The Importance of Chimney Cleaning

Thank you for choosing natural gas service for your home.  Since deciding to switch your water heating and/or heating unit to natural gas, Leatherstocking would like to make you aware of a few important items.

Not all municipalities require plumbing and heating installers to be licensed.  It is Leatherstocking Gas Company’s recommendation that customers utilize a professional who is experienced in natural gas appliance installation and operation.  In addition, all gas appliances, as well as the gas piping, chimney/venting system and related appurtenances, must be installed in accordance with applicable codes and standards (latest edition) including, but not limited to the Fuel Gas Code, State Fire Prevention Building Code and the manufacturer’s installation instructions as well as all other State and Local Building Codes.

When switching from a solid fuel (oil, wood, coal, pellet, etc.) to natural gas, it is very important that your home’s chimney and/or exhaust flue pipe be cleaned and inspected by a qualified service person.  Although natural gas appliances do not produce visible soot that solid fuel burning appliances do, they do produce more moisture in their exhaust.  This moisture combined with the residue (soot) that can remain in a flue may lead to deterioration of a masonry chimney; therefore the National Fuel Gas Code indicates that all chimneys shall be properly lined prior to the installation of a natural gas appliance.  This deterioration can lead to poor venting conditions, improper draft and unsafe operation of your heating system.

With respect to the new high efficiency heating systems, your masonry chimney or flue pipe may not be compatible.  In fact, some of the high efficiency heating systems available today are direct vented through the exterior wall with the use of a plastic vent pipe or require the use of a stainless steel chimney liner if an existing masonry chimney is to be used.  When purchasing high efficiency equipment it is important for you to ask your heating contractor if your system will need special venting requirements.

Regardless of the heating fuel used in your home an annual heating system tune-up and equipment service, as well as an inspection of the chimney and/or flue, is critical to the safe operation of the systems and is recommended.  Maintaining these vital systems will ensure the safety and maximum efficiency of your heating system for years to come.

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