Chimney Sweep Vacuums: Uses, Types & Advantages

Chimney sweep vacuums are basic equipment or tools used for the cleaning and removal of soot. Chimney sweeps need vacuums alongside other equipment to carry out their basic cleaning actions.

These and more will be discussed in this article.

Is there A Special Vacuum Used By Chimney Sweeps?

This is one of the key questions that may arise when considering chimneys.

Before now, you may have erroneously thought that all vacuums (including those used for household cleaning) are the same. Now, it’s clear to point out that while such vacuums may be similar in basic designs, certain differences exist.

Have you ever heard of HEPA level filtration? HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air.

The name alone conveys an idea of what it does. Now, every chimney sweep vacuum is expected to have HEPA level filtration due to the size of the soot particle.

Chimney sweeps seek to clear out all soot and creosote from a chimney. For this to be successful, the right kind of tool must be used. This increases efficiency and ensures that harmful particles aren’t inhaled.

Of course, other tools like masks help prevent inhalation.

A household vacuum cleaner without HEPA level filtration will do little to prevent soot escape and inhalation. In other words, such vacuums aren’t as efficient when it comes to cleaning your chimney.

For a vacuum to be considered safe enough for chimney sweep tasks, it must have a HEPA cartridge installed.

Some Context on Soot Size

One of the basic things you need to know about chimney sweep vacuums is the size of what’s cleaned from a chimney. With standard traditional vacuums, you won’t get the results you seek when cleaning soot from your chimney.

Now, the size of soot particles falls within the range of <PM 2.5 to PM 10. PM here stands for picometer which is a unit of measurement. Comparing this to human hair thickness, you’re able to have a better understanding as the thickness of human hair ranges from PM 50 to PM70.

So, will a chimney sweep vacuum catch soot particles as tiny as PM 2.5 or less? It will! The High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters found in chimney sweep vacuums provide the needed filtration.

However, instead of using a sieve or fine mesh to trap soot particles, and even more efficient method is used.

Electrostatic attraction is the principle by which chimney sweep vacuums function. This HEPA filtration method forces particles to change direction which attracts or forces them into fibers provided for such purpose.

As a result, HEPA filters aren’t maintained like those for standard traditional vacuums. Going ahead to wash HEPA filter cartridges only serves to damage the positive and negative charges that generate stickiness.

Dangers of Using Traditional Vacuums for Chimney Sweep Tasks

As mentioned earlier, not every vacuum serves the purpose of chimney cleaning. Accumulated creosote and soot found within your chimney consist of fine particles arising from incomplete combustion of fuels.

The black soot you see isn’t just black dirt, but by-products of incomplete fuel combustion.

Now, soot comprises several harmful constituents. They include naphthalene, simple carbon, xylene, acrolein, toluene, formaldehyde, silicone, and several others.

Without the right vacuum (those installed with HEPA filter cartridges), little can be done to clean up chimney soot. Traditional filters will do little if anything at all to clear dirt from your chimney.

As a result, these fine harmful particles are inhaled and cause a wide range of health risks.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases arise from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are carcinogens.

This is the more reason why you need to use chimney sweep vacuums as they’re specially designed to clean up soot of all sizes.

Industrial-Grade Chimney Vacuum System

When chimney sweeps are called to perform a cleaning job, one of the key tools used is an industrial-grade chimney vacuum system. These vacuum systems are designed to preserve the integrity of your home’s air quality.

Industrial-grade chimney vacuum systems come with multiple stage filters that help prevent messes in addition to getting rid of any pollutants released during the cleanup process.

Such vacuums come with attachments that enhance their reach.

Types of Chimney Sweep Vacuums

Chimney vacuums come in different brands and designs. These also have varying capacities that serve different purposes. You’ll need to make your findings on what best fits your needs as a chimney sweep.

Of course, each of these is designed with efficient filtration systems to capture or trap soot and creosote of varying sizes.

  • Top Chimney Sweep Vacuum Brands

A logical way to go about providing the type of chimney sweep vacuums is by focusing on available brands. There are several brands to choose from. Under each brand are tons of vacuum cleaner models to pick from.

Having picked your preferred brand, you’ll then proceed to choose your particular product based on power rating and the likes.

Some of the top chimney sweep vacuum brands include Avern, Lindemann, Elswood, Sturdyvac, PowerSmith, Snow Joe, Tacklife among several others.

As stated earlier, there are lots of models under each brand with varying power ratings, capacities, and efficiency.

You’ll need to know exactly what you want before making a purchase. For chimney sweeps, this is familiar territory as they’ve been using such cleaners for a long.

What Else Is Needed For Chimney Cleaning?

Apart from chimney vacuum systems, other tools and supplies are equally important. They include smoke chamber rods, flexible chimney cleaning rods, wire chimney brushes, polypropylene brushes, and power sweeping systems.

One of the basic protective gear that needs to be worn by a chimney sweep includes a full-face respirator.  Basic supplies include ceramic glass cleaner, creosote remover, and masonry sealant among others.

Chimney sweep vacuums perform an important function of cleaning and maintaining the air quality within a home. We’ve also made comparisons between standard traditional vacuums and those specially designed for chimney sweep tasks.

The difference between the two lies in the efficiency of the filtration system.

High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter systems are mostly found in chimney sweep vacuums. These are highly efficient and remove all dirt, debris, and soot sizes.

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