Frequently Asked Questions
Is Co-Mate a harsh chemical? Is Co-Mate dangerous in any way?
No. Co-Mate is inert, non-toxic, non-corrosive and non-flammable. Co-Mate uses naturally occurring minerals in a unique format. Even if you were to accidentally ingest a small amount, say a teaspoon, it wouldn't hurt you. Just drink a glass or two of water or milk to help flush it through your system.
How much Co-Mate do I need to use?
In general, you don't need to use a lot. Our usage instructions call for a small amount every few days onto hot embers. This is probably the easiest way to do it. However, if you spread out using the recommended amount so that you are adding Co-Mate to your fire every day (or with every fire), this would provide optimal performance.
We encourage you to experiment and find out what works best for you. Start with a generous amount and watch the effects over time. Once you get used to how Co-Mate works and how effective it is, you'll learn how best to use Co-Mate in your particular heating appliance.
Will I need to keep getting regular chimney inspections?
Co-Mate cannot replace a professionally trained chimney sweep or chimney inspector. However, Co-Mate is very effective at keeping your chimney clean and free of dangerous creosote build-up for as long as you are using the product.
Beyond creosote accumulation, there are other aspects of frequent wood burning that should be monitored on a regular basis, including for regular maintenance and inspecting for structural damage. We recommend you always follow a regular inspection regimen as recommended for your area. Most countries have professionally trained technicians regulated through certification boards, such as WETT in Canada or CSIA in the United States.
Will I still need to clean my chimney on a regular basis if I use Co-Mate?
In most cases, Co-Mate will keep your chimney clean indefinitely if you use it on a regular basis. You'll be able to monitor this through regular inspections. With regular Co-Mate use, even if there is some accumulation, it will be easily removed with a mechanical brush or similar device. In general, this is usually not necessary with Co-Mate.
How long will it take for the effects of Co-Mate to be noticed?
This depends on the starting conditions of your chimney. If you start using Co-Mate on a dirty chimney, it will take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to firmly notice the effects. If your chimney has a particularly large buildup of creosote, use caution with your initial Co-Mate application as it could cause large deposits to suddenly loosen and fall. Co-Mate is most effective when used regularly to keep your chimney clean at all times.
Do I have to change the way I use my wood stove or fireplace in order to use Co-Mate?
No. The only thing Co-Mate needs to activate is heat. The type of wood you burn, how often you burn it, or the status of your appliance's air intake or damper device has no effect on Co-Mate's ability to function. As long as you have a chimney and you burn a fuel that produces ash, Co-Mate will be effective.
Can I use Co-Mate in a natural gas or propane furnace or fireplace?
No. Natural gas and propane produce very little ash and therefore their heating appliances are not generally designed to collect ash and allow for disposal. If your fuel doesn't produce ash, Co-Mate will not provide much benefit.
Does Co-Mate cause my fire to burn hotter?
This is possible. Co-Mate itself does not burn, but one of the mechanisms through which Co-Mate works is to temporarily increasing the flame temperature, which increases the amount of carbon burned in the fuel. This in turn reduces the amount of carbon in the creosote. This effect is not generally noticeable but it is possible that you may detect it briefly when Co-Mate begins to activate.
What is creosote?
If you burn wood in a woodstove, fireplace or similar device, what remains after combustion is complete is called ash. Most of this ash remains in the combustion chamber or falls below it, making it easily collectible. However, some of it escapes up the chimney where over time this ash, along with unburned compounds from the wood, accumulates on the inside walls of the chimney. This substance is commonly known as creosote and presents a significant fire hazard as it can easily reignite, causing devastating chimney fires.
Creosote is an unavoidable side effect of safely burning wood inside a building. You may have a super-efficient wood burning appliance, an optimally designed chimney, and you are burning the finest quality wood. No matter the setup, the remaining creosote deposits will have to be dealt with responsibly. This is why Co-Mate Chimney Cleaner is the perfect complement to any woodstove or fireplace. With regular use, your chimney can remain virtually free and clear of harmful deposits indefinitely
Can I use Co-Mate in my catlaytic stove?
Yes. Co-Mate will have no adverse effect whatsoever on the condition of your catalyst, but will simply keep everything running clean and more efficiently. You can also use Co-Mate with both metal and ceramic catalysts.
Is Co-Mate effective when used in a wood pellet stove or furnace?
Yes. Co-Mate works very well to improve the operation and cleanliness of wood pellet stoves, heat exchangers, and furnaces. We recommend adding about one or two tablespoons of Co-Mate into the burn pot of your pellet stove (more for higher volume pellet furnaces) once a hot fire is going each day or two. As with every application of Co-Mate, feel free to adjust the dosage as needed to get the results you are looking for.
Can I use Co-Mate in a multi-fuel or pyrolyzing stove?
Yes. As long as your heating appliance has the means to collect and allow for the removal of ash during normal operation, Co-Mate can be safely applied. You’ll find that the amount of Co-Mate needed will be proportional to the amount of ash in the fuel, with lower ash fuels requiring the least amount of Co-Mate and vice-versa.
Can I buy a lower quality fuel if I use Co-Mate?
Yes. But be careful. Co-Mate, when used properly, will help significantly reduce ash accumulation in your chimney. If you burn a lower quality fuel, which generally has more ash, Co-Mate will still be just as effective and your chimney will generally remain free of creosote.
However, Co-Mate DOES NOT make ash magically disappear. The ash, treated with Co-Mate, still has to go somewhere. This is generally in the ash collection device of your heating appliance, but it may fall and gather on other elements in your system. Be prepared to clean out your ash collection more often if you change to a fuel with a higher ash content.
We would not recommend changing to a lower quality fuel if the manufacturer of your heating appliance recommends against it. There may be other reasons other than ash or creosote for these instructions.
Will Co-Mate work on a low burning, cooler fire?
Yes. In fact, Co-Mate works very well in low fire conditions where creosote formation tends to be more prevalent. While the potential for creosote formation is present any time a fire is present, creosote formation is particularly aggressive during the fall and spring times when heating requirements are at their minimum. Even the temperatures of a low fire are more than enough to activate Co-Mate.
Can I use Co-Mate with a fireplace insert?
Yes. Co-Mate is safe for use in all types of chimneys, liners, and inserts
What happens if I get Co-Mate wet?
Water will deactivate Co-Mate, rendering it ineffective. This cannot be undone. If Co-Mate is exposed to water, allow it to dry as much as possible and then separate the dried material from the remaining unaffected product. You can safely dispose of Co-Mate in any regular waste receptacle.
Can I safely use wood ash treated with Co-Mate on my garden soil or in my compost?
Absolutely! Co-Mate treated wood ash is perfectly safe for use as a soil amendment. In fact, Co-Mate will help the soil retain moisture and nutrients, and even help neutralize soil acidity.