There are many reasons to have your chimney cleaned by a professional chimney sweep, including:

• Preventing chimney fires by removing flammable materials like creosote, soot and ash;
• Prevents corrosion of your chimney;
• Prevents drafting problems that reduce your fireplace or stove’s heating efficiency;
• Allows for inspection of your chimney to make sure it is safe and no critters have taken up residency.

A professional chimney cleaning will help prevent the possibility of fire and dangerous fumes. Typically, a professional cleaning includes an inspection of all stove components to make sure everything is in good working order.

How often you have your chimney cleaned depends upon a number of factors, including what type of stove or fireplace you have, how often you use it and what type of material you burn in it.

Wood Stoves: Creosote is a highly flammable substance that builds up inside your chimney or liner as a result of burning wood. The rate of creosote accumulation varies depending upon your burning practices, efficiency of your stove or fireplace and the type of wood used. Pine causes a rapid buildup of creosote. If you use pine as your primary source of wood you should consider having your chimney cleaned often.

Pellet Stoves: Any type of wood burning you do with your fireplace and chimney results in the generation of creosote, soot and other combustion byproducts that need to be removed. You should also check your pellet stove’s fans, motors and burning unit. It is recommended that you have your pellet stove cleaned by a professional, especially if you use it regularly.

Natural Gas Stoves: Natural gas burns cleaner and produces less build-up than wood or pellet fuel. But natural gas stoves and fireplaces are complex appliances. Consider hiring a technician that is familiar with your type and brand of natural gas stove or fireplace to make sure the ignition system, pilot light, fans and air passages are all functioning correctly.