Cleaning Tips for Your Chimney: Everything You Should Know

Maintaining your chimney is crucial for the safety and efficiency of your home's heating system. Here are some straightforward cleaning tips that you can follow to help keep your chimney in good shape, so it’s ready when you need it.

Schedule Annual Inspections and Cleanings

Before the heating season begins, schedule a professional chimney sweep and inspection. This should be done at least once a year, typically in the late summer or early fall, to keep your chimney is safe and free from obstructions and excessive creosote buildup, which can lead to chimney fires. If you do nothing else, make sure you do this! A dirty or broken chimney is a dangerous chimney.

Cap Your Chimney

To prevent debris, animals, and rainwater from entering your chimney, have a chimney cap installed. The cap also serves to block downdrafts and can help reduce moisture accumulation inside the chimney, which can wear away masonry and metal components.

Check for Obvious Obstructions Regularly

Between professional cleanings, keep an eye out for visible obstructions that might block airflow through your chimney. This includes checking the top of the chimney from the ground for any signs of nest building by birds or squirrels, especially during the spring.

Use the Right Wood

When using your fireplace, burn only dry, seasoned wood. This type of wood burns cleaner and produces less creosote buildup than unseasoned, wet wood. Avoid burning treated wood or trash, as these can release harmful chemicals and increase creosote accumulation.

Monitor Creosote Buildup

After each use of your fireplace, check for signs of creosote and soot buildup. If you notice a considerable amount, it’s a sign that your chimney needs a professional cleaning. Even with yearly professional cleanings, heavy use of your fireplace might necessitate additional cleanings.

Keep the Damper Area Clean

Make sure the damper area is always clean. This is the metal plate that opens and closes to let smoke out of your chimney when the fireplace is in use. Regularly wiping it down and ensuring it moves freely can prevent soot and creosote from interfering with its operation.

Maintain Safety & Comfort With Proper Chimney Care

By following these simple tips, you can help extend the life of your chimney, improve your heating system’s efficiency, and most importantly, keep your family safe by reducing the risk of chimney fires.

If you have questions about your chimney or need your chimney serviced, contact our chimney company today.

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