We’re of an age when every few years our doctor prescribes a colonoscopy. It’s not something to look forward to, but it makes perfect sense. Early detection catches cancer while there’s time to take effective medical action.
The same goes for wood stoves. Wood is our main heating fuel, and we burn several cords each winter. To keep our home safe, we hire Midtown Chimney Sweeps each June to remove soot from our chimney and do a stove and flue safety check.
Burning wood can cause two types of chimney deposits. Burning unseasoned wood or restricting air coming into the stove can create a dangerous buildup of creosote. Too much creosote and soot in the chimney are a recipe for a chimney fire. They’re scary and cause homes to burn down and endanger lives.
We prevent this by burning only dry wood and burning at a fairly high stove air intake. These steps prevent the fire from smoldering all night and avoid creosote buildup. We let our fire die out in the late evening and restart it the next morning.
We’ve never had a creosote buildup, but soot does lodge in our chimney. Midtown removes it early each summer so we’re ready to light the stove on autumn’s first crisp evening.
A colonoscopy reduces the odds of dying of colon cancer. Stove and chimney cleaning reduce the odds of a serious house fire. Both are smart to do.
Note: Many companies do excellent work cleaning chimneys. We were not paid by Midtown Chimney Sweeps to mention their company in this blog. They simply have always done good work at our home. We encourage anyone who uses a wood stove or fireplace to keep it in good working condition and have it and the chimney cleaned regularly.