Do you know the last time you checked your furnace’s flue? We’ll admit, it’s somewhat of a trick question because most homeowners aren’t aware of what the flue, let alone know how to inspect it. But at DeZiel Heating & AC., we’re here to change that. In this article, we’ll explain why it’s important to clean your flue – and how to do it.
What does the flue do?
The flue is a metal pipe that vents combustion gases and exhaust from your furnace (and potentially your water heater) up through the chimney. However, if the flue ever becomes blocked, these dangerous gases can get trapped inside, which is a major health risk. A blocked flue can also increase the risk of fire in your home.
Tips for inspecting your flue
Start in the area where your furnace is located.
- Visually inspect the pipe that runs from the furnace to the chimney – make sure you have adequate lighting or a flashlight handy.
- Make a note of any rust or water stains on the pipe.
- Look at the floor underneath the pipe and look for soot or other residue.
- If you find any signs of a blockage, call an HVAC professional to look into the issue.
Next, you’ll need to go to where the flue vents outside, often on the roof. Once you find this point, there should be a cap that covers the pipe and prevents debris from getting inside.
- Clean off the flue cap and surrounding area.
- Remove the flue cap and remove any leaves, birds’ nests, or other debris that managed to get through.
- Reattach the flue cap, making sure it is secure and tight.
Chimney versus direct vent
The above tips assume that your furnace is vented through the chimney, which requires a flue. If you have a direct-vent system, there will be horizontal pipes coming out of the furnace that vent combustion gases through a wall. In this case, you don’t have a flue, but you should still make sure the pipes are clear of debris.
Have a professional check your flue
Inspecting the flue isn’t overly complicated, but it does come with some risks, especially when it comes to accessing the vents on top of the roof. If you’d feel more comfortable having a professional handle the job, call the team at DeZiel Heating & AC. Schedule an appointment today at 763-684-3965.