Knowing exactly how often chimneys should be cleaned and inspected can be a bit of a mystery. Some homeowners have their chimney cleaned once a year, some do it every few months, and some can’t remember the last time their chimney received any attention at all!
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), your chimney should be thoroughly inspected and swept at least once a year – regardless of how often you use it or how modern your fireplace is. In fact, if you don’t use your fireplace and chimney on a regular basis, you are in most need of a sweeping because you may not notice performance issues that indicate bigger problems.
How Often Should Chimneys Be Cleaned And Inspected
The National Fire Protection Agency is in agreemqent with the CSIA; they recommend that your fireplace, chimney, and vents should be inspected at least every 12 months for correct clearances, freedom from deposits, and soundness.
If it turns out during the initial inspection that the chimney and/or the fireplace need any repair or maintenance, you should have it addressed right away. So, the rule of thumb is to call a professional chimney sweep every year, so you can have the peace of mind you need to enjoy using your fireplace throughout the year.
Signs Your Chimney Needs To Be Cleaned
While annual cleaning and upkeep is recommended for all homeowners, there are certain signs that indicate it’s time to have the chimney swept.
You Use the Fireplace Frequently
If you use your stove or fireplace pretty often, especially as a primary heat source, you may need to call the chimney sweep more than once a year.
CSIA suggests that your chimney should be cleaned any time the soot accumulation reaches 1/8th of an inch. This usually happens after you’ve burned a full cord of wood. If you are burning more than one full cord during a single burning season, you should call the chimney sweep at least twice a year.
Your Fireplace Has Been Inactive For A While
If it’s been several weeks or years since you last used the fireplace, the chimney may have accumulated animal nests, dried leaves and twigs, and other debris. So, before you ignite a fire and start using the fireplace, call a chimney sweep – even if the last cleaning was less than a year ago.
Your Chimney Is Displaying Performance Issues
Do you smell a weird odor coming from the chimney even when the fireplace is not burning? Does the room fill with smoke whenever you use the fireplace? Is the fire not burning strong enough, like it used to?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to schedule a chimney sweeping appointment. If you’re wondering how often chimneys should be cleaned and inspected, in this case, the answer is as soon as you notice a problem with it.
Call a Certified & Experienced Chimney Sweep Today
Unlike your state-of-the-art oven, a chimney doesn’t come with a self-cleaning option (though, it would be nice…). Neglected fireplaces and chimneys can wreak havoc on the structure of your beloved home, so it’s best to schedule a chimney inspection and cleaning at least once a year.
If you’re still not sure how often chimneys should be cleaned and inspected, call us and we will give you a precise answer after inspecting your chimney. You can reach us at 866-847-7454 or leave us a message online.