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DIY Maintenance to Keep Your Chimney Running in the Winter

As winter weather approaches, you may be wondering what you can do to keep your chimney running efficiently and safely. Of all of the things you can do, the most important is hiring a professional from Guaranteed Chimney Services to inspect and sweep your chimney. Only a professional can detect certain problems that your chimney has that could cause it to run inefficiently or unsafely. Not only this, but a professional is prepared with the equipment and knowledge necessary to thoroughly clean your chimney.


However, there are other things that you can do in order to ensure that your chimney runs safely and efficiently throughout the cold winter months. In fact, the way you run your chimney on a daily basis affects the longevity and overall health of your chimney.

The most important things you can do to keep your chimney running smoothing over the course of the winter months involve the way you run it. First of all, if you have a wood burning appliance, you should be aware of the type of wood you are burning. The best thing you can do for your chimney is to only burn seasoned cordwood. Unseasoned wood has moisture trapped in it that, when burned, can lead to an increase of creosote build up in your chimney. Creosote is a fire hazard as well as blocks hazardous gases from leaving your home. By only burning seasoned cordwood, you reduce the rate of creosote build up in your chimney in addition to decreasing your risk of chimney fires. Also, do not leave your fire to smolder, which can also cause creosote build up.

Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure the damper is fully open when you are using your chimney and fully closed when you are not in order to ensure proper ventilation. You should also never start a fire with a liquid fire starter or use a lot of paper in your fires, which will cause your fire to be too hot. To prepare for the worst, you should also make sure that your fire detectors are working properly in addition to installing a carbon monoxide detector.

If you have a woodburning stove, you know that burning wood creates a lot of ash. However, it is good to leave some of the ash in your appliance in order to create better fires and protect the floor of your firebox. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, you should leave no more than an inch thick layer of ash on the floor of the firebox. Any more can cause the premature burning out of your grate. Of course, at the end of the winter, you must remove all of the ash in order to prevent the drawing in of moisture by the ash which can cause parts of your appliance to rust.

If you have not yet had your chimney inspected and cleaned this season, give Guaranteed Chimney Services a call. They will make sure that your chimney and appliance are in top shape to run this winter as well as be able to give you additional tips specific to your chimney for DIY maintenance.

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