Ah, it’s October 3 and the chill is in the air. The temperature was in the 40s last night and I couldn’t get enough of the covers. What a change from the humid 90s we were feeling just a month ago.
There are a few things that need to get done in the Autumn. They creep up on you and become less and less pleasurable the colder it gets. Among others, the two chores I am talking about today are cleaning out the fireplace chimney and also cleaning out the pellet stove in the basement.
Now, everyone knows that when spring arrives, you basically close up the damper in the fireplace and call it a season. I mean, the last thing on your mind is to actually clean the fireplace and chimney to prepare it for the next season. That would make too much sense and why do today what you can put off until tomorrow, right?
Well, today was the day I decided to clean the chimney. I pulled out my chimney brush and those fiberglass rods I bought from the pellet stove place last year and went to work. I think I bought five six foot rods. That length of rods pushes the brush all the way to the top of this colonial that we live in and pops it out of the top of the chimney. It took less than ten minutes to get the whole thing brushed.
There are a few things you need to concern yourself with when cleaning out a chimney. First, you will need to remove the damper and take it down. You won’t be able to get the brush up into the chimney flue without removing the damper. Second, after pushing and pulling the brush up and down the flue for a while, you will need to remove the brush and vacuum out the area up in back of the fireplace. Basically, this is the area behind the damper. This is very important. The guy at the fireplace store told me that serious problems occur when people fail to clean that area properly. It can get very hot back there and with all that buildup, well, you get the idea.
Overall, the job of cleaning a chimney isn’t very difficult, but not something to look forward to. If you have a relatively new home and a chimney in good condition, I highly recommend you go to a fireplace shop and buy the equipment to clean your chimney yourself. Have the pros only come out for an inspection every few years. You will save a lot of money by doing this.
Oh yeah, when I clean the chimney of the house we are currently living in, I do it from the bottom. This house’s roof is very steep and cleaning the chimney from the bottom is quite simple. As long as the house is warmer than the air outside, most of the dust is vented right out the chimney.
Now, regarding that pellet stove. I haven’t exactly cleaned this yet today, but by tonight, I hope to get it all finished. I really want to try out those new soft wood pellets I got a while back.
For my yearly cleaning of the pellet stove, I simply disassemble as much as I can and use my shop vac with a HEPA filter to vacuum everything I see. About every other year, I disassemble the fan area and the exhaust piping in the back to do a real thorough cleaning. The stove burns fairly clean, so this is all it’s needed through the years. I am excited to try these new pellets because they are supposed to offer a hotter burn with less ash. We’ll see.