People often use the terms chimney sweeping and flue cleaning interchangeably, but there is a significant difference between them. Here, we break down everything you need to know about the two so you can determine whether you need a chimney sweep or a flue cleaner.
The Difference Between Flue and Chimney
The flue is the channel, tube or pipe through which gases and smoke travel from a combustion source to the outside. To safely vent combustion byproducts from the home, it relies on natural draft or the upward movement of air caused by changes in temperature and pressure.
The chimney is the housing that encases the flue. It’s typically made of masonry, brick or stone, and its exterior extends upward beyond the roofline. In some designs where there is no flue or liner, the chimney itself functions as the flue. You can hire a contractor for chimney relining or flue installation to optimize the performance of your chimney.
The Difference Between Chimney Sweeping and Flue Cleaning
Chimney cleaning is technically a type of flue cleaning that can also be referred to as fireplace flue cleaning. It deals with combustion byproducts that are more challenging to remove, so it requires special equipment to get rid of tough soot and creosote buildup.
Meanwhile, utility flue cleaning is focused on the vertical flue associated with the water heater, furnace or boiler. These appliances do not produce creosote, so their flues don’t get as dirty as fireplace flues. As a result, aggressive cleaners and special equipment are not required in utility flue cleaning.
The Similarities of Chimney Sweeping and Flue Cleaning
Chimney sweeping and flue cleaning are both done to remove blockages inside the flue. Their main goal is to ensure free and safe passage for the gasses and smoke caused by combustion. Furthermore, since the debris blocking fireplace flues and utility flues are almost always due to animal nesting, the process for both chimney sweeping and flue cleaning involves the removal of animal nests.
Chimney Doctors is the right company to call for your chimney sweeping, flue cleaning and chimney masonry repair needs. For appointments, reach out to us at (518) 882-5009, or fill out our contact form. We proudly serve homeowners in Saratoga Springs, NY.