Chimney service calls picking up across the Ozarks

Just ahead of the upcoming heating season
Area chimney service calls are going up ahead of the upcoming heating season in the Ozarks.
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:38 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Homeowners across the Ozarks might be turning to their fireplaces for the upcoming heating season.

Companies like LCS Kleen-Aire out of Springfield are seeing an increase in calls from area homeowners to have their chimneys and fireplaces inspected and cleaned. Seth Hemmy, a technician for LCS Kleen-Aire, is encouraged to see these calls come in.

“Everyone should have their chimney swept or evaluated every year just to make sure their system or the conditions of their system hasn’t changed,” says Hemmy. “If you never use it, you could go a little longer in between evaluations. If you’re really using the chimney, it really needs to be swept and evaluated every year.”

When evaluating chimneys and fireplaces, the procedure that Hemmy goes through is quite thorough.

“When we go to sweep a chimney, we evaluate it first, says Hemmy. “We check the clearance to combustibles. We check the condition and integrity of the system inside and out. We also check the structure around it to make sure it’s not at risk of catching fire based on the transfer of heat over time.”

As for why these services have seen an increase in service calls, there’s one big reason Hemmy pointed out.

“We have definitely seen an increase in people looking for alternative fuels to heat their homes with the increase in natural gas prices,” said Hemmy. “People even in town who would otherwise not use their chimney or maybe just every once in a while... They’re looking to use it as a primary heat source. We’ve been checking a lot of them for that reason, so they’re ready to go for the season.”

In terms of the benefits of getting your chimney system cleaned and inspected, any built-up creosote from burning wood can be swept away to keep your system safe. “Creosote is combustible,” says Hemmy. “If you don’t get that out, you potentially will have a flue fire, which is a fire within the flue itself.” Other benefits include maintaining the system’s efficiency, reducing your risk of building carbon monoxide in your home, and drastically reducing your risk of chimney fires. Homeowners looking to utilize their fireplaces and chimneys more frequently for the upcoming cooler seasons should have their systems professionally inspected and cleaned if necessary.

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