If you burn wood for heat, there are things you have to be aware of and stay on top of to ensure the safety of your home and the occupants of it. The smoke that goes up the chimney is filled with gases that are side products of combustion. Even natural wood has things in it that can be bad for you and that can have an effect on the chimney, liner, and flu in your home. Taking the time to have a chimney cleaning every year is a good way to reduce the risks that come with burning wood.
What To Inspect
Before you start the wood burning season, you need to make sure that the wood stove, furnace, or fireplace you will be burning wood in is up to the task. Because it might be hard to tell if everything is working properly without training and a full understanding of how things are constructed on all this wood burning tools, it is best to have a chimney company come and take a look at the entire system. If there is a problem, you do not want it to be missed during this inspection. The chimney, the flue, the cap, and the stove or furnace need to be looked at. They all need to be working correctly without any cracks or openings that should be sealed. Damage to the fire box or any of the associated parts should be repaired before that first fire is built in it.
Cleaning the Chimney Properly
Creosote is a byproduct of wood burning and unfortunately, it does not go up and out of the chimney. It creates a sticky mess on the inside of the chimney that is not only messy but flammable under the right conditions. If a spark goes up the chimney and ignites the creosote, an extremely hot fire can burn inside the chimney and potentially crack the chimney lin and bricks, allowing heat and sparks to escape through the cracks and into the wood wall of the home. The result can be a fire inside the walls that can extend to the entire home, cause extensive damage. Having the chimney cleaned properly is important. You want all the creosote and soot out of the chimney so there is nothing to ignite.The best way to ensure this happens is to hire a professional to clean the chimney every year before you start using the stove, fireplace, or wood furnace.
Dry Wood Is The Best Wood
If you are going to burn wood, be sure to get dry, seasoned wood for your heating needs. Green wood is one of the biggest causes of creosote in your chimney and it is not very efficient. It burns smoky and slow, putting out a reduced amount of heat, which in turns means you burn more of it just to keep your home warm. If you are buying wood, make sure it is dry and ready to use.