Chimneys

Published on October 9th, 2014 | by Henri

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Whistling noise from chimney after cleaning

Q.  We had our chimney cleaned, as we do every two years. After this most recent cleaning, we seem to get a whistling noise when the fire is going and the outside weather is a bit breezy.

I am concerned that the chimney sweep may have punctured the lining of the chimney and that is what is causing the noises we are hearing. Is this possible? Do I need to be concerned about a possible safety issue in using the stove? It is an insert set in a fireplace that backs up to another open fireplace in the adjoining room.

We use the stove almost daily during the cold season and have never before heard these type of noises. Is it something to be concerned about?

A.  Is the insert sharing the same flue with the open fireplace behind it? I hope not. It does seem unlikely that cleaning the chimney would have caused a puncture in the lining. If it is the original vitrified-clay lining of the chimney, it is pretty tough. If a stainless steel flue liner was installed when you put in the insert, it is also very tough.

It seems more likely that the whistling noise is caused by some change to the chimney cap, if you have one, since it occurs only when there is a certain amount of wind. The cap may have been bent or not put back correctly after the sweeping. Call the sweep and ask him or her to check this out. If this is not the problem, ask the sweep for his/her opinion as to what is causing the new whistling.

To be safe, ask the sweep to check the chimney with a video camera. If he or she does not have a camera – and the whistling continues – you may want to contact another chimney sweep who does have one.

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