Our Technicians Can Properly & Safely Clean Your Woodstove
Like wood-burning fireplaces, woodstoves need to be regularly cleaned in order to keep up with the creosote deposits that naturally develop as you burn wood. That’s true whether your stove is connected to a traditional masonry chimney or a metal one. Creosote, which is the result of condensed smoke, will build up along the route the smoke from your wood fire travels — in the firebox, in the smoke chamber, all along the flue — and in order for the chimney to function properly and as safely as possible, that creosote needs to be removed.
The Process of Cleaning Woodstoves And Chimneys
To properly clean a woodstove and its chimney, Old Hat Chimney Service technicians will first take steps to protect your home, laying out drop cloths from the front door to the work area. We’ll then use specially designed tools and a powerful HEPA-filtered vacuum to remove creosote from the flue walls all the way to (and including) the stove itself.
With a clean stove and chimney, we’ll perform a Level 1 inspection of the system to ensure that there isn’t any damage hiding that will adversely affect performance or safety levels.
How often this needs to be done will depend on how often you use your stove, but the CSIA’s recommendation is to have masonry chimneys swept when creosote levels have reached an 1/8-inch thickness, or when the deposits are noticeable in a prefabricated unit. If you keep up with the recommended annual inspections for your system, the stove and chimney will be cleaned before your inspection. But particularly heavy stove use may make it necessary to clean your system more frequently. Old Hat technicians can help tailor a sweeping plan that makes sense for your system and your needs.
Ways To Minimize Creosote Build-up
Some homeowners can get a little lax from time to time about what they burn in their woodstove, in part because the repercussions of burning items other than seasoned hardwood aren’t always obvious. Although tossing items in the stove may seem like an easy way to get rid of trash, to avoid creating more creosote and higher levels of toxic gases, you should only burn seasoned hardwood in any wood-burning appliance. Burning wood that hasn’t been dried properly will cause a cooler burn, which produces more creosote (and often leads to Stage 3 or “glazed” creosote, which is extremely combustible and very difficult to remove). Plastics and items that are painted or treated with chemicals can give off toxic fumes when they’re burned.
Buying seasoned or kiln-dried hardwood is a good bet, but you can always use fallen timber too, once it’s dried. A good rule of thumb for drying wood is to leave your chopped, stacked pieces somewhere where they aren’t exposed to moisture (in a shed, or covered with a tarp) for six months to a year before burning.
Ready to schedule your woodstove cleaning? Call Old Hat Chimney Service at 770-529-2654 or click here to make an appointment with our experienced technicians.