The government is doing everything it can to deter people from burning wood, it still remains popular with home owners that don’t want to use oil or other more expensive fuels. Wood is also very popular with off gridders, preppers, and homesteaders because it can be harvested from natural resources or grown for this purpose.
Many people that burn wood are plagued by creosote that builds up in chimneys. As dangerous as this problem can become, preventing or reducing creosote buildup is not as hard as it seems to be.
Here are five ways you can reduce or prevent creosote buildup in your chimneys.
Do not forget to inspect your chimneys on a regular basis and clean them even if the creosote only looks like it is in the early stages of buildup.
How Does Creosote Form?
Have you ever blown on a mirror or piece of glass so that some of the water vapor from your lungs condenses on the glass? If so, then you may also know that condensation occurs because the glass is cooler than the air exiting your mouth.
In a similar way, when hot gas and smoke enter the chimney, they are hotter than the stove pipe. If the pipe is not hot enough, then creosote will condense out of the smoke and be deposited in the chimney.
The Three Degrees of Creosote Buildup
As with many other situations in life, creosote build up may not be especially dangerous at first. However, if it is left unchecked, or not taken care of soon enough, it can become a very expensive problem. As you review the three degrees of creosote buildup, bear in mind that simply cleaning up the mess is only part of the problem. You will still need to take active steps to prevent or at least slow down further creosote buildup.
Just about every chimney will build up layers of soft black material known as soot. If you can easily brush the black layer of material out of the chimney, chances are there is actually very little creosote in it.
Many people consider this a good sign because it means the fire is burning hot enough to reduce the amount of temperature difference between the smoke and the chimney. While this stage isn’t especially dangerous, you will still need to clean out the chimney on a routine basis in order to keep good air flow.
At this level, you will start to see more creosote in the soot. There will be quite a few shiny black flakes of material that can still be removed if you put some effort into it. If you see this kind of soot, it is very important to increase the air flow in the burning area.