Apart from uplifting the aesthetics, a fireplace provides your home with a warm and cozy space where your family can hang out during the winter. It is hard to find a person who doesn’t like to relax by a brightly lit fireplace on cold winter evenings. However, it remains unused during the warmer months, thereby collecting dust.
Most people tend to forget that having a fireplace (and therefore, a chimney) comes with great responsibility. Just like your car, it won’t keep running with maximum efficiency without maintenance and repair. As a homeowner, you should keep the chimney clean and in good working condition. The National Fire Protection Agency recommends all homeowners to inspect and clean a fireplace once a year.
Here are five benefits of a yearly cleanup of your chimney.
1) Improved Efficiency
One of the leading benefits of cleaning your fireplace is improved efficiency. Whether you are using a wood-burning or a gasoline furnace, regular cleaning will help you lower your heating costs considerably.
Over time, creosote and other debris such as leaves and bird nests build up in your chimney. Most people forget to clean the ashes and fire debris from the firebox regularly as well.
All these factors reduce your chimney’s efficiency. Regular cleanup ensures optimum flow of air through the chimney, which allows you to start the fire quickly. It also allows the smoke to escape efficiently, keeping your house clear of poisonous gases.
2) Longer Working Life
Regular maintenance can save you fuel costs in the long run. It can also help extend the lifespan of your fireplace. Annual inspection allows you to spot the problems that may turn into pressing issues if ignored. So, you get time to address the issues well in advance.
Every chimney gets exposed to various harsh elements. Dry leaves from your lawn, birds, and pests, and water coming from rain are your three biggest enemies. Ignoring water leaks can lead to rusted chimney accessories, rotted wood, water stained walls and ceilings, and possibly even the collapse of your chimney.
A professional chimney cleaning provider will not only clean creosote and debris such as bird nests and leaves but also check your furnace for possible cracks and water leaks. They provide chimney waterproofing services, helping you avoid costly water penetration damage.
3) Reduced Fire Hazards
Creosote buildup can decrease chimney efficiency. But, being inflammable, it is also a fire hazard. Woodfire often releases unburned gases. These gases, when condensed, accumulate on the inner walls of the chimney over the years, forming a shiny and tar-like substance known as creosote.
Using dry and well-seasoned wood can reduce the creosote buildup. But still, you can’t avoid creosote formation from burning wood altogether. The extreme heat generated by your fireplace can ignite the creosote buildup, causing a destructive chimney fire. Creosote buildup is behind nearly three quarters of all heating fires and 25% of residential fires.
Creosote buildup is rather hard. Professionals use chemical solutions to clean the creosote buildup quickly and efficiently. Usually, once a year is enough to clean the creosote buildup, but you may need to do it twice or more depending on your chimney use.
4) A Healthy Living Space
A dirty chimney can also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. The incomplete combustion (when fuel burns without enough oxygen) of fossil fuels such as wood, coal and natural gas produces carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly. Those affected by it can suffer from nausea, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, vomiting, shortness of breath, and loss of consciousness. These symptoms may seem like the flu at first. That’s why carbon monoxide poisoning is deadly as it is difficult to detect unless you have a carbon monoxide detector.
The only cost-effective solution to this problem is to keep your chimney clean. Whether it is chimney cleaning in Seattle or New York, just make sure it is performed by a professional. You should also install a carbon monoxide tester and alarm. Check it regularly to ensure it works.
5) Benefits Your Home Insurance
Most insurance companies require homeowners to get their chimney swept once a year from a professional. If you ever need to make a claim, the insurance company may take into account the last time you had a professional chimney sweep. Usually, a professional chimney care provider will give you a certificate after cleaning your chimney. You can use this to fulfill your home insurance requirements.
Chimney cleaning is a critical task that no one should ignore. Hopefully, understanding the various benefits of chimney sweeping will help you take the right steps and plan your next chimney sweep sooner than later. Do make sure to hire an experienced, well-trained, and well-known professional for the job. Get ready to enjoy a warm and cozy winter evening with your family.