Magazine article Sunset

For Santa's and Safety's Sake, Cleaning You Chimney

Magazine article Sunset

For Santa's and Safety's Sake, Cleaning You Chimney

Article excerpt

Clean chimneys not only keep the soot out of Santa's beard, but are good protection against dangerous chimney fires. So, before you burn too many more yule logs, it's a good idea to have your fireplace professionally cleaned and inspected. The flammable gunk that chokes chimneys is a byproduct of combustion. As gases in the woodsmoke rise, they cool, condense, and combine with moisture released by wood to form creosote, a solid substance that coats the chimney lining. This coating can ignite suddenly and even boil out of the chimney onto the roof, causing a catastrophic house fire. Long chimneys, which allow more smoke to cool before it exits, can add to buildup. Some airtight woodstoves are especially prone to creosote buildup, because their fires tend to smolder more than fires with access to more oxygen. The search for soot You should have your chimney checked once a year and cleaned regularly. The first step is to seal the fireplace opening to keep soot from entering the house. …

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