When you decide to buy a home with a fireplace and chimney in it, make sure that you have it inspected. The chimney will need to be cleaned and the flue deemed safe before you utilize this added feature. It is very important to keep creosote off the walls of the flue so that smoke can escape the chimney. As the chimney heats up it could cause the creosote to act like an explosive. How hot do chimneys get? Depending on what fireplace you have, the range of heat could go from 400 to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Let’s take a look below at more specifics pertaining to chimney heat.
What Is The Typical Temperature Of Those Pipes
Depending on the type of fireplace or hot stove that you are using in your home, can determine how hot the flue or chimney can get. Keep in mind that there are a variety of fireplaces and hot stoves that homeowners could have in their homes. Let’s take a look at some varieties of chimneys.
- Single-wall stove pipe – the surface temperature is taken. Typically, a single-wall pipe could heat up between 200 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Double-wall stove pipe – the temperature is taken by a thermometer probe. The surface temperature is much cooler than the actual flue. It is possible for the flue to heat up between 300 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since it is possible for double-wall pipes to reach 900 degrees Fahrenheit or more, you will need to monitor the temperature readings. If they are over 450 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time, you are risking a possible house fire.
How Bad Can A Chimney Fire Get
Paying attention to your chimney temperature is key to preventing a house fire. Each chimney type can have a varying temperature. Also, make sure the chimney pipes are cleaned so that all flue gases are released properly.
- Woodstoves – the biggest issues here are with the stainless steel connector pipes. They are not meant to withstand high heat temperatures. If a chimney fire occurs, the pipes become warmed, and damaged, and could separate away from the wood stove unit. This will allow fire and smoke to fill your house.
- Masonry chimney – when the flue temperature reaches around 2000 degrees Fahrenheit the mortar in the chimney could melt, tiles could crack, and the liner of the chimney could collapse. No matter if the flue is old, the chimney is unlined or it is tile lined, high temperatures will cause damage. If this occurs, the flames and smoke can gain access to the wood framing of your home and start a massive home fire.
- Factory-built Chimneys (metal) or Prefabricated – in the factory, the chimney flue will be tested to withstand 2100 degrees Fahrenheit. If the wood-burning stove or prefabricated metal fireplaces do not meet these tests, they cannot be sold. However, if a chimney fire does occur, these units will become damaged.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you know about the temperature of chimneys, let’s look at some other areas of maintenance.
One of those is your fireplace. As the winter season is fast approaching, you want to make sure that you have firewood. Pine is a great softwood that burns and lights quickly in a fireplace, but it is best to use a mixture of woods for the best fire.
The next area is the maintenance of the fireplace. This involves safety, removing the ash, cleaning the creosote, chimney, and chimney cap, testing the fireplace, burning seasoned wood, and installing a glass door and blower. It is important to maintain the fireplace so that you can get many years out of it.
Lastly, as it gets closer to winter, you want to make sure that the gutters aren’t pulling away from the house. If you notice they are, contacting a local gutters installation company is a good idea. Cooler seasons ahead can bring a lot of water so it is a good idea to check them out now.
When Do I Call A Professional
When it comes to your chimney, you will want it cleaned regularly. This is a project that you should definitely consider hiring a professional fireplace technician or chimney contractor. If you aren’t sure who to call, reach out to your local home inspection team. They can provide some recommended maintenance to the chimney as well as refer you to a reputable fireplace and chimney service company.
Keeping your fireplace chimney free of creosote build-up is the main way you can prevent a fire from occurring in your chimney. As the fireplace heats up, so can the creosote. This could result in an explosive situation. In order to keep your chimney from getting too hot, you can limit the length of use and clean your chimney. Reach out to Liberty Inspections to inspect your chimney during a home inspection in the Western, KY, Fort Campbell, KY, and Middle Tennessee areas.