Tag Archive for: Furnace Flue Clean

A properly maintained chimney working well done by a regular chimney cleaning professional.

Why Every Homeowner Should Have a Regular Chimney Professional on Hand

Fireplaces add beauty, ambiance, and value to your house; however, they require regular upkeep and maintenance by a chimney professional to operate efficiently and safely. Moreso, if you’re using the chimney after a long time or use it frequently.

In addition, if you want to upgrade your chimney, it is better to avoid DIY methods and get a professional to do it. Doing so will ensure quality work and prevent accidents.

Let’s look at some reasons why you should have a regular chimney professional on hand to help you understand their true significance.

Extracting Hazardous Pests and Obstructions

Often, your chimney may get clogged with debris, or pests such as raccoons, squirrels, or bats can make it their home. Obstructed chimneys are a severe hazard; if you lack proper knowledge and try to clear them, you will damage your house.

For instance, many homeowners use large fires to eliminate pests or obstructions in their chimneys. Though creative, this method can expose you and your family to toxic carbon monoxide or start a large house fire.

However, if you have a regular chimney professional on hand, you can call them, and they will clear all the creosote buildup, animal invasion, and debris accumulation for you.

Lengthen the Lifespan of Your Flue Liner

Chimneys have a critical part called a flue liner. Flue liners protect your house against carbon monoxide and fires. They do so by insulating the chimney from the hot temperatures released by fires and corrosive materials from the smoke.

Additionally, flue liners act as barriers preventing carbon monoxide from seeping into your house through tiny cracks in the bricks. Getting a professional to clean your chimney at least twice a year will help eradicate the buildup, ensuring your flue liner functions optimally.

When soot and creosote accumulate, they damage the chimney, for they let moisture get trapped inside it. The steam will eventually wear out the lining, and you must replace it; they aren’t cheap.

Since you will have a regular chimney cleanup, your liner will serve you for an extended period. Also, a chimney professional will tell you in advance if your lining is faulty and offer advice on when to get a new one.

Professional Tools

Though DIY activities may seem exciting and fulfilling, sometimes they aren’t effective because you won’t have all the required tools.

Whereas professional chimney cleaners have all the tools for the tasks, plus they understand how to utilize them. In addition, professionals have high-tech cameras that identify blockages in places that are difficult to see in the chimney.

Although you can certainly buy all these tools, the cost will be too high, and if you don’t know how they work, it will be a waste. Chimney professionals relieve you of all that hassle.

Insurance Coverage

When house or chimney fires occur, most insurance companies will require you to submit evidence of maintenance to get compensated.

You could get little or no compensation if you can’t provide proof. No homeowner would ever wish to be in this position, but you can avoid it by having a chimney professional regularly maintain the fireplace.

They will significantly lower the chances of chimney fires, and if one occurs, they will back you up with proof you tried your best to prevent such.

Similarly, professional chimney sweeps always have insurance covering them at work. Meaning if they get injured, their insurance will handle it. If you try to clean the chimney yourself and suffer an accident, you’ll face medical bills and additional repair costs.

Saving Money

Most homeowners primarily undertake DIY (do it yourself) tasks to cut costs. Even so, if you lack the skills and tools, you may make a tiny issue into a larger, costlier one. Plus, you put yourself at risk.

For example, when you try to clean the chimney, you can damage pipes leading to a leak that may go undetected for some time. Such a mistake can cost you thousands of dollars in water pipe repairs. The water leak may even cause structural damage.

As a result, a minor cleaning task will have you spend lots of money on other repairs. Having a regular chimney professional on hand ensures minor issues get fixed and will save you money in the long run.

Professional Chimney Cleaning and More in Northern Virginia

We at Six Penny Chimney, are ready to clean your chimney and eliminate all blockages effectively. Besides cleaning, we can clear out any pests in other parts of your home and provide other essential services.

Contact us today for more information, and we will quickly get back to you.

Why It’s Important to Keep Your Furnace Flue Clean

Every year many people are harmed from being exposed to deadly gasses and substances emitted from fireplaces and furnaces. Your home heating is essential during winter, particularly in cold zones, but if neglected can become dangerous. Properly functioning furnace flues and exhaust vents are critical in keeping your home free from toxic airborne elements. See here why it’s important to keep your furnace flue clean and when you may need to call in professional help.

What’s the Purpose of a Flue?

Boilers, fireplaces, and furnaces that burn fossil fuels or wood give off water vapor and noxious gasses. One of the most notorious by-products is carbon monoxide, a gas responsible for many deaths each year. Other noxious elements include hydrocarbons, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. The furnace flue, also known as a furnace flue pipe, directs these combustion by-products up the pipe and safely vents them out of the house.

So, what can happen if you don’t keep your furnace flue clean? If the flue is blocked, the dangerous gasses and toxins cannot escape from the vents, are backed up, and seep into indoor air. At best, this is unhealthy and, at worst, can be deadly if carbon monoxide builds up.

You can avoid this problem with regular inspection and annual maintenance.

How Do You Decide If Furnace Flue Cleaning Is Urgently Needed?

Your furnace will give a few clues that there is a problem with a build-up in the flue pipe, and maintenance is required. Common signs include:

  1.   Rooms are no longer as warm as usual when the furnace is on. This loss of heat can be a gradual or sudden process. If build-up in the flue occurs slowly, the impact on room warmth will likely be slow but sure. While if there is a sudden blockage, the loss of heat will be dramatic.
  2.   The furnace appears to work correctly for a time but will then shut itself off.
  3.   There is a distinct acrid odor when the furnace starts up and runs.

Inspect and Detect

Next, a little detective work is necessary. Look for the obvious first, like a visible blockage at the exhaust vent on the roof. Bird or rodent nests, autumn leaves, and debris from storms can all find their way to vents and easily clog them. Heavy snowfalls can also result in vent blockage.

Then inspect the actual flue duct or pipe. Look for signs of rust, soot, unknown substances, and water stains at the base or along the pipe. These are indicators of a definite problem in the flue.

How Do You Keep Your Fireplace or Furnace Flue Clean?

If the problem is simply an external blockage at a roof vent, you may be able to remove this yourself with a broom or pole. Or you may have to get up there on a ladder and gather it up yourself for disposal. Still, instead of putting yourself at risk on the roof you can get this task done by professionals when you book your annual HVAC maintenance.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends inspection and maintenance before every winter to prevent carbon monoxide leaks. CPSC also recommends that qualified tradespeople conduct the following checks:

  • Inspect chimneys, flues, and vents for leaks and blockages.
  • Inspect all vents to furnaces and other fuel-burning domestic equipment to make sure fixings are tight and properly connected.

Aside from preventing harmful gas leaks, there’s another reason to keep your furnace flue clean — reducing damage to it. Furnaces that run on oil and gas produce acidic by-products that corrode the flue lining, and flue and chimney caps can also be damaged. Maintenance of the flue requires using rods and brushes to sweep out any build-up of soot and creosote, and other substances.

Expert HVAC Maintenance in North Virginia

You need professionals to carry out furnace flue cleaning and HVAC upkeep.

At Six Penny Chimney, we have all the specialized equipment needed to perform thorough furnace flue cleaning and chimney sweeping. We will carefully inspect your equipment and tighten any loose fixings. Any blockages will be removed from your roof vent, and we also remove, inspect, clean, and reattach the flue caps.

Worried about us making a mess? We will keep your house spotless by using dust cloths and powerful vacuums. We know you will be as impressed with our service as are  he great majority of our customers. We look forward to your request for service.