Friday, October 1, 2010

Heating System Maintenance

Today, the storm windows went back up.  And it was time for the final maintenance check on the chimneys by our resident Chimney Sweep MM before we light the stove for the first time this season. 

It's one of the most important jobs to be done in the fall.  Making sure no soot or creosote has pasted itself to the chimney is critical.  Chimney fires are no fun.  Speaking from experience.  Luckily, we've only had one and it was confined to the chimney and did a great job of cleaning it completely.  But, believe me, it's not the preferred method of "sweeping" the chimney.  The sound of a chimney fire alone is enough to terrorize owners of woodburning stoves to be pro-active when it comes to keeping their chimneys and stovepipes free of that black shiney stuff.

Here's how --visually-- it looks--the supplies, the tools, the sweep and the results...

This is what everyone who uses a woodstove should be using!  Follow the directions on the container and make sure to use it regularly.  Both are important, but especially the Creosote Destroyer.  There are several brands.  Check with your local hardware store.  Chances are they'll have it.  I'll mention here that one of the reasons to burn dried (rather than green) wood is the prevention of creosote formation in your chimney.  Also, it's important to select wood carefully for the burning quality.  Wild cherry, for example is among the worst of the creosote-creators.  It can gum up the chimney faster than any wood I can think of.

These two heavy duty brushes do a great job of scraping the inside of the chimney.

Extensions screw together so the brush can be rammed down the flue and hauled back up again.  In our case the chimney length (the longest one) is 18 feet.

I drag the good old shop vacuum into the house and suck out the dust and chips of dried creosote from each chimney. And we clean the stovepipes, as well.  A round brush is ideal for the pipes.

The creosote, if any,  makes a whale of a mess when it comes down the flue, but the vacuum does a great job of containing the debris.

And, when we're all done and the temperature dips, we'll enjoy the warmth of the Waterford with a merry flame in the window, and soup burbling on the back of the Pioneer Maid.

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by to visit this past week!
It's going to be a lovely fall weekend here JOTOLR!
Hope the same's true in your neck of the woods!
See you Monday!

1 comment:

  1. Yep, we have those same brushes -- and that same chore ahead.