If there is ever a time that you have no heat or hot water, you might be surprised to know that most boilers and furnaces, regardless of the fuel, vent through the chimney. The purpose of the chimney is to carry the flue gasses and exhaust up and out, so it doesn’t vent into the living spaces. As a safety feature, when the boiler or water heater can’t do that, it shuts down.
A chimney is designed to safely and effectively remove dangerous byproducts of burned fuel. When it becomes clogged, it can’t properly perform this important role. Birds’ nests, tree foliage, trash, and other debris can clog your home chimney, making it dangerous to use. Soot and crumbling bricks are also hazardous; if the chimney’s flue is not kept clear, your home is at risk every time the heat kicks on. Your home’s structure and age may also play a part in the overall health of its chimney.
You might think to call the plumber or the heating company, but please read here to know the warning signs of an obstructed chimney and gain a sense when you might call us!
Warning Signs of an Obstructed Chimney
A blocked chimney may be hard to diagnose on your own, but there are some telltale signs to watch for. These warning signs include:
- An exhaust smell when the heat comes on
- No heat or hot water
- Carbon monoxide detector warning
- Excessive soot at the base of the chimney
What Can Cause an Obstruction?
- There are three main causes of chimney blockages:
- An excessive build-up of soot or creosote (tar)
- Birds, squirrels, or other small animals nesting in the chimney
- The collapse of the internal chimney bricks/tiles
Chimney Flue Repair
Clearing an obstructed chimney is a job best left for a professional. We have the tools necessary to reach and remove the debris clogging the flue. How quickly and easily the chimney is cleared will depend on how small the blockage is. To prevent clogs in the future, an annual chimney sweeping is recommended. Regular cleanings will keep your flue clear while also warning you of any potential problems before they turn into costly chimney flue repairs. Installing a chimney cap on the chimney can also help limit the number of clogs your chimney experiences. Stopping debris from entering the system in the first place, can provide a proactive approach to chimney maintenance.
If you suspect an obstructed chimney, contact Boston Best, and we can help diagnose and fix the problem.