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Chimney Myths & Realities

There’s a lot of chimney misinformation out there. Some of the misinformation doesn’t lead to major problems. Other misinformation can lead to catastrophic consequences. To help you avoid both minor and major problems, Hudson Valley Chimney of Poughkeepsie, NY, would like to go over a few common chimney myths and the opposite realities that will be helpful for you to know.

Stainless Steel Chimney Liner Installation in Fishkill NYMyth: “If I have a metal chimney liner installed, it will last my entire lifetime.”

Reality: The lifespan of a stainless steel chimney liner will vary greatly, depending on how the chimney is used. The acids in built-up creosote can erode a chimney liner. Chimney fires – which aren’t always known by the homeowner – can damage any kind of liner. Incoming water can also affect how well a chimney liner holds up.

A quality metal liner that’s installed properly should perform for decades in a well-maintained chimney. A neglected liner in a chimney that doesn’t get proper maintenance will have a shorter lifespan.

Myth: “Gas fireplaces don’t need maintenance like wood fireplaces.”

Reality: This is a tricky one. It’s true that gas appliances burn cleaner and create less residue that needs to be cleaned, but it’s not true that they can be left alone and ignored. Over time, gas fireplaces can cause particle buildups that narrow the exhaust passage in the vent pipe and allow dangerous combustion gases to back up into your home.

Gas units also can leak and put people’s health at risk. Burners, ignition switches, pilot lights and other parts of a gas fireplace or stove need regular inspections to keep them working properly.

Myth: “Chimney companies are in business year-round, so they’re always available.”

Reality: Chimney companies tend to get very busy in the fall, and it can be difficult to schedule non-emergency service at that time. Spring and summer are the best seasons in which to have your chimney cleaned, inspected and repaired.

Myth: “Cost is always a main factor in choosing a chimney sweep.”

Reality: Cost is important, but it shouldn’t be the main reason for selecting a chimney service provider. Reputation, experience, certifications and training should be priorities in deciding who’s going to work on your chimney.

Myth: “Chimney work isn’t as specialized as some people believe.”

Reality: This type of thinking says, “My uncle’s good with hand tools, so he’s a perfect choice to clean my chimney.” This is dangerous thinking, because chimney service is a highly specialized field, often with a lot more involved than just the job at hand.

Chimney professionals have industry-grade tools, particularly when it comes to chimney sweeping, that the average “uncle” or other novice doesn’t have. The best companies carry certifications through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the National Fireplace Institute (NFI) and other industry training organizations. These credentials tell you that the company or technician is fully trained to work on chimneys.

Chimney Cap Installation in Esopus NYMyth: “Smoke will keep animals out of my chimney, so I don’t need a chimney cap.”

Reality: Will smoke get rid of incoming water that can lead to major chimney leaks, home damage and house fires? Proper chimney caps block rain and snow – and critters.

The best service for your chimney

When chimney issues arise, homeowners in the greater Poughkeepsie, NY, region call on the experts at Hudson Valley Chimney. Since 1976, we’ve been the trusted name for chimney sweeping, chimney inspections and all types of chimney repairs. Reach a professional who cares about you and your chimney by calling (845) 471-1071. You can also get in touch with our simple contact form.

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