Chimney duct hoses have been a staple of architecture for centuries. Throughout history, there have been several different types of chimneys utilized to evacuate smoke and hazardous chemicals from within buildings. Today, chimney ducting is used to ventilate both homes and businesses alike. The structure of chimneys vary from large stone chimneys used to ventilate pollutants from an industrial factory to a flexible chimney pipe used in domestic households to keep a home free of the smoke and carbon monoxide produced by burning wood in a fireplace. Understanding the chimney’s place in modern society requires an understanding of its origin, uses, construction materials, and the dangers related to chimney ventilation if the ducting is not properly maintained.
The invention of the chimney was such a large technological advancement that it forever changed the way homes and buildings are designed. Before chimneys, people would only live on the bottom floor of buildings that featured a burning fire because any smoke that was created in the home would rise to a second floor and create an environment containing polluted air that is uninhabitable. The Romans were the first society use an early concept of the chimney by using tubes dug into the walls of bakeries to ventilate the smoke caused from baking. In the 12th century, northern Europe began to use chimneys in many of its larger structures like churches and castles. It wasn’t until the 16th and 17th century when chimneys became commonplace in households as the main form of home heating.
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While advancements in technology in the 20th and 21st centuries have introduced alternatives to home heating like HVAC systems, many households still utilize fireplaces and chimney ducting as a form of cost effective heating as well as for entertainment value. It was the industrial developments of the 16th century that introduced the heavy usage of chimney duct hoses in factory work, locomotion and naval navigation. Today, flexible chimney pipe ducting is still used heavily in ventilating heavy amounts of pollutants from industrial applications.
The construction of chimneys has rapidly evolved since their inception. The first chimneys were once made of stone. The primitive masonry chimneys were useful for low-heat applications but would become cracked with increased heat applications. Additionally, natural occurrences such as earthquakes present a great danger to stone chimneys because it can easily crack the structure creating a severe fire hazard. Due to the risks that stone masonry presents for chimney duct hoses, many states and countries require that a flexible chimney pipe made of steel be used in chimney construction.
To meet the governmental regulations and to provide a safer and more efficient form of ventilation, many of today’s chimneys are made using aluminum or stainless steel chimney ducting. These hoses can be bent and flexed to provide the most convenient route for ventilation and in the instance of a natural event like an earthquake, the ducting can move side to side without fracturing or becoming warped. Stainless steel is also resistant to extremely high temperatures, capable of withstanding temperatures up to 1650 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to great temperature properties, stainless steel is resistant to rust and corrosive materials that make the use of steel ideal for industrial applications that need to ventilate large amounts of chemical fumes and pollutants.
How is chimney ducting used in modern society? While many people may not pay close attention to their existence, chimneys still play a vital and very relevant role in today’s technology obsessed society. One of the most commonly seen uses of chimney duct hoses is within industrial and commercial applications. Applications from steam dry cleaning to industrial production factories utilize chimney vents to ventilate chemicals and fumes from the work environment. In larger applications, the chimneys produce what is called, “the smoke stack.” The more smoke that an application produces, the taller the chimney must be in order to meet high volume demands. The height of a chimney determines its ability to transfer gases and pollutants to an ambient air environment using the stack effect.
Smaller industrial work uses chimneys that are similar in size for household applications. Chimneys are used in smaller commercial applications where the use of chimney ducting includes dry cleaning in which a flexible chimney pipe is used to ventilate chemicals. Many kitchens include hooded ventilation where steam from cooking is pulled in through the hood into a chimney duct to ventilate steam and smoke. Chimneys may play a pivotal role in industrial and commercial work, but they still have a secure place within households as well. While not as prominent as they were in the 17th century, many homeowners still utilize their fireplaces and chimneys as an alternative form of home heating. For homeowners, fireplaces offer a form of heating that is often cheaper than heating systems dependent on gas and electricity. Also, many find a source of enjoyment in sitting by the fireplace on a cool winter evening.
While chimney duct hoses offer great benefits in ventilation, warmth and entertainment, it is important to know the safety requirements that come along with the use of chimney ducting. When using a chimney on a regular basis, it is important to be aware of the dangers of both fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. The fumes that are caused by burning substances underneath a chimney create a flammable byproduct known as creosote. When a spark or hot ember travels through a flexible chimney pipe it could ignite creosote buildup or another obstruction, such as a bird’s nest, and create a chimney fire.
A chimney fire can become so hot that it may warp or create holes within chimney ventilation that could result in a larger and more destructive fire. Also, a buildup of creosote can clog up the ventilation system and result in carbon monoxide traveling back into a home and/or business that can make a person extremely sick and possibly result in a person’s death. Because of these dangers, it is essential that a professional clean your chimney ventilation systems to ensure that there is always an efficient airflow with no obstructions that may cause a chimney fire.
With a rich and storied history, chimneys are an important part of home and industrial architecture. With so many benefits ranging from efficient production to comfort and entertainment, it is extremely important to maintain proper upkeep of the chimney, as well as using the highest quality steel chimney duct hoses to ensure the most efficient operation possible for your ducting system.