I moved into a 10-year-old house two years ago. It had a natural gas line going to the fireplace with artificial logs. Not knowing whether it had been used previously for burning wood, I had the chimney swept I've decided to stick with gas logs. How often need I have the chimney cleaned in the future?
Lucky you! You probably don't ever have to clean it again. The exhaust from gas logs is primarily water vapor, some carbon dioxide and, if combustion is not efficient, some carbon monoxide. These combustion byproducts are not corrosive and leave no residue to speak of so they will have no significant short-term effect on the lining of your chimney.
Of course, it is wise to have an occasional checkup by a pro just to make sure that no cracks have developed in the chimney liner or, if you have a metal chimney, that it has not become rusty. Leakage of the moist exhaust into the walls around the chimney could result in typical moisture related problems ... lifting paint, rotting wood, mildew and insect infestation. This inspection should not cost very much, and should be done at least every 3 to 5 years.
copyright 2000 G.G. Alonzy
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