Clogged chimneys pose multiple hazards including fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Modern chimney sweep tools are your best bet for a safe and properly working chimney. They are developed for both professional and personal chimney cleaning by homeowners. The purpose of sweeping chimneys is to remove soot and creosote deposits in the flue of the chimney.
Which Chimney Sweep Tools Are Used
Popular chimney sweep tools are brushes, vacuums, and chemical cleaners. Each tool has its unique use and can be used in combination with another. Secondary tools that chimney sweeps may use while cleaning your chimney include rods for brushes, cameras and various safety equipment.
Chimney Sweep Brushes
Brushes used in cleaning your chimney come in varying sizes and bristles’ arrangement. They generally have the bristles around a central axis since they are designed for use with rotary motion. Some of the brushes are rotated by hand and others using power tools. Here is a look at two popular chimney brushes.
- Deflecto Duct Cleaning Kit – A high-quality brush with the bristles made of synthetic material. It comes with 6 detachable rods. You can rotate it by hand or use a power tool such as a compatible drill.
- Homeowners Choice Chimney Sweep Kit – Tall ladders are a thing of your past with the Homeowners Choice chimney sweep kit. The kit allows you to safely clean your chimney from the bottom up. It is drill powered.
Chimney Cleaning Vacuums
Vacuums for chimney cleaning use are for ash and soot removal. They come in handy as chimney sweep tools to remove soot after you have loosened it from the chimney. You can use your chimney vacuum to remove ash from the fireplace in daily use. Some chimney cleaning vacuums can be adapted for use in daily household vacuuming. Major considerations when shopping for your chimney vacuum are;
- Larger sizes of the ash and soot canister give you more operation time before you have to empty the vacuum.
- Prioritize metal hoses and canisters due to resistance to damage if hot coals are present.
- Longer chimney vacuum hoses give you greater reach. If your hose is short, you can get a longer hose as an accessory.
- Motor strength and durability vs noise levels. Motor strength determines the suction strength of the chimney vacuum cleaner.
Notable chimney vacuums that give you excellent value for your money are the Mastercraft Sootmaster furnace vacuum and the Aleko Hot Ash and Dust APW212 ETL Multipurpose vacuum among others. Mastercraft’s Sootmaster vacuum stands out with its motor head assembly, hose fitting and a large 6-gallon tank. The APW212 ETL Aleko multipurpose chimney vacuum features a metal hose, steel dust canister, has strong suction and comes with HEPA filters.
Chemical Chimney Sweep Tools
Innovation and advancements in knowledge of chemicals have given us chemical-based chimney sweeping tools. They loosen soot and creosote, making it detach from your chimney walls or very easy to brush from the chimney. Chemical chimney cleaners come in form of powders and liquids. A unique presentation method of a chemical agent to clean your chimney is the chimney log as discussed below.
- Creosote remover liquid/powder – These are heat activated. Most of them require you to add them in small amounts to the fire or hot coals. Heating up the chimney by running a fire before adding the chemicals is recommended. Some creosote remover powders are heat activated, but should not be added directly to the fire or hot coals.
- Creosote sweeping log – Made of solidified chemicals shaped into a log. The ‘log’ burns like a regular fire log and releases creosote-fighting additives in its smoke.
- Hearth and grill conditioning liquid for ceramic glass – This helps clean up creosote accumulations on ceramic glass and prevents future buildup.
Main Features of Chemical Chimney Cleaners
Chloride and magnesium compounds are often the active ingredients in the chemicals. Most chemical chimney cleaners give you choices in the amount to purchase / packaging sizes. They do not harm installed catalytic converters
- Chemicals for cleaning chimneys are usable in wood stoves, free burning fireplaces, chimneys, airtight stoves and fireplace inserts.
- Chimney cleaning agents largely focus on creosote in your chimney or stove flue. In the process of cleaning out creosote, they also help out with reducing soot buildup.
Chimney sweep tools make it easy to clean your chimney of soot and creosote that has built up. It is good to get into the habit of wearing eye protection when cleaning your chimney. Gloves are recommended for additional protection when working with chimney cleaning chemicals. The discussed chimney cleaning tools keep your home safe from chimney fires and your fireplace working efficiently by having an unobstructed chimney.