Your Alternative Fuel Furnace: Scheduling Services

You may be one of many home and business owners who think an oil or bio diesel furnace doesn’t need regular service. These types of appliances seem low-maintenance, but it’s important to remember that doesn’t mean NO maintenance!

Anytime you have a question or concern about your heating system, you should seek a qualified professional to look at your system completely.


It is important to hire a licensed and insured professional to install heat appliances in your home or business. A professional can ensure the appliance is properly connected to the fuel source, check for leaks, and inspect the whole heat system upon installation.

This type of work should not be D-I-Y, and proper safety precautions should be top priority. A Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep is experienced in alternative fuel furnaces, and will make certain the whole heating system (heat appliance and chimney system) are ready for operation before use.

How It Works

Alternative fuel furnaces are still fuel furnaces, just like wood or gas furnaces. When fuel is burned, it creates a byproduct in the form of gas and particles. This byproduct has to escape as it’s produced, so it escapes through the chimney system. Since oil is one of the most clean burning fuels, some may believe the chimney stays clean after a season of use, but this just isn’t true. All chimneys must be swept regularly, and inspected annually to ensure safety.

Oil furnaces have long running cycles during the winter season, and must be cleaned and inspected to prevent soot buildup. When soot builds up in the chimney overtime, especially when overlooked by an untrained technician, it can cause chimney decay and blockage. The soot becomes dangerous to the lining of your chimney when combined with moisture that may seep in. When this happens, only a professional can repair or replace the lining in your chimney.

Hire a Professional

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The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends annual inspections for safe and efficient operation. Some may believe the oil burner company will do the best job for your oil burning appliance. However, CSIA warns that the oil burner company may send a technician to your home or business, but they may not even check the chimney. They may only clean the bottom of the chimney out, near the appliance. CSIA says that some will even inspect the chimney without looking at it thoroughly.

This is not the case when you hire one of Billy Sweet’s Chimney Sweeps. We are certified by CSIA and agree that appliances and chimneys should have a thorough inspection annually in order to prevent chimney fires.

Billy Sweep Chimney Sweeps

We are experienced and ready to sweep your chimney of soot and debris, and perform an annual inspection at your request. Find out what we can do for you to ensure the safety of your home or business.

Call or schedule an appointment online.

Dangers of Neglecting Chimney Maintenance

At first glance, chimneys seem very robust. They live outside all year, exposed to the elements, and can withstand hundreds of degrees worth of heat, fire after fire. Despite all of this, however, chimneys do need some regular care to keep up with these high demands. Industry experts strongly recommend having the chimney swept and inspected at least once every year and for good reason. Failure to keep up with chimney maintenance can have some devastating consequences.


For wood burning fireplaces and stoves, the chimney will contain a buildup of a material called creosote. This black, tarry material clings to the surface of the chimney and can build up to the point of blocking air flow. Creosote is also highly flammable and is the cause of many destructive chimney fires. It burns at a much higher temperature than wood or gas, and once burning, it can be very difficult to extinguish. To keep your home and family safe, having a chimney sweep remove the creosote is imperative.

Debris found in the chimney can also take the form of an obstruction that reduces or blocks the flow of air. A common obstruction in the chimney is an animal and its nest. Warm chimneys attract small animals like birds, squirrels and raccoons that need a cozy space to wait out the winter. Unfortunately, this means trouble for the home owner. When the toxic fumes from the fire cannot escape through the chimney, they end up in the house. Not only does the creosote and soot leave messy, black residue on walls and furniture, but this lack of ventilation can actually be dangerous. Carbon monoxide, a product of combustion, can cause death when inhaled in high enough concentrations. It also has no color, smell, or taste, making it impossible to detect without relying on a special detector. To avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide from the fireplace, have a chimney sweep out every year.

Chimney inspections should also be done every year. The inspector examines the chimney from inside the house and from the roof to determine its structural soundness. A common problem that inspectors uncover is water damage. In a masonry chimney, water can enter the brick and mortar and cause cracking or even collapse. In all types of chimneys, water can also cause damage to the interior. If the flue lining is made of metal, water exposure can lead to rusted cracks or holes, which then exposes the house to further water damage, carbon monoxide leaks, and potential house fires. A simple inspection could determine if the chimney cap needs to be replaced, which can prevent these problems most of the time.

All in all, failure to keep up with chimney maintenance could cost you money in repairs, your house, and even your life. Instead of risking it, just call to schedule your annual sweep and inspection today. If you live near Boston, Massachusetts or Portland, Maine, contact Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep to speak with a professional.