By now, you should be well-acquainted with the dangers of creosote. When this substance builds up on the walls of your chimney, it can be exceptionally flammable. In fact, creosote build-up is the leading cause of chimney fires. But what if there was a way to reduce creosote build-up?
Many people feel as though creosote is an inevitable part of lighting fires. This is true. Still, there are steps you can take today to slow down the speed at which it builds up in your chimney and to mitigate the risk of a residential fire. Here are some tips to help you reduce creosote build-up.
Use Dry, Seasoned Firewood
If you’ve been lighting fires for some time, you’re probably very familiar with the virtues of seasoned firewood. It just makes life easier. Wood that isn’t properly dried out and seasoned is far easier to burn. But more than that, it’s safer.
Seasoned wood does not produce nearly as much creosote during combustion as unseasoned wood. For this reason, we recommend only burning firewood that has been seasoned for at least six months. When wood is properly seasoned, you will know. It has a gray or even silverfish appearance, and doesn’t feel as heavy.
If your wood gives off excess smoke, the odds are that it hasn’t been seasoned enough. If this is the only wood you have access to, be cautious and schedule more than one chimney cleaning annually.
Avoid Artificial Logs
We understand why so many people feel drawn to artificial logs. They are easier to light than even the most well-seasoned of firewood. If you aren’t a regular fire lighter, you might feel tempted to just pick up a few of these from the store for a special occasion. That said, there is some evidence to support that burning these actually causes an increase in creosote build-up. For this reason, you might want to avoid them.
Warm Up the Flue
Do you ever have to contend with a cold flue? Often, when first lighting a fire, smoke will come into the room instead of up the flue. Lighting a bit of newspaper and holding it up the flue will help to direct the smoke where it should be going.
You might have done this before, but never considered how this can help to reduce creosote build-up. The truth is that a cold flue can contribute significantly to the build-up of creosote because it can form condensation, to which creosote adheres more easily.
Build Efficient Fires
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to the efficiency of your fires is the importance of airflow. If you don’t have sufficient airflow, the fire will produce more smoke and creosote will build up more quickly.
For this reason, try to stack your fire logs thoughtfully. If you close the glass fireplace doors, consider leaving them open a crack to help with airflow. Many people have issues with sparks flying out of the fireplace and onto the carpet. The solution to this is a metal mesh screen, which allows airflow while preventing sparks.
Call the Experts at Champion Chimneys for Chimney Cleaning Today!
Champion Chimneys, Inc. is a fully licensed, bonded and insured chimney service company that has been serving customers in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland since 2001. Our team is trained and certified by Certified Chimney Professionals, Inc. (CCP, Inc.). Courteous service is our trademark, and our crews arrive on time in uniform, driving fully equipped trucks. We specialize in all aspects of your chimney system. Whether you need chimney and flue cleaning service or a full chimney rebuild or inspection, contact us at 443-Chimney today and let us fix all your chimney problems. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.