Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Getting Organized for Winter - Your Chimney

Fall is an excellent time to prepare your fireplace or woodstove for use in the winter. It's another way to prepare your home for sale in the spring, if that's the case. Actually, the best time to clean your chimney is in the spring after your last use. But if that is not the case, it may be good to have it cleaned before you use it again.

How long has it been since you've had your chimney cleaned? The research I've read says you should have your chimney cleaned every year - more often if you use it frequently. Monthly if you use it as the main heating source for your home. Other sources say to clean your chimney after you have burned a cord of wood or when there is a 1/8-inch accumulation of creosote on your chimney wall.

Creosote is the problem - a gummy substance that collects on your chimney walls. If it builds up significantly, it can cause a fire in your chimney which usually must burn out by tiself. This can cause your chimney lining to crack. Authorities suggest burning lengthy fires that reach over 400 degrees, which cuts down on the creosote build-up. Burning short, low-temperature fires "to take the chill off" produces creosote.

How to find a reputable chimney sweep? The Chimney Safety Institute of American recommends: "A complete chimney sweeping includes the chimney flue and smoke chamber....Ask for a Level 1 chimney inspection and a chimney sweeping. If the sweep doesn’t know what a Level 1 inspection is, find one that does. A Level 1 inspection is detailed in the National Fire Protection Association 211: Standard on Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances." (This publication for chimney sweeps lays out the requirements that should be followed.)

You can clean your chimney yourself, but it involves going up on your roof. My personal feeling is that this is a job that would warrant hiring a professional! They take the risk and they don't make a mess!

No comments: