Chimneys in the Summer: 3 Things You Need to Know
Just because most chimneys do their big work during the cold months, it doesn’t mean you can completely forget about them during the summer. Certain situations may arise, that in fact, won’t let you forget about them. National Chimney Cleaners of Morris County, NJ, and Fairfield County, CT, would like to share three summer chimney maintenance tips that will be helpful for you.
1. Damper issues and cooling bills
A lot of extra money is spent on running air conditioning each summer by homeowners whose chimney dampers are in bad shape. If your damper, which usually is located just above your firebox, doesn’t close with a solid seal, your air conditioning system can easily pull warm air down the chimney, through the gap in the damper and into your home.
The damper is part of a quality chimney inspection. You should have your damper looked at to determine if it’s rusted, corroded or generally no longer working well. You can then either have it repaired or replaced.
Consider having a full-width, top-mount damper installed. This component will solve the conditioned-air problem and also keep your chimney flue more temperate during both hot and cold seasons.
2. Smelly chimney
Summer weather, particularly when the humidity is high, can cause chimneys to smell bad. This is usually because of hot moisture mixing with excess creosote and soot that has accumulated in your flue.
If you use a wood-burning fireplace, you can’t avoid making creosote and soot, but you can keep your chimney from sending horrible smells into your home by having it professionally cleaned.
Late spring or summer is the best time to schedule a chimney sweep, because crews aren’t as busy as they are just prior to winter. Additionally, you’ll be able to have your chimney inspected and see to any repairs before you start using your fireplace regularly.
3. Small-animal removal
Chimneys that operate without a proper chimney cap often become home to squirrels, birds, racoons, rodents and other critters. Aside from the possibility that one of these animals will make its way down into your home, there are two other serious problems:
- Many small animals build nests, the material of which can obstruct drafting and serve as fuel for a chimney fire.
- Sometimes these animals die inside chimneys, unable to get out. This leads to bad smells and a greater drafting obstruction.
Solve this problem by having your chimney technician first clean your chimney and then install a full-width chimney cap, which will keep critters (and tree debris) out while offering protection for your concrete chimney crown at the top of your chimney.
Summer chimney check-list
The two key things you should do for your chimney each summer are:
- Have it inspected by an experienced, licensed chimney inspector
- Have it professionally cleaned by a chimney sweep or chimney service company
If you live in Fairfield County, CT, or Morris County, NJ, National Chimney Cleaners is ready to help with all your chimney needs, including chimney sweeping, inspections, repairs and rebuilding. We have the experience you need to keep your chimney safe and in great working condition.
Reach a chimney expert today at 800-631-6177, or get in touch using our handy contact form.