An annual chimney cleaning is recommended for safety reasons and to ensure the efficiency of your chimney and heating venting systems, including fireplaces, wood stoves, gas stoves, furnace flues, and pellet stoves. Homeowners should have their chimneys swept every year to remove dangerous creosote deposits and other debris. While families enjoy the warmth that their fireplaces and wood stoves provide, they too often ignore the chimney’s role in expelling these appliances’ byproducts—things like smoke, water vapor, tar fog, gases, unburned wood particles, hydrocarbon volatile, and various minerals. As these substances flow up the chimney, condensation occurs, leaving behind residue that’s called creosote. The appearance and form of creosote can vary greatly, looking black or brown, crusty or flaky, thick or drippy, sticky or hardened. No matter how it looks, creosote is highly flammable and can cause your chimney to catch fire and your flue to become blocked.
Gas heating appliances like furnaces, boilers, or hot water heaters also need to have their chimneys inspected and cleaned to remove the acid that may be eating away at the inside of your chimney. When not regularly cleaned, the chimneys of these appliances can collect unburned carbon and sulfur, known as oil soot. Built-up oil soot can restrict the flow of the flue gases and lead to a combustion process that produces carbon monoxide.
If a chimney is not adequately vented, this tasteless, odorless, poisonous gas—that kills hundreds of people and sickens thousands more each year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention—can flow back into the home.
By having a thorough sweeping and cleaning of your chimney each year, you can prevent potentially-devastating chimney fires and protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Does a chimney cleaning increase efficiency?
Not only can creosote and soot cause chimney fires, but they can also create blockages that interfere with the safe and efficient operation of the fireplace and chimney. A fire doesn’t burn or heat as well if there isn’t a proper flow of combustion gases up and out of the chimney. Another safety issue is attached to efficiency because if the gases don’t flow outside as they should, dangerous fumes can be released into the home, potentially including deadly carbon monoxide.
Why is a dirty chimney a safety issue?
With every use of a fireplace, combustible byproducts are deposited in the chimney lining in the form of creosote and soot. Creosote is an oily tar residue, and soot is a fine powder-like substance which colors smoke and consists chiefly of carbon. Hot embers which come into contact with these flammable deposits in the chimney lining can start a dangerous chimney fire. Built-up creosote is responsible for many of the over 25,000 chimney fires which spread into house fires every year in the U.S.
What work is performed in a chimney cleaning?
Besides cleaning out creosote, soot, and other potential blockages from your flue lining, we also clean out your firebox, damper, and smoke chamber. A thorough chimney cleaning will remove the dangerous deposits in the flue lining and clear the way for you to safely use and enjoy your fireplace and other heating appliances. The latest technology is used to do the job right. Chimney sweeping is a dirty job, but we promise to leave your home as clean as it was when we arrived.