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Air Quality & Your Chimney

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How does your chimney impact air quality in the home?

Your chimney is the biggest and most exposed part of your home. Technically it is designed for smoke to escape you home when you have a warm cozy fire, but other times it can bring in elements into your home that can affect the air quality in your home. Poor air quality can cause minor to serious health effect on you and your family.

There are two main instances where your chimney can be negatively affecting the air quality of your home – improper flue function and mold.

Without proper maintenance of your chimney, your family may be exposed to toxins in the air that can cause various health issues.

Without proper maintenance of your chimney, your family may be exposed to toxins in the air that can cause various health issues.

Improper Chimney and Flue Function

A properly designed and maintained chimney will naturally pull the smoke from burning wood up the firebox, through the flue, and out the top. You may not realize it, but the smoke from burning wood actually creates pollutants that can cause respirator issues, cardiovascular illness, damage to lung tissue, and in some instances cancer. An improper working chimney that has not been maintained correctly can flood your home with these dangerous fumes.

To protect your home from these toxins, the most recommended cure is to prevent the smoke from entering your home by keeping your chimney in good working order. Having regular inspections  and maintenance performed by a chimney specialist can ensure your chimney is not bringing toxic fumes into your home.

Mold

Chimneys are also notorious for bringing in moisture from the outside to the inside and becoming trapped and breeding mold. Over time, exposure to the elements of rain, snow, sleet and other weather conditions, takes a toll on bricks and mortar and water starts seeping or sometimes leaking in. This water can become trapped within your chimney and mold begins to form. If left unattended, mold can begin to negatively affect the air quality in your home that can cause skin or throat irritation, cough, and headaches.

A chimney professional can perform an inspection on your chimney to determine if mold is present. Proper sealing of the area where the moisture is entering will have to be addressed, as well as the moldy areas cleaned up and properly disinfected.

Your fireplace and chimney are wonderful additions to your home, but proper and regular maintenance is required to keep your home safer from air pollutants and keeping you and your family safe and warm.