It is time to clean your Chimney
Now is the time to clean your chimney! Don't wait until the first cold snap of the season, to call your local chimney sweep. Most times sweeps offer discounts, or, forward scheduling, to entice the homeowner to get their fireplace cleaned before the seasonal rush.
I try to schedule my customers so that i clean their fireplaces during the summer months. I know that sounds crazy to be doing it when its hot, but, it is easier to do the fireplace when its hot outside, than to be rushed in the fall. I have to admit though, when it is 90 degrees outdoors, its hard to be thinking about a warm cozy fireplace. The advantage of getting the chimney cleaned in the summer months, is that when the cold snap comes, you are ready to start your fire. I have been scheduled out for at least three weeks at a time, cleaning six chimney's a day.
Another advantage of getting the fireplace cleaned early, is you can avoid a lot of the smell associated with the fireplace. When it rains, the low pressure system that hangs over your house will cause the soot inside of your chimney to stink. It is especially bad if you have a wood stove. A wood stove typically will soot up faster than a regular open fireplace. Also, there is more of a risk of a chimney fire with a wood stove.
Cleaning a fireplace will typically take roughly an hour and a half, to sometimes two hours to clean. Sometimes wood stoves will take longer due to the amount of creosote and soot in them. Prices will range anywhere from $80.00, and up, depending on your location in the United States, and the type of system that you burn. Word of advice...if the sweep comes to clean your insert ( wood stove that slides into the fireplace), and he doesn't pull the wood stove out, he has just brushed all of the soot and cresote down on top of your stove. When the stove gets hot, it can ignite the soot and you will get to see your local firefighters. It's not a great way to end a day.
The National Fire Protection Assoc. states that fireplaces shall be cleaned, and/or, inspected yearly. Also, dryer vents, should be cleaned yearly. I will do a hub soon, and include some pictures from a house not far from mine, that burnt last week from a dryer vent that was dirty and set the house on fire. The whole top of the house will have to be rebuilt. Luckily, there were no injuries, and not much loss to personal belongings.
Give your local chimney sweep a call, and get on their schedule, before the cold weather gets here. You won't be happy if you have to wait several weeks before they can come out.
And, remember...it's good luck to shake hands with a chimney sweep!