Take Time for Chimney Maintenance
Tuesday September 16, 2014“Woodstoves and fireplaces are wonderful as the weather gets colder, but they can also pose a fire hazard. It is a great idea to have your chimneys checked by a professional every year.” Bridget Hetchler | firstname.lastname@example.org Lighting a fire on a cold, winter night is a wonderful way to stay warm and toasty. In spite of the ambiance and relaxation that a fireplace provides, there are also inherent fire dangers. To combat the risk of fire or inhalation of dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) gas, it is important for you to make chimney maintenance part of your home loss prevention plan. Types of Chimneys There are two types of chimneys that require specific maintenance to minimize the dangers in your home.
- Fireplace inserts (hearth stoves):
- Vent should be connected to the flue of the chimney. This will reduce creosote accumulation in the flue, and therefore, reduce the risk of fire.
- Factory-built metal chimneys:
- Designed for use with solid fuel heaters.
- Do not use natural gas, fuel oil vents, well casing, stovepipe or other material in the chimney, as they cannot withstand the heat in the wood burner.
- Have your chimney cleaned on a regular basis to reduce creosote build-up. This accumulates in stovepipes and chimneys, and can ignite unless it is cleaned out. Avoid using chemical chimney cleaners, as they are not effective in removing creosote build-up.
- Make sure your masonry chimney has a flue liner in place to reduce the possibility that the masonry could absorb creosote.
- Replace cracked or damaged liners, as they will allow creosote to accumulate and heat to escape. This will increase your risk of fire.
- When hiring someone to reline your chimney, only allow the contractor to use a product that has been tested and listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Also make sure that the contractor is experienced in replacing the type of liner needed for your unit, and that the local fire department approves the liner that you are choosing to use.
- Heavy creosote accumulation
- Deterioration of the flue
- Creosote blocking the lower heater vent
- Carbon monoxide drifting into your home because the flue is not large enough to handle the extra appliance