Have you used your fireplace yet this season? If not, it’s just a matter of time before you revert to fall and winter habits as the days grown shorter and the outdoor chill becomes begins to rattle your bones.
But hold on a second. Because to ensure the safety of your home and family, it’s important that you have your fireplace and chimney professionally cleaned and inspected once a year. While they’re at it, your cleaning service can determine how much creosote has built-up since the last cleaning and remove what’s there – among other routine steps they’re trained to undertake.
Creosote forms from wood, paper, and cardboard that don’t burn very well. That’s typically caused by not enough air circulation in the fireplace and chimney. Plus, creosote is combustible and can emit unpleasant odors which will invade your living spaces anytime a down draft occurs. Worse, combustibility can lead to a fire which can work its way into your living space.
Creosote also can spawn mold and mildew once it blends with rain and snow. That, in turn, creates the potential for respiratory issues for you and other family members.
Not ready to contact s professional chimney cleaner just yet? At the very least, grab a flashlight and look up your chimney for creosote which will look like a black lining against the bricks. If your chimney has been cleaned recently, there may only be some grey or black dust. If it’s gone past the dust stage, it will black and flaky. And then there’s the most flammable type of creosote: thick and crusty.
If, however, you do opt to have your fireplace cleaned pre-season, your cleaning company also can check for and remove any animals – dead or alive – that may have found a home there.
Here’s something else to put on your fall “must do” list: contact Air Professionals for our heating system preventive maintenance service. It’s your best assurance of steady and reliable performance, fewer repairs, lower repair costs, and lower utility bills. We look forward to adding greater comfort and convenience to your winter indoor season, picking up where your fireplace leaves off.