To keep your furnace running smoothly and efficiently, it is essential to clean the oil flue regularly. While exact maintenance schedules will vary based on the type of fuel you use, homeowners should generally strive to get the oil flue professionally swept or cleaned at least once a year. Inspecting the flue for any signs of damage before winter arrives is also beneficial.

If necessary, repair work should be done at that time as well in order to prevent any potential malfunctions during cold weather. Although this extra effort requires upkeep, it is critical for ensuring your furnace runs properly throughout the season.

Can I Clean My Oil Flue?

With the proper knowledge, tools, and all the required personal protective safety equipment, sure – you can clean your oil flue yourself.

metal flue pipe with insulation around itHowever, sweeping (cleaning) an oil flue can be dangerous due to contact with hazardous carbon and sulfur compounds responsible for releasing pollutants into the air. Do-it-yourselfers should do their research to ensure they are taking the correct steps when cleaning the items in their flue.

And if you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own or would like additional guidance? You can always hire the crew here at Winston’s Chimney Services to professionally service the flue or vent stack. We’ve got your back.

What Should I Do if I Suspect My Oil Flue is Clogged?

If you suspect your oil flue is clogged, the best thing to do is to contact a professional right away. Clogging of oil flues can be caused by anything from soot deposits or trapped/dead animals to deteriorated flue tiles to a defective vent damper. And allowing the issue to persist can put your home at risk of fire or carbon monoxide leaks, so it’s important to take action quickly.

If you are able to safely access the area around the flue, look for buildup that could be restricting exhaust flow. However, a thorough sweeping of an oil flue should be done by a professional who understands the relevant safety protocols and proper techniques.

How Often Should I Replace My Oil Flue?

Replacing your oil flue when required will keep your home safer from the risks posed by a damaged or insufficient flue. An oil flue helps allow hazardous combustion products created by the burning of oil to safely escape the household.

Over time, regular exposure to high heat and corrosives causes the masonry and metal elements to degrade, leading to increased chances of gas leakage or worse yet, venting of hazardous materials inside your home.

To combat these risks as they come up, regular servicing of an oil flue is paramount. Additionally, certain building codes and regulations (depending on where you live) may also require that an older part be switched out for a newer one, in order to maintain safety standards inside the household.

Any Maintenance Tasks I Can Perform to Prevent Oil Flue Buildup?

  • a furnace with the panel removed showing its insidesOne of the most important maintenance tasks you can do to prevent oil flue buildup is to check or tune up your furnace unit regularly. Regularly checking the furnace unit will ensure proper burning of fuel oil reducing hazardous carbon build up in the chimney exhaust system.
  • Along with annual checks of the furnace having the flue or stack swept and inspected for build up and deterioration that could affect the performance of your system.
  • You should also make sure to use top-notch heating oil for the best performance results, as low-grade oil could increase build-up not only in your furnace, but also in filters, hoses, and other heating equipment.
  • Additionally, it is essential to be mindful of changing air filters regularly, as dirty air filters can impede airflow and hamper the efficiency of your system.
  • Lastly, scheduling annual professional maintenance service can do wonders as an experienced technician will clean burners and fuel lines, which can help extend the life of your furnace.

Questions? Give Us a Shout

If you have any additional questions in regard to oil flues or the sweeping and maintenance of oil flues, please give Winston’s Chimney Services a call at 703-379-5006 or reach out to us online.  We specialize in all types of chimney and venting solutions.

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109