Labor Day has passed and as if on cue, the weather today has finally lost it’s oppressive humidity and is delightfully cool here in the Centre County area of Pennsylvania. It is also a reminder that Top Hat’s calendar will be filling up so be sure to call in to have your flues prepared for the coming winter months.
Many of my customers are astounded to learn that it is not only wood/pellet/coal flues that need swept but also oil and gas flues as well. Why do they need cleaned? Can you have a flue fire in a furnace flue? Doesn’t the furnace company take care of cleaning everything?
Well, yes, you can have a flue fire in an oil flue, and no, the furnace company does not sweep or inspect your furnace flue. They service the furnace only, inspecting and adjusting/cleaning it. And a sweep – such as Top Hat’s certified sweeps – do the maintenance and inspection of the flue. We don’t do their jobs and they don’t do ours.
As for the Why? Why do I need my gas or oil furnace flue serviced? Just look at the picture below!!
We were called out to a home because the owner needed clearance of their chimneys to be able to rent this home. They had just bought it. No inspection was done on the chimneys (just the normal home inspection that had missed this severe and costly problem) We found this disaster waiting to happen. This chimney was neglected for years. It services an oil furnace. You can see just how deteriorated the chimney had become starting to actually block the flue from being able to vent the furnace properly.
The problem with oil and gas flues is that they produce a by-product that actually eats away at the lining of a flue. The terra cotta liner then starts to break apart and can even fall in and block the gasses that are supposed to escape up your flue. This is a VERY dangerous situation that you will never see on your own. Gasses can be then blocked and venting back into the home with the severe possibility of making the residents sick or even in some cases of Carbon monoxide poisoning, killing the residents.
So the word today to all my customers and those of you who land on this page: Get your flues looked at by a sweep that has been certified. Don’t leave this important yearly job to chance!
Use Top Hat this fall for all your chimney needs.
Gratefully, Your Sweeps