Using your fireplace and chimney efficiently makes the home warmer and keeps your costs down. Anyone who has a fireplace should learn how to build a fire quickly. This will slow creosote buildup, and keep smoke from spilling into the home. Problems like ceiling moisture and bad smells in the home can point to a less than efficient system. No chimney is perfect, and some are in bad shape due to neglect. Here are some of the features of well maintained and regularly inspected systems.
- Proper waterproofing. Chimney masonry can absorb water when it rains. In winter time this can be a big problem when the water freezes. This puts a lot of stress on the surface material, and it will start to flake off. Protective sealants will minimize absorption and maintain the structure for years.
- The right sized flue. Some people make the mistake of incorrect flues for their chimneys. This can reduce efficiency and it can cause harmful gases to seep into the home.
- A properly insulated flue. Good flue insulation helps to keep the flue gases warm. This promotes efficiency as the gases will move upwards quickly.
- An efficient ventilation system. Poor ventilation can affect the chimney draft. This has a negative effect on the movement of smoke from the chimney and it can cause air loss when the chimney is not being used.
- A working damper. The damper should always open and close easily. If it starts to stick this could be due to rust, and this could point to another problem. Damper rust is usually caused by moisture intrusion. The source is usually weak flashing, but damage to the crown could also be the reason.
- The chimney is the correct height. Building codes govern the height of these structures, but there have been cases where poor construction has led to problems. The positioning and the height of the chimney are important factors for efficiency. Typically the chimney should be at least three feet higher than the spot where it protrudes from the house. Poor location can keep flue gases from staying as warm as they should, so they will move more slowly through the system.
One main thing that good chimney systems have in common is regular inspections and cleaning by a sweep. Maintenance increases efficiency and extends the life of the structure. The chimney sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service are CSIA Certified and we have years of experience under our belts. We strive to continue our education as often as possible so we’re always in the position to offer you the best possible chimney services in Drexel Hill and all along the Main Line. Call us at 610-626-2439 to discuss your chimney needs or to schedule an appointment for a chimney cleaning, chimney inspection, or chimney repair.