It’s winter in Edmonton, so what do you do? You open your wood-burning fireplace to start a fire. But before you can do more than open the doors, a big wave of soot pours out onto your floor.
If this is a problem you’ve experienced, it means it’s time for a full cleaning of your chimney and fireplace!
Why Should I Have my Chimney Cleaned?
Although many modern homes have switched to clean gas fireplaces, wood-burning fireplaces and wood stoves still have a place in older homes (and in the hearts of those who love the smell of woodsmoke along with the mesmerizing dance of real flames). Unfortunately, the comfort and warmth of a blazing fire can also cause buildup in your chimney that can be dangerous when it’s not properly cleaned out.
Here are the top two reasons to have your chimney cleaned out regularly:
It could be dangerous and unhealthy to leave your chimney blocked.
When you burn wood in your home, it’s not just smoke that rises. Soot and tar build up in your chimney with every fire burned, which can be dangerous for a few reasons.
First, if your ventilation is blocked, you could be letting carbon monoxide into your home. Carbon monoxide is known as a “silent killer” because it can’t be smelled or tasted, and it can cause extreme sickness or even death.
Second, you could be at risk of a chimney fire, which would cause flames, embers or sparks to shoot out of your chimney, potentially setting your roof on fire. This is a major risk to your home, which is why it’s extremely important to get a professional cleaning before lighting up.
It’s messy and hard to clean yourself.
Chimneys are full of sticky and messy remnants from fires. This includes soot and creosote, a residue often found in chimneys, which is a chemical compound formed from the incomplete burning of wood.
Although there are some DIYers who prefer to clean their own chimneys, hiring a furnace and duct cleaner with experience in cleaning fireplaces and chimneys is a more effective solution. It’s also cost-effective because it’s a simple add-on service for your regular furnace and duct cleaning.
If you do choose to try to clean your chimney yourself, be sure to take proper precautions. Use a mask so you don’t breathe in soot, creosote, or cleaning chemicals, and use long gloves to prevent residue from getting on your skin. Be particularly careful with creosote, as it has been qualified as a carcinogen for humans.
When Should I Have My Chimney Cleaned?
The length of time between cleanings will depend on what type of wood you’re burning and how often you use it. Many homeowners opt to have their fireplaces and chimneys cleaned once a year to guarantee the safety of their families and homes.
Even if you don’t use your fireplace often, you should still have a chimney cleaning and inspection to ensure there aren’t any lingering fire hazards trapped inside.
What Does Fireplace and Chimney Cleaning Look Like?
If you’re imagining the soot-covered chimney sweeps of centuries’ past, you might be in for some disappointment. You could hire local chimney sweep services, but it’s typically more cost-effective and efficient to have your chimney cleaned out alongside your HVAC system. The entire operation is actually very neat and modern.
We use age-old tools like whips in combination with modern tools like high-powered vacuums to fully clean out your fireplace and chimney. To book your chimney cleaning in Edmonton or the surrounding areas (or to add this service to your regular HVAC cleaning), get in touch with us today!