imgresDid you know that it is possible for an oil-fired appliance to be clean, but its flue system dirty? Or that an oil-fired appliance can go from working very well and efficiently. Then to poorly and relatively less efficient in a matter of a few years? Why does this happen, and what are the specifics for cleaning an oil appliance?

You can find a reputable Chimney Sweep in your area by using this link to the National Chimney Sweep Guild locator: http://www.ncsg.org/search.  Also be sure and go online and read their customer reviews from Google, BBB and Angies List. I’m never impressed with those cheaper “Swab and Rob” companies. Especially when it comes to cleaning a dirty oil flue.

Most of you may know that it is important to have you appliance serviced each year, preferably before burning season, in order to assure that things are running properly. Often times you need to call in two separate specialists, one to specifically clean and handle the oil appliance and one to deal with the actual flue system.

In some cases, folks have the oil-fired appliance specialist out and forget to actually have the chimney swept. You may find it more prudent to find a service provider who can clean both the appliances. This saves yourself the hassle of more than one appointment.

The oil appliance specialist, usually an HVAC contractor, will come to clean the nozzle on the system and other areas of the appliance. A nozzle that is not cleaned regularly will cause various parts in the oil appliance to begin to collect soot. This includes the connector pipes and the heat exchangers. For cleaning an oil-fired appliance, the National Oil Heat Alliance recommends using a brush to clean the appliance. Also, a high powered vacuum to suck up all the debris. The cleaner your appliance is, the more efficiently the appliance will work.

Before having your appliance cleaned it is recommended to have your chimney or flue swept. This is the recommended first step by many professionals. This is because as the sweep is cleaning the flue, bits and pieces of soot and other debris fall down into the appliance, making it dirty. If you have the appliance cleaned first, it is likely that it will need to be cleaned again. This is often at an additional charge.

Many sweeps say there is the hardest part about dealing with oil-fired appliances. It is containing the oily, dirty particles that build up in the system. Some recommend using heavy duty vacuums and compressed air. This is a valid method and works very well for some. However, in my professional opinion, stick to the code stated by the National Oil Heat Alliance manual.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

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