Determine When to Clean the Chimney  

Like most things in life, there is no one-size-fits-all rule for how often to clean your chimney. Many factors impact how often you should schedule a chimney sweep, including the age of the chimney and how often you use it. Now that the cold weather has come to Connecticut, it is a good opportunity to assess your chimney’s health before the winter arrives. We can help you determine when it is time to clean the chimney to better protect your home and family.

The job of the chimney sweep is to remove soot, blockages, and built-up creosote from your chimney liner, firebox, smoke chamber, and damper. Cleaning the chimney creates a safer operation of your system. After all, it only takes a small build-up of creosote to block the free movement of smoke. In rare cases, a build-up of creosote can even catch light, leading to house fires. For this reason, having your chimney swept regularly should be considered a vital home maintenance task.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) states that fireplaces should be cleaned when there is 1/8″ of sooty build-up inside the chimney or flue system. However, most homeowners are not able to judge the condition of the system to such an exact degree. As a result, it is advised by the institute that homeowners have a professional chimney inspection completed. This will help to determine whether a chimney cleaning is needed.

That said, the general guidelines for cleaning are:

  • Smokeless fuel stoves – at least once a year
  • Wood burning stoves and coal stoves – quarterly when in use
  • Oil stoves and gas stoves – once a year

Bear in mind that the frequency at which chimneys should be swept can only ever be a rough approximation. This is why is it important to call out a professional to assess your chimney’s needs.

Before you think about building a fire or cranking up the furnace for the winter, schedule your chimney’s cleaning or inspection.

Protect your home from fire damage by keeping the chimney in good condition. For help finding the right home insurance in Connecticut, contact the independent insurance professionals at North American Underwriters. Serving New Britain, Bristol, Farmington, Plainville, and all of Connecticut; we will work with you to ensure you have the right amount of protection for your specific situation, all at the right price.