Tens of thousands of house fires every year begin from the chimney. This happens because the creosote deposits inside the flue are highly inflammable. When they get in contact with the condensed hot air, combustion occurs. In order to protect your property and your family, you need to take effective measures for preventing creosote accumulation. Make sure that you adopt all necessary ones.
When wood burns, it produces a variety of byproducts including small tar and hard carbon particles. Since the temperature inside the chimney flue is lower, condensation occurs and these particles get deposited to form creosote. Given this, an effective way to reduce the accumulation of these particles, is to increase the temperature of the chimney. This can be done with proper insulation of the structure. The investment will be totally worth it.
You should also check whether the chimney is properly sized for your fireplace. When it is too big, drafts can appear inside it and cool the flue surface even further for even faster creosote accumulation. In this case, the problem can be resolved with the installation of appropriate lining which will shrink the passage for the warm air sufficiently, but not too much. Typically, steel lining is used for the purpose.
High Air Supply
When there is sufficient air supply in the fireplace and inside the chimney, the particles which form creosote are more easily expelled into the outdoor environment. In order for you to maintain the supply of air high, you need to open the damper widely and avoid the closing of fireplace glass doors, if you have any. You should avoid burning very large fires. These are simple steps, but they can be extremely helpful.
The Right Wood
It is essential for you to burn only seasoned wood in your fireplace. This is wood which has been left to dry for at least six months and preferably for over a year. It has extremely low moisture content so it burns more easily and with fewer byproducts. You should avoid burning freshly cut wood. Similarly, you should refrain from the use of logs with artificial packaging. These simple steps will help to keep creosote deposits minimal.
All of the measures described above will help to reduce the rate at which creosote gets accumulated and the amount of the deposits. However, they cannot work to eliminate this problem completely. That is why regular chimney cleaning is required. This will help to reduce the risk of chimney fire to the very possible minimum.
The most important thing of all is for a strict chimney cleaning schedule to be followed. In this way, the accumulation of creosote will never be large enough to cause serious threat. The optimal cleaning frequency will depends on the condition and structure of the chimney system and on how often you use the fireplace.
When you take all of the appropriate measures for preventing creosote build-up, you will be able to use the fireplace as often as you want. You will have complete peace of mind that you and everyone around will enjoy great warmth and perfect safety as well.