Homeowners spend a lot of money trying to upgrade the efficiency of their homes and oftentimes the investment is well worth it. An efficient home can save you money on home heating and cooling costs, allowing you to use less fuel to keep your home at the environment you want it to be at. Oftentimes, energy efficiency is achieved through sealing doors and windows, or regulating your thermometer. However, homeowners who own a fireplace or stove might have another way to improve their home’s heating energy efficiency. We here at The Chimney Guy can’t stress enough the importance of having a clean chimney. Although cleaning creosote from your chimney is often viewed as a safety measure, having a clean chimney can also improve your appliance’s heating efficiency.
When you burn wood for fuel, byproducts in the form of smoke, soot, and secondary gases are released. These byproducts are created when a fire isn’t hot enough to burn them off. This is why hotter fires generally produce less smoke. When these byproducts travel up your chimney, they cool and condense on the inside of your chimney. After a while, this condensation will accumulate and begin to harden into a black tar-like substance called creosote. Creosote is a highly flammable material will continue to build up and start to block your chimney flue.
Your fireplace or stove needs air movement to . When you start a fire and your chimney heats up, it will pull air from your home through your fireplace and up your chimney. This pulling effect, called draft, gives your fire a fresh supply of air to keep it burning hot, and therefore, more efficient. However, if you neglect to clean your chimney for a while and allow creosote to build up, your chimney system can become clogged and your draft will be insufficient, creating a situation where your fire won’t burn as hot or efficiently. It should also be noted that creosote is combustible and chimneys clogged with creosote are a fire hazard.
Cleaning Your Chimney
If you have an insufficient draft, the best way to improve it is to sweep your chimney clean of the creosote that is causing the blockage. Chimney sweeping should only be performed by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep. Only a CSIA certified chimney sweep, like the ones at The Chimney Guy, have the knowledge and experience to make sure your chimney is clean and your fireplace is running at top efficiency.
If your fires aren’t putting out as much heat as you would like, it may be a sign of a potentially hazardous blockage. If you notice these types of issues, don’t hesitate to give Green Bay and the Fox Valley’s number one chimney sweep, The Chimney Guy, a call at 920-830-1920 or schedule an appointment online to have your chimney inspected today.
We look forward to keeping you warm, and efficient, this winter!