Differences in Cleaning Fireplace and Wood Stove Chimneys
If you are burning wood in your home, whether in a fireplace or wood stove, harmful gases will be produced.† You will need a chimney to ensure the gases escape harmlessly into the environment.† Your chimney will also need to be cleaned on a periodic basis.
The main reason to keep your chimney cleaned is for safety purposes.† A clean chimney will not present an increased risk of fire.† In the case of a wood stove, keeping soot out of the stove and chimney will help increase efficiency.
With a fireplace, you will not have a pipe to monitor like you will with a wood stove. The stovepipe can develop cracks and leaks which will need to be repaired as soon as possible.† The metal may also succumb to corrosion.
The type of wood you burn in your fireplace and wood stove will have an effect on how dirty your chimney gets.† If the wood is wet or green, the fire will burn much less efficiently.† This will cause more creosote to form in your chimney which also means you will need to clean it out much more often.
It is best for you to use wood which has been stored for a few months before burning it.† This will lead to more efficient burning and less creosote formation.† If you keep your wood outside, make sure you cover it up to keep rain and snow at bay.
Needless to say, you will need suitable brushes to clean your fireplace or wood stove chimney.† They should not cost all that much at a local hardware or fireplace accessory store.† It is also important to get a vacuum since the surrounding area will get very messy.
If you do not want to clean your chimney yourself, then hire a professional to do it.† You should have a couple of suitable companies to choose from in your area.† A license is generally not needed in order to become a chimney sweep, so make sure you choose carefully.
Usually, having your chimney cleaned and inspected once a year is enough.† It is a good idea to have it inspected sometime in the summer before you need it for the upcoming winter.† As mentioned though, various things can determine how dirty your chimney gets.† So, bi-annual inspections may be necessary.† Failure to keep your fireplace and wood stove chimney clean can have dire consequences.† You can avoid a serious chimney fire by making sure everything is okay before you use it.
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