Total Chimney Care's Blog

We clean and reline oil flues, too

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.

modern steel chimney on house roof


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.

By Steve Sobczak on April 15th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Service Your Oil Flue Annually

All heating appliances need regular maintenance, whether it’s an open-hearth chimney, a heating stove or a furnace. If you have an oil furnace, your annual service is especially important! Here’s why you should service your oil flue annually and what to expect from your annual oil flue service.

Why oil flues require maintenance.

Like any combustion appliance, your oil furnace generates smoke, soot, and gas. As your oil furnace burns, all of those combustion byproducts travel up your oil flue and out of your home. In the process, however, soot is deposited on the walls of your chimney flue. If left unchecked, that soot can cause several problems. First and foremost, the soot is highly corrosive; it can eat away at the walls of your oil flue, causing holes and leaks that prevent the flue from safely venting dangerous smoke and gases from the furnace. The buildup in your oil flue may also run back through the system. It can land on the furnace itself and buildup, blocking the working components of the furnace.

In addition to causing your oil furnace to malfunction due to a buildup of debris, failing to clean your oil furnace can cause carbon monoxide to build up dangerously in your home. If your flue is clogged, the carbon monoxide generated by your furnace’s combustion will back up into your home. Also, if there are gaps or holes in the furnace flue, carbon monoxide can seep out of the cracks and holes and into your home. Either way, a dirty oil flue can lead to a dangerous, or even deadly, buildup of carbon monoxide in your home.

What to expect during an oil flue service.

So what exactly will your technician do during an oil flue cleaning? First, any openings that allow soot to enter your home will be sealed. Then, your technician will disconnect the pipe that attaches your furnace to the chimney. That pipe will be cleaned, and the chimney will be evaluated to see whether it needs to be swept. If the chimney has too much of a buildup, your technician will use high-powered brushes to sweep soot and debris from your flue. Any debris swept from the flue or from the connector pipe will be vacuumed away.

After the sweeping, your technician will perform another crucial task: the annual inspection. Your chimney technician will inspect your oil flue and all of the connecting components to look for any signs of damage or weakness that could pose a danger to your home or your family. If any problems are found, your technicians will make recommendations to have your flue repaired to restore its safety.

Who to call for oil flue cleaning.

Are you wondering who can service your oil furnace flue? In New Haven and Fairfield, you can call Total Chimney Care! We provide full-scale oil flue cleaning and inspections to keep your furnace running efficiently and safely. Call to schedule your appointment today!

By Steve Sobczak on January 12th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Don’t Forget Your Chimney’s Oil Flue This Fall

Most homeowners know the importance of having their fireplace chimneys and furnaces inspected, but many homeowners forget the cleaning and inspection of another vital chimney system: their oil flue. Just like fireplaces and furnaces, oil flues require regular cleaning and inspection to keep them running safely. Many homeowners with chimney flues assume that their annual furnace maintenance will include a cleaning of the chimney flue, but the reality is that it rarely does. While furnace technicians will often shovel out the base of the chimney and brush the furnace’s connector pipes, the furnace technician usually will not clean and inspect the chimney from top to bottom. A full oil flue cleaning and inspection requires the services of a certified chimney sweep.

Many homeowners with chimney flues assume that their annual furnace maintenance will include a cleaning of the chimney flue, but the reality is that it rarely does. While furnace technicians will often shovel out the base of the chimney and brush the furnace’s connector pipes, the furnace technician usually will not clean and inspect the chimney from top to bottom. A full oil flue cleaning and inspection requires the services of a certified chimney sweep.

The Importance of Oil Flue Cleaning

Just like the chimney flue that vents your fireplace, your oil furnace’s flue should be swept and inspected at least once a year, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America. That’s because the oil combustion within your furnace leads to a buildup of soot within the chimney flue. Over time that soot can build-up and prevent your oil furnace from running safely and effectively. A buildup of soot can lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide in your home, or to a chimney a fire. At the very least, the soot that builds up in your oil furnace flue is highly corrosive. It can cause the chimney flue liner to break down. Flakes from the liner can fall onto the furnace and cause it to malfunction, or the liner can break down to the point where it’s no longer safe. Signs your oil flue needs to be cleaned

Signs Your Oil Flue Needs Cleaned

One of the worst-case scenarios we see is neglected oil flues causing furnaces to malfunction in the middle of winter. This leaves homeowners to deal with emergency repairs to keep their homes warm. An oil flue cleaning can help to prevent mid-winter furnace breakdowns. Even if you have your oil flue cleaned, you should be on the lookout for these signs of a dirty flue:

  • Black smoke billowing from the combustion chamber
  • Excessive heat coming from the combustion chamber
  • Strange odors coming from the furnace
  • Burning through more fuel than usual

If you notice any signs that your furnace flue could be clogged — even if you had your flue cleaned for the fall — call to have your flue inspected and cleaned, if needed.

Call Now!

Don’t wait until you have a problem; schedule your oil flue cleaning today!

The biggest mistake you can make is to wait to have your oil flue cleaned and inspected after a clogged chimney causes a malfunction with your furnace, or worse, a chimney fire. To ensure your oil furnace is ready to safely heat your home this winter, call Total Chimney Care to schedule your oil flue cleaning today!

By Steve Sobczak on October 2nd, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment