When a professional inspects your chimney, he or she looks for a number of problems that could cause damage to your chimney or home as well as potential safety hazards. One of these hazards is carbon monoxide, which can cause health problems, including permanent brain and organ damage, to you and your loved ones in low doses and death in high doses. For this and other reasons, it is recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America that your chimney be serviced professionally at least once a year.
The easiest preventative measure against carbon monoxide leaks is to have your chimney cleaned in addition to its inspection by a professional. If you have a woodburning appliance, you have to be careful of creosote buildup in your chimney. Creosote is extremely combustible, making it a fire hazard. In addition to this, it builds up to the point where it will prevent proper ventilation of your appliance, not only causing it to become inefficient but allowing toxic gases such as carbon monoxide to stay in your home. An annual cleaning can prevent creosote build up. In addition to this, make sure you only burn seasoned cordwood. Burning unseasoned wood leads to additional creosote build up.
No matter the type of appliance you have, your chimney or stovepipe must be clear of all debris to ensure proper ventilation and the expulsion of carbon monoxide from your home. An annual inspection can help to ensure that your chimney or pipe is clear of such debris. Another way to prevent chimney blockage is to have a professional install a chimney cap. Not only does a chimney cap prevent water damage to your chimney and home, but it prevents animals and environmental debris from entering your chimney and blocking carbon monoxide from exiting your home.
If you have an oil or gas burning appliance, you still have to worry about carbon monoxide, even if it is not a direct byproduct of combustion. Oil flues must be cleared of soot in order to prevent blockage, while the flues of gas burning appliances are subject to corrosive circumstances. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, such appliances should be inspected regularly to ensure that toxic fumes such as carbon monoxide are allowed out of the house as well as to prevent carbon monoxide from becoming trapped inside of the home.
If you have not recently had your chimney inspected or cleaned, call Hudson Chimney. Their professionals are trained and certified to make sure that your appliance is safe to run and works efficiently to heat your home. They will be sure that you and your loved ones are safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning by thoroughly cleaning your flue as well as checking to make sure your appliance is in proper order for the cold winter months. In addition, if you think that you or a loved one is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, it is imperative to seek out medical attention as quickly as possible.