Dangers Prevented by an Annual Furnace Flue Cleaning
Furnace flues need to be inspected annually and cleaned regularly by a certified chimney professional, no matter what type of fuel is used. Many of our customers have said they thought their utility company or fuel supplier took responsibility for cleaning their flue, but that’s not correct. Furnace flues need to be checked by a trained chimney sweep to ensure they are safe to operate. Potential problems that can occur without proper maintenance include a house fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Oil and gas furnaces produce by-products which can literally eat away the flue lining. Any type of furnace liner that is breached can cause a fire, since heat can reach combustible parts of the home.
One of the most common problems that can occur with chimneys is blockage, no matter what type of furnace fuel is used. A bird’s nest and debris can obstruct the flue and cause soot blowback into the home.
When a clay liner deteriorates as a result of acidic condensates, it will break apart and can obstruct the flue opening, preventing gases from escaping. A metal liner can corrode and allow dangerous fumes to enter the home. Moisture in the chimney system can also cause deterioration and obstructions in the flue.
Blockage in a furnace flue is extremely hazardous because it can cause carbon monoxide fumes to enter the home. Because carbon monoxide is odorless and invisible, it is frequently referred to as the “silent killer.” The toxic fumes can go undetected in the atmosphere until they cause severe illness or death. A first line of defense against carbon monoxide poisoning besides regular furnace flue inspections is to install carbon monoxide detectors and check them regularly to ensure they work properly.
Before a furnace is converted to a gas appliance, cleaning the furnace flue is an essential step and is actually required by many building codes. Inspecting and cleaning the furnace flue is, unfortunately, not always done. As a result, the accumulated coal or oil soot eventually drips down the flue. The moisture produced by a gas furnace is the primary reason the deposits in the flue lining begin to run. Both the flue opening and clean-out pit can become clogged.
Another crucial element of a furnace flue that affects safety is whether or not size of the furnace flue meets the requirements of the appliance. The safe use of your furnace depends on proper sizing and configuration of the entire venting system.
A furnace flue inspection should be scheduled:
- At least once per year
- Before moving into a new home
- Before the installation of a new furnace
An important part of cleaning your furnace flue is removing and cleaning out connections of the venting system.
Our chimney sweeps are professionals who are fully certified and trained to clean all varieties of furnaces and heating appliances. Regularly scheduled furnace flue cleaning and inspection will help to prevent potential hazards.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110