Oil Flues and Oil Chimneys:
Probably the most neglected venting in the home. Many people assume that when they have their furnace tuned up and cleaned the venting is also done. This is not true. Furnace technicians don't inspect and clean chimneys. Although oil soot is not the highly flammable by product that wood creosote is, it is very corrosive and can damage clay flue tiles over time. If cracks appear in the flue, or tiles shift or have gaps carbon monoxide can leak back into your home. Also it is possible to have soot and debris pile up so high in the chimney that it blocks the venting from the appliance.
All chimneys should be examined for safety annually (NFPA 211). Oil flues do not generally need cleaning every year, but they do need cleaning occasionally. They also have to be inspected if you are changing oil appliances, per National Fire Code. Modern furnaces operate at a higher efficiency than older ones and often require smaller venting for proper draft than traditional clay flue tiles provide. We use the NFPA 31 to properly size the venting for oil appliances - unlike woodstoves the size of the outlet is NOT necessarily the size of the venting. Venting sizing is determined by the firing rate of the burner, the efficiency of the appliance, the length of pipe from the appliance to the chimney and the height of the chimney.
We can also remove power vents and replace them with metal chimneys so that you can once again use the windows on that side of the house, eliminate staining, not have to keep it clear of snow, and not have to put up with fumes. *
All homes that heat with oil should have a carbon monoxide detector in the house. The best type give a digital display reading, and store the highest number. Carbon monoxide tends to build up the most in the early morning hours when no one is walking around, opening doors and windows or otherwise diluting the air. Therefore it is good to have one that allows you to check if the reading in the middle of the night is different from the middle of the day.
And if you would like to stop using oil as a primary heat source we can discuss options with you. We slashed our heating bill from approx. $5000 a year to less than $2000 using a pellet stove as our primary heat source.
* In NH final hookup of gas or oil appliances when removing a power vent must be completed by a professional with that specific license, usually from your gas provider or burner technician.