If you have an oil-burning furnace, you may not realize that you need to have its flue cleaned annually. Many homeowners believe the oil service company takes care of this task; however, the majority of oil furnace technicians will only shovel out the base of the chimney and brush the connector pipes. Additionally, these technicians will often tell you the chimney looks good, even though they do not inspect the entire chimney. Just like the chimney of a wood-burning or gas-fueled fireplace, your oil furnace flue should be cleaned annually, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Our chimney sweeps at All Seasons Chimney are experienced with cleaning oil furnace flues, and we would like to share with you some information about the importance of cleaning these flues once a year.
Why is it so important to have my oil furnace flue cleaned annually?
Your oil-burning furnace has long running cycles during the winter. These cycles produce oil soot that can stick to the flue walls and eventually fall to the base of its masonry chimney or even directly into the the top of the furnace itself. This fallen build-up of soot can cause a flue blockage, which can trap nitrogen, carbon dioxide, water vapors, and the toxic gas, carbon monoxide. Your flue should be cleaned annually to protect you and your family from carbon monoxide flowing back into your home.
What other damage can soot do to my flue?
Since soot is a combination of sulphur and carbon, it can cause your flue to begin to deteriorate. This occurs when the sulphur mixes with rainwater or water vapors and becomes absorbed into the flue tiles, which causes spalling, cracking, and flaking of your flue. A damaged flue also puts you at risk of carbon monoxide leaks.
What if I have a stainless steel flue liner?
Even though a stainless steel liner will not rust, it can become corroded by the sulphuric acid reaction of oil soot. This corrosion causes tiny pinholes to form in the liner, and this ruins the liner’s ability to contain the byproducts of combustion, such as smoke and carbon monoxide.
What can I expect from an oil furnace flue cleaning from All Seasons Chimney?
When our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps arrive, they will first set up their equipment and seal off any areas which may allow soot to enter your home. Next, our sweeps will disconnect the pipe connecting the furnace to the chimney to sweep it and then reconnect the pipe. We will then inspect the exterior and the interior of your chimney to look for potential problems. Finally, our sweeps will loosen all soot deposits and clean the flue before restarting your furnace. This sweeping and inspection is your best defense against expensive chimney and furnace repairs.
Since the best time to clean oil furnace flues is in the spring after the heavy winter usage, contact All Season Chimney today to schedule a cleaning. We guarantee we will rid your flue of all soot deposits to make it safe to use.