Ah, spring – that time of year when the blustery Indianapolis winter slowly melts into reasonable, mild temperatures. Known as a period of rebirth and growth, spring is also an excellent time to take stock of your belongings, purge the things you no longer need, and finally tackle some of those deep-cleaning chores around the house.

As you begin compiling your spring cleaning checklist, don’t forget your household appliances! Especially after a long season of use, it’s particularly important to pay attention to your heating systems – and everything else (like a water heater and/or furnace) that utilizes a flue or chimney to ventilate.

Keep reading to learn more about utility chimneys and the importance of having them checked and serviced by a licensed professional every year. Ready to get in touch and schedule something now? Call 317-903-8121 or fill out this appointment request form to get in touch with the experts here at Smalling Masonry.

What Is a Utility Chimney/Flue?

Before we can really get into the nitty-gritty of cleaning and servicing utility chimneys, we should first go over what exactly they are...as well as the purpose they serve.

Essentially, a utility chimney (also known as a utility flue) is the name given to the exhaust pipe of any appliance that vents its fumes. Things like water heaters or boilers, furnaces, generators, and others that utilize and manipulate fuel to create something else (like hot water or heated air) all feature utility flues that carry toxic byproducts safely out of your home. 

original infographic explaining what utility flues are

While these utility flues perform the same job as any chimney – to safely and adequately release combustion fumes and exhaust – cleaning and servicing them depends on appliance specifics and the location.

For instance, a chimney relining is a common service that can revitalize an otherwise failing fireplace chimney flue. But, in the case of a damaged or deteriorating utility chimney, it’s more of a flue replacement than a relining simply because of how they are designed.

What Maintenance Does a Utility Flue Require?

With all the hustle and bustle of daily tasks and to dos, it can be challenging to stay aware of your appliances and the condition of their venting systems. But, just because there might not be any glaring issues, doesn’t mean that they don’t require attention. Like every other appliance in your home, it’s a good idea to have all your vents, ducts, and utility flues looked over by a professional at least once a year. 

Considering utility chimneys are a smaller, simplified version of the ventilation system used by your fireplace, the preventative, annual maintenance is essentially the same: a chimney inspection and cleaning once a year. But, because they’re significantly smaller and easier to service than their fireplace counterparts, we group both the utility chimney inspection and cleaning together. During this service, we’ll look for any signs of damage or weakened materials and check that all seals and junctures are properly intact. As always, we bring our findings to you at the end along with our suggestions on the next steps to ensure your home is as safe as possible.

Can Regular Utility Chimney Maintenance Help You Save on Energy Bills?

Absolutely. Not only does regular and preventive duct and venting maintenance help you lower your utility costs each month, it also ensures that all of your appliances – and thus, your entire home – remain as safe as possible.

No matter the specifics of the appliance and its utility flue, any amount of byproduct buildup will impact performance efficiency…and require more effort and more money to operate effectively. 

But, when you service your utility flues regularly, any debris or other material (like dust and dirt) deposits are cleared out and removed before they get the chance to accumulate and create larger blockages.

And, while it’s normal for your energy bill to fluctuate from month to month, if you notice a significant change over the course of a few bill cycles, there is always a chance a clog in your utility flues (or some similar issue) might be to blame. Establishing a structure for routine yearly attention can work to prevent occurrences such as these in the future.

Call Smalling Masonry To Have Your Utility Chimney Serviced Today!

Utility flues are easy to forget about. They’re designed to be simple and unobtrusive – to quickly, safely, and quietly ventilate the appliance they’re attached to and remain largely unnoticed. But, it’s important to not write them off when doing a spring cleaning audit…having them professionally serviced could actually end up saving you money in the long run.

Not sure when you last had your utility chimneys inspected by a venting professional? Smalling Masonry is here to help. Get in touch with us by calling 317-903-8121, or fill out our contact form online.