FLUE CLEANING $149.95
Many homeowners are unaware that their furnace flue, boiler flue, and water heater flue—collectively referred to as utility flues—also require regular cleaning. (Newer, high-efficiency furnaces and water heaters that have PVC "power vents" are an exception.)
Utility flues should be cleaned regularly in order to remove buildup and to ensure appropriate draft so that dangerous fumes and smoke have an escape and do not build up inside your home. Uncapped flues especially are prone to clogs from debris and nesting animals, creating a fire hazard.
Looking for fireplace flue cleaning? Visit our chimney sweeping service page.
In oil-burning appliances, buildup is caused mainly by soot, which needs to be regularly removed. Gas appliances tend to burn more cleanly, with buildup consisting mostly of gas scale, rust scale, and other such sediment. They also produce sulfur, chlorine, and other acidic buildup, in addition to moisture, and this combination can cause corrosion over time. Note: we do not clean oil-burning appliances or their associated flues.
Another important reason to have your flue cleaned is to clear blockages. These can result from leaves and similar debris falling inside (see photo), or from birds or other creatures building nests within. Flues without caps are especially prone to these types of falling-debris blockages. Though not as common, another reason for a clogged flue can be from the deterioration or crumbling of the chimney’s interior structure over time.
Any kind of blockage, regardless of its source, will hinder safe exit from your home of the byproducts of combustion, posing both a fire hazard and the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Avoid these risks, and that of a red-tagging and shut-down, by having your flue cleaned regularly.
A utility flue cleaning is similar in process to a fireplace flue cleaning (aka chimney sweeping) and uses similar tools. The technician creates access to the flue by disconnecting the vent pipe from the burner. He then connects a vacuum at the bottom to catch any loosened debris. The flue itself is swept with a chimney cleaning rod and brush. In cases where where the flue enters a chase, which would involve a 90-degree bend and thus prevent usage of a stiff rod, a flexible rod, such as the Viper GFK, may be utilized. This tool easily maneuvers around twists and turns, loosening debris and helping to clear any blockages.
Finally, the technician will check to see if a flue cap is in place, and if not, he'll recommend one.
Because utility flues serve to vent harmful gases, they need to be checked regularly to ensure that they are structurally sound, clear of any blockages, and free from buildup or corrosion. Best practice would be to have your utility flues cleaned (or at least checked) when you have your fireplace chimney swept, or at least once every two years.
FLUE CAPS (aka chimney caps)
A flue cap, or chimney cap, is essential to protecting the integrity of the chimney, the flue, and their interior structure, and it will prevent most blockages. A chimney cap also prevents birds, rodents, and other wildlife from entering the chimney. Every chimney or flue needs a cap.
Our technician can properly install or replace a chimney cap or furnace flue cap for you at a cost of $150. Learn more.
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