The chimney is an essential part of the house, although because of its secluded nature, we often forget to treat it as one. As such, homeowners regularly neglect to clean their chimney liners properly, which can, in turn, result in some serious problems. Keeping your chimney liner clean is important, because this, in turn, reduces the risk of flue fires.
So in this article, we’ll talk about some tips on how you can keep your chimney liner clean, and running at maximum efficiency. This way, you’re able to enjoy lovely fires, without worrying about everyone’s safety.
- Burn dry, seasoned wood.
Some people aren’t aware of this, but there is a huge difference between burning dry, seasoned wood, and burning greenwood. While both do, indeed, burn, they do so at different temperatures, and with different combustion byproduct levels.
In other words, burning green wood has a higher chance of condensing inside the flue, leading to creosote accumulation. Because creosote is highly flammable, it is important to keep it at a bare minimum.
This is why it’s usually preferable to burn dry, seasoned wood that lights up more easily, emits fewer byproducts, and leads to less accumulation inside the chimney.
- Install a chimney cap.
Another essential step towards a clean and efficient chimney liner is the installation of a chimney cap. One important benefit of installing a chimney cap is that it will keep out wildlife, and with it, various natural debris that can act as kindling in case of a fire, and prove immensely dangerous.
Another benefit of having a chimney cap fitted is that it will also serve to keep out some harmful elements like rain or strong gusts of wind. Heavy quantities of water can, in time, significantly destroy the lining of your chimney, and increase fire hazards. So installing a chimney cap is not only prudent but very necessary.
However, it’s important to clean your chimney cap regularly because it can also amass creosote, over time, and this can increase the risks of fire.
- Hire a chimney sweep.
If you’re concerned about the safety of your chimney, or if it’s just been a while since you last cleaned out your chimney, it might be a good time to hire a professional chimney sweep.
A chimney sweep will be able to properly examine the state of your chimney liner, and determine what needs to be done, in order to ensure maximum efficiency and safety.
- Look for warning signs.
It can be all too easy to forget about your chimney or to keep putting off that annual inspection until it is too late. This is why we think it’s important to keep an eye out for warning signs that your chimney is becoming clogged.
Soot or creosote falling into the fireplace when you’re having a fire is a good sign that there is something wrong with your chimney, as is creosote accumulation that is over ⅛ inches thick.
Should you clean your chimney yourself?
Honestly, by far the best practice for maintaining a clean and safe chimney liner is to examine and clean it regularly. But many homeowners wonder about that – do you need to hire a professional to clean your chimney, or can you get away with doing it yourself?
Well, it depends.
Cleaning your chimney requires a lot of effort and considerable skill. It can also be dangerous since chimney cleaning is best done from above. So for many homeowners, it just makes more sense to hire a professional, as they’re better able to get out stubborn residue and reduce any personal effort to a minimum.