Your chimney needs to safely channel fumes from your fireplace up and out of your house. A burning fireplace, even if you use a smokeless fuel such as natural gas, will produce fumes that are not healthy. Chief among these fumes is carbon monoxide. A well-functioning flue will make sure that doesn’t happen. Your flue operates on a principle known as the stack effect, or the chimney effect. The stack effect is fairly simple; the air in your chimney is heated by the fire that is burning, which makes it less dense than the air outside of your house. Also, since the chimney is heating the air in your house, that air is less dense.
Therefore, the less dense air rises out of your house through the flue. The warm air rising pulls cool air in from outside through open doors, windows, and anywhere a draft can be found. That’s known as the air exchange. It brings fresh air into your house and ushers the smoke and fumes up through the chimney. If the flue is not built properly or not completely open, it can hamper that process.
Not Built Correctly
In some cases, a flue is open but not built properly. The flue needs to be built out of certain certified materials because the temperature of the rising air is very important for the stack effect. If the flue is not made of proper materials, it can leak too much heat, which would cause the air to condense and could cause fumes to build up inside the flue. To avoid such a problem, you need to have a chimney sweep inspect your flue before you use it for the first time. You can find a contract chimney sweep in Crawley to do this work for you. They’ll be able to inspect the materials as well as the design elements.
Some of the design elements are important as well. The flue needs to keep the air warm so it rises quickly out of your house. Also, it needs to be designed with the smoothest transition of air in mind, which means reducing any design elements that could create air turbulence. These are important features to have in a quality flue. After that initial inspection the first time you use your chimney, you won’t need a chimney sweep again for a few months. Here’s how to determine when to call a chimney sweep again.
A chimney sweep cleans your fireplace and your chimney, and can also repair the actual brick around your chimney. If you’re burning a smokeless fuel such as natural gas, you only need a chimney sweep to come clean your flue about once a year. If you’re burning wood, peat, or coal, you need the chimney sweep to come quarterly, which typically means about every three months. However, if you’re only using your fireplace about half of the year, t you probably only need the sweet for those months you’re using it.