Here in the Northeast, many homes are heated by oil-fired furnaces. If the home is an older one, it is most likely attached to a chimney with a flue that is lined with clay tiles. A clay-tiled flue is durable enough to last for years, but over time, it can suffer from damage from being exposed to oil exhaust. When the clay tiles become damaged and cracked, you and your family are at a higher risk of dangerous hazards, such as carbon monoxide leaks. To keep everyone safe, you should have both the furnace and the chimney professionally inspected at least once a year. For the past 17 years, Champs Chimney Service has swept and inspected the chimneys of the Albany area as part of our superior chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services, and we can take care of your oil-fired furnace and its chimney for you. We would like to tell you a bit more about the dangers of oil exhaust on clay tiled flues and what you can expect from our professional chimney maintenance service visits.
Corrosive chemical compounds in the oil exhaust can cause the clay tiles to deteriorate. This deterioration process is typically a gradual one and can occur over many years. Eventually, the walls of the flue will soften and begin to flake off, and this opens up holes in the flue walls. When this happens, you need to have the flue relined in order to safely use your furnace because toxic gases like carbon monoxide can enter your home through the holes in the liner. If you have updated your oil-fired appliance but did not get a new liner, the deterioration process may be accelerated. Newer appliances are much smaller than their older counterparts, and the flue will be too large, which can cause drafting problems. There is also a greater amount of condensation inside an over-sized flue, and when the sulfur residues from the oil exhaust combine with water, highly aggressive acids are formed, which can accelerate the deterioration of clay tiles.
When one of our certified chimney professionals arrives at your home, he will begin by sweeping the chimney to get rid of the sulfur residue and other debris that has built up on the flue walls over the winter. He will then start the inspection process. You should expect him to check to see if there is anything blocking the flue or if there are any signs of a damaged flue liner, such as broken pieces of clay tiles at the base of the chimney. If we do find any problems, we will give you a written estimate as well as a written statement on the condition of your chimney.
Make sure your clay tiled flue is in good shape for this winter. Contact us today at Champs Chimney Service to schedule your annual professional chimney maintenance service appointment.