While the chimney comes in handy when you are looking to keep your house warm, it also poses a serious fire threat when you don’t take good care of it. To help you out, here are tips given by chimney cleaning services providers on how to keep your chimney safe and functioning optimally:
Invest in a new stove or chimney insert
When was your chimney stove or insert constructed? If it was made in 1992 or prior to that, you should consider going for a new one. For ideal results, go for EPA certified models. While the units might be expensive to buy, they will give you a great service over the long run.
In addition to the units increasing the efficiency of the fireplace so that you burn little fuel, they also produce little soot; therefore, you don’t need to keep on hiring a professional to undertake chimney cleaning.
Chimney professionals report that the new inserts and stoves are also easy to clean and look better thus giving your house a great look.
When buying a stove, you should go for pellet stoves which take bricks made from compressed wood and other organic materials. The reason for this is because they are highly energy efficient compared to wood stoves and fireplaces.
Use the right type of fuel
You need to use the right fuel for you to be safe. Most new homeowners use any fuel they come across. This is wrong. For the chimney to be highly energy efficient and produce minimal soot, you should always go for seasoned wood.
This is wood that has been air dried for at least six months. When choosing the wood, go for hardwoods such as maple, oak, ash, and beech. In addition to producing little soot thus you don’t need to keep on cleaning the chimney, they also tend to burn much hotter.
Avoid softwoods such as pine and fir. You also should avoid wet wood at all times.
Regularly clean the chimney
Even when you use the most energy efficient wood, it will come a time when you will have to clean the chimney. Experts recommend that you clean the chimney at least once a year. The best time to do it is before the heating season begins.
You can do the cleaning by yourself if you have the skills but if you have never done it before, let a professional handle it. When hiring the expert, take care that you hire the right one. You don’t want to hire someone who will cause more damage to the chimney than was there before.
The best way of going about it is hiring someone who has been in the industry for a long time. The professional should also be certified by the relevant body. If possible, hire a company that is a member of a regulatory group. This way you are sure that the company is aware of the best chimney cleaning practices.
Undertake regular inspections
In addition to regularly cleaning the chimneys, you also need to inspect the fireplace on a regular basis. Just like when cleaning the unit, you can hire a professional or do it by yourself. During the inspection, be on the lookout for any signs of damage.
Check the chimney for cracks, missing mortar, loose bricks, or any other issues that might be there on your chimney. If your chimney is old, take a look at the chimney liners. Are they cracked? You should fix them if they are.
You also should give attention to the chimney cap. Is the cap too damaged? You have no way out other than to replace it.
Make use of a spark guard
For you to prevent errant embers from shooting out of the firebox and landing on you or on your furniture, you should install a spark guard. The guard is more important when you aren’t in the house or when you have small children.
When installing the guard, ensure that it matches the design of your house. The piece should also be of high quality as you don’t want a unit that will come apart after a few uses. Also, ensure that it’s installed by experienced chimney repair Bowie professionals.