Why chimney cleaning is a must
Possibly the last, and mostly forgotten, item in your home cleaning list is doing anything about your chimney. Let’s face it, who would want to clean something that you hardly even notice? If you live in a cold to freezing location, cleaning your fireplace should be second to doing your laundry. Doing so will not just keep your outdoor or indoor wood stoves burning with passion but will also make sure that you and your family will be warm and toasty as well!
Regardless of how hot can manage to keep your fire, you will soon need to clean your chimney. In cleaning this forsaken area of your home, you actually have two options. The easiest and probably the most efficient way is to hire a chimney sweep. Chimney sweeps have evolved from the Mary Poppins-style cleaning service using long brooms with umbrella-like ends. They now use powerful vacuums, efficient and safe cleaning equipment and are very particular about releasing dangerous pollutants.
And of course the other way is to clean it yourself. If you are a do it yourself homeowner then you will be able to save so much from hiring a chimney sweep, you will also be able to efficiently heat your home as quickly as you can. Remember the following tips when you are to clean your chimney:
- Clean with traditional brooms and never use chains or steel that could potentially damage your chimney.
- Never use hazardous chemicals that could harm your chimney. Metal chimneys could corrode due to chemical cleaners and release toxic fumes.
- Collect dust or ash from the chimney efficiently. Never allow the ash to simply fall and collect below.
- For an outdoor furnace or stove, use a ladder and climb up the chimney from the outside and remove the cap. Inspect the area and then use a sturdy brush to clean this part. Inspect for corrosion especially if you are using a metal chimney and for any cracks or falling bricks for a brick one.
Always remember that no outdoor wood stove, fireplace or furnace can function properly without a good clean chimney. To describe a good chimney, it has to be the following:
- Your chimney should be constructed using recommended materials. If you are building your own you will find that there are a lot of options available however some are not suitable or unsafe.
- Your chimney should be the right size and the correct size is usually the size of the appliance outlet collar;
- It should be properly located and properly installed. This means that it should be up through the heated space of the house and following building codes in your area.
These guidelines also apply to an outdoor wood burning stove’s chimney. There are many troubles that you may encounter too like if the chimney is too short or too long it doesn’t vent right. Regular cleaning should be done at least once every two months or before a long cold season starts.