Furnace Flue Sweepings Are Just as Important as Chimney Sweepings

Your home relies on a couple of important appliances that play a huge role in maintaining the comfort and functionality of the space you live in. Among these appliances, your HVAC system (which stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) is what helps regulate a pleasant indoor climate. And regular furnace flue cleanings are necessary to keep these systems working well – and safely.

When you set your thermostat, you might hear a low hum kick on, which signals that your furnace has begun to create and circulate warm air in order to achieve the desired temperature of your home. How the heat is transferred depends on the type of furnace you have.

The four main types are natural gas furnaces, oil furnaces, electric furnaces, and propane furnaces. It doesn’t matter what type or model your furnace is…there are certain things that need to be done to keep it working efficiently, and cleaning the furnace flue is at the top of the list.

Don’t search “furnace flue cleaning near me,” though. Rather, turn to your trusted team of chimney sweeps here at Owens Chimney. Call or book online today!

What Is a Furnace Flue Pipe?

A flue pipe, also referred to as a furnace exhaust flue or furnace vent pipe, is a duct or channel that directs smoke and gases from a chimney, furnace, boiler, water heater, or other heating appliance – and out and away from your home. When fuel, such as gas, propane, or wood, is burned, it produces smoke, harmful gases, and other waste material. Without a safe way to pull these things outside, your home would become a hazardous environment to be in. 

Flue pipes are most often made of stainless steel, and you will likely see the tops of them on your roof. Sometimes more than one installed in your home, one for each of the heating appliances you have.

How Is a Chimney Different From a Flue?

The terms “chimney” and “flue” are often used interchangeably, making homeowners think they are the same thing. Even though they are closely related, they are in fact two separate things.

  • A flue is the channel in which gases from your heating appliance or smoke from your fireplace exit your home.
  • A chimney acts as the enclosure for the flue, ensuring that the heat from the flue isn’t transferred to any nearby combustible materials.

Why Is a Furnace Flue Pipe Important?

Furnaces have two different types of combustion chambers – open or enclosed. With an open combustion system, the furnace draws in air from the surrounding space for combustion while an enclosed combustion chamber means it draws in air from the outside for combustion. 

While the main difference between the two is how they draw in air in order to heat your home, both types require a furnace flue pipe as a safe way to expel toxic gases, like carbon monoxide, that are produced. 

Without a flue pipe, exhaust gases can also come in contact with objects like wood or paper, which can put your home at risk of catching on fire.

What Is the Difference Between a Chimney Cleaning and a Flue Cleaning?

When you call Owens Chimney Systems for a chimney sweep, we will show up equipped with specialized rods and brushes. That’s because soot and creosote produced by burning wood is tough – and a little time consuming – to remove from the surfaces of the flue. 

When you call us for a furnace flue sweeping, you might be surprised when we show up with very little equipment. But don’t worry, that’s only because not a lot is required. Boilers, furnaces, and water heaters are powered by air pressure, so the only buildup we are concerned about along the walls of utility flues are scale and sediment, which can be easily removed with a tentacled air whip.

One thing chimney flues and furnace flues have in common though is the possibility of a blockage. Animals seek warm and dark environments to build nests in, and without the proper protection at the top of your flue, birds and other small animals may eventually find their way inside. Fortunately, we’re here to help with that too with our animal removal services.

Questions? Need to schedule? We’re here for you. Call or reach out online now.

How Often Do Flues Need to Be Cleaned?

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), homeowners should have all their flues – both chimney and utility – cleaned at least once a year. This includes oil furnaces, gas furnaces, propane furnaces, and electric furnaces. 

A blocked or clogged utility flue causes a whole host of problems including: 

  • Reduced Efficiency: Any time an appliance has to work harder in order to achieve the same result means you’ll likely see the efficiency of it decrease – while your utility bills increase.
  • Carbon Monoxide Buildup: A dirty furnace flue can contribute to the buildup of carbon monoxide, and if the flue is obstructed enough, this can force the toxic gas back into your home Carbon monoxide isn’t something to take lightly, as it can cause serious health issues, and in extreme cases, be fatal.
  • System Malfunction: Most furnaces have what’s called a high limit switch, which is a safety device that is designed to monitor the temperature inside the furnace. If a clogged or dirty furnace flue is causing your furnace to work harder than and longer to achieve the desired temperature on your thermostat, the temperature inside your furnace may reach its predetermined limit, and automatically shut down.
  • Increased Wear and Tear: The high limit switch activating is just one of the things that happen in order to protect your furnace from further damage. …but other components might not be so lucky in avoiding breakdowns. We can help you avoid costly repairs with a yearly furnace flue sweep.

Improve Home Air Quality – Clean Your Furnace Flue

Did you know that furnace flue cleaning also adds to improved air quality in your home, as dirt and dust is the number one enemy of good air quality and your furnace?

There are three parts of the furnace that should be cleaned: the blower, the filter system, and the motor. Dirt affects all the basic components of your furnace! For this reason alone, having your furnace flue cleaned is the most important part of the regular maintenance that should be done.

And remember – one of the most important things the home owner can do is change or clean out the filter once a month during use. Checking the filter is easy. Just take it out and hold it up to the light. If it looks clogged, replace it with a new filter of the same type and size regardless of the length of time it has been used or clean it out if that’s the type of filter you have.

While some home owners feel comfortable cleaning the blower and motor, most do not. Our technicians are highly educated to do a thorough cleaning of all the parts associated with the blower and motor that needs regular cleaning and maintenance. Contact us today to schedule your annual furnace cleaning.

Get Your Furnace Flue Cleaned Today With Help From Owens Chimney Systems

One of the most important things a homeowner can do is schedule their yearly furnace flue cleaning with us. The experienced technicians at Owens Chimney Systems understand the importance of a well-maintained furnace flue and how much you depend on your heating system to be operating safely and efficiently during winter’s cold embrace.

By entrusting us with your furnace flue cleaning, you can rest assured that we will go the extra mile to make sure your home and family stay safer all season long.

Contact us today to schedule your annual furnace flue cleaning.