Is it Time for Furnace Flue Maintenance?
Chimney sweeps are needed for furnace flue maintenance as well as annual chimney inspections. Many homeowners are unaware that their furnace flue is not maintained by the utility company or the fuel supplier. Several hazards can arise as a result of a neglected furnace flue, and they can be life-threatening dangers.
Furnace flues can become blocked, can allow a blowback of soot into your home, and can even cause poisonous carbon monoxide fumes to enter your living space. By scheduling routine furnace flue inspections with our chimney professionals, you can be assured that your furnace is safe to use.
Furnace flues don’t have exactly the same potential problems as wood-burning stoves or fireplaces or their chimney systems, but the hazards can still be very serious. For instance, an acidic condensate is a by-product of gas and oil furnaces. The flue lining can literally be eaten away, which causes more problems. If a clay liner begins to deteriorate, the broken bits can cause an obstruction which prevents gases from exiting out of the flue. Blockage can cause carbon monoxide to enter the home. The poisonous fumes are the leading cause of accidental poisoning in the U.S. What makes carbon monoxide especially dangerous is that it is virtually impossible to know it’s there without the help of a carbon monoxide detector. The fumes are invisible, odorless, and tasteless. These life-saving devices should be installed in all homes that have fuel-burning heating systems; and they should be routinely checked to ensure they are working properly.
Furnace flues can be blocked in other ways besides deterioration caused by acidic condensation. For example, animals and birds will often enter a home through the chimney, if the access isn’t prevented by a chimney cap with mesh. Birds’ nests and other types of debris can easily block the flue. Chimney masonry can deteriorate and cause restriction of the flue, as well. For safe operation of the furnace, the flue must be cleared of all types of obstructions to prevent the potential hazard of carbon monoxide poisoning.
A crucial component to the safe operation of your furnace is the proper configuration and sizing of the entire venting system. Our chimney professionals understand the importance of checking the manufacturer’s requirements for sizing of the furnace flue when installing the venting system. One of the issues that can occur when the flue size is incorrect is that there can be excess moisture in the combustion gases. Moisture is the biggest enemy to a chimney and flue system.
If an appliance is converted to using gas, many building codes require that the flue be cleaned and inspected prior to making the change. When this step is overlooked, various problems can occur. For instance, an accumulation of coal soot or oil can drop down the flue, partly because of the additional moisture produced in a new furnace’s stack gases. As a result, the flue opening and clean-out pit both can become clogged.
Best Times to Schedule a Furnace Flue Inspection
Before you install a new furnace in your home, the furnace flue should be inspected and cleaned. In addition, the flue should have annual maintenance, to ensure the continued safe operation of the heating system.
Contact our qualified chimney sweeps for installation, inspection, and cleaning of your furnace flue.
Chimney Solutions, Inc.
1155 McFarland 400 Drive, Alpharetta GA 30004
Office 770-691-6707 / Toll Free 877-697-9337