When the cold weather arrives, it is best to have everything ready before it surprises you. All heating systems must be in tune to have a warm home with the right temperature. If you have a fireplace, it will also need to be ready when you need it. The first thing you should do is to check its operation by performing the corresponding cleaning.
Cleaning the chimney is simple but of great importance since the correct combustion and smoke output depend on it to ensure the safety of the people inside the home. The maintenance of the chimney can be done in different ways with chemical or mechanical methods without much risk and by applying some very practical tricks.
How to maintain the chimney to avoid frequent chimney cleaning
There are different ways to clean the chimney and enjoy the pleasant heat that comes out of it. Maintenance is simple and fast. How you do this will depend on the type of chimney you have at home and how long you have been out of compliance with the cleaning. It should be noted that this is an essential appliance to appease the cold during the winter.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, the main objective will be to remove all the soot that has stuck to the walls and the exhaust pipe over time. You can remove the soot yourself or use professional de-soot removers; this is the mechanical way. All you need is a sturdy, lightweight, spiked chimney sweeper brush to do the following:
- Start by making sure the chimney is completely cool.
- Cover the areas closest to the chimney with plastic. This prevents soot from spreading unpleasantly on the floor and nearby furniture.
- Wear glasses and a mask to protect your eyes and avoid inhaling ash residues to do the work. You can also wear gloves.
- Insert the chimney cleaning brush to start with the de-sooting. You must scrape to remove the soot; this is the best way to do it since the brush will not damage the refractory bricks of the chimney. The brush is effective in removing ash, resin, and creosote residues.
- When the pipe is completely clean, pass the brush over the walls and bottom of the combustion site.
- Collect soot and dirt with a shovel and the chimney brush. If you prefer, you can use a vacuum cleaner.
- Use crumpled newspaper to remove soot residue if your fireplace door is glass.
Cleaning the chimney with chemicals
Chimney cleaning products on the market make the job easier. You can use them for periodic cleaning, i.e., during the season of use, between 15 days, or one month between maintenance. Get chimney sweeping logs and cleaning bags; both accomplish the same task and work similarly. Follow these steps to keep your chimney spotless:
- Light the chimney and let it heat up for about 30 minutes, so the product will release the soot more easily.
- When hot, place the cleaning bag or log in its wrapper over the fire. You just have to let it burn completely so that it can do its job.
- Once the fire is consumed and the chimney is completely cool, remove ashes and dirt.
It should be noted that there are simpler ways to clean the chimney; they are home methods that you can apply without complications. For example, use a mixture of vinegar and water to wet the brush and scrub for several minutes until the stains are removed. Also, with baking soda, create a paste and sprinkle it in the chimney to clean.