Hi, I am Melissa from NorthlineExpress and today we are going to talk about how to clean a Class A Chimney System. I am also going to discuss the importance of cleaning your chimney and how frequently you should be cleaning it. Whether you are an infrequent burner or you use your heating appliance as supplemental heat you should be cleaning your chimney system on a regular basis. The amount of cleanings that you will perform will depend on how often you are burning. Obviously the more you use the wood burner the more often you will need to clean the chimney but no matter the amount that you use your heating appliance you should at least be cleaning once a year.
The Importance of a Clean Chimney System
The vital importance for cleaning your chimney is because it is a safety factor. Not only can it cause problems such as blockages, drafting issues, and smoking issues, but the main reason is creosote build-up. The build-up of creosote is a sticky tar-like substance that naturally occurs when burning wood or other fuels. The amount of creosote build –up is what will vary depending on flue temperatures, type of wood being burned. Creosote is a very flammable substance so excessive build-up is very dangerous and can lead to a chimney fire if regular cleanings are not performed. If you are not comfortable with getting on your roof to clean the Class A Chimney System then I would recommend contacting a professional chimney sweep to come out and clean it for you.
Access the Chimney Cap
When cleaning your chimney it is not just about the build-up inside of the Class A pipe, creosote also builds up in the chimney cap. The chimney cap should be cleaned right along with the rest of the chimney system. The spark arrestor in the chimney cap is a spot where a lot of creosote will deposit. You will want to make sure that you remove as much of the build-up as possible. Another thing to check for in the chimney cap is blockages caused by the creosote. If there are blockages it can cause the chimney to have drafting issues or it can cause smoke to be pushed back into your home.
Today we are cleaning a Class A chimney that runs straight up through the roof with no bends or offsets. This is the most ideal type of run as the smoke will rise straight up and it is also the easiest type of chimney to clean. If you have a straight chimney run with a fireplace you can clean it allowing the creosote to fall into the fireplace and clean it out when you are finished. However, for this chimney there is an EPA certified wood stove on the bottom with baffles inside so we are not able to allow the creosote to fall into the firebox. So in preparation I have removed the stove pipe from the wood stove and placed an ash bucket underneath of the pipe to catch the debris. If you have a telescoping piece of stove pipe it will make this easier. If you do not then I would suggest that you remove each section of stove pipe, place it outdoors to be cleaned, then tape a garbage bag around the opening of the ceiling support box to catch the falling debris.
Cleaning the Class A Chimney System
- Gather the supplies: Chimney Brush, Rods, Ash Bucket or garbage bag, gloves, and ladder.
- Disconnect the stove pipe from your appliance and place the end of the pipe into the ash bucket or attach a garage bad to the ceiling support box.
- Use the ladder to climb on top of your roof, taking all of your supplies with you.
- Put all of your protective wear on before you begin the next step in the cleaning process.
- Attach the first piece of pipe to the brush. Insert the brush into the chimney. By pushing and pulling the brush and rod, begin to scrub the flue clean.
- Add another section of chimney rod to extend the brush further down the chimney. Continue in this fashion until you’ve cleaned the entire length of the flue.
- Once you have scrubbed the entire length of the chimney disassemble the rods as you pull them out of the chimney. Place all of your supplies back in the bag or carrier and climb back down from the roof.