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Annual chimney and furnace maintenance proves crucial

Annual chimney and furnace maintenance proves crucial

BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho - As temperature's dip into the teens, you'll want to make sure your furnace or chimney is well-maintained.

A chimney fire in Idaho Falls caused an estimated $30,000 damage, but the fire department said an annual inspection of the chimney could have prevented it.

Croft Chimney Sweep's owner Bill Croft has been completely booked recently. He said chimneys collect creosote, which can combust and cause a fire if too thick.

"Anybody that has a wood stove fireplace, wood fireplace insert, those are all vented into a chimney that can build up and potentially be a hazard," said Croft.

He said the biggest factors are what you're burning and how you're burning it. Fires at low temperatures can cause creosote buildup, as well as wet or green wood. However, he said even if your wood is dry and protected by the elements, chimneys should still be cleaned at least once a year.

"Multiple years of never doing it and you find that they should have been doing it every year," said Croft. "They just somehow dodged the bullet on having a chimney fire."

But chimneys aren't the only worry.

Brent Conan with Conan Heating and Air Conditioning said many people don't maintain their furnaces like they should. He's been so busy this week, he's had to turn business away.

"We see a lot of them that are neglected for several years," said Conan. "They don't actually call or do anything with them until they know there's a problem when they're cold."

He too says tuneups once a year are necessary.

"It will keep you safe from a fire or carbon monoxide, whether it's an electric furnace or a gas furnace," said Conan. "There's different issues that need to be checked.

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