Do you call in your chimney sweep to clean and inspect your chimney and fireplace or heating stove each year? It’s recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America to do so. However, there’s one more thing you should have your chimney sweep inspect: Your utility flue.
In most homes that rely on gas or oil heating, your service flue provides ventilation for your furnace and water heater. Just like your fireplace’s chimney, the utility flue requires annual maintenance. This is to keep your home safe and your appliances operating efficiently. Your chimney sweep likely is trained in servicing utility flues as well as chimney flues.
Why you should have your utility flue swept and inspected by a certified sweep.
The primary concern with a utility flue is the development of a blockage. What happens if your utility flue is uncapped or becomes damaged? Consequently, animals, leaves and other debris can find their way into the flue and cause blockages.
These blockages can prevent the carbon monoxide created by the combustion in your furnace or water heater from exiting your home safely. That carbon monoxide can build up to dangerous levels within your home. This puts your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning! Symptoms of this poisoning include nausea, fatigue, headaches, organ damage, or death.
Another reason to have your utility flue swept and inspected annually? Well, the soot created by your furnace or water heater’s combustion is highly corrosive to your metal utility flue. If that soot is allowed to sit and build up in the walls of the flue, it can cause damage over time. A utility flue sweeping will clear damaging soot from the walls of your utility flue. In addition, during the sweeping, your chimney sweep will look for signs of damage within the flue.
Finally, your utility flue should be cleaned and inspected regularly. This is to maintain the efficiency and health of your combustion appliances. What if your appliances aren’t venting properly due to a partially blocked flue? It can decrease both the efficiency and the lifespan of your appliances.
When to have your utility flue swept.
As we mentioned above, the recommendation is to have your utility flue swept and inspected annually. To help you remember, you can have your utility flue swept and inspected when you have your fireplace chimney swept and inspected. Also, most homeowners know that they should check their furnace and change filters each fall; if you include a utility flue sweeping in your annual maintenance, it will become a habit you aren’t likely to forget.
It also is recommended that you have your utility flue swept and inspected when you purchase a new property. The sweeping and inspection will ensure that the flue is clean and in good repair. Also, that it is properly sized for the appliances and that it adheres to building codes.
If you are due for a utility flue sweeping, call Fluesbrothers to schedule an appointment today!