Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Spring Cleaning Your Chimney

Anyone with experience heating with wood knows full well the importance of cleaning the chimney before the cold season sets in.  Creosote left to build up can lead to dangerous and potentially devastating chimney fires.  During the winters, we burn hot fires pretty much 24 hours a day, so creosote from low temperature fires really isn't an issue, and with care any significant creosote buildup can be virtually avoided.  The high heat in the chimney (550f or more) do a great job of clearing smoke and taking creosote with it.  Let's not forget that hotter fires produce far less creosote in the first place.

Spring weather can present a different scenario.  With temperature in the -10c to +10c range, we often burn lower fires to prevent overheating the house.  This is not an uncommon practice in many households, and many so called experts will tell you not to do this.  Perhaps the easiest way to take care of the problem, but not really practical in real life.

Using Chimney maintenance products such as powders or special logs can help keep creosote from getting really stuck to your chimney, and MAY prevent a certain amount from accumulating, but they are not a substitute for a proper sweep.

Taking advantage of the less frigid temperatures we experience this time of year is ideal.  Pick a warm day (there are plenty on the way) and go give your chimney an early spring cleaning.

1 comment:

  1. You can also purchase a magnetic thermometer to place on the stove pipe. This can help to familiarize oneself with how hot that specific section of stove pipe is. Even though this does not give a temperature reading for the highest point on the stove pipe, where creosote builds up the fastest. It does let you know the relation between the firetemp and creosote buildup. Having a stovepipe catch fire will cause about a weeks worth of interrupted sleep, due to jumping out of bed at every crack of the fire.