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By ROB KASPER | December 3, 2005
In an impressive imitation of Santa Claus, the cat jumped up the chimney. It happened Thanksgiving weekend when we were entertaining visitors, including the cat. The cat, a 6-month-old black female, belonged to our 24-year-old son who lives in Chambersburg, Pa. Both the kid and the cat drop in from time to time, and have the run of the house. One evening after Thanksgiving, a contingent of adults - my wife, my brother from Boston, his wife and two neighbors - was gathered in the living room.
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NEWS
By Robert Little | February 7, 2010
Even before the snowfall began, weather forecasters and emergency management officials were warning Marylanders about a little-discussed but increasingly common threat from any weather-related emergency: carbon monoxide poisoning. Weather that causes power outages is often followed by reports of carbon monoxide poisoning from gasoline-powered generators. But mammoth snowfalls also cover and block vehicle exhaust pipes, which can cause carbon monoxide to build up inside the passenger area.
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FEATURES
By Carleton Jones | October 13, 1990
A few years back on a nippy fall day, I was asked to tend the fire in the old country home of a relative . . . just toss logs into the old Gothic-style woodstove that heated the downstairs living room.I duly did the job -- and overdid it.A few minutes after I rammed the dry logs into the firebox I heard an odd, whistling noise. Soon it rose to a jet plane-type roar.The racket brought everybody to the first floor on the run, since we were many miles from a fire department. What had happened was the ignition of creosote in the chimney.
FEATURES
By ROB KASPER | December 3, 2005
In an impressive imitation of Santa Claus, the cat jumped up the chimney. It happened Thanksgiving weekend when we were entertaining visitors, including the cat. The cat, a 6-month-old black female, belonged to our 24-year-old son who lives in Chambersburg, Pa. Both the kid and the cat drop in from time to time, and have the run of the house. One evening after Thanksgiving, a contingent of adults - my wife, my brother from Boston, his wife and two neighbors - was gathered in the living room.
NEWS
By Amy L. Miller and Amy L. Miller,Staff writer | October 13, 1991
He's not exactly the storybook character Bert, ready to lead Mary Poppins' charges up a smoke stairway to the stars.But Brian Miller,a partner in Miller's Chimney Sweep of Westminster, will clean your flue just as thoroughly.A full-time sweep for the past five years, Miller said the familybusiness was started when his brother was out of work 13 years ago."Wayne worked at the Caterpillar plant in Dallastown, Pa., and when they went on strike, he had no job," Miller said. "So, he started the family business."
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | January 13, 1996
There's nothing like a rough winter to make you want to stow the snow shovel and curl up by the fire with a good book and some warm cider.Unfortunately, some of us don't have fireplaces, or any place to ++ install a wood stove, which means we're simply out of that cozy picture.Or maybe not.A technologically advanced device that has been around for professional builders for a while is just making its way into the do-it-yourselfers' realm. It's the zero-clearance fireplace chimney system, and it can be installed without the complicated -- and expensive -- footings and masonry flue required for traditional fireplaces.
BUSINESS
By Dean Uhler | October 13, 2002
I recently looked at a house that has a brick chimney with mineral deposits on its exterior, apparently the result of moisture condensation inside the chimney. This problem is not uncommon, and may become increasingly common as older furnaces are replaced by newer, more efficient ones. The chimney on the house runs up the two-story end wall. The mineral deposits, which are white and powdery, are at the bottom third of the chimney exterior. Mineral deposits like this are typically the result of water inside the chimney leaching minerals out of the mortar used in the construction of the chimney.
FEATURES
October 25, 1998
Q.We got ready to start a fire in our fireplace recently. When we opened the flue, dozens of light-green insects came crawling out. What kind of bug lives in a chimney, and what can I do about it?A. Sounds like a horde of elm-leaf beetles found a safe haven in your chimney. I suspect you have some elm trees nearby.Many different types of adult beetles are looking to over-winter in a snug spot, like a chimney. Sweep your invaders up and put them back outside. Then go ahead and light your fire.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | December 16, 1995
This year, it seems, winter's gotten an early grip on things. A lot of places have already had some snow, and some places have already had a lot of it. The unusual weather has probably led people to start the heating season early -- without the mandatory pre-use maintenance of heating equipment. If this is you, using your wood stove or fireplace without preparation, stop and do the right thing.Surely everybody knows this by now: All fireplaces and wood stoves need to have the flues cleaned once a year.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | July 4, 1992
Installing ductwork for heating and air conditioning is a bit like putting together a huge three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle.The basic rules of the game, however, are the same, whether you're retrofitting an older house, working with new construction, or adding heating and air conditioning to a new room, attic or basement.Basic Rule No. 1: Hot air rises, cold air falls.Ducts should be installed to take maximum advantage of natural air movement. For instance, for air conditioning to work properly, air returns, the large ducts that carry air back to the central unit, need to be installed high up on the wall of each upper floor, to capture warmer air and return it for cooling.
BUSINESS
By Dean Uhler | October 13, 2002
I recently looked at a house that has a brick chimney with mineral deposits on its exterior, apparently the result of moisture condensation inside the chimney. This problem is not uncommon, and may become increasingly common as older furnaces are replaced by newer, more efficient ones. The chimney on the house runs up the two-story end wall. The mineral deposits, which are white and powdery, are at the bottom third of the chimney exterior. Mineral deposits like this are typically the result of water inside the chimney leaching minerals out of the mortar used in the construction of the chimney.
FEATURES
October 25, 1998
Q.We got ready to start a fire in our fireplace recently. When we opened the flue, dozens of light-green insects came crawling out. What kind of bug lives in a chimney, and what can I do about it?A. Sounds like a horde of elm-leaf beetles found a safe haven in your chimney. I suspect you have some elm trees nearby.Many different types of adult beetles are looking to over-winter in a snug spot, like a chimney. Sweep your invaders up and put them back outside. Then go ahead and light your fire.
BUSINESS
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | October 27, 1996
CREOSOTE -- it's the T. rex in the hidden world of wood-burning fireplaces and stoves. It can lie dormant for a long time, then suddenly flare up and destroy a chimney -- and maybe take the whole house along with it.Many people think their chimneys are indestructible and rarely have them inspected or cleaned. That's when creosote builds up.Neglected flues are the single biggest problem he sees, said Michael Bragg of HomeSafe Chimney Sweeping of Baltimore. "I've been in places where people haven't had them cleaned in 15 years."
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | January 13, 1996
There's nothing like a rough winter to make you want to stow the snow shovel and curl up by the fire with a good book and some warm cider.Unfortunately, some of us don't have fireplaces, or any place to ++ install a wood stove, which means we're simply out of that cozy picture.Or maybe not.A technologically advanced device that has been around for professional builders for a while is just making its way into the do-it-yourselfers' realm. It's the zero-clearance fireplace chimney system, and it can be installed without the complicated -- and expensive -- footings and masonry flue required for traditional fireplaces.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | December 16, 1995
This year, it seems, winter's gotten an early grip on things. A lot of places have already had some snow, and some places have already had a lot of it. The unusual weather has probably led people to start the heating season early -- without the mandatory pre-use maintenance of heating equipment. If this is you, using your wood stove or fireplace without preparation, stop and do the right thing.Surely everybody knows this by now: All fireplaces and wood stoves need to have the flues cleaned once a year.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | November 25, 1995
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can, if sufficient concentrations build up in your home, kill you fairly quickly.Most people know that, but there has been a recent rash of close calls with excess carbon monoxide in people's homes. One case in which people became seriously ill occurred just around the corner from Karol's house.Most indoor carbon monoxide buildups come from gas- or oil-fired furnaces and water heaters. It doesn't matter if your house is completely weather-tight or pretty drafty.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | November 25, 1995
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can, if sufficient concentrations build up in your home, kill you fairly quickly.Most people know that, but there has been a recent rash of close calls with excess carbon monoxide in people's homes. One case in which people became seriously ill occurred just around the corner from Karol's house.Most indoor carbon monoxide buildups come from gas- or oil-fired furnaces and water heaters. It doesn't matter if your house is completely weather-tight or pretty drafty.
BUSINESS
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | October 27, 1996
CREOSOTE -- it's the T. rex in the hidden world of wood-burning fireplaces and stoves. It can lie dormant for a long time, then suddenly flare up and destroy a chimney -- and maybe take the whole house along with it.Many people think their chimneys are indestructible and rarely have them inspected or cleaned. That's when creosote builds up.Neglected flues are the single biggest problem he sees, said Michael Bragg of HomeSafe Chimney Sweeping of Baltimore. "I've been in places where people haven't had them cleaned in 15 years."
NEWS
By Dan Thanh Dang and Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF | November 9, 1995
Amid Sunday night's blast of chilly weather, James F. Smith decided to warm his Essex home by turning on the furnace for the first time this season before settling in for the night.But he didn't realize that a bird nest in the flue was blocking the pipe venting, causing a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas to fill his three-story rowhouse. If not for the quick thinking of a family friend and the speedy response of Baltimore County paramedics to diagnose cases of carbon monoxide poisoning, Mr. Smith is sure it "would have been all over" for him and his family.
NEWS
By Amy L. Miller and Amy L. Miller,Staff writer | October 13, 1991
He's not exactly the storybook character Bert, ready to lead Mary Poppins' charges up a smoke stairway to the stars.But Brian Miller,a partner in Miller's Chimney Sweep of Westminster, will clean your flue just as thoroughly.A full-time sweep for the past five years, Miller said the familybusiness was started when his brother was out of work 13 years ago."Wayne worked at the Caterpillar plant in Dallastown, Pa., and when they went on strike, he had no job," Miller said. "So, he started the family business."
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