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There are lots of home maintenance tasks that homeowners diligently address, from mowing the lawn to cleaning the gutters. For homes that house fireplaces, having the chimney routinely swept and inspected is a well-known maintenance task. But there’s another ventilation related maintenance task that often gets overlooked: the furnace flue.

Neglecting the cleanliness and maintenance of your furnace flue can lead to a variety of problems and diminish its useful life.

Many people are unaware of the importance of actively keeping a home’s furnace flue clean, clear, and in good repair. Or maybe they’ve considered it, but expect that the care of the flue is addressed by the furnace company during routine maintenance. But while these companies check that the unit itself is free of damage, it’s a misconception that responsibility for inspecting the attached chimney is also within their scope of work.

Neglecting the cleanliness and maintenance of your furnace flue can lead to a variety of problems and diminish its useful life.

Does My Furnace Company Clean My Furnace Chimney?

a green furnace with copper and metal piping coming out of itOne prevalent misconception is that your furnace flue will automatically be cleaned during routine furnace maintenance by the heating company. While maintenance will include inspecting and servicing many components of the heating system, it doesn’t necessarily include flue cleaning.

Another misconception is that if your furnace is relatively new, it won’t require flue cleaning. Even newer furnaces can generate debris that accumulates over time, making periodic cleaning essential from the get-go if you want to preserve the durability and effectiveness of your unit as a whole.

Furthermore, maintaining and proactively having your furnace flue inspected can identify potential issues early, allowing for repairs to be completed in a timely way – and saving you money and inconvenience in the long run.

Why Does a Furnace Flue Require Cleaning?

  • Restricted Airflow: One of the main reasons your furnace flue will need attention is because of the accumulation of soot and potential debris. During combustion, tiny particles of soot are produced and can adhere to the flue’s inner walls. If allowed to build up, this soot and debris can restrict the flow of exhaust gases. The result? Reduced efficiency and a potentially hazardous situation.
  • Lack of Efficiency: A clogged furnace flue impairs efficiency by requiring the furnace to work harder to expel exhausts gases. This leads to increased energy consumption and higher heating bills over time as well as premature replacement costs. Regular cleaning helps maintain the flue’s efficiency, keeping your furnace operating optimally with less system strain and lower consumption of energy, while increasing its longevity.
  • Safety & Gas Leaks: Beyond efficiency is the importance of safeguarding the quality of the air in your home. If gases can’t vent properly, they could back up into your living space, posing a severe health risk. Carbon monoxide, for instance, is a colorless, odorless gas produced during combustion – and even small amounts of exposure can cause symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, and in some cases death. Flue obstructions can also create a fire hazard. Furnaces generate high temperatures while operating, and a restricted flue can lead to overheating.
  • Warranty Considerations: Keep in mind that if your furnace is under warranty, routine inspections and maintenance may be stipulated as a requirement to keep the warranty valid. Not adhering to requirements could result in warranty coverage being voided.

All in all, regular maintenance will keep things in good shape, including the flue liner, saving you from a premature need for replacement.

More About the Function of a Furnace Flue

a copper furnace flue pipe with smoke coming out of the topSo, it’s clear your furnace flue or chimney needs regular attention and cleaning. But… What exactly does your furnace flue do?

Basically, it vents the combustion byproducts generated during the heating process. When your furnace operates, it burns fuel to produce heat, and this process releases gases such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. In other words, some pretty noxious stuff that you don’t want in your home!

That’s where your flue comes in. When it’s in proper order, it helps to safely vent these byproducts from your home by serving as the pathway out. Over time, a furnace flue can become obstructed, corroded, or deteriorated, impairing its ability to function correctly or efficiently.

Let Us Serve You

Ultimately, taking care of your furnace – furnace flue included – is an investment in your home’s safety, comfort, and longevity. At Chimney Doctor, serving our customers by helping them protect their homes is our passion.

If you live in the Grand Junction area or another of our Colorado-based service areas and you aren’t sure when your last chimney flue inspection was, it’s probably time to give us a call. Our certified technicians are trained and equipped to offer inspections, sweepings, and troubleshooting that will keep critical systems in your home in ship-shape.

And the cherry on top? Our commitment to outstanding customer service. Let us doctor up your system so you can enjoy efficiency, safety, and peace of mind. Call or request an appointment online today.