So you are chopping and stacking wood for that pleasant evening fire this winter. When is the last time you had your chimney cleaned. Here is some information on chimneys that may be of interest to you .
As wood burns not all of it is consumed, and what isn’t consumed goes up your chimney in the form of creosote and soot. Creosote is a thick, oily (oil burns when it reached a certain temp) material that results from the distillation of wood smoke which solidifies as it cools. Soot on the other hand is basically particles of partially burnt material that builds up in chimneys. If enough soot and creosote buildup they can clog your chimney. That’s not good, but what is worse is if the temperature in the chimney gets hot enough the buildup of creosote in the chimney can ignite. I have seen chimney fires destroy entire homes. Since the fire usually starts in the attic area it can go unnoticed until it is too late.
What’s the solution? Either clean the chimney yourself or hire a qualified chimney sweep. Notice I said “qualified”. Make sure they are licensed, bonded and insured. I had a neighbor once have an unqualified sweep clean his chimney and he ended up with a house full of black soot.
So you want to do it yourself!!! You can probably get the supplies you need at any fireplace shop or hardware store. Go on line and Google “how to clean a chimney” and follow the directions. However, don’t be surprised if you end up with house full or black soot.
How often should you clean your chimney? Depends!! If you are in the habit of damping your fire down and depriving it of oxygen (bad idea) so it will burn longer the result will be more smoke and more partially burnt solids. These solids can build up rapidly and the chimney will get much dirtier more quickly. So you clean more often. Make a visual inspection to determine what’s appropriate for your situation.
ENJOY YOUR FIRES THIS WINTER!!!