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Why Is Annual Service Of My Oil-Fired Appliance Chimney So Important?

Neglected chimney systems are the cause of countless deaths, injuries and expensive home repairs every year. With proper and professional maintenance, many of these deaths, injuries and repairs could have been avoided. Unfortunately, chimney maintenance is often pushed to the back of the homeowner’s mind.

Sometimes the cause of neglect is not as simple as misinformation. Many homeowners are under the impression that their chimneys are being cleaned and inspected each time an oil-burning company technician comes to their home. However, this is certainly not the case. When an oil-burning company technician comes to your home, he may do some light maintenance (i.e. shovel the base of the chimney or do a light brushing of connector pipes), but the chimney itself is not getting any attention. A thorough chimney inspection and cleaning will require a good look inside of the chimney and a visit to the roof to check every chimney component for functionality, cleanliness, and safety.

What Kind Of Hazards Are Associated With A Neglected Oil-Fired Appliance Chimney?

Drafting Problems & Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Oil-fired appliances typically run for long periods of time during the winter, which can lead to a significant amount of soot buildup within the chimney. Not only can this soot cause deterioration of the clay tiles within the chimney (leaving the masonry of your chimney and nearby structures vulnerable and likely to decay), it can also cause drafting problems, allowing dangerous byproducts of combustion (like carbon monoxide) to back-flow into your home and air supply. Since carbon monoxide is basically undetectable by the senses, your family could be breathing in this poisonous gas without even knowing it! To preserve your chimney’s masonry and protect your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide, you must make professional chimney maintenance a priority.

Chimney Liner Deterioration And Fire Hazards
Whether you have a clay tile liner or a metal liner in your oil-fired appliance chimney, neglect and inadequate maintenance can lead to severe liner degradation and safety risks. If your liner is composed of clay tiles, the sulfur and carbon in soot combined with vapor or rainwater can cause the clay and masonry of the chimney to crack and crumble. Even the smallest crack or gap within the liner can lead to drafting problems and allow intense heat and dangerous byproducts access to the masonry of the chimney and surrounding combustibles.

Even a stainless steel liner is subject to corrosion when exposed to the sulfuric and acidic properties of oil soot. If this soot is allowed to compile on the walls of a stainless steel liner, it can eat holes into it, once again allowing high heat and dangerous byproducts to leak into the masonry of the chimney and the surrounding walls. With a damaged and deteriorating chimney liner, you won’t just have an inefficient system – you’ll have a dangerous system.

What Should An Annual Inspection And Sweeping Of My Oil-Fired Appliance Chimney Include?

When a CSIA-certified chimney sweep services your oil-fired appliance chimney, he will do the following:

  • Lay drop clothes and runners, to ensure that your home stays clean throughout the process
  • Disconnect, sweep and reconnect connecting pipes
  • Check the exterior of the chimney for damage
  • Sweep the flue (if necessary)
  • Check the structural integrity of the chimney
  • Remove any debris (including soot)
  • Restart the appliance
  • Make recommendations for repairs (if needed)

If you have an oil-fired appliance in your home, it is important that you have your chimney professionally inspected and serviced at the end of each heating season. This annual maintenance can help detect problems within the chimney and appliance before they become serious fire and health hazards or cause extensive structural damage to your home. To schedule your annual maintenance, call us today at 631-863-2460 or click here to schedule an appointment online!


Learn more about the advantages of oil and gas appliances before making a choice for your home. Regardless of the appliance you select, be sure to include regular chimney sweeping as part of safe home maintenance.

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Our Customers Love Us!

Wow! A mother-daughter team, the most pleasant and professional of any chimney service I have encountered. Called in advance, showed up on time, explained everything in detail, was thorough and clean. In a profession full of questionable practices, this was a great experience and I would recommend Diane and Lauren without hesitation. ~ Zev Asch, East Northport, NY
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