The pools are closed and the dreadful thought of shoveling snow sits at the back of everyone's head. We all hope for an easy winter, but we know the cold is coming and with it, the ever perennial flu season.
You remind the kids to dress warm as you make the call to fill the oil tank, and that's when it hits you. September also marks the beginning of FLUE season.
If your heating system only runs when the weather turns cold, the chimney flue has been dormant all summer. Unless your chimney is protected by a good chimney cap, impervious to the elements and apt to deter animal intrusion, you really shouldn't flip that switch until you do two things: Have the unit serviced, and have the chimney flue inspected and cleaned.
Every fall, homeowners fall victim to surprises in the flue. It may be a bird nest, a family of raccoons or squirrels. It could be debris or it could simply be buildup from the previous season that you forgot to have checked during the spring and summer.
Lucky for you it's not too late.
This is the time to set your mind at ease by calling a qualified professional chimney technician to inspect and service your heating flues, as well as your fireplaces and wood stoves.
With the rising cost of heating fuel, more and more people have brought back wood fires for supplemental heat. Any heating unit, particularly a wood burning fireplace or wood stove should be inspected before use, especially if these units have not been serviced from the previous season.
Make sure you only consult with a reputable, local, insured, and certified chimney service company. Do not fall for the opportunistic scammers calling you out of the blue, offering to "clean" your chimneys for a low fee. Too often these are unscrupulous people with no training or experience. The reason these outfits can offer such a deal is simple: they have very little overhead as Connecticut does not require licensing for this trade. Most of the time they're not even local, they're uninsured, untrained, and not the kind of individual you should grant access to your home.
Reputable companies like Paul's Chimney Service and Restoration are solid entities registered with the Chimney Sweep Guild and our technicians are certified as professional chimney technicians through rigorous training and testing at the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), which requires technicians to retest in order to maintain their certification.
It's easy to balk at the rate of a solid outfit when compared to a scammer, but keep in mind that the fee of a reputable company has been calculated to cover insurance, training, and licensing meant to protect you as a homeowner.
A chimney technician does more than simply remove dust out of your heating systems. Above all, your safety is a technician's main objective.
Don't be fooled by the simplified version of chimney sweeping you see in movies. Gone are the days of the top hat and coattails. This is a much more serious business than most realize. Modern chimney technicians are versed in combustion and its byproducts, draft issues that involved the geometry of your roof and the properties of air pressure affecting your home, water leaks, causes and prevention, and of course, an array of repairs and processes to maintain the structure of your chimney.
This FLUE season, do not fall for a stranger's phone call offering you a great deal to clean your chimney. Call the professionals. Companies like Paul's Chimney look to establish long relationships with homeowners by offering honest work, experienced knowledge, and a fair rate along with the courtesy we believe every hard working homeowner deserves.
Summer end blues are inevitable, but issues with your heating flues, fireplaces or wood stoves don't need to be. Make an appointment today.
contribution by J. A. Robayo