Having a wood-burning stove or fireplace in your home is a wonderful way to heat the house or supplement the heating system, but it comes with some responsibility. Maintaining the system, chimney cleaning, and yearly inspections are critical when burning wood and will help protect your home.
Chimneys and Cleaning
When you burn wood in your fireplace or woodstove, there will always be some soot and creosote buildup inside the flue and the chimney because the smoke rising from the fire begins to cool, allowing deposits to form on the walls. With regular chimney cleaning, you can keep the creosote and other materials in check, but if they are allowed to build up, they can eventually catch fire inside the chimney.
Chimney fires can do a lot of damage to the tiles and bricks in the chimney, and if the fire gets hot enough to crack them, gaps can form that allow heat and embers to get through to the wall around the chimney. The result can be a fire in the home that you could avoid with a simple chimney cleaning and inspection before the heating season starts.
Would stoves often use metal stovepipe, and many of the modern pipe systems are double-walled pipes with insulation in the space between the walls to ensure the pipe stays cool on the outside. While the stovepipe is more resistant to heat damage, it still requires regular chimney cleaning and maintenance to ensure no problems arise.
While there are no bricks to crack in this system, the joints between the pipe sections can be affected by extreme heat, so cleaning and inspection should still be a yearly maintenance item for these chimneys.
Chimney Cleaning Services
A chimney cleaning service, or chimney sweep as they are sometimes called, can inspect and clean the chimney for you without you having to do anything. The chimney service will clean the flue and firebox out, check all the components inside the fireplace or stove, and then use a large wire brush to push all the soot and creosote from the chimney down to the firebox so they can remove it.
If there is any damage to the chimney discovered during the cleaning, the chimney sweep with let you know so you can get it fixed. Schedule your chimney cleaning several months before the heating season starts, so you have time to deal with any issues discovered and are ready to throw the first log on the fire when the temperatures begin to fall.
If you are new to wood heating, talk with the chimney cleaning service to set up a plan for the future. The service can help you manage your wood heating system and keep you up and running when you need it.