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Magic Sweep Blog

The Convenience of Gas Logs

Whether you’re looking for a little ambiance, some extra warmth, or even making due with a worn out chimney, gas logs can add to your home in more ways than one! In fact, gas logs are growing in popularity among home and business owners. What’s the big deal? Once you find out all these products have to offer, you won’t choose anything different!

Easy Install

Depending on what type of log set you choose, you may not even need a vent/chimney. Many gas log sets are safe for indoor use without a vent. These are also perfect for bypassing chimneys in disrepair atogether. This is why it’s important to involve a professional from the beginning when you’re making a change or planning a new install. Only a professional can definitively assess the situation, measure, order, and install the right unit for you. Showrooms across the country are filled with returns that homeowners have ordered online that were inappropriate for their home, their fuel type, or didn’t fit in their space. When you choose to work with Magic Sweep, you can rest assured that the installation will be without hassle and headache.

Easy to Use

Gas logs are easy to use when you follow directions. Most light by a switch or may require the use of a match. Through the winter there may be a pilot light burning, and this can be shut off during the offseason. Gas fires are easily controlled with a remote control. When you’re ready to shut the fire down for the night, it just requires the flip of a switch of the turn of a knob. This creates freedom that doesn’t exist with a wood-burning fireplace. A gas fire can ignite and extinguish instantly, cool off quicker, and result in less accidental burns. These products are also easy to maintain. All you have to do is dust around the fireplace on a regular basis, remove debris from the area, clean the burners (logs), and check connections.

Minimal Maintenance

Despite the convenience of gas logs, they still require routine professional maintenance in order to stay efficient and safe. Homeowners should have a professional come into service gas fire appliances at least annually in which the flue and unit are cleaned, connections are checked, glass is checked, and the unit is tested. These annual appointments can prevent serious damage and injury caused by neglect.

Learn more about gas log sets and how they can benefit you. If you start now, you can have the work done this summer, and your fireplace will be ready for the first fire this fall.

Call Magic Sweep at 757-523-2400, or contact us online.

Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned

You’ve successfully survived cold weather for one more year, but now it’s time for summer heat. It’s now officially summer, and much of America has switched the thermostat over to “cool.” Most homeowners only worry about the way their central air system will affect their utility bill, but it affects so much more than that! You can save money on utilities AND improve the air quality in your home by scheduling an air duct cleaning with Magic Sweep.

Clean Ducts, Clean Air

Your central air duct system is not a closed system. It cools indoor air with a refrigerant and distributes it throughout the house via vents. Although the air must flow through a filter to enter the air duct system, there are particles that can get through. Over time these particles become pollutants and contaminants. Common nastiness we see in air duct systems include animal hair (dander), mold spores, dust, rodent droppings, and more. Some materials appear as dust, but are actually dead skin cells carrying bacteria and pollen that contributes to allergies. If you haven’t had your air ducts cleaned in the last twelve months, they may have one or more of the aforementioned materials.

What to Expect

When you hire the professionals to clean your air duct, you can count on a job well done. We use an industrial vacuuming system that works under negative pressure to pull dislodged contaminants straight out of the system without allowing any to escape back into your home. We get the job done in just a few hours, and your family will be safer and healthier. Not only do we draw out contaminants with our vacuum system, but we are also able to remove the dangerous buildup of a lint-type material that can catch fire–especially if your duct system is also used for your home heating. Don’t trust the amateurs with your safety. Call Magic Sweep for professionalism and courteous air duct service.

When to Schedule

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you should schedule an air duct cleaning if:
-Mold growth is present and visible on ducts or other components of heating and cooling system.
-Ducts are infested with rodents or insects.
-Ducts are clogged with debris including dust or particles visible at vents.

There may be an easy solution for your ventilation problems, so schedule an inspection today!  If you’ve noticed your utility bill has increased, but your thermostat is the same, you may have a problem with the system. If anyone in your family suffers from chronic respiratory issues, you may have a problem. A clean system means smoother airflow, and that means less stress on the system and a cheaper bill.

Schedule your air vent cleaning today by calling 757-523-2400!

Consider a New Chimney Cap or Damper This Summer

Your chimney may be done for the winter, but it may be costing you this summer, and you don’t even know it yet. If your chimney has missing or damaged parts, you may be losing conditioned air through the flue, or warm air may be coming in by way of the flue. As your central air system works harder to cool the air in your home, your utility bill goes up!

 

How a Cap Can Help

A chimney cap is installed on the top of your chimney and serves as a roof. It also keeps animals out and protects your flue against water and weather year-round. You can even buy a specific model that deflects wind away from the flue opening, keeping gusts from affecting your fire in the winter and your central air in the summer. Having a cap installed this spring will not only save you on utilities but will also protect your entire system from water damage and damage from animal intrusion. Choosing the right cap for your chimney can be difficult. Professionals at Magic Sweep can help. Your chimney may be best protected with a new damper–a top seal damper.

 

Energy Saving Damper

You can save even more money by having a new top-sealing damper installed before the weather gets too warm. Sometimes called an energy-saving damper, the top-sealing damper kills two birds with one stone. It works as a chimney cap while a fire burns in the fireplace, and it is a tight-sealing damper while engaged. Not only does it act as a damper, but it seals the entire chimney system from the top with a tight seal. Neither water or animals can penetrate a top-sealing damper. You can avoid losing air through this new damper as well! The best way to close your system off for summer is with a top-sealing damper. It will keep humid air from mingling with the soot and creosote in your flue, cut down on odors, and protect the system until it’s time for a fire in fall.

 

Call a Professional

Magic Sweep is your #1 choice for chimney maintenance and repair in Hampton Roads. Our chimney sweeps are certified, insured, and experienced choosing and installing chimney caps and dampers. Our top priority is safety and efficiency for our neighbors and customers, so we only carry the best in brands and models.

Are you tired of spending too much money on your AC every summer? You may be surprised how much you’ll save with a new cap or damper–not just in utility bills, but also in prevention. Installing a top-sealing damper or cap now can protect your chimney and prevent costly damage later.

Call Magic Sweep today at 757-523-2400 or request an appointment for your home or rental now.

Let Us Give Your Chimney a Makeover

Is chimney cleaning on your spring to-do list? Are you in the middle of a remodel or shopping spree that has your hearth looking a little drab? No matter what is spurring the makeover, there is a fireplace expert at Magic Sweep that can help.

Magic Sweep Showroom

You can see our fireplaces in action when you visit our showroom at 938 Providence Road in Chesapeake, Virginia. You will also get a chance to view a variety of fireplace brands and models, facing displays, doors, screens, stonework, and other accessories. Shop catalogs of our favorite and trusted brands or let an expert walk you through the process from start to finish. No matter the size of your space, the condition of your chimney, or the style you ’d like to achieve, we have something for you.

Fireplaces

You may like the look of your hearth but need an upgrade for better efficiency. You may want to change fuel types to better help the environment. No matter what your reason, a new fireplace can help us achieve your fireplace makeover. We sell and install gas fireplaces and wood fireplaces as well as gas log sets that are realistic and beautiful. Some gas log sets don’t even need ventilation, so they are safe if your chimney isn’t safe, if it’s been closed off, or if you have no chimney at all.

Inserts

An insert may be what your fireplace needs if it’s old and needs an upgrade. The insert is retro-fitted directly into the existing firebox, and is a closed unit with the efficiency of a stove, but the classic look of a wood fireplace. At Magic Sweep, we sell and install top brands of gas inserts, wood inserts, and pellet inserts–each with their own benefits. They are all highly efficient (much more so than a traditional, open fireplace), and will turn your fireplace into a heat machine.

Stoves

Like inserts, stoves are highly efficient and may produce enough heat to warm an entire house during the winter. They can be installed anywhere and may even be used with your existing chimney. We also sell and install wood, pellet, and gas stoves. Most models feature a fire-viewing window that allows you to watch the flames dance as if you have a wood fireplace. Many homeowners can find a model that fits their home and personality exactly.

As you’ll see in our showroom, there is a variation of every appliance that will suit you. We have a full range of products from contemporary and sleek to traditional and ornate. If we don’t have what you’re looking for, we can order it and we won’t stop until you’re satisfied.

Once ordered, a certified Magic Sweep expert will handle your installation with professional expertise and courtesy. Your installation will be completed with an inspection that verifies safety and proper installation.

Make sure that a professional assists you in this process from start to finish. We here at Magic Sweep are waiting to be the next step for your fireplace. Call us today at 757-523-2400.

Why Dryer Vent Cleaning Should be Part of Your Spring Cleaning

Your dryer vent is working for you as often as you do laundry. It’s just as important as every other system in your home but is likely the most overlooked. Homeowners assume that once the dryer is bought, delivered, and installed, it’s good to go! This is not the case, because most homeowners don’t have the dryer vent professionally installed, and fail to have it serviced regularly.

The Danger of a Dirty Dryer Vent

Your dryer vent is designed to direct lint, heat, and moisture out of the dryer and house, and terminate it outdoors. The microscopic lint particles that travel through the vent, cover the walls and become packed down as it mixes with the moisture. If the vent isn’t cleaned regularly, this debris will build-up until it forms a clog that disrupts the airflow completely. When the dryer vent is obstructed, the lint, heat, and moisture are pushed back into the dryer, and the result is always the same: malfunction, and malfunctions lead to fires.

Clothes Dryer Fires

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are nearly 3,000 clothes dryer fires reported each year, resulting in about 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. The leading cause of these fires is simple: failure to clean the dryer.

In Case You Need Another Reason to Clean the Dryer Vent

The biggest benefit of a clean dryer vent is safety, but there are other great reasons to schedule a dryer vent cleaning, at least every 12 months.

  • The dryer will work better. The dryer is designed to work with a vent system. If the vent doesn’t work properly, the dryer won’t work properly.
  • The dryer will use less electricity. The loads that used to take two or three cycles to get completely dry will no longer be an issue. Don’t assume the dryer is worn out. If it doesn’t work in one cycle, and the settings are correctly adjusted, you have a clog!
  • The dryer will last longer. When you run the dryer two or three times to dry one load, it not only takes 2-3 times more energy but also shaves down the life of your appliance! Instead of lasting the ten years it should, it will end up sputtering out after 3-5.
  • The dryer will stop warming up your house. This is especially important during the summer. The dryer should not affect your heating and cooling bill. If it does, then the vent isn’t properly venting the excess heat outdoors.

Schedule Your Dryer Vent Cleaning with Magic Sweep

At Magic Sweep, we take fire safety seriously. That’s why our technicians install, inspect, clean, and repair dryer vents. When you schedule a dryer vent cleaning with Magic Sweep, we will clean the lint and debris away without hurting the ductwork, and without making a mess. Then we will check for leaks and problems that may cause recurrence.

Call Magic Sweep today at 757-523-2400 and schedule your dryer vent cleaning today.