Your fireplace likely hasn’t seen much use this summer, as our hot, humid weather in Hammond, LA has left people far more interested in air conditioning than heating. But fall is officially here and with cooler weather comes the need to open up those chimney flues and warm your home with a nice cozy fire. However, all those months sitting unused may have created problems with your fireplace or made existing ones more difficult. Before you use your fireplace this fall, it pays to schedule a maintenance session with a trained technician to look for some of the common problems.
Birds and other animals can build nests in your chimney during the off-season. When you light a fire, they could cause the smoke to billow back into your home, or worse: start a fire in the chimney itself. Improper ventilation can also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning in your home. Make sure your chimney is clear of all blockages before the heating season starts.
2. Creosote Build-Up
Creosote is a flammable tarlike substance that forms on the sides of your chimney as you use it more and more often. It represents a threat for the same reason that birds’ nests and similar blockages do: it can start a chimney fire which can very quickly spread to the rest of your house. On a less dire note, creosote build-up can prevent proper ventilation of your chimney and cause smoke and other toxins to enter your home.
3. Damage to Your Chimney
Physical damage on the outside of your chimney – trouble with the bricks and masonry – should be fairly easy to spot and should be promptly addressed before you use your fireplace. More subtle but equally important is damage to your chimney lining, which can result in dangerous heat transference from the chimney to other parts of your home. Get your lining checked every year and repaired if necessary.
For repairs and maintenance for your fireplace and chimney, the folks at A Professional Heating and Air are standing by!