Regularly cleaning your chimney will boost your fireplace's heating efficiency and allow proper airflow. Therefore, your home can stay warmer without excessive wood, reducing your utility bills.
A clean chimney will also boost your indoor air quality. If you can smell your fireplace while inside your home, your chimney could harbor smoke and harmful gases. Breathing in the intoxicated air can lead to respiratory issues.
Here are chimney cleaning mistakes you should avoid.
Assuming If You Use Hardwood, You Don't Need to Clean Your Chimney
Burning seasoned hardwood like oak, maple, applewood, beech, and hickory will produce less smoke than softwoods like pine, cedar, and cypress. Hence, you may think you don't need to clean your chimney if you use the former in your fireplace. However, this assumption can't be further from the truth. Even the little smoke produced by these woods is enough to form creosote.
As the smoke from your fireplace cools, it leaves a residue on the chimney's surface. This residue won't only damage various parts of the chimney, like the flue liner, but it's also highly combustible. Therefore, it can trigger fire at high temperatures, burning your home and putting your family at risk.
Taking Too Long to Clean or Inspect Your Chimney
You should inspect and clean your chimney at least once a year. If you don't do so, you may miss identifying crucial repair issues. Also, your chimney can get clogged with leaves and debris. This blockage will lead to restricted airflow, preventing smoke from getting outdoors. This anomaly can cause the buildup of carbon monoxide in your home. The gas interferes with oxygen distribution in the body, leading to adverse health problems.
Relying on Cleaning Logs
Relying solely on chimney cleaning logs to eliminate creosote buildup is a bad idea. The logs are usually used to loosen up the thick creosote layer on the fireplace flue so that it can easily be scraped off. While this method makes cleaning work more manageable, it can't clean your chimney like the professionals. Some residue will remain on the flue, triggering a fire. Since a dirty chimney hampers proper combustion due to poor oxygen flow, your chimney can catch fire and slow burn without you noticing.
The fire will damage your chimney and compromise its efficiency. If you suspect your chimney may have caught fire previously, you should call an expert to help you inspect the area. Signs of a past chimney fire include a warped damper, cracked or collapsed flue tiles, discolored rain cap, creosote flakes on the roof, and cracks in exterior masonry.
Call a chimney service for more information.
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