Pros And Cons Of Chimneys

Chimneys are the source of exhausting waste gases from the household appliances into the outer atmosphere. With the modern technology the usage of masonry chimneys had been replaced with the electric chimneys. The electric appliances have gained entry into every household with myriad of benefits and little harm


One reason of chimneys not being in use today is that they are pollution causing. Although the chimneys are built higher, that means our upper atmosphere is adulterated with lots of harmful fumes leading to pollution in the urban areas, acid rain and eventually global warming.

Another risk in installing chimneys in houses is the risk they pose for the whole house. The slightest mistake at any point while using them can lead to the burning of the whole house. This can occur while using the fireplace or the stove or due to the combustible fuels that react during chimney sweep.

One of the main problems of chimneys is the development of creosote deposits on the walls of the internal lining of the chimney if the fuel used is wood. These deposits can be hazardous as they can easily catch fire and can interfere with the passage of air flow.

In the old times, chimney maintenance required a regular chimney sweep. For this purpose, chimney sweep masters had children appointed as indentured servants. Their job was to climb all the way up the chimney and brushing the inner walls on the way up. Their job was to climb essentially, inside the chimney, brushing the flue as they went up and finally their heads poked out of the chimney. The children did not want to do this life threatening job as sometimes they could get stuck and got injured at other times. So they could not work up to the expectations of the master. As a punishment child was forced to climb the chimney, as they went up the fire was lit. So he had no other option than to keep moving upwards.

The tyranny for these poor children did not end here. They had to carry the heavy sacks full of soot with them. The same sack was used as a blanket at night to sleep within and also bathed less frequently. As a result, they were sickly most of the times.

Chimneys also pose dangerous health effects for the chimney sweeps. When the sweeps got in their late teens and twenties, they manifested a dangerous disease which they mistook as soot wart and named it chimney sweeps’ cancer.  It is today known as as chimney sweeps’ cancer that mainly affects young people, in their late teens or twenties. It has now been identified as an indicator of scrotal squamous cell carcinoma reported by Sir Percival Pott. It has been termed as the first industrially related cancer to be found. Potts described it:

This disease is painful and produces an ugly-looking sore having hard edges, in no great length of time, it gets under the skin, dartos and the membranes of the scrotum, seizes and enlarges the testicle, and makes it hard. Whence it makes its way up the spermatic process into the abdomen.


Talking about the benefits of chimneys their installation protects the household from getting over-exhausted with fumes and rise in temperature of the inside atmosphere.

These are cheaper than their other electric counterparts and a one-time investment only. Their repair and maintenance is also cheap. Whereas, it can be said that it is the structure with less of the benefits than hazards.



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