Do You Need to Clean Your Fireplace?
Given the severe nature of maintaining fireplace cleanliness, it is recommended to be diligent about double-checking if your chute is residue-free, which can cause property damage if it catches fire.
Avoiding flue upkeep for an extended period is not only going to be hazardous but costly. If you feel like you are up for this dirty job, you can try dusting it yourself, but it is best left to the technicians in many cases.
So, do you need to clean your vents?
The one-word answer: yes.
Here are some of the critical reasons to inspect and clean your ventilation systems:
- It helps prevent home fires
- It gives a cleaner look, and it allows smooth flow of the burnt material to escape properly
- It contains carbon monoxide poisoning
- It helps getting rid of creosote
When we burn wood in a fireplace in NYC, several by-products form as a result. The most infamous of them are soot and creosote.
Soot is the soft residue of the unburnt carbon particles that also contain ash. It is usually black or brown. At the same time, creosote is a residue of incomplete combustion that can be flaky, gummy, or bubbly in appearance. It is highly flammable. Studies have shown that heavy use of fireplaces results in an average of 2 to 5-gallon buckets of creosote.
If left untreated, creosote slowly transforms into shiny, tar-like black icicles. This is called the glaze, and it usually forms puddles or drips down and clog the fireplace itself. The glaze removal is also the most challenging work to undertake during hearth clearing.
How Often Should the Cleaning be Done?
Now that you know how important it is to keep your fireplace inspected and cleaned, you must also understand how often you need to check it.
A simple rule of thumb is to check it once a year. This is handy, especially before winters when the fireplaces get used the most.
CSIA suggests that fireplaces be cleaned when:
- You have to use the fireplace (i.e., annually). If you feel like you had it cleaned shortly before, it is still advisable to inspect the flue system.
- 1/8″ or 3mm of soot and other residue build-up is inside the hearth
- Glaze appears (immediate scrubbing).
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a different set of criteria. They include the following areas to be inspected thoroughly once a year:
- flue system
The NFPA Standard 211 reads that the above heating places in commercial and residential areas be inspected once a year for “soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances.” It also mentions that preservation, conservation, and repair should be done as soon as required.
Other reasons that can warrant a chute inspection include:
- Leaves, branches, and trash that gets lodged in the opening due to wind, rain, and snow
- Pest rodents such as raccoons, squirrels, etc. and birds can turn the place into their nesting area
Even if you do not use your stack each year, ensure that the smoke chamber, flue liner, damper area, and firebox are inspected yearly.
What is the Best Time for Scouring?
The best time sweep companies garner profitable business is right after the heating season ends, i.e., in the spring. However, many people prefer to choose the last weeks of summer, early fall, or early winter. It is a good practice to schedule an initial appointment before the rush season. If you skipped a year, or a season, do not delay the upkeep process.
The funnel might need an analysis if, during humid summer months, your chute starts to stink. This stench is caused by creosote mixed with water vapors from abundant humidity or extensive air conditioning usage. To mitigate the stench, you need to perform thorough air duct cleaning.
If your vents are not working correctly, then it is time to invite technicians to look at your chute. This is also true for newly bought or repaired heating systems, e.g., a stove or a furnace, etc.
If you have recently moved to a different place, you must need technical help. When left unused for some time, vents take a toll on the masonry and lining work. The deterioration should immediately be reported to a technician.
Our teams provide reputable hearth surveillances for newly bought homes, new heating systems, or repaired networks. You can contact us at 347 -990- 2756.