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Don’t Be On Santa’s Dirty List!

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Christmas is just around the corner. It’s only a matter of days until St. Nick himself is ready to slide down your chimney to deliver presents. This year, make sure you don’t get put on the naughty list for having a dirty chimney. Get your chimney swept before Christmas arrives!

Don't Be On Santa's Dirty List Image - Ann Arbor MI - Clean SweepsHow often should my chimney be swept?

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, all chimneys should be swept at least once per year. This guideline applies to all fuel-burning heating appliances. Including gas fireplace and appliances, wood and pellet stoves, and inserts. Chimney sweepings help remove any buildup of soot, ash, and creosote in the fireplace and flue. They also check for blockages in the flue and any signs of damage or deterioration to the chimney structure.

Annual chimney sweeps should still be done even if your fireplace is only rarely or infrequently used. In fact, sweepings in these situations can even be more important! If a fireplace is only used a few times per year, many of the performance problems that indicate a chimney issue may not be immediately noticed. Because of this, an annual sweep can help determine if there are any blockages, problems, or damage to the fireplace or chimney.

If your home’s fireplace or stove is used as a primary heat source it may need to be swept more often. As a general rule, a chimney should be swept any time there is 1/8th of an inch of soot accumulation in the flue. Under normal conditions this amount of buildup is caused by burning, on average, a full cord of wood. If you are using more than a cord of wood each burning season, you may need to have your chimney swept again mid-winter.

Benefits of a swept chimney:

An annual chimney sweeping is about more than just keeping Santa’s red suit clean. The following are just a few of the benefits of having a swept chimney.

  1.  Improve venting. A buildup of soot or other debris in the flue can prevent proper venting. This causes smoke, ash, and other byproducts of combustion to back up into your home.
  2. Avoid chimney fires! Creosote, a highly flammable byproduct of fuel burning fires, can accumulate in the flue over time. If not removed, it can be accidentally ignited by stray sparks or embers from the chimney, leading to a damaging chimney fire. Creosote ignition is the leading cause of chimney fire – and is entirely preventable with regular chimney sweepings.
  3. Prevent chimney damage. Creosote does more than just cause chimney fires. It can also damage your chimney liner and flue. Regularly removing creosote and soot, as well as having the exterior of the chimney structure inspected, can help prevent chimney damage. In addition, it can extend the lifespan of your fireplace system.

Don’t get on Santa’s naughty list by having a dirty chimney this year. Instead, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today to schedule your chimney sweep – before Christmas arrives!