Having a fireplace in your home is usually seen as a perk – especially when you live in an area with particularly harsh winters – but also comes with an added responsibility of taking care of a chimney.
The good news is that with regular chimney maintenance, your beloved fireplace does not need to be another homeowner headache.
Why do I need to get my chimney inspected and cleaned?
Read on for five reasons that you should use a chimney sweep and the importance of cleaning your chimney.
1. Keep your home safe from chimney fires
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) states that 1/8” of sooty buildup is considered to be enough fuel buildup to cause a chimney fire capable of damaging your chimney and possibly spreading to the home. Too much buildup of creosote, the substance left behind from wood burning in your fireplace, is highly flammable and may be a cause for concern in your chimney – especially if you have a system that isn’t working up to par.
2. Efficiently heat your home with a properly running fireplace
Buildup in your chimney isn’t only a safety issue but also causes your fireplace and heating systems to run less efficiently. If your chimney clogs with too much soot, creosote, or other blockages, your home will not be heated as effectively, and your fireplace and chimney will not work to their best abilities.
3. Save money with preventative chimney maintenance
Don’t wait until there are larger, and more costly, problems before you get a chimney sweep in your home. Regular chimney inspections are a more cost-effective and smart choice for your chimney’s longevity.
4. Keep your chimney critter-free
It is easy for animals like birds, squirrels, and raccoons to get into your chimney and nest in there. While the animals get into the chimney, they may not always get out. This will cause trouble when you next try to light a fire in your fireplace because of the accumulated debris pile-up that occurs with their nesting activity.
5. Prevent bad smells in the summer
One effect of too much creosote deposits in your chimney can be an unpleasant odor. Without removing these build-ups and letting a professional chimney sweep address any other underlying issues that may be causing the scent, you will be left with this bad smell in your house during humid summer months.
When should I get my chimney cleaned?
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 211, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”
Even if you didn’t use your fireplace too often in the past year, you should still have your regular chimney inspection completed due to the reasons listed above. It is usually recommended to get this inspection and cleaning around the same time every year. Spring or summer are perfect times for a chimney inspection and cleaning since your fireplace and chimney typically are not in use during these seasons.
By regularly getting your chimney cleaned by a professional, you can ensure that your fireplace stays safe and ready for use.