As you make your preparations for the holidays, your chimney may be the last thing on your mind. However, every time you gather around the fireplace for holiday festivities your chimney is working. When fuel burns it produces soot, creosote, smoke, and various other minuscule vapors. These vapors have to be vented via the chimney.
Every fuel produces byproduct, though some release less than others. Gas appliances, for instance, produce less byproduct. However, because of their high efficiency, they don’t have adequate heat to push it up the chimney. The soot stalls in the chimney and then settles on the flue walls. Wood produces enough heat to produce an adequate draft, but can burn incompletely. This leads to more creosote buildup in the chimney.
The Dirty Chimney
It’s bad enough that Santa might slide down a dirty chimney. Keep in mind though, starting the New Year with a dirty chimney means you’re only a 1/4 of the way through burn season. This means your chimney is dirty! Burning wood day after day in a dirty chimney can lower efficiency and raise the risk of fire. The byproducts produced from a fire can build up in the chimney flue and result in a substance called glazed creosote which is largely made up of tar and soot. It is highly flammable and DOES NOT resolve itself. A creosote buildup will only worsen over time, eventually either causing an obstruction, or a fire, or an obstruction which causes a fire.
A dirty chimney can also lower efficiency, which means your fire produces less heat despite burning more wood. This can be especially problematic if you depend on your fire for home heating. Many homeowners might not see this as a problem if they have a fireplace for aesthetics and only use it occasionally, but a dirty chimney is not fun occasionally either! A dirty chimney can stink when it’s not in use, and when it is, it can be smoky.
You should not assume your chimney is clean because a fire burns, or because smoke is visible in the chimney opening. On the contrary, if your chimney produces thick white smoke you can assume your fireplace isn’t working as well as it can. An efficient fire produces smoke that is slightly transparent.
If that’s not enough to convince you to clean your chimney, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) both recommend regular chimney sweeps and inspections. This is in order to operate at their safest and most efficient. These are the experts that teach the experts. You can have your chimney swept by a Chimney Solutions expert today. Our sweeps are CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) and have extensive training and experience.
Contact a Chimney Solutions technician today by calling 317-757-6979 or make an appointment online. Proudly serving the greater Indianapolis, IN area with all your chimney and fireplace system needs!