Monday, January 10, 2011

Green Business Spotlight: Johnson Chimney Service and Home Vent Experts

Chimney sweeping isn't just for movies like 'Mary Poppins,' above. It is a great way to save energy and provide better indoor air quality.

by Walter Kerr

My name is Walter Kerr, and I am the Owner and President of Johnson Chimney Service (johnsonchimney.com) and Home Vent Experts (homeventexperts.com). I have lived in Montgomery County, Maryland for over 30 years, and currently reside in Bethesda. I am the father of three boys, ranging in ages from 8 to 13. Needless to say, running two businesses, having three young boys, multiple sporting events and practices all over the area, keeps me quite busy and on my toes.

I worked for WGL (Washington Gas and Light) for over 10 years and was looking to expand myself, what I had to offer, and what I wanted to learn. In that time, I became certified and received my MCHI (Montgomery County Home Improvement) license and became certified with the National Chimney Sweep Guild. Aware of what matters most, I became licensed, bonded, and insured and directed my skills to what I like to do most: helping people.

I found in this industry what matters most is honesty, integrity, and professionalism. And  I strive each and every day for all that and more - not only with my business, but in life as well. Johnson Chimney Services and Home Vent Experts are both deeply committed in volunteering our time, energy, and money back into our community.

In 1991, my wife and I started Johnson’s, and we’ve been intent and resolute in making the business work to help people with their chimney needs. Johnson’s is all about service, safety, and savings. Our goal is to keep a regularly scheduled maintenance program with all customers so bigger issues don’t become possible future disasters. We like to keep our clients informed in what is up and coming in the chimney industry, as well as what items and/or services benefit them first.

I recommend inspections and cleanings, for the majority, about every 2 years. No matter if you use your fireplace or not, it still takes a beating from the elements, and it still needs attention, both inside and out.

Sometimes, it takes annual cleanings to fix the many years of previous neglect.

Over the years of sweeping, cleaning, and repairing chimneys, I saw yet another avenue of overlooked, homeowner maintenance. At Home Vent Experts we provide the same service, the same dedication, and the same commitment to the maintenance, service, and care of your ducts and dryer vents. It is with the commitment to each customer that your home is provided with the safety and service it needs to keep comfort, health, and savings in your home and pocket.

Now that you know a little more about me and my background, I thought I’d fill you in on some frequently asked questions I get during my day to help you better understand the whats and whys and importance of maintaining and upkeep of your chimney and vents throughout your home.

For instance, not many people know the importance that a chimney cap holds and how it protects their home from water damage and at the same time keeping the critters out!

A properly sealed chimney keeps the cold air out, and the warm air in. This could equal a savings of $300 or more in your bills.

Furnace, Duct, and Dryer Vent maintenance and cleaning are just as important and cost-effective as maintaining your chimney. If your system is clean and working and up to par, then, in turn, it is using less energy and providing better indoor air quality to the consumer.

The typical inspection that I perform covers top to bottom, addressing all the seen and unseen places. It is important to me for you to live and feel secure in a safe environment. Any recommendation that I give to you is as if it were my own home.

Solar attic fans are important as well in savings and comfort because they are a natural way to circulate the air in your home.

Many homes in the DC and surrounding area could definitely benefit from the services I provide in that the community, as a whole, is protected from unwanted fire-related incidents and/or animals entering your living environment.

All in all, the amount of protection and maintenance for your home and family are the direct result of what you and I put into your upkeep. I stand behind you, the Customer, in the recommendations I provide and the protection that those recommendations give you and your family.

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