Most homeowners know about the need for wood-burning, gas and pellet-burning fireplace to be inspected and cleaned. But if you have an oil furnace, did you know your chimney furnace also requires regular maintenance? The flue to your oil furnace should also be annually swept and inspected, and will eventually need to be relined.
Scheduling your oil furnace flue cleaning and inspection
Just like any combustion appliance, your oil furnace generates soot and gases each time you burn it. In the winter, oil furnaces work overtime, running long cycles to keep your home warm. During these long cycles, the oil flue accumulates soot and debris. Chunks of soot will begin to fall to the base of the chimney, accumulating on the top of your chimney furnace. That debris can interfere with the venting of your oil furnace. At an extreme, it can block carbon monoxide from safely exiting your home, putting those inside in danger. Additionally, the soot that accumulates within your chimney is highly corrosive; It can cause a breakdown of your oil chimney flue when it’s allowed to sit on the walls for a while.
To keep your oil furnace’s chimney clean and safe from soot, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends having your oil furnace flue swept and inspected by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep at least once per year. The CSIA recommends having your oil furnace flue cleaned in the spring to remove damaging soot as soon as possible. When you schedule service for your oil furnace, beware that many furnace technicians will remove debris from a brick firebox, but they will not fully clean and inspect the chimney.
Having your oil furnace flue relined
Eventually, you may find that your oil flue needs to be relined. The liner will eventually break down after years of abuse from your furnace exhaust. Or, if you have your oil furnace replaced, you may have to have your furnace flue relined to accommodate your new unit. Many older, less efficient oil furnaces required larger chimney flues. Newer, more energy efficient models require much smaller flues. In that case, your oil furnace flue will have to be relined to optimize the efficiency of your new furnace and prevent problems with draft or other operation.
If your home is warmed with an oil furnace, this is the time to schedule your oil furnace chimney’s annual chimney sweeping and inspection. Total Chimney Care can help! Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps can clean and inspect your oil furnace flue to ensure safety and efficiency. If your oil furnace flue needs to be relined, call Total Chimney Care! We can fit your oil furnace flue with a new liner to optimize its function.