August West Chimney, LLC
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This site  The Web 



 We only service chimneys in

the following CT towns:






Lower Easton








P.O. Box 1154 Weston, CT  06883 



If your chimney is located in Wilton, Ridgefield, Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, or Stamford, you can reach James Flint directly at 203-762-7374. 


If your chimney is located elsewhere, please go to for a certified Sweep near you. 

CBS Radio Interview

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fireplace Dampers

Most fireplace flues have a damper, which is used to meter the draft between "all the way closed" (no draft flow) and "all the way open" (maximum draft flow).  While the damper's primary function is to help conserve energy during and after fires, it's most important job is to reliably stay open (and out of the way) during the fire.  If the damper falls shut during an active fire, there's going to be big smoke in the house!  Dampers need periodic adjustment where we make sure they are sitting square in the frame and are opening and closing correctly. 

Most chimneys have a throat damper located right over the firebox.  These dampers are actuated with various ‘poker style’ control handles that usually have several different settings between open and closed.  Many chimneys provide excess draft to the firebox, enabling the user to keep the damper partially closed during the fire, thereby radiating additional heat out into the room. Every fireplace and chimney is unique, so it is important that any experimentation with damper positioning be done carefully - it is never advisable to try to change the damper position during a fire.  The handle will be extremely hot and even with a fireproof glove on, you will be reaching directly over the fire. 

Some chimneys have top sealing dampers which, not surprisingly, are mounted on the chimney top.  These are usually more efficient than throat dampers, easier to control and shut more tightly. Some top damper models need to be oiled periodically in order to open & close fully and smoothly.  When upgrading to a top sealing damper, it is essential that it is sized correctly and installed so that it can open and close without impingement. 

If you have any questions regarding your damper, or would like your damper inspected/adjusted, please let us know.  We also do this automatically as a part of  any flue cleaning. Being familiar with your damper and how it works will surely help to enhance your enjoyment this wood burning season!

10:34 pm edt 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chimney Swifts Do Not Harm Your Chimney!
Over the past few weeks we have received dozens of calls from homeowners concerned that loud birds have taken up residency in their chimneys. What they don't realize is the Chimney Swifts (Chaetura Pelagica) have actually been nesting in the flue since late March. They just hear the birds now because the nestlings (babys) have become old enough to make an audible 'buzzing' noise during feeding that is amplified by the configuration of the chimney flue. While the Swifts can be a little disruptive, they do the chimney no harm. These birds are protected by law under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and as such should be left alone for the duration of the nesting season. Please be sure that your damper is closed to keep them from unintentionally getting into the house. Usually in mid to late August they abandon the nest (and your chimney) to embark on their amazing annual migration down to the Amazon Basin - mostly in and around Eastern Peru. Once they have vacated the chimney on their own, we'll be happy to come install a cap or screening to keep them out next spring. You may choose to continue to host these little birds if you don't mind the noise though, as one family (two adults & 4-6 fledglings) consume thousands of flying insects each day, and don't harm your chimney in any way! To read more about these busy little birds, go to  Happy reading!
5:15 am edt 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Check Us Out On CBS Radio

This is the time of year when the better quality news outlets cover fire safety in the home. This past week Fran Schneidau called me with lots of questions for CBS Radio in New York. She seemed genuinely interested in promoting fire safety and getting the message out.

              CBS News - Frireplace Safety 

  Thanks Fran, and WCBS for taking this important subject to the people!

11:25 pm est 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Choosing Your Fire Wood & Seasoning It Well...
People ask me all the time "Dave, what's the best kind of wood to burn?" & I tell them its simple - hard woods that are well seasoned will give you the most heat while producing the least amount of soot and creosote in the flue. Oak, Ash, Maple & Beech are some of the best. Pine, Cedar, and other "soft" woods are about the worst. An easy way to tell whether a split piece of fire wood is hard or soft is to just hold it in your hand. Maple has more than twice the density of White Pine so it feels much heavier to hold. Seasoning wood, by letting it dry for 6 months to year after cutting and splitting it, will also make a big difference in how much heat the wood delivers pound for pound. Green (unseasoned) wood results in a cooler, smokier fire, and the steam created by the water (literally) boiling out of the wood creates a lot more soot and creosote up in the flue. Well seasoned wood will usually have many cracks on each end that form as the moisture evaporates. One last thought - be sure not to burn rotten wood in your fireplace or woodstove. Wood (hard or soft) that has been stored out in the weather for too many years, will become water logged and unusable. Always be sure to have your fireplace screen in place during the fire, Happy Burning!
4:36 am edt 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Does Your Fireplace Smell Like A Campfire In The Summer months?
During the warm & humid summer months, some fireplaces will emit an odor that can make the whole house smell like there's a campfire burning - even though you may not have had a fire in your fireplace for weeks or even months! This is usually caused by soot and creosote that has accumulated up inside your chimney flue, combining with humid air being drawn down the flue (often made worse when Central air conditioning is in use.

The solution?
Clean your chimney! By removing most of the soot that's in the flue, a thorough chimney cleaning dramatically reduces the most active ingredient in the soot/humidity combination. While it is impossible to remove every bit of soot in the flue, we can usually get enough out where the smell is significantly reduced or eliminated altogether. Not only will you have a less smelly flue, it will also be a safer chimney next fall when you begin to burn wood again.

If your house smells like a campfire give us a call, we'll gladly come over and check the flue for soot and creosote deposits. We can also make sure your damper is closing properly. This type of check-up is free, and should be done every year or two anyway.
3:22 am edt 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Beware of Chimney Sweep Telemarketers
Well the thieves & bandits are at it again. I went to inspect a chimney on Maple Ave North in Westport today. The homeowner had recently hired a 'chimney sweep' from Long Island to clean her fireplace flue at a deeply discounted price. She was left uneasy by his super fast cleaning job and hard sell of additional repair services. Sure enough, her instincts were right. When I got there I found the fireplace flue was loaded with dangerous creosote deposits - it had barely been brushed out at all! Please beware of this scam. If a company calls to say they will be in the neighborhood and can clean your chimney for a low price, don't be fooled! If a company tells you repair work is required you should get at least one more opinion/quote. This is about more than being ripped off financially - it's about fire hazards and the safety of your family!
11:10 pm est 

2014.08.01 | 2012.07.01 | 2012.01.01 | 2010.10.01 | 2010.07.01 | 2010.02.01

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August West Chimney, LLC 
 Family owned and operated since 1973!
If your chimney is in:
 Westport, Weston, Fairfield, Redding, or Easton CT,
Please call us in Weston at
(203) 226-0416
(Please note, these are the only 5 towns we serve)

If your house is in Wilton, Ridgefield, Norwalk, Darien, Stamford, or New Canaan, please call James Flint at
(203) 762-7374

        Our Services Include: 

  • Fireplace Flue Cleanings 
  • Boiler and Furnace Flue Cleanings 
  • Woodstove Flue Cleanings (only certain types of installations) 
  • Chimney Safety Evaluations 
  • Damper and Cap Repairs / Replacements 
  • Diagnosis and Repair of Smokey/Smelly Chimneys
  • Flue Liners Restored/Replaced
  • Waterproofing of Exterior Bricks and Chimney Crowns 
  • Good, Sound Advice based on common sense and extensive experience 
If you would like an estimate, please give us a call or fill out the form on the Request an Estimate page.

As bricks age, they become more porous...
We can protect these aging bricks from the ravages of moisture!


Power Wagon
Helen Kellers Chimney
imagine the stories this flue could tell

Helen Kellers Log Counter

New Multi Flue cap
Stainless Steel Cap installation

We care for many historically significant chimneys in our area.
You can trust us with yours too!