With the sun setting earlier and temperatures falling, nothing feels better than warming up in front of a cozy fire. A clean and functioning chimney is essential to get maximum enjoyment and proper performance out of your gas or wood stove or insert. Signs of a properly working chimney include:
- Easily lit fires
- Smoke not filling the room when lighting a fire
- No smoke spilling out when maintaining the fire
- No odor or cold air from the hearth when not in use
The key reason to keep your chimney clean is to avoid house fires and the main way to avoid a risk is to avoid creosote build up. Creosote build-up is the biggest concern with wood-burning stoves and inserts, while soot and combustion byproducts can lead to a damaged flue liner with gas stoves and inserts.
Chimney cleaning can be pretty complex, so we definitely recommend a pro if you’re unsure of what all is involved. With that said, for regular upkeep with the right tools, we have some tips for DIY chimney maintenance.
- Buy a chimney brush that fits your flue and enough extension rods to run the full length of your chimney.
- Close the door to your stove or tape plastic across the fireplace opening.
- Work from above, with the damper open and the chimney cap off, thread the first rod onto the brush.
- Place the brush into the flue and scrub up and down as you go, all the way to the bottom, adding new sections of rod as needed.
- After removing the brush, check the chimney to make sure you’ve removed all build-up.
- Use a wet/dry vac to to remove all debris that has fallen during cleaning.