If there is one thing that can extend the life of your furnace, reduce frequency of breakdowns as well as increase efficiency of the system, it must be regular cleaning and maintenance of your fireplace and chimney. This is a DIY project so you do not need to hire a furnace expert to lend a hand. The following is a guide to chimney cleaning to help you out.
How to Clean Your Fireplace and Chimney
Chimney cleaning starts with preparation of the work area. A drop cloth is placed below the chimney and a vacuum is used to absorb and trap debris. All the necessary tools and brushes as well as a light source must also be on-site. Before the chimney cleaning process commences, it is important that you put on a respirator because prolonged exposure to creosote dust from the chimney can be harmful. The creosote needs to be removed on a regular basis because it is a combustible material. If it is ignited due to overheating, it can cause a serious fire. The good news is that creosote dust is rich in a wide range of nutrients, such as calcium, so it can be used on flower beds as fertilizer.
Before you start, turn on the vacuum machine and use a stiff brush to clean the walls of the fireplace as well as the ledge of the damper. Be sure to also check the outer section of the chimney for signs of wear. The chimney must have a cap to prevent birds, debris, snow and rainwater from getting in, so be sure to install one if there is none in place.
To prevent the chimney from being damaged by falling branches, you need to trim trees that have long branches overhanging the chimney.
To prevent excessive soot formation inside the chimney, be sure to burn seasoned wood as opposed to wet or green wood.
If you do not have the time nor the technical ability to undertake this type of DIY project, you may want to consider hiring a certified chimney sweep; one who knows the rules, codes and standards. Follow Us For More Articles on Everything You Need to Keep Your Home Running Efficiently.