Most people don’t actually know the difference between the words “chimney” and “flue” and in fact use them interchangeably. Both are important parts of any home with a furnace or fireplace, and both need to be cleaned regularly – chimneys need sweeping and flues need cleaning.
What Is A Flue?
A flue is the exhaust pipe that vents smoke or gas from a boiler, furnace, or water heater. Each of these appliances should have a flue that runs through your house to the outside.
What Is A Chimney?
A chimney is a type of flue that runs from a fireplace and vents combustion byproducts like smoke, soot, and others. A chimney can also run from a wood-burning stove. The chimney includes a flue that runs up the center of it, usually made of steel or ceramic.
How Does Flue Cleaning and Chimney Cleaning Occur?
Since the chimney is technically a type of flue, chimney sweeping is technically a type of flue cleaning. However, a chimney sweeping is more intensive and complicated. The combustion byproducts, namely soot, and creosote, that build up in a chimney make cleaning it more difficult than cleaning a normal flue. Utility flues won’t need aggressive cleaning or specialized equipment, but a chimney likely will because the creosote and soot that builds up sometimes takes intensive cleaning. Creosote and soot result from the burning of wood or pellets, which utilities like a water heater don’t burn, and they can be caustic and require special expertise to remove. Utility flues usually only have build up of scale and sediment, which is much easier to deal with. The main similarity between cleaning a flue and a chimney is that either could potentially be clogged, more often than not by an animal nest.
How Often Should They Be Cleaned?
Whether you’re cleaning a chimney or a flue, make sure it happens at least once a year for the safety of your home and family. If they’re not, you could find that carbon monoxide builds up in your home because it can’t vent through the clogged chimney or flue. Exposure to carbon monoxide can make people sick, especially older people or kids, and can even result in death.
Call the Experts at Champion Chimneys for Flue 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.