I have a co-worker who is a new homeowner, and she was just asking me
about how frequently I get my chimney cleaned.
We have a fireplace that we use a lot in the winter, and we have it
cleaned every year. But she doesn't have any woodburning appliances in
her home, just the oil furnace, and this is what she was talking about.
We get our furnace cleaned annually, it's leased and the
cleaning/maintenance is included in our lease price. I didn't have any
idea we needed to get the chimney cleaned for the oil furnace! Am I
nuts, or is she? :)
In 50 years my parents never had their oil furnace chimney cleaned until it
was almost a disaster. I would at least recommend a chimney cap so a
squirrel doesn't build a nest in it like at my parent's house.
My cap blew off, and blew off again after reattached. Didn't get it
replaced for a few months or more, and white crud started coming out
of the seams where the flue bent around to go into the chimney. I
guess it was a mixture of water and soot and something else.
I'm sorry. Didn't the first two replies tell you the chimney should
be checked. How did you get from that to, If the furnace works fine,
then the chimney is clean.
You just heard what you wanted to hear.
You don't watch the tech when he is there? If not, call them and see
if that is part of their routine furance iinspection/claning, or at
least make sure someone checks it the next time. afaicr, you didn't
say how many years you've been there.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
That "white crud" is actually sulfur that's eating away at your flue pipe
and chimney. It should be going out the top of your chimney with the flue
gases. Your heater stack temp is probably too low. IMO, a net stack
temperature should be no less than 325 degrees F, and preferably at least
Call it uneducated! Yes, an oil burning furnace
and the chimney need to be inspected annually for
correct operation and the chimney needs to be
cleaned out every few years. If the burner is
working ok, the inspection should take about 10
minutes and you can learn to do it yourself.
Unburned stuff falls down and if it accumulates
you might find the stuff blown throughout your
house. Happened to my parents, every surface in
the house needed to be clean and all the walls and
ceilings painted. He could have avoided that by
just cleaning out (that's what the opening is
called) the bottom of the chimney.
replying to KD, AM in MA wrote:
Chimney Safety Institute points out that oil burner servicepersons do not clean
out the flue, and only some even check it. They recommend annual service that
checks and cleans the flue:
Granted, they are in the business of chimney sweeping; we have a new flue liner,
the warranty for which requires annual maintenance, but it seems to me at least
every two years would be a good idea, esp. if you use the burner a lot in the
winter as we do in MA. If you don't, be sure you have a good CO monitor!!!
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