When is the Best Time to Clean My Chimney?

We get it! At the peak of a Salt Lake City summer, the last thing you want to think about right now is your fireplace and all the heat it gives off. But trust us when we tell you that there’s no better time than the present to schedule your annual chimney cleaning service.

Most fireplace companies agree that summer is the best season to clean and sweep your chimney. Here’s why. 

Why is it Important to Clean Your Chimney? 

It all boils down to safety! When a traditional wood fireplace is burning, it releases two important byproducts that can build up in your chimney: soot and creosote. Soot is fortunately easy to clean and remove. Creosote, on the other hand, not so much. 

For those unfamiliar with the term, creosote is a thick residue that sticks to your chimney walls and becomes almost impossible to remove without professional tools once it hardens. The real danger, besides slowly bottlenecking your chimney, is that it is extremely flammable. As the temperature rises inside the chimney, so does the risk of a creosote fire. In fact, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), there are over 20,000 chimney fires across the nation every year. 

Learn more about the dangers of creosote here

You should consider a chimney cleaning if you plan on installing a gas insert as well. 

Do I Have to Clean My Chimney if I Have a Gas Fireplace?

The only instances in which we would recommend cleaning the chimney of a gas fireplace is… 

  • If the fireplace uses gas logs or 
  • If the fireplace is a ventless unit. 

We would NOT recommend a chimney cleaning for gas inserts or a zero-clearance fireplace. Gas inserts have liners running through the chimney that can be compromised or disconnected if something is put inside the chimney, while a zero clearance fireplace is vented through a rigid pipe that does not need to be cleaned.

With that being said, it is highly recommended that you schedule an annual service of all gas fireplaces to make sure they are clean and performing at their best.

Hire a Professional or DIY?

Maintaining a home is expensive on all fronts, which is why homeowners everywhere try to DIY as many projects as possible. However, cleaning a chimney is not as easy as replacing a light bulb or fixing a leaking sink. 

First and foremost, your safety could be at risk. Just to access the chimney, you have to scale onto the roof and maneuver your way around. So, if you’re not comfortable with heights, don’t even think about it!

Second, you’ll need to purchase protective gear and the proper chimney cleaning equipment. Any old brush that you find at your local retail store won’t do! If you want to get the job done right, you’re going to have to purchase high-quality, durable chimney brushes. 

Last but not least, you’ll need to educate yourself on the chimney cleaning process. As we mentioned before, soot is easy enough to clean on your own, but creosote and other debris may require more expertise. 

So, technically, you can do it on your own, but hiring a professional from the get-go is always a better option for most homeowners. Professionals are safe, quick, and reliable in the services they provide! 

Contact Us for All Your Fireplace Needs!

If you have any questions or concerns about your fireplace, or you’re taking advantage of the summer season and looking to add a new fireplace to your home, we’re the team to call! Croft Fireplace offers the best deals on gas fireplace installations in Utah, from Salt Lake County to Davis County to Summit County, and many other surrounding regions. Contact us today for more information.