“Preventive maintenance is the key to eliminating the threat of a chimney fire,” says Andrew Simpson, of Saanich’s Aero Furnace, Duct and Chimney Cleaning.

5 things you need to know BEFORE lighting that first fire this fall

Why proper chimney maintenance is essential

While a roaring fire might be the last thing you’re thinking about right now, summer is actually the best time to get your chimney cleaned.

Not only will you beat the fall rush, but you’ll light that first fire confident that your fireplace is working both safely and efficiently.

“Preventive maintenance is the key to eliminating the threat of a chimney fire,” explains Andrew Simpson, of Saanich’s Aero Furnace, Duct and Chimney Cleaning. “It’s also essential to use trained sweeps who know what to look for and know how to properly inspect your chimney.”

When wood is burned in a properly working fireplace or wood-burning unit, smoke is drawn up the chimney and into the outside air, depositing particles on the inside of the chimney and fireplace. This creosote is flammable, and as it builds up in a chimney, it creates a fire hazard.

Over time, you may notice the fireplace doesn’t draw as well as it did, which can cause smoke to drift or billow into the room when a fire is lit.

1. Make it an annual affair: The Saanich Fire Department recommends homeowners have their chimneys checked annually, and cleaned when necessary. How often will depend on factors such as how often you use your fireplace and what you’re burning, but leaving it too long between cleaning can lead to more costly cleanings or repairs. “We recommend any wood-burning flue that is in use be cleaned every year,” Simpson says.

2. It’s not only for wood-burning units: Oil chimneys, furnaces and boilers are also at risk. “Oil soot can clog a chimney or furnace, causing it to malfunction. Inspecting the chimney system will also ensure it’s venting correctly – you don’t want poisonous gas seeping into your house,” Simpson says.

3. A certified sweep is a must: As WETT-certified chimney sweeps, the Aero team has the proper training to sweep your chimney correctly, recognize problems and issues and conduct WETT (Wood Energy Technical Training) inspections, comprehensive inspections of your wood-burning unit and chimney.

4. WETT inspections for home insurance: As the only chimney sweep training recognized by insurance companies, WETT inspections are often required for homeowners to receive insurance coverage on their unit. “We provide a full report with pictures, checklists and comments, and a letter for your insurance company. We also fill out any forms they may require,” Simpson says.

5. Burn smart: NEVER burn garbage or treated wood in your fireplace and ensure the wood you do burn is dry and seasoned, not wet.

Learn more at aeroservices.ca

 

The Aero Furnace Duct and Chimney Cleaning team.

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