Cleaning Your Chimney

September 1, 2015

Yes – Burning fires in your stove  leads to the accumulation of soot and creosote in your chimney. Cresote is a flammable, sticky substance that could cause chimney fires if it’s not removed. Now Burning Kiln Dried Logs will reduce the amount of soot and creosote in your Chimney, However, it is still important to clean your chimney at least once a year. There are a number of Chimney sweeps in Dublin that are professional and will provide a good service.

If however, you wish to clean yourself, consider picking up a few tools from the hardware store and clean the chimney yourself. This article provides instructions for cleaning a chimney,

Firstly – Clean your  stove

Maintaining your stove by cleaning it on a regular basis will extend the lifetime of the stove and save you money.

A dirty stove will make your room messy and dirty from ash so you will want to clean it on a regular basis, such as once a month or every two weeks, it’s up to you. A clean wood stove will burn more efficiently and will be safer to operate. According to the EPA nearly 7% of all home fires in the US are caused by creosote buildup in the chimney, so in addition to cleaning your stove make sure to clean out your chimney pipe often.

Maintaining your stove by cleaning it on a regular basis will extend the lifetime of the stove and save you money. A thorough cleaning will really improve your stoves draft and efficiency. I advise cleaning your stove more often in the winter when you are using it more heavily than you do in the summer.

What to Burn, What not to Burn

We at Bestlogs  recommend that you only burn Kiln dried logs. Please do not burn paper, plastic or any other flammable materials in your wood burning stove. Starting off your fire using a bit of paper is okay, but you should not burn paper  in the stove.  Never burn wood that has had chemicals applied to it such as pressure treated, painted or varnished wood, or any MDF. Nor should you burn green wood unless you want to burn water.

Burning materials other than dry wood will produce hazardous fumes inside your home, and  produce chimney emissions that are bad for our environment. Some materials could even pose a risk to the metals that make up your stove, or create a hazardous buildup of creosote in your chimney.

Cleaning Wood Burning Stoves Chimney,

Step 1: Remove any firebricks that may obstruct the chimney brush when you clean the stove pipe. Loosen creosote to fall onto the bottom of the stove and not anywhere else in the stove. If you find a broken fire brick, replace it.

Step 2: You will need a long handled brush made specifically for cleaning out stove pipes, make sure the diameter of the brush fits your stove pipe or you will have problems moving the brush up and down to loosen the creosote. A chimney brush that is the wrong size may even get stuck in the stove pipe, which is a hassle to remove.

Step 3: Push your chimney brush into the chimney pipe and move it up and down vigorously to loosen all the built up creosote and soot in the pipe. The soot and creosote will fall to the bottom of the stove in the firebox.

Step 4: After cleaning the chimney pipe and replacing its top,  Go back to the firebox in the stove and scoop out all the black creosote which has fallen as a result of cleaning the stove pipe, place the debris in a metal ash can and cover with a metal lid. Don’t forget to replace the firebricks if you removed them.

Step 5: Now is the time to use a vacuum if you are using one to clean the inside of the firebox. Vacuum around the edges of the seal and other small areas and ledges where ash has collected. If you don’t have a vacuum use a small brush to do this job. Move the brush using short, light, gentle strokes so as not to stir up a lot of fine dust. If your stove has a floor clean out under the firebox, empty it into the ash can.

Step 6: Once you have cleaned all the ash out of the firebox to your satisfaction clean the ash off the seal on the door. If you are using a vacuum, simply vacuum off the seal. Otherwise use your brush to clean the seal.

Step 7: Last, if you have glass on the front of your stove door clean it as your last step. If the soot is built up heavily on the glass, you may want to buy a cleaning solution that is made specifically for cleaning the glass on a wood burning stove. These products will typically contain ammonia. If you decide to use the vinegar, water, and soap solution, spray the solution onto the glass, then wipe down the glass with newspaper or paper towels. Repeat this several times rubbing the paper towel or newspaper vigorously to remove all of the soot buildup and to polish the glass. This step may need to be repeated several times and may take some elbow grease, but is well worth it to have clean glass through which to view the dancing flames of your fire. You can also use the ash from the fire, Deep a cloth into the ash and rub onto the glass.

Not comfortable cleaning your wood stove by yourself? you can always hire a chimney sweep who will do a professional job and check your stove over to ensure its operational safety.

Enjoy your stove and stay safe!