There are so many aspects related to chimney and fireplace cleaning that you should be aware of. What do you need to know, how much should it cost, and how often you should do it. Fireplaces are cozy and ready for you to cuddle up in front of it, but you should make sure that it is safe. According to the National Fire Protection Safety Association, “the leading factor contributing to home heating fires (27%) was failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.”
Typically, cleaning your chimney and fireplace isn’t a do-it-yourself job, so you should hire a professional that has been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Cleaning chimneys and fireplaces involved more that just cleaning out the soot, dust, and debris. You should take on the responsibility of prepping your chimney and fireplace for cleaning, and here is what you need to know.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOUR CHIMNEY BE INSPECTED?
The simple answer is – every year! If you just had a new installation of a wood-burning stove, then it should be checked midway through your first heating season to ensure that everything is working perfectly.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOUR CHIMNEY BE CLEANED?
If you look inside your chimney and see at least 1/8th inch of shoot and deposit, it is time for a cleaning. Your annual inspection will determine if you need additional sweeping, or even repairs.
IS A CHIMNEY INSPECTION CLEANING REALLY THAT IMPORTANT?
We cannot stress the importance of getting your chimney inspected. Here are a few reasons that will get you thinking twice about missing your annual inspection. The combustion process deposits an acidic material that weakens masonry or metal chimneys, causing them to deteriorate prematurely. Significant buildup of creosote, a flammable material resulting from incomplete combustion, may catch fire and spread to the attic and other areas of the home.
How often do you actually use your chimney? If a chimney is used infrequently, critters and birds can collect and nest there, blocking the chimney. Leaves, twigs, pine cones and branches can obstruct the chimney, too.
High winds or driving rain can also damage chimneys. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that, as a general rule, a chimney should have a rain cap to keep out animals and water as these are the primary reasons chimneys fail.
WHAT IS INCLUDED WHEN A PROFESSIONAL CLEANS YOUR CHIMNEY?
- Sweeping the fireplace, checking the firebox, liners, smoke chamber and flue, chimney exterior and inspecting the appliance for proper clearances.
- Recommendations for proper operation or replacement of equipment and necessary repairs to equipment or structure.
- A video inspection. It may mean an additional cost, but it could detect hidden damage.
If you need your chimney and fireplace inspected, or repaired, please contact AES Hearth & Patio’s CSIA-certified chimney sweeps. Live near Newville? 717-486-7690 – Live near Camp Hill? 717-761-1617
Terms & Limitations:
- AES requires all appliances & chimneys to meet manufacturer, state, local and National Fireplace Protection Agency codes & requirements. All services start with an inspection. If appliance installation does not meet code, our minimum service charge of $100 will be due and an estimate to bring appliance up to code will be provided for your approval.
- If appliance requires repair, technician will provide cost estimate of service for your approval.