So you’re a diligent homeowner who gets the chimney cleaned every year, but are you sure you are doing enough? These structures do not only require maintenance, users have to do their part to help them operate efficiently and to prevent heat loss. If the fireplace is just for show, then you still have to worry about heat loss and the impact it will have on your monthly bills. Sealing the flue will keep your heating system from working too hard and driving your costs up.
Start With an Inspection
If you have been neglecting this aspect of your chimney maintenance, you should schedule an inspection as quickly as possible. Many chimney defects are not immediately visible, so it will take an expert to spot them. If there is damage to the flue it is best to deal with this before the winter season. Before you get an inspection, make sure that the chimney sweep offers proof of certification from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).
Other Important Tips
Close the damper if there is no fire in the fireplace. The chimney is one of the easiest places for heat to escape the home. Many people simply do not realize that this can happen. Over time, the chimney damper can become warped, and this will allow heat to escape even when it is closed. This does not mean that you have a poor quality damper just that it may have served its time. Over time, exposure to extreme heat will affect dampers making it necessary to replace them. Depending on usage of your fireplace and chimney, your chimney sweep can help you create a schedule of when these may need changing.
Consider installing a heat-air exchange system to boost the efficiency of your fireplace and chimney. It helps to remove stale air from the home while keeping the heat in. There are different types on the market, so don’t buy one before making a comparison first.
Inspecting your fireplace is another way to keep your chimney in good shape. Your home can lose heat through the seals around the flue damper. Make sure they are holding up, and consider installing tempered glass doors to seal off the fireplace when you are not using it.
Look for the best sealant products to protect your chimney from moisture intrusion. Moisture can eat away at the chimney masonry. How fast this happens varies depending on factors such as how often you use the chimney and the general weather conditions. Talk to one of our experienced chimney sweeps about why it takes more than regular cleaning to keep this structure intact, and help it operate efficiently. Lou Curley Chimney Service is located in Drexel Hill and we provide all types of chimney services throughout the Main Line. Call us at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.