Airflow – Cleaning Your Chimney and Stove

Cleaning Your Chimney

Its very important for safety and the clean burning of any solid fuel that your chimney is kept clean and free from soot and tar residue. This will help avoid the chance of chimney fires and keep your stove burning and drafting well. We do this annually every Autumn before wood burning season begins. It’s a messy but vital job and the soot is dangerous if inhaled. So most people use a professional chimney sweep. They will have the correct tools, PPE and equipment. They can alert also you to any potential problems you may have with your chimney or stove in good time.

Cleaning your Stove

Cleaning your stove’s air passages to remove any ash or soot that have accumulated is also vital in keep a good draft or airflow moving in and out of the appliance. Allowing ash or debris to obstruct these airways can be dangerous and will effect the oxygen / air available for a clean burn. The airflow through the stove to your chimney will be choked and restricted. This will need to be done several times every Winter in some stoves to ensure the free movement of air inside the stove. We find its best to use an ash vacuum or workshop vac with a piece of garden hose taped to the nozzle to get to the most inaccessible recesses in the stove. It’s a messy job, like cleaning your chimney, but one that is well worth the effort.
Most local chimney sweeps will clean your stove at the same time as sweeping your chimney.

Carbon Monoxide

In extreme cases allowing ash and soot to accumulations can even lead to carbon monoxide building up inside your home when the fire is lighting. This can be a very dangerous situation and you should always use a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you of high levels of CO gas.
We keep both a CO carbon alarm and a smoke alarm in the room where the stove is used.

Moisture Content – Dry Firewood Logs

It is always best to burn dry firewood. Burning wood with a high moisture content is inefficient and smoky because the fire burns at a lower temperature. The combustible materials are not fully burned and the smoke is more polluting as a result. The fire also uses too much of its available heat energy to evaporate the excess moisture during the burn, leaving less heat energy to heat your home, while also depositing tarry residue on your stove and flue pipes.

Key points

  • Keep your chimney clean.
  • Regularly clean your stove.
  • Use both carbon monoxide and smoke alarms.
  • Burn dry wood.