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  • Chicago Homeowners Love Their Woodstoves – Why You Should Inspect it Now

    Chicago Homeowners Love Their Woodstoves – Why You Should Inspect it Now

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    Chicago homeowners are fans of woodburning stoves. Due to their northern location, winters can be downright cold, and these woodburning stoves provide an efficient and cost-effective way to heat their spaces. Much like a traditional fireplace, though, woodstoves should be inspected regularly. Here are some of the reasons to do so and the potential dangers associated with the foregoing of an inspection.

    Creosote Buildup

    Woodburning stoves and fireplaces share many similarities. Because they both burn wood, they are both subject to the potentially dangerous buildup of flammable creosote. This residue sticks to the sides of the flue liner and builds up over time, and if it builds up enough – meaning your flue isn’t being cleaned frequently enough – it can catch on fire. Though some flue fires put themselves out without causing extensive damage, in some cases, the flue fails completely and the fire spreads to the wood frame of the home causing catastrophic damage.

    Deadly Carbon Monoxide Gas

    Though creosote is a common concern among homeowners who use woodburning stoves, carbon monoxide can be just as dangerous, and in many ways, it’s even more dangerous. This odorless, colorless gas is poisonous and can even be deadly. Woodburning stove inspections can help prevent it by ensuring that the damper – the flap that allows smoke to travel from the stove to the outdoors – is in good working order and that your stove is properly vented. Inspections can also ensure there are no clogs or nests that may prevent the carbon monoxide from escaping, too.

    Leaks Can Cost Thousands of Dollars

    Another reason to ensure that your woodburning stove is inspected once each year is with the likelihood of leaks. The area where the flue comes out through your wall or roof is one of the most common areas for leaks to occur, and it’s important to keep everything in good shape. During your inspection, the technician will look at everything from the flue or chimney cap to the flashing and ensure that moisture cannot enter areas where it shouldn’t be. Failing to do this can result in many months of rain and meltwater finding its way around your home’s wooden frame and causing rot, dangerous mold, and thousands of dollars in damage.

    How Often Should You Have Your Woodstove Inspected?

    Now that you understand the importance of a clean and properly inspected woodstove in your home, you may have questions about the frequency of these inspections. If you use your woodstove infrequently, you can schedule your cleaning and inspection each year – ideally just before the heating season to help ensure uninterrupted warmth. If you use your woodstove more frequently, such as for your primary heating source, then you will need to clean it (and your chimney or flue) more often. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends a professional cleaning when there is 1/8 of an inch of buildup in the flue or chimney.

    A woodstove can be an outstanding source of supplemental heat, and in some cases, it can even serve as your home’s main source of warmth. However, just like a traditional HVAC system, keeping it in good repair is vital for your safety. Schedule an inspection for your woodstove before the cold season hits to promote safety and efficiency. Contact us today to schedule your next woodstove inspection appointment.

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