How Should You Keep Your Chimney Liner Clean?
Even if you don't know much about your fireplace and chimney, you do know it gets pretty dirty in there. Well, actually- it isn't dirt per se. The correct term would be to call it soot. When fuel like wood or charcoal burns, it breaks down and deposits itself as a powdery dust called soot. Chimney soot is fine black or dark brown powder formed due to incomplete combustion of wood or coal in a confined place, in this case your fireplace and chimney. This soot is a byproduct of fireplace combustion.
It may not be dirt, but it is pretty nasty. Should you clean it? Yes! Keeping your chimney liner clean is an important factor in maintaining both a safe and efficient chimney system in your home. If you have a wood or coal burning fireplace, you should clean your system at least once per year. The question is, how?
All it takes is a few steps to minimize buildup of creosote, moisture, and other contaminants in your chimney liner. Doing this will reduce the frequency of needing to clean it.
Tip #1 Make sure you're using the right fuel. It's better to be proactive rather than reactive. Selecting the proper fuel source will help to keep your chimney liner clean. If it is available, hardwood is the best choice for firewood. Soft wood, like pine, produces more creosote than hardwoods, such as oak or hickory. They also burn faster while producing less heat per cord. As well, be sure your firewood is dry and well-seasoned. Wet firewood burns smokier and sends unnecessary amounts of moisture up your chimney.
Tip #2 Install a chimney cap. Installing a chimney cap will prevent debris, trash, leaves, and small animals from entering your flue. It also keeps rain and snow out of your chimney, so your chimney liner will be subjected to less corrosive action caused by moisture. The less dirty it is, the less often you'll need to clean!
Tip #3 Use special products. When you are using your fireplace, you can use products like Anti-Creosote and Creaway to inhibit creosote buildup inside your chimney liner.
Tip #4 Purchase and use the right tools. No matter how careful you are, you'll need to clean your chimney liner eventually. Invest in chimney cleaning tools and clean your chimney liner yourself! You will need a brush that is sized correctly for your chimney liner and connecting rods to push it into and pull it out of your liner. Then, carefully clean inside your fireplace to remove ash and creosote that falls down from the chimney liner as you brush it out.
Beyond cleaning it, you should have a chimney specialist inspect your system annually to ensure that it is operating safely. If it is discovered that you need new parts for your chimney, you can easily order them online through our website's catalogue.