Chimney liner care is the base for increasing the life of a chimney. It must be cleaned at least once a year. It does not matter if wood or gas is being used for making the fire; what you need to be concerned about is keeping the liner clean and flue free, or there may be the need to replace or reline the chimney. Neither option is great. The process of getting the chimney liner cleaned can take about an hour or sometimes a little more than that. But it is definitely worth the time and money investment.
Since chimneys are usually 4, 6,8, or 10 inches in diameter (some are square in shape as well), the correct shape and size of the steel flue brush must be found for use. Extensions to the cleaning brush can be attached to facilitate the cleaning process. Once the process starts, the chimney flue clean-out door is opened so that the liner mouth is free of any dirt or buildup. A ladder, if kept handy, becomes useful to climb the chimney so that the upper portion of the flue is being accessed.
Once the chimney cleaner is in a comfortable position, the flue cap is opened and checked for any damages caused to the flue screen. All the clinging dirt from the screen is cleaned with the help of a smaller brush. Next, the steel flue brush is pushed down, rotating it for round chimneys and straight if it is square. Once the brush is pulled out, some debris might fall out on the chimney roof. It needs to be cleaned later. The cleaning process is repeated as long as the entire area is not dirt free.
Once this process is done, the outer roof of the chimney is cleaned to make it clean and clutter free. On completing the cleaning process, the chimney cap is replaced so that it is ready to function as normal again. A vacuum pump is used most of the time to clean the outdoor area for a clean look.
There is however one precautionary measure that is always kept in mind. If there is a device that runs on gas just under the cleaning spot, this cleaning process is not performed, as it may lead to a hazardous accident. When the liner is being cleaned, the chimney can be clogged temporarily and send the backup gases into the house.