season, make sure that it is completely clear of all dirt and ash.

A proper fireplace maintenance kit will include a brush or broom that can be used to sweep out the firebox. It is important to note that, although it may seem easier, a vacuum should never be used for this particular cleaning job. They may not look like it, but pieces of wood and coal left behind in the fireplace can remain extremely hot for a number of days. If they are sucked up by the vacuum, they can quickly ignite and start a dangerous blaze.

Another important part of caring for a fireplace is using it properly. This means only burning appropriate material to make a fire. Seasoned firewood and treated coal are perfectly acceptable, but it is important to avoid too much paper as well as any amount of plastic. These materials will burn too hot and too fast, which can pose a danger to the home and everyone in it. The fireplace should never be used as a means of disposing of unwanted material.

Small, hot fires are perfectly safe in a fireplace but larger, smoldering fires can start trouble. For one thing, they are much more likely to create creosote. Creosote is a chemical compound left behind after treated material is burned in the fireplace. It is highly flammable and has been linked to many dangerous chimney and house fires. In addition, it poses serious health and safety risks to anyone who comes into contact with it. A small, hot fire will provide the desired warmth without becoming dangerously unmanageable.

It is also necessary for the fireplace to be inspected by a professional inspector every year. They will be able to identify any hazards that exist within the fireplace and chimney as well as any that are likely to occur in the near future. The Chimney Safety Institute of America is a great resource for chimney inspection and can provide a list of licensed inspectors in any area. This should be done on an annual basis, even for families that do not often use their fireplace. There are many other factors that can contribute to a damaged chimney other than use.

Having a fireplace and chimney is a great feature in any home but it must be properly maintained and safely used. Be sure to clean the fireplace regularly and to only burn material that is intended for the fireplace. An annual inspection is the best way to make sure that all current and future issues are being handled as efficiently as possible.

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