Why You Need to Clean Your Oil-Fired Furnace Chimney

Did you know that oil is the dirtiest burning fuel? If you have an oil-fired furnace, not only should you have your furnace inspected every year, you also need to have the chimney inspected and cleaned annually, because oil’s by-products of combustion can be very volatile and corrosive. And neglecting to clean your oil furnace can lead to significant deaths, injuries and property losses.

Spring or summer is the best time to have your oil chimney cleaned. During the winter, your oil-fired furnace can run for long cycles, which can produce soot that may adhere to the sides of your chimney. Eventually, this soot may fall to the base of your chimney or on top of your oil furnace. This soot can buildup and restrict the flow of flue gases such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor. Over time, carbon monoxide (a tasteless, odorless, poisonous gas) can build up in your home with this soot buildup if your furnace is not properly vented or your chimney isn’t properly swept.

Additionally, soot is made up of carbon and sulphur. When this sulphur mixes with rain water or moisture from the flue gases that is absorbed into the clay flue tiles, these tiles will eventually start to deteriorate in a process called flaking or spalling. Sulfuric acid can also corrode metal chimney linings, too. Small pinholes can form in the liner compromising its integrity. In both clay and metal liners, this deterioration can lead to potential fire and health hazards.

Therefore, the National Fire Protection Association 211 codes state that “chimneys must be inspected and cleaned annually as necessary by a certified chimney sweep” like those from T.J.’s Chimney Service. Many people think that their furnace service technician will inspect and clean the chimney – but this is a misconception! The tech may shovel out the base of the chimney and brush the connector pipes, but the tech will not clean the chimney. The professional chimney sweeps at T.J.’s Chimney Service will inspect the entire chimney – the interior and the exterior – as well as clean the chimney.

So take care of your oil furnace flue this summer before the cold air returns this fall by calling 317-455-5310 to schedule your flue inspection and cleaning today. Our technicians can detect and correct any potential problems to ensure your chimney’s safe and efficient operation.