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Magic Sweep Blog

Start the New Year with a New Fireplace

There is no better time to give your home a face lift than New Year’s. The rest of the country is focused on resolutions and goals that may not make it past January. However, you can start the year with a sure thing – the fireplace of your dreams!

At Magic Sweep we don’t just sweep chimneys. We offer the industry’s best and most beautiful fireplaces rated for the highest efficiency and safety standards.

Start With The Vision

You may not know what you want in your fireplace yet. To help you decide, visit the Sweeps America complete online store. This site features beautiful, full-color pictures of all the products we sell, install, and service.

Magic Sweep sells and installs the best gas and wood fireplaces. We even sell outdoor fireplaces. Believe it or not, winter is a good time to start thinking about a new outdoor fireplace. Why? It’s because you will be ahead of the spring rush for outdoor products and installations!

We also sell gas, wood, and pellet inserts. These inserts burn at the highest efficiency of any fireplace. This is due to their closed system that keeps and uses the heat produced. Many homeowners choose to “go green” with the pellet stove. Why? Pellets are manufactured from wood byproducts in order to cut down on waste and use all of the tree. Fireplace inserts burn more cleanly and efficiency than a traditional fireplace. Therefore it promotes a longer life for your chimney system, and less required chimney sweeps.

We Also Offer A Variety Of Stoves & Logs

Finally Magic Sweep sells wood, pellet, and gas stoves. All of which offer the same benefits as a fireplace insert. However, a stove is more versatile since it can be freestanding. With correct professional installation you can even place a stove in a corner. You can do this by using heat resistant boards or tile to protect your walls from heat.

If you’re looking to keep your existing fireplace, there is even an option for you when you choose a gas log set. You can choose a gas log set even if your chimney isn’t safe for use. Your fireplace expert can vent your gas log set through a wall instead of the chimney. You can also choose a vent-free log set that is rated for indoor use without a vent. This is an efficient product, but many homeowners dislike the unrealistic blue flame, and opt for the yellow flame of vented log sets.

Magic Sweep Fireplace Experts

Our chimney sweeps are not merely salesmen. They are CSIA certified chimney sweeps who can match you with the best fireplace, fuel, and hearth for your home. When you stick with Magic Sweep from start to finish you will have a professional involved every step of the way. We put the safety and comfort of our Chesapeake customers above all else — including our own sales. We strive to satisfy every customer, every time, and our reward is to see the finished product and the satisfied smile of the homeowner.

Contact Magic Sweep today to get started on the journey to your dream fireplace today.

Fireplace Inserts and Efficiency

For various reasons, a homeowner may decide to use an insert instead of a wood-burning fireplace or stove. Inserts are a very attractive option because of their versatility, beauty, and efficiency.

What is an Insert and Why Choose One?Fireplace Inserts and Efficiency Image - Chesapeake VA - Magic Sweep

A fireplace insert is a manufactured appliance that can be installed into an existing fireplace, a prefab fireplace, or freestanding like a stove. Magic Sweep installs gas, wood, and pellet inserts. They’re often chosen because of their higher efficiency. Gas inserts are the most efficient, and are the most popular insert across the industry right now. They are even adequate for heating an entire room or section of a house.

Reasons You Can Benefit From a Gas Insert:

  • Higher Efficiency
    While gas log sets are more efficient than a wood fireplace, a gas insert is even more efficient. They use less gas to produce even more, steady heat.
  • Higher Heat Output
    If you’re looking to heat an entire room or section of the home, an insert is a good choice with a cost of about 40 to 45 cents per hour.
  • Versatility
    While gas log sets require a fireplace to house the log set, an insert can be installed in an existing fireplace, a prefab fireplace, or free stand.

Why the Gas Insert?

These higher efficiency appliances actually use most of the heat that is produced to heat your home. The appliance uses every bit of heat, and burns the fuel quickly and completely. In fact, gas inserts are marketed as the cleanest-burning appliances. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), when the heating appliance and venting system are properly matched, the draft will be appropriate to draw the vapors outside. It’s important for the insert to vent properly and effectively in order for it to be at the highest efficiency.

The insert can become less efficient and a host of issues can arise, including:

  • Damp patches on walls
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Blistered paint
  • White Stains on outside of chimney
  • Eroded mortar joints
  • Crumbling bricks

Keeping your gas insert at it’s best and highest efficiency means it is also the safest it can be. In order for the insert to be appropriately matched with a venting system and installed correctly, you should hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS). Only they know how to install your appliance according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). It is a chimney sweep’s goal to keep you safe and comfortable in your home.

At Magic Sweep all of our technicians are certified chimney sweeps. They are also experienced and trained in installing, maintaining, and repairing fireplace inserts.  In addition, they can help you match the perfect insert to your home. Ready to see how a pellet, wood, or gas insert can benefit your family and your home? Call a Magic Sweep chimney sweep today!

Gas vs. Wood-Burning Fireplace Inserts

You have an old wood-burning fireplace that needs some visual improvements, and you would like to update the look of your fireplace with a fireplace insert. Installing a fireplace insert is an inexpensive way to renovate your hearth’s appearance. When you start shopping for a fireplace insert, you will notice that you have options for the fuel source. You can even convert an old and inefficient wood-burning fireplace into a clean-burning gas-fueled fireplace. Choosing between these two fuel types can be overwhelming as it adds another decision you will need to make when picking out your fireplace. To help you make your choice between a gas and wood-burning fireplace insert, Magic Sweep would like to tell you about the benefits and disadvantages of both fuel types.

Fireplace Inserts - Chesapeake VA - Magic Sweep

Wood-Burning Inserts Benefits:

  • a beautiful fire experience – Nothing can replicate the beauty of a wood-burning fire. Creating an atmosphere of warmth and comfort, a wood fire fills the senses with its lovely dancing flame, the scent of the burning wood, and the sounds of the crackling fire.
  • higher efficiency and lower expense – The EPA now certifies wood-burning fireplace inserts to ensure they burn wood safely, efficiently, and with less smoke. These inserts give off much less pollution, which makes them more environmentally friendly. If you cut your own wood, then your winter heating supply is actually free. Even if you do not cut your own wood, the cost of firewood is cheaper than the cost of natural gas.

Wood-Burning Inserts Disadvantages:

  • creosote – According to How Stuff Works, the main disadvantage to a wood-burning fireplace insert is that burning wood creates hazardously flammable creosote deposits that stick to the inner walls of your chimney. Creosote deposits are one of the major causes of a chimney fire, so you must have your chimney professionally cleaned annually to get rid of the creosote.
  • labor-intensive – Not only do you have to carry in firewood from your storage shed and then build a fire, you have to sweep up ashes after every fire. You also have to remove the ashes from the firebox.

Gas Inserts Benefits:

  • clean burning with high efficiency – With efficiency ratings ranging from 76% to 83%, gas fireplace inserts burn much cleaner than a wood-burning insert. If you are environmentally-conscious, a gas insert may be a better choice for you.
  • convenience – No hauling in wood. No waiting for the fire to start and get going. No cleaning up ashes after every fire. With a gas fireplace insert, all you have to do is push a button, and you have a fire. You can adjust this fire to the exact temperature you want. Plus, some models come with a remote control so you can start the fire and adjust the flame from your couch.

Gas Inserts Disadvantages:

  • carbon monoxide leaks – Since a gas fireplace insert burns so cleanly, it can be difficult to tell if there is a leak. During your annual service check-up, we will check for leaks; however, it is essential that you have carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home.
  • no natural fire atmosphere – Although a gas-fueled flame can look very similar to a wood-burning fire, it can still look unrealistic.Also, you do not get the wood-burning aroma or the sounds of a crackling fire.

Have more questions about the comparison of wood-burning and gas fireplace inserts? Contact Magic Sweep to ask our expert staff about these two types of fuel sources.