Establish a routine for your fuel, wood burning appliance and burning technique. Check daily for creosote build-up until experience shows how often you need to sweep the appliance and chimney to be safe. Be aware that in a very general way, the hotter the fire is the less creosote is produced. Weekly cleaning may be necessary in mild weather even though quarterly cleaning may be enough in the coldest months. Contact your local municipal or provincial fire authority for information on how to handle a chimney fire. Have a clear understood plan to handle a chimney fire.
Creosote – Formation and Need for Removal
When wood is burned slowly, it produces tar and other organic vapors and these combine with expelled moisture to form creosote. The creosote vapors condense in the relatively cool chimney flue associated with a slow burning fire. As a result, creosote reside accumulates on the flue lining. When ignited, this creosote can result in an extremely hot fire. The chimney should be inspected periodically during the heating season to determine if a creosote build-up has occurred. If a significant layer of creosote has accumulated it should be removed to reduce the risk of a chimney fire.