Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Chimney Sweep...

6:55 pm - 38 degrees - raining...

We heat our home with a wood stove from roughly around September until May.  This ends up being one long continuous burning season at our elevation of 2,200 feet.  

Having a wood burning fireplace definitely has its ups and downs.  The warm glow of a fireplace is one of nature’s simple gifts... if you can ignore the mess and hassle that come with their daily operation.

One downside is the creosote that builds-up on the inside of the chimney and in the chimney cap that can cause chimney fires.  Creosote builds up gradually over time and can become a very serious fire hazard. 

There is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to how often you should clean out your chimney.  Tony cleans out our chimney every fall, right before the cold season hits.

After Tony has all the ladders in place and secured, he climbs up and removes the chimney cap. 

Fishing a safety line up and over the house.

That is a lot of creosote built up on the chimney cap!

Then he moves inside to remove the double wall section of the chimney and takes it outside to clean later.

Creosote build-up on the inside of the chimney.

After taping a large plastic garbage bag to the bottom of the chimney inside, he then heads back outside to start cleaning the chimney with the chimney brush.

After he has everything cleaned and as creosote-free as possible, he re-assembles everything and cleans up the mess.  Over all, it probably took him about an hour, maybe an hour and a half from start to finish. 

Tony up on the roof putting everything back together.

Though creosote inevitably builds up over time, by using only properly split and seasoned firewood, you can slow the creosote accumulation.  If at all possible, try to steer clear of the slow, smoky, smoldering fires, these tend to create creosote rather quickly.  Clean, hot burning fires are the ones that generate the least amount of creosote. 

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